Runners Left Waiting For Refunds After Race Canceled

Runners Left Waiting For Refunds After Race Canceled

By Jennifer Kraus. CREATED Sep 5, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Five-kilometer (5k) runs are nothing new.

Recently, some of these races have tried spicing things up a bit by throwing in some mud and a few obstacles along the course. One of these mud runs, as they're called, was supposed to happen in July in Manchester.

But it never did. 

Now some of those who signed up for the race say organizers simply took their money and ran.

They call it the Great American Mud Run -- and a version of it was supposed to happen back in July in Manchester on the same farm as the annual Bonnaroo Festival.

Organizers said it would be "America's muddiest extreme 5k obstacle course race."

Stephanie Nivens signed up for the run.

"I was expecting a challenge," Nivens told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

But she wasn't expecting how challenging it would be to get her $69 registration fee back after race organizers suddenly canceled the run just days before it was supposed to happen.

People like Nivens who had signed up for the Mud Run got an email saying the race had been postponed until November -- and they could either run then or get a full refund.

But NewsChannel 5 Investigates has found that many who opted for the refund now, nearly two months later, are still waiting to get their money back. 

"I wanted a refund cause it was going to be too cold in November to run through the mud and get wet," Nivens explained.

And she said she did exactly as the Mud Run email told her to when she requested her refund. 

"And that's the last I heard from them," Nivens said. 

And she isn't the only one. Others have posted similar complaints on the event's Facebook page. Yet no one, we found, from the Mud Run has responded to the growing outcry from angry runners. 

And many of the same runners say they have also called and emailed the Mud Run offices and again have received no response.

And we too have had the same sort of luck.

As for the Mud Run in Manchester, the website says it's still a go for November.

But owners of the land where the run is to be held told NewsChannel 5 Investigates they still have not received a signed contract or a deposit from Mud Run organizers. 

Meanwhile, Nivens said she's decided this was her first -- and last -- Mud Run. 

"Yeah, I won't sign up for anymore after this. This one left a bad taste in my mouth."

After the Manchester run was called off, organizers did go ahead and hold a Mud Run in New York, and they have three more planned between now and November. 

Again, we repeatedly tried to reach Mud Run organizers through email and by phone, but they did not return any of our messages.

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Jennifer Kraus

Jennifer Kraus

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Jennifer Kraus is NewsChannel 5's Weekend Morning Anchor and a member of NewsChannel 5's award-winning Investigative Team.