Skip to Content

Why You Can’t Transfer/Defer Races

Sharing is caring!

Last week I posted this about the deferral process possibly changing for runDisney. It brought up a lot of questions about deferring vs transferring- and why races often frown upon both.

 Lets tackle deferrals.

A deferral happens when you ask the current race to let you move your entry to a later race- basically rolling your entry over to the following year.  runDisney, as mentioned on the previous post, allowed you to defer to any upcoming race in the calendar year.  Now it looks like they will use the standard practice of granting deferrals only to the same race you signed up for initially.

In the case of runDisney, all races sell out.  Some faster than others (ahem- looking at you Dumbo Dare!) but they ALL sell out.  Deferrals take up a spot at this years race AND next years race if you think about it.  They won’t take your spot from 2013 and open it back up to someone else, right?  So there’s negative income from the race you are asking to put off.  They will get the income for the next year, but the current year would take a hit. 

In addition, it sounds like a logistical paperwork nightmare.  Or computer tracking as I’m sure it’s done these days (damn I’m old… anywhooooo….)  There’s going to be costs involved with manpower and programs to track all the changes from one year to the next.  It’s probably not crazy complicated, but it does pose a problem on some level and race directors may choose to forgo the process.

Now onto Transfers.

There ya go.  That’s the official runDisney policy on bib transfers.  They care about your safety!

Okay, I’ll buy that.  I do think they care- no question!  Mickey loves me and wants me to SAFELY return and continue to spend my money there, right?  You bet he does!

When I register I give my personal information and emergency contact.  If something should happen on the course, the bib number could be used quickly and easily to make sure I get help.  If someone else is running under my name, Mr. Shenanigans might get a phone call he wasn’t expecting- not to mention the poor runner might be delayed in getting the care they need.

This situation goes far into explaining why they do not like the illegal transferring of bibs.  You know- your 2nd cousins 3rd wedding gets planned for the SAME day you are supposed to run a race.  Too late to defer, the race doesn’t allow refunds or transfers, so you (gasp) sell it.  On Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, to your neighbor.  Whatever it takes, you get to recoup some of your money back, right?  No harm no foul.

Welllll… there could be some harm here

When the race takes into account how many bibs to sell, they pad in some DNS (did not start) folks.  People that will be no-shows for whatever reason.  If they allowed transfers, this number would be impacted, and possibly over run the race.  Think about it: they planned for 15% less people as far as water or nutrition or MEDALS.  Due to bib transfers- illegal or legal- everyone shows up!  The course isn’t prepared to handle the true numbers- back of the packers lose out on water, food, medals maybe… doh! 

That could make for a really crappy race experience, no?  

Basically they already planned for your 2nd cousins 3rd wedding even if YOU didn’t.  

Another possible issue with illegal transfers: skewing age group results.  If I took the bib of my 84 year old grandmother- there’s a slight chance I might actually qualify for an award.  Slight chance- cause I’m not even fast enough to beat an old lady or two!  But that’s not cool, right?  I’d be stealing the spotlight and cool trophy from someone else’s granny.  Bad form, Shenanigans! 

So why don’t races allow the official transfers?  Possibly again due to over selling of a race and administrative concerns.

While on a small personal scale, I think it’s a bummer, looking at the big picture, I actually think it’s very smart on runDisney’s part NOT to allow transfers.  

Whhaat the whhat?  That Shenanigans is craaazzyyy...

Imagine me sitting at my computer with my smokin’ Disney Visa out on registration day.  I have information on 20 or so of my closest friends.  I methodically buy up 20 slots in a race.  When the race sells out- which it WILL, we are talking Disney here!– I now have something you want.  I have entry into the race.  And I have a way to make some money back, eh?

Plus now it’s legal.  I sell the bibs at a significant mark up (no one but you and me and Mr. Franklin know about it), submit the paperwork and transfer the bib to Sad Sally Simpson- who slept in on registration day and missed out on her chance to run Tinker Bell.

BOOM.  I’m rich- she’s not- and we all got suckered.  Races could sell out even faster- I know, I know, can you imagine?  And more and more of us might be looking for bib-resells just to run our beloved Disney races.

Those are some thoughts I had about the issues.  What are yours?  Does this change your opinion on the runDisney race policies?

Sharing is caring!


Friday 26th of July 2013

Great post!


Saturday 27th of July 2013

Thanks Lori!

Fairytales and Fitness

Tuesday 21st of May 2013

Hi there, This is the first time I'm visiting your blog! Very cool article. You bring up some really good points I've never thought about. Don't know if this is the "Official" word from Run Disney or if they are just your thoughts, but those are some really valid points. Good Job! I will continue to be a reader!


Saturday 25th of May 2013

Thanks for stopping by! These are just my thoughts. Officially, runDisney doesn't allow transfers. Their deferral policy is changing a bit- officially, we don't know what it looks like, but we have some indications. Glad you are sticking around!


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

I never thought of the bib scalping until now. You bring up many excellent points!


Monday 20th of May 2013

On the one hand I agree with you there are some safety and logistics issues in both deferring and transferrings bibs. But there is a tiny economist in me that says that race entries like everything else are a commodity and on some level should be allowed to be bought and sold like everything else on the open market.

There could actually be some positive side effects to allowing these two things from happening. If deferrals were allowed it would be possible to release late entries to a second round of participants.

If transfers were allowed and race scalping started to occur it would encourage people to run other smaller races more often. Can't run a disney race because tickets are too expensive? then you can run a local 5k instead.

In some ways it might help the overall race economy, but another part of me also think those are lame reasons. Basically race directors don't allow it for some reasons you mentioned and also because they make more money if they don't allow the above.

In either case it's a nice post.


Monday 20th of May 2013

Thanks for your thoughts! It's complex- and I don't disagree with your inner economist. ;)


Monday 20th of May 2013

I felt that the selling of bibs at a huge markup was the exact reason. As for the economic aspect I think Disney is on their way to pricing people out all by themselves, they don't need the help of "bib scalpers" to do it. With that said it is pretty standard for a race to not offer transfers. Every one I have looked into or have ran said no transfers were allowed.


Monday 20th of May 2013

The ones I've run also say no transfers- but I will admit I runDisney mostly. I read the transfer policy for MCM and it's pretty nice! If they can do it, why cant RD? It's a nifty little process they have going on!

Comments are closed.