Irish Mountain
Running Association

Oversell the races?

Peter O'FarrellJul 21 2020, 11:33pm75% of entrants showed to Lugnaquille
84% at Carantoohill Classic
79.5% over the two races.

I was surprised, no I was astounded, to see the 25% no show for Lug but hey, things happen. Presumably things will continue to happen.

I think we could take a leaf from the airlines and overbook the races.
Allow 110 entries and expect less than 100 to show up.
David PowerJul 22 2020, 6:33amAgree, it's a fact of organising any event with pre-sale, sporting or not. In triathlon/duathlon Wworld where I've experience planning as race director, we oversubscribe by 15-20% of entrants and accommodate car park, registration, numbers, course capacity based on the lower number.
Only thing different for IMRA this year is events are not being sold months in advance, only a few weeks, which should have positive impact, as people more certain of plans a few weeks ahead.
I also agree with committee that no transfer/refund policy makes sense as all those changes take huge overhead of time and resources for volunteers to organise behind the scenes.
Brendan LawlorJul 22 2020, 10:06amMountain Rescue get a similar no show rate on their events.. they even get a few no shows on the Art O Neill. The no shows at the weekend would have been higher if the weather was against us

I would think IMRA would be safe selling 10-15 extra spots above the hundred to take account of this
Richard NunanJul 22 2020, 10:43amSomething the Committee are looking at folks, so thanks for the feedback.

We would still like people to register when they can only make the race. From our analysis we can see that there are a number of people who have had a no-show this more than once.

Not sure how 110% would deal with this

Gordon PlaceJul 22 2020, 11:04amMake them do a naked warrier dance!!
Lillian DeeganJul 22 2020, 11:18amWe have had a cap in recent years on NPWS race routes. We always try to stay within limits as per permits granted.

Murphy Law - We open for above a cap and all who enter (or the majority) rock up to race and we've gone over the Parks limit. That's us doing the wrong thing.

With races at €7 in the main, I'd like for people to think twice when considering entering an event - only to follow through with a purchase if they truly do plan to run that particular race. Genuine cases and injuries aside, I feel owing to the low pricing, there is a high possibility some members just take a spot because €7 could be seen as not a lot to loose. But the bother of their poor effort is we have so many die hard IMRA members that are not getting in as a direct result.

Keep it simple - I'd just like for people to think twice when considering taking a spot in an event for everyone's sake.
Stuart ScottJul 22 2020, 11:31amI missed out on Lug because it booked out so quickly. However, I would be reluctant to penalise the no-shows because of the Covid-19 risk. If you've been in contact with a suspected case, have travelled abroad in the last 2 weeks or have any symptoms whatsoever you should not race. If people feel they might be the target of a witchhunt they might be more likely to turn up regardless and put everyone else at risk.

Having said that, in other races I've organised a 29pc no-show rate is the norm. It's uncanny! I would be in favour of overselling but only if IMRA is confident they will not be penalised if the cap is accidentally breached. As Lillian says, if there's a risk that the NPWS would withdraw future permits then overselling isn't worth taking a chance on.
Gordon PlaceJul 22 2020, 11:45amI'd say there are few enough of those though Stuart, not too many other events only open for sale a few weeks before each event, in IMRA's case people should have a fair idea of what they are doing, particulary travel wise. Sure we aren't supposed to be going anywhere....or are we, who knows
Jim FitzharrisJul 22 2020, 11:49amLillian,

Fair point but there appears to be a consistent no-show rate of at least 20% for such races and we NEVER get a 100% turnout.

On that basis, you can safely allow for, say, 120 slots - 20% no show reduces that to below 100.

You can fine tune the number for NPWS permit races but I do not think you need to do that.

I would not encourage a witch hunt for no shows but if there is a CONSISTENT pattern, a runner should be blocked from booking online for one or more races.

The exercise classes in the gym I attend are very popular and must be booked in advance but they have such a temporary DQ system for persistent no shows.


Stuart ScottJul 22 2020, 11:54amHi Gordon. Hypothetically speaking, you could come into close contact with a Covid-19 person in those 2 weeks and be required to quarantine. I agree the risk is low but I would still not incentivise someone to come running when they really shouldn't!
Gordon PlaceJul 22 2020, 12:26pmSorry Stuart, it goes without saying that people should be responsible and not put others at risk, and I am sure would be excused if that was their situation. I just meant the numbers in that category would likely be a very very small if some form of penalty was to be considered for consistent offenders
Richard NunanJul 22 2020, 12:47pmJim,

Your spot on - many Gym classes have brought in the 2 strike rule in as a process in rather than increasing their numbers. Something we shouldn't have to implement.
Patrick McGowanJul 22 2020, 4:32pmHi all,
I would not like to see the situation arise where a runner has to be told they cannot run on the day as IMRA has a policy of overbooking. I would rather see an emphasis within the community of only booking a race when you are sure that you can make it, and judging by the responses so far most people would try to adhere to that. There will always be other reasons why someone cannot make it and without understanding someones personal lives its probably a bit heavy handed to start giving people one race bans, that is not the IMRA I would like to see.
If there has to be an effort to try to bring the numbers as high as possible then it might be more constructive to look at trying to implement a system, like the carpooling system, whereby a runner can offer their place to someone else when they realise that they cannot make it. Obviously this cannot add more work to the people running the show as it is already enough work in a volunteer organisation such as this.

All the best,

Conor MurphyJul 29 2020, 10:47amI think overselling is fine, and penalising long as runners have an opportunity to give a reason for any absence. I see on the Galtymore thread a runner has flagged his inability to attend, which of course is fine. I think anyone who falls into Stuart's category, travel, contact with a suspected case, again they can set it out. And there will be emergency situations.

But 25% no show is not good and if it's tolerated runners will get frustrated that spaces are being taken up by people who may just be keeping options open and writing off the €7.

In the UK they reached the situation where elite athletes were ruled out of Championship races because they were sold out immediately. It's not the same issue, but again makes the "no shows for no good reason" a little more egregious.
Donal CashmanJul 29 2020, 11:51amHow about something simpler......A last minute naked warrior dance
and publish a current list so people know how far up/down the order they are.

There are plenty of us out there would jump at the chance to run Carrauntoohil Classic or Galtymore this year

It can't be that difficult to compile....just a list of names and a text message the day or two before
Donal CashmanJul 29 2020, 11:54amHmmmm.
Maybe my last comment should read
.......a last minute 'WAITING-LIST'

Stuart ScottJul 29 2020, 12:07pmI think the key thing is not to increase workload for the Committee. Plenty of us would jump at the chance to dance nakedly but maintaining such a list just causes hassle over payment and who actually has a place or not.

It needs a change of mindset - instead of saying there-are-100-spaces-therefore-100-must-turn-up, what it actually means is that the race has been designed for 75 people.

Also, with the lack of carpooling, we'd be hard pushed to find somewhere with capacity for over 100 cars!