I learned a lesson this past week. Even though I don’t consider myself to be a newbie runner I still have plenty to learn. I wanted to share what I learned so that others don’t have to learn it the same way I did.
My experience with USRA and the Reinke Sports Group started last year when I first started looking for potential new races for my half marathon goal.
After my dad registered me for this race as a Christmas gift I didn’t think any more of it until the time came to book the hotel. When I went to the website I discovered that the date had been changed from March 2 to March 24. Looking back that should have been clue number one.
I contacted Mr. Reinke through email and twitter to confirm. I received enough of a confirmation to be satisfied of the date. Again, hindsight is 20/20.
Several weeks passed and the date of the race approached. Late last Tuesday night I opened up a Dailymile notification which held some surprising information. One of my Dailymile friends, also running the race, asked if I had heard that the race was cancelled.
Talk about a sucker punch.
The next morning a quick google search revealed troubling information such as a thread in the Runner’s World forum dedicated to discussing Reinke Sports Group’s misdeeds.
This was all I needed to confirm that the race was not taking place.
I did get further information when my Dailymile friend copied and pasted the letter she received.
The wording in this letter matched nearly word for word another one posted in a tumblr dedicated to cataloging complaints against the Reinke Sports Group.
(I received nothing from them. My phone call was not returned. My tweet was not responded to until 10pm Friday night.)
Come Saturday morning I made lemonade out of lemons and headed out for my own half marathon.
While I was out on the run my dad spoke to a local woman who had seen a story on WSPA about the half marathon being cancelled. WSPA found out only the day before despite being one of the sponsors.
After I got back home I put together my recap and posted it. I knew I was taking a risk when I posted it on USRA’s Facebook page. (I admit. I probably shouldn’t have used the word “skeevy” on his own page.)
20 minutes after that not only was my post deleted but also a comment from another would be runner asking for a refund. She commented on my post Sunday and told me that Mr. Reinke was no longer returning her calls or emails.
Today I searched further online and found several other examples of Mr. Reinke’s misdeeds.
At the end of the day I’m thankful for the experience warts and all. I’m glad that I got to experience everything with this race so that I could write this post and hopefully help other runners avoid a similar experience.
Before I close this entry I want to give a shout out to some local race directors. The following men and organizations do everything they can to put on amazing races. On top of that if people point out problems in their races these men are eager to fix the problems and improve the overall experience.
Scott Bagwell with go-green events
John Lehman with strictly running
Greenville Track Club