The race registration company the Modesto Marathon had been using for online sign-ups failed to pay event organizers more than $60,000 before the event severed ties with the firm.
In a letter to members of the ShadowChase Running Club, the organization behind the Modesto Marathon, race director Vickie Chu-Hermis said the FBI is investigating Race Partner.
“We have filed a police report and have been added to the FBI investigation but frankly don’t expect to be able to recoup the missing funds,” she wrote. “A number of other companies have also reported losing some or all of their race registration funds, some quite substantial.”
The marathon switched race registration companies once it became apparent that Florida-based Race Partner wasn’t going to forward the money from online registrations made in November and December.
The non-profit behind the San Francisco Giant Race won a $621,836 judgment against Forte Interactive, the company that owns Race Partner, in March, according to a Palm Beach Post article. The Giant Race is a series of four races that culminates with runners finishing in AT&T Park. Race proceeds go to local charities.
Non-profits tied to Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers also have won claims against the registration company for similar running events. The teams are still awaiting payment.
The Modesto Marathon was established to support Teens Run Modesto, a non-profit that helps at-risk teens through a six-month running training program. Participants also can apply for college scholarships awarded by TRM at the end of the year.
Chu-Hermis has started a Crowdrise (by gofundme) online fund-raising campaign for Teens Run Modesto to replace the lost revenue.
Ironically, Race Partner’s online registration site is still active and carries this slogan on its homepage: “Don’t Settle for Broken Promises. You Need a Real RacePartner.”