Buyer Beware

On Friday my friend, Jana, and I were signed up to run The Rave Run in Shakopee, MN.  It was a disaster right from the start.
We both bought through living social.  The email we were sent looked like a confirmation email (especially when viewing it from a mobile device), when in reality you had to take a code from the bottom of the email and register it through the races website.  When I went to pick up our race packets, we realized Jana never did that.  The Rave Run staff at pickup were really rude.  They allowed Jana to have a bib so she could run, but she didn’t receive anything else she paid for (glo glasses and t-shirt)–actually, there were no glo glasses at pickup so I didn’t get them either.

We got an email saying the gates open at 630 and the run starts at 9.  The email said we should get there early.  We left my house at 715 thinking we’d be at Valleyfair at 745–an hour and 15 minutes early.  WRONG.  When we got within a few miles of Valleyfair traffic just stopped on the highway.  We sat there for an hour before I turned down a side street and we parked a mile away.  (I really wasn’t upset about parking a mile away since they had cut the run from a 5k to 2.5 miles)

Jana and I walked to the entrance of Valleyfair and we were searching for the starting line–it was pure chaos.  There were no signs, if there were people directing people we didn’t see them.  We left the run at that point.  Yes, that’s right, we didn’t even run.

Turns out 10,000 people signed up to run.  Yup, that’s right– ten THOUSAND people.  I’ve read mixed reviews on the run itself–basically what I’m getting from the reviews is that it was an average run with warm water at the end.  If you didn’t buy a groupon/living social deal you got screwed.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people didn’t have fun, I’m saying the people who had fun had fun because of the people they were with, not because of the rave run itself.

This run may have been cool if they had more people directing traffic and signs to let people know where to go.  oh, and if they weren’t money hungry and had capped the run at an acceptable number for the venue.

I’ve done similar runs like this (Color Run and Glo Run to be specific).  I liked the idea of the color run, and it was well organized.  The Glo Run was a disappointment, but at least their staff was friendly.  I went on facebook to check out the Rave Run before I signed up and saw they had pretty good reviews–now I know better.  After the run there were tons and tons of complaints–The Rave Run cleaned up their page and took down almost all negative complaints, posted a few good pictures, and blocked anyone who disliked the event.  Any company who can’t handle complaints without being sneaky is up to no good in my opinion.

In the end I’m glad we cut out early and headed to McDonalds for some tasty frozen lemonade.  The reviews on facebook, before they were deleted, said some people were waiting two hours to get out of the parking lot.  YIKES!  what a mess.  I think it’s safe to say, I won’t be doing any of these gimmick runs again.  I will be sticking to local, reputable, companies that have a real phone number and real people answering the phone– (Companies like Team Ortho, Front Runner, Final Stretch, and Twin Cities in Motion)

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