Orca Running Race Policies

To make everybody’s lives easier, we have a consistent set of policies for Orca Running events.

Refund Policy

All race registrations are non-refundable. Refunds are not given out in any circumstance, ever.

In the event that you are unable to participate in one of our races, you have three options:

  • Defer your entry to the same race in the following year.  Please note that requests for deferral must be received no later than the day before a race. Any requests for deferrals on the day of the race or later will not be honored.
  • Transfer your entry to another runner.  See below for more information and instructions.
  • Switch your entry to another Orca Running event in the same year. See below for instructions.

Since the vast majority of race costs are incurred prior to a race and are non-refundable, we do not issue refunds for races. There are no circumstances where a refund will be issued for any race entry.


Deferrals, or a request for a deferral, must be made no later than the day before the race. Deferrals cannot be done the day of the race or later in any circumstance, no matter what. Deferrals can be done online through your RunSignUp account. Click here for instructions on how to defer your entry.

You can defer your race entry to the next year if you can’t make it. You cannot defer the same race entry two years in a row.  Once your race is deferred, you can no longer transfer it to another race. If you’d like to defer a race, please use the below instructions.

For shorter races (10K and shorter), the deferral fee is $10 per registered participant.

For longer races (half marathon and longer), the deferral fee is $25 per registered participant.

For kid’s races, the deferral fee for kid’s races is $3 per registered participant.  This does not apply to children registered for events of 5K distances and above.  In that case, the full deferral fees stated above still apply.

If you are deferring a registration that was a free entry, you must still pay any applicable fees to defer.

Deferral Instructions

Bib Transfers

Bib Transfer Instructions

Participant transfer, or bib exchange, is when a bib is transferred from one participant to another in the same race.  Example: Amanda is signed up for the Orca Half, but her childhood bestie is coming into town that weekend, so now Amanda can’t run.  Amanda finds someone (Joe) to take her spot in the race.   This costs $10 and is paid online through RunSignUp.com by the person taking over the bib.  Bib transfers can be done online up until registration closes, and after that can be done in person at packet pickup or on race morning. If the bib transfer is done in person, the transfer fee will be collected at that time and can be paid with cash, card, Venmo or check.

Bib Transfer Instructions

Race Transfer

Race Transfer Instructions

Race transfer is switching from one Orca Running race to another.  Race transfers cannot be made between an Orca Running race and Evergreen Trail Runs race.  Race transfers must be completed before the Wednesday of race week, i.e. Tuesday night at 11:59pm.  You can transfer into any race with open registration.  Example: Thomas More is signed up for the Iron Horse Half, but has a book publishing tour for Utopia that conflicts with the race. So, he transfers to the Orca Half. This costs $15 + any difference in registration prices and is paid online through RunSignUp.com. Follow the instructions below.

Race transfers can be done only once. If you would like to transfer an entry a second time, in lieu of that, you will receive a voucher, good for the original registration cost paid for your initial race registration. The voucher will be good for 12 months from the date of issue.

Race Transfer Instructions

Changing Distances

Not to be confused with a race transfer, an event transfer is changing distances at a particular race, i.e. switching from the half to the 10k.  This is, for obvious reasons, only available at the races where there is more than one distance offered.  Example: Bartholomew was signed up for the half, but he ran out of motivation to train, so now he wants to switch to the 10k.  This costs $5 + any increase in registration prices.

You can do an event transfer online through RunSignUp. Click here for instructions on how to do so.  Transferring online is available as long as online registration is open for a particular race. You can still transfer distances after that, but it will need to be done in person or at packet pickup.  If that is the case, you will pay the transfer fee in person with cash, check, card or Venmo.

PLEASE NOTE: Do not switch distances without notifying us.  It will cause errors with the results.  Just imagine if you switch from the 10k to the 5k, your time could suddenly become very competitive, messing up the results and delaying the awards.

Race Cancellation/Reschedule Policy
  • We will make every effort to communicate clearly and promptly with those signed up for the race. We will do so via email and Facebook posts. We will strive to make a decision as early as possible, while still balancing that against the need to wait for more or clearer information.
  • RESCHEDULED RACE: In the event that a race cannot be held on the scheduled date, our first preference is to reschedule the race to an alternate date. This won’t always be possible, but whenever possible, that is what we will do. Please note that when a race is rescheduled, no refunds will be given. When a race is rescheduled, we will offer participants that cannot make it to the new race date two options:
    • Have your race medal, shirt, bib and any other merchandise that you have purchased shipped out to you. This option will only be available to US residents due to the difficulties and time delay of shipping internationally. The cost for this option will be approximately $8 per runner.
    • Transfer your entry to another Orca Running race that same year. This costs $15, plus any difference in what you paid for the rescheduled race entry fee and the registration price at that time for the race that you’re transferring into.
  • CANCELLED RACE: When a race must be cancelled outright and cannot be rescheduled, no refunds will be given for race entry fees. You can receive a refund for any merchandise that you purchased for the race. Registered participants will have two options:
    • Have your race medal, shirt, bib and any other merchandise that you have purchased shipped out to you. This option will only be available to US residents due to the difficulties and time delay of shipping internationally. The cost for this option will be approximately $8 per runner.
    • Transfer your entry to another Orca Running race within the same calendar year. The transfer fee will be waived but any difference between the original entry fee and the registration price for the race you are transferring into will be due at the time of transfer.
Awards Policy & Timing Information

For Orca Running races, we score overall winners by Gun Time (also known as Clock Time) per USATF rules. This means that the first three runners of each sex to cross the finish line will be credited in the overall winner category, regardless of when those runners may have crossed the start line. We do this to ensure fairness of competition for all our runners.

