The Temecula Valley Half Marathon scheduled for Jan. 19 has been canceled, but many participants have yet to see their refunds.
In September, Temecula resident Brian Miller said he signed up for the contest organized by Arizona-based IO Events. He paid a total of $130 for he and his wife to run the half marathon, and then in December he paid another $64 to sign his young sons up for a same-day corresponding 5K race organized by IO, he said.
Then on Jan 2, Miller received an email from IO Events’ Richard Iddings indicating the Temecula event was being canceled and advising the company was going out of business; the email made no mention of refunds, Miller said.
According to the IO email forwarded to Patch from Miller, the race organizers were broke.
“At this point, our credit cards are maxed out… and with some vendors having been paid and others still waiting we find ourselves in a tough spot with our backs against the wall; we’re broke, and we’re facing a dire and unfamiliar situation that appears to have only one solution,” the forwarded email read.
“After nearly 7 years of organizing races, we’re closing our doors. This closure means the cancellation of the Temecula Valley Half Marathon."
Calls to IO Events by Patch have gone unreturned. A recorded message states IO is looking into solutions on how to make good on refunds, but there are no dates provided and no assurances that refunds will be delivered.
Miller said he has reached out, unsuccessfully, to the race organizers.
Miller and other runners are now fighting back and have launched a Facebook page titled “Trying to Get Racing Refunds from IO Events.”
The page now has 121 likes and there are several angry messages on the site.
"IO Events does not just owe refunds to its athletes," a poster stated. "They also owe their suppliers a lot of money for services and products for the events that were held! The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now with broken promise after broken promise for payment!"