The 49ers Half Marathon and the Merging of the Sports Fans

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FINAL UPDATE: Please know that I am not affiliated in any way with the race company that promoted this event. I simply found out about it and, like many of you who are still seeking refunds and posting comments here, I registered with excitement. When the race was renamed a day later, I contacted the organizer immediately and requested a refund. My refund was processed within a week. I’m so sorry that there are people out there who have not received their refunds, but I have absolutely no way of helping other than sharing the email – run@superheroevents.com – that I used to contact the organizers and get my refund all these months ago. Best of luck!

Update 2: I emailed the organizers on Friday, asking for a refund. I received a prompt response and my refund was processed minutes after that (it will take 5-7 business day to appear on the credit card statement).

Update; Friday, June 13: the 49ers Half Marathon is now officially the Santa Clara Half Marathon. Looks like the race organizers were a bit too happy-go-lucky and rushed to promote a race under a name that was not officially licensed or endorsed by the NHL. The race will have a 49ers theme, but will not finish on Levi’s Stadium as originally advertised. I have a query out to the race organizers for details.

There’s a new half marathon in town and I have a feeling it’ll make football fans happy:I got the email from the race organizers this morning and it got me thinking about all the races I’ve seen pop up in the past couple of years sponsored by (and named after) sports teams.

The Giant Race is in its fifth year now – the inaugural one was in 2010 and it immediately exploded in popularity. San Francisco loves its Giants! Even yours truly – a European-born baseball ignorant – loves that race. Hanging out in AT&T Park is just so much fun, especially if I don’t have to watch baseball (ha, don’t hate – it’s a weird game if you didn’t grow up with it!)

For hockey fans, there’s the Sharks Fitness Faceoff. The inaugural event was last year and, judging from all the photos I’ve seen, it was a huge success. If you’re a Sharks fan, you won’t want to miss your chance of grabbing a Sharks t-shirt and this medal:

And even the San Jose Earthquakes had a race last year: the Earthquakes Challenge, put on hold for this year but coming back in 2015 with a start and finish at the Earthquakes New Stadium in San Jose.

Sports-team sponsored events like this are a great idea for several reasons:

  1. A guaranteed contingent of participants. Faithful team fans will sign up for the t-shirt and medal alone. Throw in some team memorabilia (like the SF Giant Race bobble heads) and a race sellout is imminent.
  2. Introducing more people to the joys of running. As I was waiting in line at packet pickup for the SF Giants race last year, I realized all the conversations around me were about baseball, not running. Why? Because a good portion of the people who sign up for these events are probably not into running as much as they’re into their team. Anything you can do to get more people to go out and run a 5K or 10K (and train, get healthy, fit, etc.) and I’m a fan.
  3. Engaging fans in a whole new way. If you’re a Giants fan, you probably love going to AT&T Park. But how often do you get to hang out on the field itself? Smell the grass? Wear a huge blinged-out medal that looks like your team’s championship ring? This December, 49ers fans will get a chance to cross a finish line and hang out at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. I’m no football fan myself (OK, don’t hate – again, European-born, raised on a diet of steady soccer and occasional volleyball person here) – but any chance I get to hang out in a stadium, I take it. There’s just something about the atmosphere, it’s so grand and sporty. Love it!
  4. Benefitting charities. All these races support a good cause – through a designated charity or a non profit organization set up by the team itself. Whenever you can get thousands of people to donate a bit through their race fee or encourage them to fundraise for a cause, that’s a good thing.

So yes, I’m already signed up for the 49ers Half Marathon. It strikes me as a bit pricey at $99.49 (special introductory price, it will likely go up), but there’s no registration fee (there’s a $7-9 savings right there!) and if the spiffy race website is to be believed, photos will be free? Say it ain’t so, I’m posting a screenshot here and holding the organizers up to their promise:Who knows, maybe all these team events will make a baseball/ football fan out of this runner. Who’s doing it with me?

16 thoughts on “The 49ers Half Marathon and the Merging of the Sports Fans

  • December 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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    I signed up for this event back in June and received an email on 9/24 stating it was cancelled. I have tried emailing several time to get an update as to when I will receive my refund and nothing! If anyone has a telephone number please reply. Thanks.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm
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      I didn’t know they cancelled it altogether :-( I hope you can get your refund. I had requested mine literally the day after they announced the race and then changed the name a day later, so it was processed very quickly…

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      • December 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm
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        I still haven’t recieved my refund. Has anyone gotten their refund?

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  • November 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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    no emails are getting through. does someone have a phone number.?

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    • December 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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      Did you ever get your refund? I’ve emailed several times and have not gotten a response or my refund yet.

      Reply
  • August 7, 2014 at 7:16 am
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    Been waiting to receive an email regarding the race.have emailed about 4 different times and have gotten no response. Could someone please email.I have been trying to sign my special needs daughter up for over 1 month.ever time I have tried to register her the site wouldn’t allow me.Can you please get back to me.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm
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    Thanks for your post! That is the only reason I wanted to run this race! I had no idea it was not supported by the NFL and hope they refund me my $150 for my entries of 3 5K’s.

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  • June 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm
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    I signed up for the half, and there is indeed a substantial processing fee. Total cost was over $111.

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    • June 15, 2014 at 7:20 am
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      Wow, that must’ve been added later on. I paid $99.49 exactly — and got refunded the next day when they announced the race is the Santa Clara Half and will not finish on the Stadium. (This was the biggest/ possibly only selling point for me…) $111 is quite pricey for a half!

      Reply
  • June 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm
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    It’s now the Santa Clara Half Marathon and 5K.

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    • June 13, 2014 at 2:50 pm
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      Yup, I posted an update up top. I also contacted the organizers and asked for a refund, since I feel the race is now not what I signed up for (the finish will not be in the stadium, which was the biggest selling point for me). They responded promptly and processed my refund, which was nice!

      Reply
      • July 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm
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        Any chance you can provide their contact information? I’m disappointed with the changes & it is not what I registeted for.

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        • July 10, 2014 at 9:49 am
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          Hi Brenda, I sent an email to run@superheroevents.com. The response was very timely and they were very accommodating (my refund was processed right away and got the charge back on the credit card within a couple of business days).

          Reply
          • July 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm
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            Thank you for your response! I hope it will be the case with me.

  • June 12, 2014 at 10:44 am
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    You’re the second person who mentioned this race today. I’m considering it because with the prices of the actual 49ers football game tickets, this my be my only way to get into the new stadium!

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    • June 12, 2014 at 11:14 am
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      Totally. And for that money you get a T-shirt and a medal — and hopefully photos!

      Reply

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