IRONMAN events are as famous for their strict cutoff times as they are for their draconian no-refund policy. Once the entrance fee is paid, you either compete or you don’t, but you aren’t getting your money back. There are stories of chemo patients being refused refunds. The entrance fee is expensive enough that putting down the money to register shows your willingness to seriously train and compete.
All that changed in 2015 with the introduction of the optional full refund plan.
What this plan offers:
You may receive a full refund of the registration fees you paid if you are unable to participate due to an injury, illness, pregnancy or childbirth, unanticipated active duty deployment, unexpected covered travel delays, a family member’s pregnancy or childbirth, a family member’s loss of life, injury or illness.
What is not covered:
This Plan does not cover intentionally self-inflicted injury or self-inflicted sickness, physical complications resulting from alcohol or substance abuse, or natural disasters.
How does this relate to Ragen? We know she has no hope of completing the Arizona 70.3 in October unless she loses a large amount of weight (~140 lbs). Her required power output in the bike section alone is higher than what world champion female racers manage. It’s physically impossible. For $40, Ragen can now claim she’s registered for a half-IM until October, and she has a guaranteed refund if a convenient last minute “injury” forces her to withdraw. All she needs is a note from a “qualified medical practitioner”, which is anything from a chiropractor to a full MD.
Side note: Despite Ragen devoting an entire blog post to the manufactured drama of how hard she worked to register, general entry for the Arizona 70.3 is still open, and it’s highly unlikely the event will sell out until after the summer. It’s unfortunate she is unable to dedicate the same effort to weight loss and training.