Fine tuning our 2020 events

We’re always gathering feedback, looking to improve your experience, and trying to innovate where possible. Dive into the details here with some highlights of our 2020 updates.

Finisher medals

You’ve asked and we’re delivering. In 2020 we are introducing new finisher medals for our rural 5ks at ENDURrace, Baden, and Harvest! We have some exciting designs in the works that will be released over the winter and spring.

Each of those races already had other events with finisher medals (ENDURace Doubleheader, Baden Duathlon, Harvest Half).

This means that close to 90% of our Run Pure finishers will earn a medal this year, at every race except Laurier Loop, ENDURrun, and Runway.

Race caps

We introduced a few race caps in 2019, to a great success. The sellouts at Re-Fridgee-Eighter and RememberRun, each close to three weeks in advance, allowed us to budget effectively, spend more time and money improving the participant experience, add some extra features to races such as finisher medals and names on bibs, and strengthen our overall messaging.

In 2020, we are going to introduce more new caps, including at ENDURrace, Baden Races, Runway, and Harvest Half.


A major change you will notice is that our prices are now published before tax. Because the tax is now added during registration, this leads to a weird scenario where the list prices for most of our events are nominally decreasing, however, your cost is actually marginally increasing. For example, on what was previously a $50 tax-included-5k, this year $5.85 in tax will be added to a $45 fee to start. (For a $40 fee in 2019, the 2020 fee is $35 plus $4.55). This change is to help you better compare our prices with other races, where the almost universally accepted industry standard is to add tax to the listed price.

Other pricing notes: as every year, a thorough analysis of our product offering and the marketplace in general has led to a small number of minor price tweaks: some down, but more up. Also, we have introduced a number of newer (earlier) price tiers and accelerated price increases, which better align with our expected registration patterns, and reinforce the #1 way to save money: sign up early.

T-shirt opt out

We are going to implement a registration option to decline a t-shirt with entry, which will save $5 off the registration price. We strive to design good shirts, we want to give our sponsors exposure, and order quantities are important to us. But we are also trying to balance our overall environmental impact, so if you really don’t want the shirt, this option is for you.

Note that once you opt out, there is no way to opt back in, and the design might not be released before you make this decision. Unclaimed t-shirts will only be available to those who registered after the t-shirt deadline; they will not be available to those who opted out.

Registration policy updates

Each year we update our our policies to add more consumer friendliness while maintaining simplicity and practicality. We believe we have one of the friendliest policies in the industry. This year, we are enhancing some of our options on your paid race entries:

  • Refunds: Only available where Run Waterloo cancels a race for reasons within our control, which does not include scenarios such as extreme weather.
  • Transfers (same race, to another person): There are two options: early transfer online for $7.50, and late transfer at kit pickup for $15. The early transfer cutoff date is published on each race page.
  • Deferrals (same person, to a future race): Only available when a race sells out. In that case, we will open a wait list and deferral request. For as many spots as are filled from a wait list, on the basis of who registered for the race first, the successful deferral requests will credited (less a $15 fee) for a future Run Waterloo race in the same calendar year only. This functions similarly and less directly than a late transfer.

Each of these are detailed in the race waivers.

That’s the big stuff

We’re looking forward to a great year and we hope you like what you’re seeing.

It’s worth reviewing this post’s 2019 version, which covers still fresh concepts such as the t-shirt guarantee. To further follow up on that post, we are again tweaking a smaller number of individual and team categories, but the main event change is that we are discontinuing the struggling Baden 7 Miler 🙁 We are also putting our Let’s start running! programs on hold for 2020 while we refresh and reboot!