Today is one of our group workouts for one of the upcoming triathlons. I’ve volunteered as a workout leader because I love helping out and watching all the newbies go from “I don’t know if I can do it,” to “I can totally do this!”  We meet at 6:30 on Mondays and Thursdays.  And today, at around 2:45 this afternoon, we got the following email from the race director:

Dear 2009 Race Entrant,

Pending final approval from the Special Events Committee of the City of Seattle, the 2009 Trek Women Triathlon Series will be moved to the weekend of September 19th-20th at Genesee Park.  The inaugural Trek Women event was originally scheduled for the weekend of July 4th, however due to City budget modifications, the necessary Seattle safety personnel required to support the event will not be available for the July 4th weekend.

We absolutely understand and appreciate the need to move the race to September 20th. Our team has successfully worked with the City of Seattle in running women’s triathlons for more than 15 years, and we wholeheartedly agree with the need to maintain the highest possible standards of safety for both our participants and their families.

One terrific benefit to the change in date is that it gives women an extended period of time to prepare for the race, with an added two months for training and conditioning. In addition, the September date gives women, who otherwise might not have been able to participate due to the July 4th holiday weekend, the opportunity to take part.

The September weather should make for ideal race conditions, with the summer heat warming what can often be a chilly Lake Washington. The change was unforeseen, but we are certain that each of you will be a part of a rewarding and enjoyable event.

When we got to training tonight, it turns out that our coach did not get this email.  She found out about all of this via a triathlon forum.  I have to say, changing the date 5  weeks before the race date is bad form.  Not to mention these women have paid around $300 for this group training that ws based around participating in the July 5th race. These women have gotten themselves psyched up and mentally prepared for a July 5th race.  Not a  September 20th race date. Most people who do races like these tend to plan their summers around their races.  So where does that leave them and their vacations?  I gotta be honest, if I had a vacation planned then, I’m going on vacation and there better be a refund involved. Note that the email said nothing about a refund for those people who can’t make the new race date.  And I’m not sure if the person in charge of picking the new race date realized but that Rosh Hashana.  It’s not like it’s on Boxing Day.  We’re talking Rosh Hashana here.

I gotta be honest, this has definitely left a bad taste in my mouth as far as this series.  It seems like most of the ladies in our training group can’t make it or just don’t want to do this race because of how poorly this was handled.  And I honestly don’t blame them.