May 1, 2014

For the Love of the Kids Holiday Hustle Series 2013 (Race Recap)

UPDATE (May 5, 2014): I received my three remaining medals in the mail today. Last week, I received an email from the Hole In the Wall Gang Camp, notifying us that they would be taking over the fulfillment of the medals and run shirts from the original organizer, who is still coping with family health issues. Additionally, they would be taking over the coordination of any future virtual race events. I'm not going to go into a commentary about this whole situation. I am just happy to have received what I worked and paid for.

Last May I signed up for a series of virtual races for a number of reasons: 1) I wanted to keep my training up during the DC winter, 2) I was slightly obsessed with race medals last year, and 3) I wanted to see what virtual racing was like.

I picked the For the Love of the Kids virtual races because their bling is ridiculously adorable. In addition, the money from the virtual races are donated to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nonprofit center serving children and families coping with serious illnesses.

The Holiday Hustle series consists of three events: the All Hallows' Eve Romp, Gobbler Gallop and the New Years' Resolution Run. Each event has a 5K, half marathon or double down option. I registered for the double downs! The runs must be completed on certain dates and time submissions must be made by a certain deadline.

You might be wondering why I have waited so long to write this, and you will be able to find the answer later on in this post.

A few days before each race, I received a package in the mail with a race shirt in tech fabric and race bib. The shirts were cute, but alas, did not fit me.

I did both runs on the treadmill with times of 35:17 for the 5K and 3:02:49 for the half marathon. I was amazed to find that I could complete a half marathon on the treadmill without losing my mind. I have Law and Order re-runs to thank for that! 

A few weeks after submitting my times, I got these adorable medals in the mail. They are so cute!

Next up was the Gobble Gallup. I did the half marathon first with a time of 2:47:34 and the 5K while we were in Savannah, with a time of 31:21. 

Two more awesome medals to add to my collection!

Finally, I reached the end of the Holiday Hustle Series with the New Years Resolution Run. I made times of 32:42 for the 5K and 2:49:00 for the half marathon. 

Unfortunately, I never received my medals for these two races. They look amazing though, don't they?


I also never received my medal for completing the Holiday Hustle Series. I'm not the only one this happened to.

At the beginning of March, I received the following email:

Dear Runners,

I hope this message finds you well and making it out there to train despite the cold. I am pleased to share that 2013 was a banner year for our virtual run program, "For the Love of the Kids". Together we raised more than $13,200 for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp - the designated beneficiary of our runs.

I wish to extend my sincere apologies for being out of touch over the last several months. My family has been coping with  health issues, but I'm happy to report that everyone is now on the mend.

Word reached me that certain participants have yet to receive their medals. There were a number of complications with mailing certain items via USPS that I should have communicated more clearly to the group. If you have not yet received your finish medal please email me and I will resend. Everyone did such an inspiring job with their virtual runs and I'm truly saddened that some of our devoted runners did not receive their medals.

I am also saddened if these mishaps have reflected poorly on our charity beneficiary - The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. While we are an entirely separate organization, I am inspired by their campers and programs, which is why I wanted to raise funds to support the Camp's mission.

We will be hosting 2 additional runs later in the year, and once everyone is happy and healthy again, we will announce the details.

Thank you for your understanding and for all that you've done to support this great cause.

Happy Running,

I responded as requested and still have never received the three medals I am owed. I really hope that the race director's family is recovering from their health issues, but I am not the only participant who did not receive what they paid for. It is quite ridiculous that we never received any communications until two months later, not to mention that it still hasn't been resolved. I feel like we deserve better for contributing our hard earned money to their organization.

Needless to say, I will not be participating in any future races put on by this organization. I also do not expect to ever see the medals that I am owed.

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