In recent years, the number of fun runs being promoted to racing enthusiasts and beginners has skyrocketed.

John Foxx

These color runs, obstacle courses, and mud runs promise fun and adventure and, often, a chance to help a charity.  Though most of these races deliver on their promises, many leave runners in the dust due to being cancelled.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received reports and complaints from around the country about various fun runs that get canceled with short notice. Within the last year, BBB has received over 21,460 inquires and 285 complaints regarding sports & recreation businesses alone.

“Although it is understandable that cancellations may happen, many of these events don’t offer a refund to those who have already registered and paid to run,” said Paula Fleming, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for the local BBB. “If you are thinking about participating in a themed fun run, check in with your local Better Business Bureau for tips on what to look out for before you register.”

If you are thinking about participating in a themed fun run, BBB offers the following advice:

Do your research. Check out their BBB Business Profile and search online for additional information before signing up.

Understand the terms and conditions. In some cases, promoters advertise that they don’t offer refunds, but many consumers don’t read the fine print.

Check the local venue. Contact the park or venue to confirm that the event is scheduled.

Pay with a credit card. Charges made on a credit card can be disputed after a purchase, whereas debit, cash or wire transfers cannot.

Keep documentation of your order. After completing the online registration process, you should receive a confirmation receipt. Print out and keep a copy of the confirmation and any supporting documentation for future reference.

Check out the charity. Most fun runs are for-profit, but if the promoters claim a portion of the proceeds will go to charity, check it out on give.org to make sure your donation is going to a trustworthy charity. Be wary of sound-alike names similar to more famous charities.

Visit go.bbb.org/funruns for more suggested tips to help runners avoid potential obstacles and common pitfalls when it comes to registering for a fun run.

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