Past failures have caught up with the Indiana-based event management company promoting a half marathon and 5K in Sheboygan on Oct. 13, and city officials are advising athletes not to register for the race.
Less than two months from the proposed race date in Sheboygan, Rapid Running Event Management has failed to apply for any of the required permits, or produce proof of insurance or its own volunteer staffing plan.
“We have nothing, other than the proposed route and intersections to be closed,” Chad Pelishek, the city development manager, said Monday.
Even without an official sanction for the event, Rapid Running still promoted the race on its web site and has been accepting $60 entry fees.
That smacks of a potential scam, and adds to the fears raised about problems with a Rapid Running Event race in Buffalo, N.Y. The promoters announced just days before the scheduled June 30 date that they were going to postpone the race to a new date in the fall and would not refund any registration fees. Another group then put on the June 30 half marathon.
Similarly, in Wausau, the Wausau / Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau took over management of the inaugural Wausau Marathon after problems arose with Rapid Running. The company failed to secure the required municipal permits, and the visitor bureau’s sports authority stepped in. More than 300 participated in the marathon and half marathon there on Saturday.
The permit issue may be key. In its registration agreemeent, Rapid Running states that it will provide no refunds if a race is postponed or cancelled because of unforeseen circumstances -”a city/closure road closure, city pulling out from an event, weather, nature disaster, sponsor not sponsoring the event, movement of a venue, changes in courses, changes in cities … “
Sheboygan Police Chief Christopher Domagalski told the Sheboygan Press he would advise runners to seek a refund or “contact their credit card company to get the charges reversed.”
Those looking for an alternative half marathon in October have plenty of options, including the Haunted Hustle in Middleton and the Whistlestop in Ashland the same date as the scheduled Sheboygan half.