As we have talked about in the past, one of the real concerns for our market is the cancellation of races and race management companies going out of business.
Final Kick Events is shutting down.
This was not an easy or simple decision to make. I have directed 68 races under the Final Kick name and watched people cross our finish lines about 40,000 times. There was not going to be a simple time to pull the plug but as Christie put it, I’m riding a one-legged horse at this point.
Can I get a refund for xyz race(s) I have paid for? No, the checking account has $74 in it and the company is somewhere around $60k in debt and I’ll be doing things like donating blood and selling my hair to cover the house payment next month.
We feel sad for the operators of the company and the writer of this blog post. We feel sadder for the runners who lost their money. And we feel sad that we were the underwriter and will get stuck with chargeback costs.
Part of our underwriting process is to find potential weak races and businesses like this. As we have discussed, we are increasing our diligence in this area, and when we ask your race for financial information – this is what we are trying to avoid. In this case, we recognized it too late. And the operator insisted just days ago that he was fine. He also did not notify us of this blog post.
We are seeing an increased number of cancelled races. So far this year, 5.5% of the races over 500 people that were held last year were not held this year.