Battlefrog– we need to talk. We might have to break up- and I’m not happy about that because I really have enjoyed your past events. However, there have recently been some serious transgressions on your part that are causing me to reconsider our association.
First, the lack of venue announcements. I understand there are things such as permits, contracts and licensing agreements to be signed. But to not have venues announced for events 6 weeks away is hurting your credibility. People travel to these events- sometimes flying from out of state or driving several hundred miles for a single event This means transportation, lodging and food costs on top of the race fees as well as requesting time off of work to travel. It requires advance planning and notification. And while, yes, many of us who don’t work on the operational side of things can’t understand the intricacies involved in planning such an event, the fact is we are 6 weeks away from the Tampa event and still have no venue announced. Tampa encompasses a whole range of possible locations that may not be ‘in’ Tampa itself, so this is important, especially to those needing to book hotels. Spartan Race already has it’s Palm Coast location set up for December- for an event 11 months away. Savage Race has their venues lined up for both spring and fall events and Tough Mudder has theirs for the Gulf Coast event in Pensacola. Even a ‘newer’ race such as Bonefrog has a place for their September event- why don’t you?
Secondly, several people have been complaining about your new structure for qualifying for the championship event (those wishing to qualify for the points series) : 5 regular season races and 1 regional qualifier race. That’s a total of 6 events needed to race this year alone. The costs I mentioned above apply to these as well- even more so because each state typically gets 1-2 events per year (Florida sometimes gets 3) which means at least 2-3 out of state events, adding to the overall cost for participants. Topping it off is the fact that “our” (Florida’s) regional qualifier event isn’t even in the Southeast- it’s in Cincinnati! And this wasn’t even announced until after the season had started, giving those who missed out on the first event in San Diego some catching up to do. Many have already signed up for several events because we typically plan our schedules several months in advance. This would require some serious restructuring of spring schedules- unless everyone wanted to pack more events into their fall schedules.
While you may have the occasional racer who has a flexible job schedule or deep pockets, the majority of us are hard working people who don’t have the means to drop thousands of dollars traveling all over the country to race. This severely limits the playing field- and to not give anyone time to figure out how your new structure will fit into their schedules is just plain inconsiderate. To top it off, when reached out to for comments, your response was that you’re “too busy” to worry about answering questions for the masses! This approach will only succeed in alienating your racers and causing them to choose other more reliable and better organized events.
While I really hope you are learning from past operational mistakes (changing the structure of the races with very little notice in early 2015 and cancelling a bunch of events) it doesn’t seem as if you are. I hope these new changes don’t damage your brand too much. The registrations for San Diego didn’t look very promising according to the website results. As for me, I’ll probably give my money to better organized events and make Tampa my last Battlefrog for a while- at least until the organization of future events starts seeing a more promising level of commitment to communication and your racers!