Participants given run-around about upcoming half-marathon in Sheboygan
WTMJ News Team
Cody Holyoke reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
SHEBOYGAN- There's big race planned in Sheboygan.
But some tourism officials are worried it might not happen and runners will be cheated out of cash.
The concerns surround an upcoming half-marathon, slated to take place in Sheboygan on October 12.
Runners have been signing up for months, paying anywhere from $60 to $75 to compete. Now, they're worried the company behind the event may be ripping them off.
Denise Ristow jumped at the chance to sign up for a half-marathon taking place in her own backyard.
The event, said to be hosted by Indiana company Rapid Running, promises a 13.1 mile scenic tour of Sheboygan -- beginning and ending at the Blue Harbor Resort.
"It looked to me like it was legitimate. It looked to me like Blue Harbor was behind it, the chamber was behind it, it looked to me like a city-welcomed event," said Ristow to TODAY'S TMJ4.
Ristow, her friends and co-workers registered earlier this year. Now runners are concerned, because they haven't heard from the company.
Tourism officials are also flabbergasted. Sheboygan's tourism director Amy Wilson told TODAY'S TMJ4 that Rapid Running's owner asked about hosting a race, but never submitted the paperwork required to hold the event.
Even though the company's still taking money.
"As far as we're concerned, the event isn't being held here, because it hasn't been submitted to be held here. I would love to say we could cancel it, but there's nothing to cancel," said Wilson.
This isn't the first time the company has had issues with races. Rapid Running canceled events or postponed them indefinitely in cities throughout the country. In many instances, runners never received refunds.
TODAY'S TMJ4, and runners involved reached out to the company and got no response.
With the event approaching, competitors are concerned they've been had, and won't have a chance to race at home.
"I truly think it's not going to happen and we probably lost our money," said Ristow.
Tourism leaders are considering legal action against Rapid Running for using the chamber's logo without permission on its website. As far as refunds are concerned, the company does have a cancellation policy that allows them to back out without paying if unforeseen circumstances crop up.