As such, when a race is started in multiple waves, participants who believe they will be competing for an overall award should make certain they start their race in the first wave and towards the front of the wave. If you are asked for your estimated finish time during registration, please answer as accurately as possible to ensure that you are placed in the correct wave.

Overall winners are also eligible for age group awards (a practice commonly known as double-dipping). Overall awards are given to the top 3 runners in each 5 year age group and gender, i.e. Women 30-34. However, age group awards are determined using Chip Time (also known as Net Time). That is, the amount of time elapsed between when a runner crossed the start line and when they cross the finish line.

Due to the nature using Chip Time to distribute awards on-site, we ask that all participants wait a minimum of 10 minutes after finishing to view their age group placements and claim an award. This helps to ensure that all participants receive their correct award. The unique starting schedule of the Iron Horse Half & Orca Half will also increase the time necessary for a runner to be secure in their age group placement.

As is true of any timing system, ours is not 100% infallible and we cannot guarantee that results will be 100% accurate immediately after finishing a race. However, we do employ multiple backup systems to help ensure that we can issue all runners a finish time – you can help by always making sure your bib is worn visibly from the front on your outermost layer of clothing. In some cases, we may be able to issue you a Gun Time but not a Chip Time, as congestion at the start line does not allow for the use of photo or video backup strategies. Also, to maintain the integrity of results, we are only able to use personal GPS data as a piece of the puzzle when investigating results issues and will not issue an official result based solely on this data.

Awards are only available for pickup at the race–we do not mail them out. However, if an error in timing means that a runner is now eligible for a prize, we can mail it out at no cost.

Youth Participation Policy

Orca Running welcomes and encourage the participation of runners of all ages.   For the safety of minor participants, we ask that the parent/legal guardian abide by the following age requirements when registering their minor child:

For distances of 10K or longer:  Participants age 15 and older are welcome to participate and run independently at the discretion of their parent/legal guardian.  Participants under the age of 15 are invited to participate in these distances, but must be accompanied and supervised for the duration of the event by an adult guardian who is also registered for the race in question.

5K distance:  Participants age 12 and older are welcome to participate and run independently at the discretion of their parent/legal guardian.  Participants under the age of 12 are invited to participate in this distance, but must be accompanied for the duration of the event by an adult guardian who is also registered for the race in question..

Kid’s Races:  All children ages 12 and under are invited to participate.  A parent/guardian is welcome to escort their younger children if necessary for their comfort and safety.

For all event distances:

The parent/legal guardian is responsible for registering the minor participant and will be required to sign the race waiver on behalf of the minor participant that assumes responsibility for all associated risks and certifies that the minor participant is in proper physical condition to safely participate in the event.  Please read the race waiver thoroughly when registering your minor child to participate.

In addition, the minor participant must be physically able to safely complete the selected distance within the time allotted for the event.  Please be aware of course closure times, which can be found on each event website.  

Shirt Exchanges

We allow shirt exchanges at all of our races, after the race. There are no shirt exchanges prior to the race.  If you’d like to exchange your shirt, don’t run in it, and bring it to the big blue Orca Running tent, where we can exchange it for your desired size.  We cannot guarantee that we will have the desired size but generally we have extra shirts. We do not mail shirts.

Guaranteed Shirt Size

If you register for the race after the guaranteed shirt size date, your shirt size is not guaranteed and you will receive your shirt after the race and not at packet pick up. Everyone will receive a shirt, however your size is not guaranteed.

Discounts and Coupons

Discounts and coupons are not applicable to previously purchased races.  Coupons do not apply to the Bundle & Save discount program.

Service Dog Policy

We strive to provide events that are inclusive and enjoyable for participants of all abilities.  While dogs are not typically allowed at our events due to insurance limitations, we understand that some participants may require the assistance of a service dog due to disability in order to safely participate in races.  Dogs must meet the following requirements in order to accompany a person during any Orca Running event:

  1. A dog must meet the definition of a service dog as outlined by the ADA and be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.  The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must directly relate to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
  2. A service dog must be under the control of its handler and harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times unless the individual’s disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service dog’s effective performance of their task.  In that case, the individual must maintain control through voice, signal, or other effective control.
  3. If a service dog is out of control of the handler and the handler is not able to take effective control, they may be asked to remove the dog from the course or race venue.
  4. Dogs are not covered by the insurance for our events, so the participant releases Orca Running from all liability for any damages or injury to themselves, the service dog, or others that may result from having a dog at the event.

More information about ADA Service Dog Requirements can be found on the ADA website HERE.