News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 21, 2014

AG: TH event company ran off with $95K

Suit against Rapid Running filed under Deceptive Consumer Sales Act

TERRE HAUTE — More than 1,400 people registered to participate in various out-of-state running events all organized by a local for-profit event company – except the races never happened.

According to a lawsuit filed by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office, Rapid Running Event Management, LLC., and its owner Dave Mason are accused of registering participants for at least five events before cancelling and not returning more than $95,400 in upfront payments. During 2011 and 2012, the company reported it was hosting half-marathons, 5Ks and kid’s fun run events in Wisconsin, Georgia, New York and South Carolina.

“This company misled consumers by not following through on its commitments to reschedule the races or refund customers their registration fees as promised,” Zoeller said in a news release. “My office will use all available resources to determine where the consumers’ money went and seek restitution for those harmed.”

Rapid Running Event Management, LLC, was last listed at 1453 S. Seventh St. in Terre Haute, and the company’s website is no longer active.

Before each of the five Rapid Running events, emails were sent to participants cancelling or postponing the races, the suit alleges. More than 940 people registered and paid $64,055 total to participate in an Orchard Park, N.Y., event June 30, 2012. However, the Village of Orchard Park denied Rapid Running’s permit application because of lack of organization, issues with scheduling police officers and the impact street closures would have on local businesses.

Just nine days before the event, participants received an email indicating that the race was postponed and payments would not be refunded. According to the lawsuit, the event date was not reset, and customers were not refunded.

Rapid Running is also reported to have canceled two events scheduled to take place in Wisconsin, but failed to provide the promised refunds per the company’s own race policy. Many participants registered through Active.com, a website used to search and sign-up for races and other activities.

Indiana is seeking consumer restitution, civil penalties, attorneys’ costs and an injunction against the company for violations of the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

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