Are you a runner who is no longer able to participate in a race?
Tired of getting turned away when you want to transfer your race number?
Are you trying to register for a Sold-Out Race?
When we runners register for races; we really mean it. We’re committed to our training- waking up early to fit in our run before work, making the effort to stay healthy and in shape, purchasing the right gear, participating in running clubs and constantly overcoming personal and physical challenges in order to improve our performance. All of this is so that when race day comes, we can show up and give it our everything.
Unfortunately, sometimes there are circumstances that arise which basically give us no choice but to have to cancel. Things like getting injured, pregnancy, being called away for military service, death in the family and more. And we all know that after all the anticipation; it’s really a bummer to have to cancel.
But you know what’s almost impossible? Trying to transfer a race number to our friend, or trying to get a refund on the bib and registration fees, and we are denied. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to us- when we can get a refund on almost anything we buy today. So why is it so hard to get a refund on a BIB NUMBER? Shouldn’t it just be as easy as asking the race director in advance, who can then pass that number along to someone that can use it? Instead- we runners are threatened by race organizers every time we sign up for a race. If we are unable to participate in a race and we want to give our number to a friend or family member- we will be instantly disqualified or suspended from all future events.
Participation in running events is at at an all time high.
This is great news; however signing up for a race has become very competitive lately.
• Road races are getting bigger and bigger, but in order to ensure safety, the race courses remain limited.
• Organizers can’t make the events larger even if they tried- they are already at maximum capacity.
• The existing non-refund/ no-transfer policy is out dated, creating additional dissatisfaction and complications.
• People are sneaking into races without having an official bib, while legitimate runners can’t sign up for a race that is full. Bib swapping is rampant.
Race Directors Say That Their Hands Are Tied.
They argue that their job is to organize the race ahead of time so that things run smoothly, NOT to chase down paperwork and registration details when they are already struggling with resources as it is. The say that they cannot refund the race numbers because it’s not in their mandate- they already spent most of the registration funds on various items like insurance, bib numbers for runners, race chips, t-shirts, course marshals, permits, medals and more. And in some cases where a charity is involved, this all gets even more complicated.
Something needs to change
It’s time for the Runners and RDs to work together, not against each other!
Introducing BIBSWITCH – A Marketplace For Bib Numbers
With BIBSWITCH, runners who have to cancel their registration have the option to sell, transfer or donate their bib number to another athlete who is happy to take their place. We use a totally transparent process that includes cooperation between all parties, honesty and fairness.
How It works:
We thought long and hard about this, and we came up with a solution that we believe will make it easy for everyone involved. The process starts on our listings page, where athletes will contact us about bib numbers that they can no longer use.
From there, we contact the appropriate Race Director and request the approval to post the bib for sale, transfer to a friend or family member, or to donate it back to them. In the meantime, we compensate the race director for their effort to help with the administration involved. We also collect a small fee for covering transactions. The rest of the sale goes back to the seller. In order to keep everything fair, and so that no one abuses this system, a bib can never be sold for more than the original purchase price.
In the end, athletes will feel comfortable about registering for races and race directors will also get a sense of relief because they are helping to solve a problem that affects a lot of people, and- their time and effort will be acknowledged.