‘Setbacks’ to blame for 5K abruptly canceling in Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Instead of running in a 5K race next month, hopeful participants say it’s the organizers who are taking off — and with their cash.

Moira Carlson reached out to 10 On Your Side after learning that the mud run she had been looking forward to in Chesapeake was abruptly canceled.

“It was ridiculous.”

Carlson purchased tickets to the “Muddy Mortal” last Fall, after seeing the event promoted online as “the world’s first obstacle course race inspired by the world of magic and wizardry.”

As a big Harry Potter fan, Carlson was immediately sold. She spent about $200 on two tickets, awaiting her “immersive experience.

“I was really excited for it.”

But in recent weeks, Carlson says she started seeing reviews online that claimed the event had been called off in other cities. She soon noticed that the Chesapeake event’s Facebook page had been removed.

The next day, she found the following statement on the event’s website:

It is with deep sadness and regret that we are forced to cease all operations, effective immediately. We were unable to financially recover after several setbacks, and have been unsuccessful in securing the funding necessary to continue operations. We have exhausted every avenue available to us, but to no avail. All current and future events are cancelled. Due to our financial situation, we have proceeded with the dissolution and bankruptcy process, and are unable to provide any further refunds beyond what we have already provided. We sincerely appreciate the support of those who believed in us up until the very end. We tried to hold our heads high and push forward despite the monumental challenges we faced as a result of the widespread rumors and misinformation that were being circulated by the uninformed and those who wished to do us harm.”

Carlson says she feels “jipped.”

10 On Your Side went to Greenbrier Road, which is listed as the event location on her online ticket. The road ultimately leads to a dead-end, and rests alongside homes and the Chesapeake City Park.

Josh Fisher, city events coordinator, said that the city has “no record” of a Muddy Mortal event scheduled at the park. He told 10 On Your Side that the company had at one point reached out to the city, requesting park space, but the city declined. Only nonprofit organizations can hold events of that nature on city park space, Fisher said.

10 On Your Side attempted to email FitGeek Events, LLC, the Georgia-based company that launched “Muddy Mortal.” At the time this article was published, that message had not been returned. Calls made to numbers listed for CEO Jamie Guined were unsuccessful.

Carlson says she plans to dispute the purchase with her credit card company. She claims she never even received notification that the event was called off, and contacted 10 On Your Side to spread the word.

“Just for other people who maybe haven’t seen anything yet and think that it’s still happening.”

10 On Your Side reached out to the Office of Virginia Attorney General Attorney Mark Herring. A spokesperson said that the office has received a complaint on the matter. Anyone who feels their rights as a consumer were violated is encouraged to contact the Consumer Protection Section either by phone 800-552-9963 or by email consumer@oag.state.va.us.

Consumers can also fill out a form here and should be prepared to submit any and all relevant documentation.

10 On Your Side also reached out to the Attorney General’s office in Georgia, where FitGeek Events is based. A spokesperson says they have received “a number of complaints in the past 48 hours” and are reviewing the situation.