They claim it is the world's most colorful 5K, but organizers with Run or Dye have canceled their Daytona Beach event, set for September, after more than 700 people signed up, according to communications director Katy Langton.
Langton said the 5K, which showers runners in powdered dye, did not have the necessary number of runners signed up for the company to break even, so they canceled the race last week.
The cost of registration is up to $35 per runner, and the third-party outfit that handles the company's transactions, Active.com, was still advertising the canceled race on Monday.
"It's my 30 bucks, and it's my grocery money and my tax money," said Beth Howard, who got an email on Friday saying the race was not happening and she wouldn't be getting her money back.
About $20,000 in registration fees have been collected so far, according to Langton.
She said their strict no-refund policy is on the website and stated, "Like most live events, we don't offer refunds on registrations."
Fitness instructor Michelle Rutkowski said if she had known there was a possibility of the run not happening, she wouldn't have encouraged her clients to sign up.
"I'm also hearing that (races in) other cities are being canceled too, and if that's the case, then that's just a scam," she said.
On the Run or Dye Facebook page, runners are speaking out against cancellations in Georgia and California.
Langton said the company is giving runners some options, which include:
- Two tickets to any other Run or Dye event, with possible alternative events in Macon, Georgia and Athens, Georgia, if the participant is unable to make it to Haines City.
- One ticket to another Run or Dye event and a $25 gift card to their online store.
- If participants would rather not attend an alternative event, they can opt to receive their race kit in the mail (including T-shirt, color, swag, etc.) and a donation will be made to Run or Dye's nonprofit partner on their behalf.