VIRGINIA BEACH--Several people who shelled out hundreds of dollars to participate in a Va. Beach Tough Mudder event last weekend are upset after organizers canceled and then said via Facebook they were offering, "refunds to spectators and transfers for participants."
Tough Mudder is a 10 to12 mile obstacle course that includes plunging into ice cold water and dodging electricity.
Organizers said Tropical Storm Andrea forced the cancellation of Saturday's obstacle course event because the course was unsafe.
Kevin Vanous, who signed up to be a participant, said he thought the reason for the cancellation was weather damage to the emergency access roads.
“The roads were too muddy and watery to get the vehicles to pick up the person that’s injured and get them back to the tent. It wasn’t that the course was too muddy, it was the access roads,” said Vanous.
Jon Vaillancourt also planned to take part in Tough Mudder Virginia Beach, with his family from Wisconsin. He and all his brothers wanted to participate and their mother was here to watch.
“Timing-wise, we all wanted to do it together, that was a big part of it. We all wanted to do it together with a team, but also it was a family thing for me,” said Vaillancourt.
The cancellation set off a firestorm of comments on the Tough Mudder Facebook page.
Many people thought they deserved a refund and were upset with the organization.
Zack Harwood posted, "Bottom line, event canceled due to unforeseen weather, everyone gets that. Telling everyone its cool to transfer to an event 6+ hours away, or else no refund, isn't cool. I paid for services that simply were not provided."
Some people said they knew when they signed up for the event that refunds were not an option.
13News contacted Tough Mudder to find out what their refund policy was. We received an email saying they’d provide people with a free transfer to another event but didn’t mention anything about a cash refund.
“I know my whole team was upset. We'd been looking forward to it since February,” said Vanous.
Response from Tough Mudder:
As you now know, the weather took a turn for the worst and our event this weekend has been effected by the storm. We will be providing anyone who cannot make the event this weekend with a free transfer to another Tough Mudder event.
We will send another email to all registered participants with detailed instructions on using your VA Beach registration for another Tough Mudder event. Be on the lookout for an email that contains the transfer form you and your teammates will fill out within the next 48-hours. This form will also be put onto the VA Beach Event page: http://toughmudder.com/events/virginia-beach-2013/
We appreciate your patience and look forward to helping you get registered for another Tough Mudder event.