We've had a few questions about what happens now in regards to the 2019 Wild Earth Coastal High 50 - for both the event and the people entered to run it.
As we mentioned in our previous posts, it isn't feasible to reschedule an event of this scale - due to the many preparations by us the organisers and you the runners, it just isn't do-able. Couple that with the destruction that has occurred at Binna Burra, and it means there will be no WECH50 event this year.
We'll start this next bit with our listed cancellation policy - this was available to all runners prior to entry in our "Conditions of Entry" document, as well as in the entry waiver agreed to prior to signing up. We're providing it first, then we'll explain in more detail, so hear us out:
In the event that the Event course is, in the opinion of the event organisers, unsafe (e.g heavy rain, high winds, bushfires, "acts of god" etc), or at the direction of the land managers or any other relevant authority, organisers may be required to cancel the event. If the event is cancelled due to circumstances beyond the control of the event organisers, the organisers will attempt to provide some compensation to entrants, however there are no guarantees as to the extent of this compensation due to costs incurred prior to cancellation. No responsibility is assumed or taken by the organisers for lost travel or accommodation expenses, or for part or full loss of entry fees paid.
The reason we, and every other running event that we know of, has such a policy is that by event day, 90% of the work - including expenditure - has already occurred. When you enter a running event, your fees aren't just for the experience of event day (for sure, and quite rightly, that's the most important aspect for you); your fee is for the service of us preparing and delivering the event. This service includes paying (in advance) for things like hire equipment, consultants (e.g. environmental assessment), purchasing of medals, singlets and other merchandise, paying for aid station supplies (most of which we have since paid forward to the Rural Fire Service), etc - you get the idea. What we're trying to say is that most of the event delivery service for which you are paying us has already been performed before event day finally arrives.
As a side note, these financial expenditures don't take into account the countless hours of our time in readying the event for you - and we accept that we will cop a significant loss on that aspect with the event's cancellation.
So, with that background, full entry refunds won't be offered.
From here, we need time to calculate all the expenses incurred to date so we can then calculate what pool of money remains to offer to entrants as a partial refund. At this point in time we don't know what that amount will be - not even a ballpark figure - so please be patient while we work through the numbers as our remaining bills fall due.
Once we have a total refund pool figure calculated, you will then have the option of accepting your share of this refund pool, or you will be able to offer your share as a donation to those affected by the bushfires (with the distribution of this donation yet to be determined - but it will remain local). That decision will be completely up to you. We want to emphasise that there is no pressure to donate your share of the refund pool, as we know many of you spent considerable money entering and travelling for the event. Likewise, if you would prefer to choose how your money is donated, we would suggest you apply for a refund and then you can allocate your share of the money individually.
We will be outlining a very strict timeline as to how the partial refunds will be processed, and if you wish to be refunded your share you will have set deadlines for applying - the onus will be on you to apply to us for your share of the refund, not the other way around (we chased you lot up enough preparing for the event!). If you do not apply, your share of the refund will automatically get included in the donation pool.
We hope this makes sense. Feel free to email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last one - we have what we think is a sweet idea for making use of the medals and singlets from 2019 (which we have boxes and boxes of!), as well as some of our prizes (hello Suunto!); it will be a fun way for entrants to still "earn" their finishers medal and singlet. More details to come on this after we get the refund pool stuff sorted - we hope to get this sorted during the next week.
Cheers - Chris and Matt