Runners’ frustration as some still wait for refunds following cancellation of Stirling marathon

Runners are still awaiting refunds for the canceled Stirling Marathon – almost two months after the event was axed.

Sunday should have seen thousands of runners pound their way along Stirling’s streets as part of the Stirling Marathon and half marathon events.

However, the organizers announced back in March that the event had been canceled for a third year in a row.

Classic Run Events said they had made the decision “with great disappointment” because of the impact of the pandemic.

In a statement emailed to runners, they said: “The reduced number of entries has had a detrimental effect on the viability of the events and the resources available to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

“The organizers are committed to providing a full refund for all entrees.”

But some runners are waiting for their entry fees to be paid back. Stirling runner Scott McLean had been preparing to run the full 26.2-mile distance. Now he has been left chasing to win back his £62 entry fee.

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He told the Observer: “I signed up for the original 2020 marathon event in December 2019. I received an email on March 25 this year from the organizers saying that the event had finally been cancelled, having been postponed on a few occasions since 2020. They said that to receive a refund we must email them with our registration details. I did this on March 25.

Stirling runner Scott McLean is still waiting to have his entry fee for the Stirling marathon refunded

“I received no notification from them about them receiving my refund application and I have since emailed them inquiring about my refund but have still had no contact from them.”

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He added: “It would appear from social media comments on the official Stirling Marathon Facebook page that many others are waiting on a refund.

“One of my work colleagues who signed up because of advertising from the organizers earlier this year, only signed up in February this year and one month later it was canceled – they are also waiting on a refund with no communication.

Scott McLean at the finishing line of the 2019 edition of the race

“Being a small business owner myself, I know the pressures that the last couple of years during Covid have caused and can sympathize with the organizers about what mass participation events have had to go through, but it’s been the complete lack of communication from the organizers since the cancellation email that is causing frustration to runners still waiting on further refund information.”

Scott paid £56 for his marathon entry with an optional booking protection fee of £5.99 incase he had to withdraw. He is now seeking the return of £61.99.

“I have followed the procedure that the organizers have asked us all to do in their cancellation email but I will now pursue that refund through my credit card company to see if they can help,” he added.

Whilst Stirling Council was not an official organizer of the event and did not manage entries for the event, it did work alongside Classic Run Events ahead of the race.

Runners making their way along city streets during the 2017 Stirling marathon

Scott has now called for the council to step in and assist runners attempting to retain their refunds.

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He said: “In my opinion Stirling Council could be doing more to intervene here, possibly not financially, but Stirling Council were very high profile in their announcement of the relaunched event in 2019 but have been silent since the cancellation so perhaps they should be pressing the main organizers for some sort of communication to the runners.”

The Observer approached Classic Run Events for comment but they had not responded at the time of print.

A spokesperson for Stirling Council said: “We are aware some participants have already been reimbursed and those still seeking refunds should continue to contact the event organisers, Classic Run Events.”

Following the cancellation of the event in March this year, race director Luke Traynor said: “I know all runners and charities entered for the event will be as disappointed as I am about this decision, and for that we apologize.

“But above everything else the safety and welfare of our runners is paramount.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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