May 24

Don’t forget: Check out organizers before signing up for race!

Nice weather in Upstate New York marks the arrival of race season. Whether it’s a 5K or a marathon, these events are a healthy way to support a good cause, but how can you be sure your donation is going to the right place? Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York says always check out a fun run or charity race before paying the entry fee.

Last May, Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder issued a report about the Color 5 Mile. The website looked official at first glance,  but a closer look showed misspellings and inaccurate information. The City of Denver stated that it was not aware of the event.

Race season is here.

Whether it’s a charity race or a fun run, always check with BBB first!

BBB offers the following tips for fun and charity runs:

  • Do your research on both the organizer and the charitable connection. What kind of background does the organizer have? Have fun run events been canceled in the past? Find out how much of the proceeds are going to the charity, and be sure the charity is one that you want to support. Use give.org to read reviews of national charities, or visit bbbfoundationuny.org for more information on local charities.

  • Check with the venue to make sure the run is scheduled. The location may have permits or licensing that are required to host an event.

  • Understand the terms and conditions before you register. Summer weather in Upstate New York can change in an instant.  Does the organizer have a contingency plan? Is there a rain date? If the event is cancelled, is there a refund policy?

  • Pay with a credit card. Credit cards offer protection for transactions and an easier dispute process. Print a copy of your receipt and registration documents to bring with you to the event to avoid confusion.

While there are many great groups and organizations that provide legitimate fun runs, there are others that are looking to take your money without providing the services they promise. Always check first!

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