I have only been blogging for about a year but even I, a blogging rookie, realize it’s probably not the smartest thing to virtually make enemies. If Reinke Sports Group ends up making good with all of the runners, cities, and charities they have scammed, I promise to eat my words and post an apology.
November 11, 2011: I purchased a Schwaggle deal (via Active.com) for registration to the Tracy Half Marathon scheduled for January 29, 2012. I registered and received a confirmation via email as well as a receipt for payment to Reinke Sports Group.
December 8, 2011: A friend forwarded me a news article, “Tracy Half Marathon: Without Permits, Race is Off” which states that Dean Reinke had been collecting registration money for the race without securing the permits needed. This article also states that he took money yet failed to put on another USRA half marathon on Nov. 23 in Stockton and at least a “couple dozen” registered runners hadn’t received a refund.
December 9, 2011: I received an email from Reinke Sports Group, subject: Tracy Half Marathon on January 29th. This email states: 2nd Annual Stockton Half Marathon is now “Tracy Half Marathon” January 29, 2012 at West Valley Mall! Flat and Fast Course! Still part of 30-city nationwide USRA Half Marathon Series! January 29, 2012 at 8 AM
New Website Here
(After reading countless articles about the races Reinke DOES NOT put on, I have discovered that this is how Reinke does it: he will not put one race- in this case, Stockton- and then rename it for another date- in this case, Tracy- thereby scamming people not once but twice with no actual race whatsoever!!!! THE NERVE!!!)
December 22, 2011: A friend, concerned by the news article from 12/8/11, sent an email to Dean Reinke asking if the race was still on he replied: “All systems go and the City of Tracy and San Joaquin have requested we move the date to May 20, 2012 to better accommodate their local calendar……stay tuned on usrahalf.com and I’ve attached our 2012 schedule where we are expanding from 20 to 30 markets!
Spread the word – the Tracy Half (formerly Stockton Half) will once again be a great event!
In other words, “Why of course I’m still taking registration money but never intending to give you a race! Tell your friends!”
December 26, 2011: I received an email from Reinke Sports Group noting the date change to May 20, 2012.
January 13, 2012: I received yet another email from Reinke, subject: Tracy Half Marathon Update, that states:
May 20, 2012 at 8 AM
Start and Finish at West Valley Mall
New Website Here
April 30, 2012: A friend wrote me that all of the links to the Tracy Half Marathon site were broken, nothing but error messages so I sent an email to Dean asking, “Is this race still on for May 20th? I paid, I get ALL of your emails- any updates on Tracy?”
May 1, 2012: Dean replies to me: “It is not our event.” To which I reply, “I have several emails from your company regarding the race, my race registration confirmation, and the date change- all emails include links back to your site.
Please let me know how you plan to remedy this- I purchased the Schwaggle deal yet they say that it is up to you to provide a refund. I expect 100% of my money back due to this cancellation.
May 2, 2012: Dean writes me back, “You need to reach out to Group Commerce and San Joaquin County. We are no longer involved.”
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!? <Insert super angry, pissed off, livid face here.>
May 3rd, 2012: I write to Active.com requesting a refund and they reply: “I sincerely apologize for the issues you have experienced with Reinke Sports Group. We have severed our ties with this organization and no longer do business with them. Unfortunately, since we no longer have any funds for their events we are unable to process any refunds to participants like yourself and you would need to pursue any further action directly with their organization.”
In other words, I’m never getting my money back nor are any of the other runners who bought the deal and registered for a race that was completely non-existent. I think most people would let this go, I, however, am a hot-blooded Portuguese Scorpio who HATES injustice and I REFUSE to let this go for the good of all running kind.
I did a little internet research on my new best friend Dean Reinke, and found that he is notorious for taking money and failing to stage races. He has done this since the 1980s, all over the country, yet CONTINUES TO GET AWAY WITH IT TODAY! Search for his name on Google and you will find countless articles calling him a crooked scam artist, taking money sometimes even in the name of charity- and then not putting on the race or putting on the race but then not paying the said charity. Google his name plus the word “lawsuit” and it gets even better. Also, check out Dean Reinke’s Facebook page– scroll down and on his wall you can see 2 bad press articles yet he defends each one, blaming the cities and counties, not once speaking to the money he owes.
Check out this Runner’s World forum about Dean Reinke– while some of his races have actually taken place, the stories of how he has screwed our fellow runners abound- races where packet pick-up is the day prior, yet no address is given of where to pick them up; email addresses that bounce back, phone calls that are left unanswered. There’s even a whole blog dedicated to Dean Reinke and his evil ways and here’s a link to a very recent article (April 2012) anticipating trouble with an upcoming race due to partnering with Reinke, “If I hadn’t already registered… I would keep my credit card in my pocket. Dean Reinke has a long history of failing to deliver on promises made.”
All that being said, what am I gonna do about it? Well, looks like Active.com got the message, I’ve also got this handy blog so if anyone does an internet search on Reinke or the USRA Half Marathon Series, this post will hopefully be found and will deter people from participating in any of the future Reinke “races”. I have also filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau (adding to Reinke’s collection of 17 BBB complaints) as well as my Attorney General’s Office and plan to paraphrase this post in a nice little Yelp review. (Be sure to check out the one Yelp review there- another runner who was completely robbed by Reinke!)
My goal with this post is to protect my fellow runners from an experience like this and a person like Dean Reinke. Please don’t give him any of your money and if you have and were cancelled on without a refund, please do all of the above as well and let’s work together to keep our running community professional! THANK YOU!
Woo! So glad I got that off my chest! I sure am still pissed about this though- if you were me, what would you do? Have you done a Reinke race? If so, what was your experience (positive or negative)?
And don’t forget to enter my Happy Feet giveaway– a winner will be drawn next Thursday!