Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Are walkers allowed in marathon / half marathon?
A: Yes/No - kind of. Both the full marathon and half marathon races are designed for runners not walkers. The 5K Friday night is a Run/Walk race. The full-marathon cut-off is 6 hours (about a 13.5 minute per mile pace). Racers that fall behind the race cut-off pace will be offered transportation to the Sanford Center or may surrender their race bib and continue without further race support at their OWN risk. If participants expect to walk more than half the time, we strongly encourage you to complete in the 26K or half marathon instead of the full, as race support will be available for a longer period of time.
All that being said, the marathon and half courses are 100% on either paved trails or paved roads that are used to regular foot and bike traffic. ALL trails that the course runs WILL remain open to general public during the race. We will have signage warning other users of race in progress and do not expect any interference. The point- ANYONE can walk the entire course without race support and if race participants fall behind cut-off pace, surrender their race bib, and release race organizers from further liability, they would be able to complete the course on their own. Unlike many other road races, we do not race on any closed roads that reopen after cut-off prohibiting walkers from finishing; the course is fully available and accessible to runners and bikers.
Q: Transfers and/or Refunds?
A: The transfer of race numbers from one person to the other or from one race to another is NOT allowed. Giving or selling your race number to another person is against race policy. Violation of these rules will jeopardize your participation in future Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon events.
Payment Terms and Conditions:
For those that are registering please note that entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance, race registrations are not transferable to other participants, future years races or other Bemidji Blue Ox events, and transferring between distances (up or down) is not allowed. Please consider all of these factors very carefully before registering. In the event our events need to be cancelled for any reason, the money will cover costs incurred this year and if there is any surplus we will use the money to offset costs for next year. For many people who are wondering about virtual options or postponing, this will not be possible. We are a non-profit organization lead by a team of local volunteers with contributions from local businesses and Sanford Health. We appreciate you and value your participation in our events. Please keep running and stay safe.
2020: Our plan in 2020 will be to move ahead as normal. In the event of a state of local order that does not allow us to move ahead, we will mail all registered runners their swag. The swag would be the shirt and/or the medal, depending on when in the planning process we have to switch to mailing runners their items.
Q: Cancellation Policy?
A: The Race Director reserves the right to cancel or modify the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon races in consideration of extremely adverse weather conditions, or other health or safety factors, that pose an imminent threat to competitors or volunteers. In the unlikely event of cancellation, entrants who have picked up their race number will be mailed a coupon for a partial credit towards next year's entry fee.
Q: Do you have Pacers?
A: Yes, we have pacers in the Full and Half Marathon races
Q: Are strollers allowed in Marathon, 26K, or Half Marathon?
A: No, strollers are NOT allowed in full marathon, 26K, or half marathon races. This is a liability issue primarily for the health of child in the stroller. October in Northern Minnesota is unpredictable and there are many weather factors that raise concerns with having a child exposed to weather for 2 1/2 - 6 hours. Again, like noted above, the trails will remain open to general public use and there may be strollers on the course, however, our participants are prohibited from having strollers on the course while racing.
Q: Are family members/friends able to run with you if they are not registered for the race?
A: No, the USATF rule states: Unofficial Pacers are prohibited. Friends or family who are not participating as registered participants in the race may not run (or bike) with you – either to help set a pace or to keep you company for a portion of the course. This rule includes children running with parents. The only exception to this USATF Rule of Competition is for pace setters provided by the race that are available for use by ANY runner.
Q: Can I place my race bib anywhere?
A: Your race number must be worn on the front of your body and must be visible in its entirety. It cannot be folded or tucked into your clothing.
Q: Can I get my shirt (packet) mailed to me?
A: We do not budget in the cost of mailing participants their packets (shirts, etc). As long as the event is held, shirts and other packet materials are able to be picked up race weekend at the Sanford Center. The Blue Ox event is put together by a small committee and does not have a physical location that shirts can be picked up after the event.
Q: Can I start early?
A: No. All participants must start the race at the designated start time. You may NOT start early. It is impossible to over-emphasize the danger presented by running on the narrow country roads (open to traffic) in the first half of the course. You also can not delay your start to enhance your competitive position.
Q: Are headphones allowed to be used by racers?
A: Yes, headphones are allowed by racers on course. We ask runners to use the utmost caution on trails and roadsides when using headphones and remain aware of your surroundings. All road running will be on the left paved shoulder running toward oncoming traffic.
Q: Are there a maximum amount of runners that can register for each of the race distances?
A: Yes, race caps are listed on the individual race distance pages. For 2020 the caps have been lowered. The new race caps are listed on the SignMeUp site. To see this, click on the register button. Due to COVID-19, registrations were down at the time that medals and shirts needed to be ordered. We wanted to make sure we took this in to consideration when planning. We understand that this means we may possibly fill up. If you miss out on the 2020 virtual event, please check us out next year. We hope to be back up and running at full capacity, if not more!
The following questions are answered on this page: