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Why Survival Run: The Celts (Wales) Was Cancelled, And How To Feel About It

The racers registered for the Survival Run to take place in the Wales later this month received some bad news in their mailboxes this morning. The race is off.

"To All Registered Celts Runners,

I regret to announce the cancellation of The Celts 25k, 50k and Survival Run in Porthcawl, Wales UK on August 23, 2014. This was a very tough email for me to put together, and as a team, everyone on this project worked very hard to push past any obstacles to make this race a reality, but today we were forced to make the cancellation a reality.

Unexpected land access, insurance and regulatory issues in South Wales ultimately prevented us from putting on the event in the originally planned location. In addition, our Regional Director became extremely ill at this crucial time during the development of these issues and has been bedridden for well over a week. With the accumulation of these issues, we realized there was no way to move forward with the event. We were fully prepared to go over budget to make the event happen, and we sent members of our team on a race reconnaissance trip to explore all options. As a last resort, a change of race venue was proposed and explored, but with just over two weeks before the race, we were unable to make it a reality.

We value and respect your commitment, and we know a lot of you have been to several of our events. Please understand this cancellation only applies to The Celts and does not affect any of our other events in Texas, Mexico or Nicaragua. All other events are confirmed and have no regulatory issues. Nicaragua is on its 7th year, Hunter Gatherer on its 2nd year and Ultra Caballo Blanco on its 13th year.

We are offering these options for your registration refund: A refund on your registration fee via Paypal or check by mail. An entry into any Hunter Gatherer Event on October 4, 2014. An entry into any Fuego y Agua Nicaragua Event on February 4-7, 2015.

As a growing company in a small and innovative racing niche, we suffer from “learning experiences”, but our utmost commitment is to continue to produce awesome events and to bring together awesome people.

Again, I offer my sincere apologies. Email me directly to and let me know how you would like to handle your refund or transfer.


JOSUE STEPHENS Fuego y Agua Events LLC. Events Director

I have spoken with Josue Stephens, and he added: "We canceled only because we ran into issues that prevented us from putting on the event in the originally selected location. We had issues with communication from our local RD, part of this due to his being very ill the past few weeks. By the time we found out many of the local landowners had pulled out from the agreement to use their land, it was too late to switch to another venue. We tried everything before cancellation, but, ultimately, it was the last resort."

“Shirts were printed, medals made, none of those can be re-used for us”, Josue says. “Yet our responsibility is to get the racers their money back. Unfortunately, we cannot refund their travel expenses”.

He reiterates that NONE of the other events are affected by this. The Celts was to be Fuego’s first event in the UK and the race organizers are very sad it did not work out. Yet, Stephens remains optimistic. “We will live to fight another day!”, he chuckles. “If I were doing this to make money, I would not have quit my day job”.

While the race being cancelled is hardly anyone’s fault, it is a good reminder to those registering for a race – any race! It’s always a risk.

Shit happens, and in the best case scenario, the race directors take full responsibility and a sizeable financial hit, as they provide full refunds and possibly transfers to other racers. In the worst case scenario, the racers never see their registration money again.

This IS the best case scenario.

I loved how Shannon Hulme, one of the racers registered for this Survival Run, handled the news:

“Am I disappointed? Sure am. But given the amount of work that has clearly been put into the event I am confident Josue would have did everything possible to see the event go on. It’s clear by the fact that he is refunding entries and likely taking a huge financial hit that he isn’t out to screw anyone. So instead of crying about how horrible it is why don’t we all step up, go over and have a good time anyway? What draws us to these events is the obstacles and unexpected challenges, so let’s use this as an opportunity for self-supported training”.

Hugs, Solo


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