Some runners are crying foul after a February 5K event in Temecula.
Christine Massa said the 5K Kiss Wine Run at the Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula sounded perfect. But when the event was done, she said she was left with a broken heart.
"I'm hoping that 5KHR never does another race in our town again,” she said.
Massa claims the problems started when she pulled up to the winery and there wasn’t enough parking.
Along the course, there was almost no water and a lack of bathrooms for the number of people participating in the event, she said.
“The porta-potties were overflowing,” Massa said. “The lines were very long; it was quite unsanitary."
Massa also said the course wasn’t marked, people were running in the wrong direction making it dangerous if they collided, and some of the running bibs had the wrong name printed.
“I have Rosa’s bib because that's what they handed me randomly as we were standing in line,” she said.
Massa’s not the only who left with a bad taste in her mouth.
There’s now a Facebook page called “I Survived the 2016 Kiss 5K Holiday Run,” where some runners posted that they want their money back.
Team 10 tracked down the event organizers, 5KHR.
They directed us to a video on their website, which shows runners smiling and having a good time during and after the race.
Event organizers sent a statement to Team 10:
“At 5KHR, we developed this business because we enjoy physical fitness. As a result, we wanted to take our passion for the outdoors and host a series of events that are fun and enjoyable for all participants. Onsite we heard directly from some of the participants that they had some issues with how the event was being run. We did our best to make onsite adjustments and to ensure that all participants were happy. We wholeheartedly feel sorry for anyone who had a bad experience onsite. We can tell you though there were just under 1,600 people onsite at the event and we’ve heard from others that had a great time. We don’t want to minimize the issues and we are doing our best to make sure that future events are better. We’ve read many hateful notes on Facebook and Twitter that are very hurtful. We really want those that attended to know that we hosted this event with the intention of making it fun for all.”
Team 10 also checked with the Better Business Bureau, and there were no complaints against 5KHR.
The BBB did offer tips on how to protect yourself from fun runs that might not live up to the hype.
• Never register for a run without researching it first. See if the company is accredited by BBB, and also search elsewhere online to see if the company has any complaints lodged against it. You should also contact the local venue to confirm that they are indeed hosting a run at the advertised time.
• Be especially suspicious of any company with a “soundalike” name similar to that of a more established charity or organization – such as Color 5 Mile Run's attempt to sound like Color Run.
• Read the terms and conditions carefully. BBB says “In some cases, promoters say on their websites that they don’t offer refunds, but many consumers don’t read the fine print before hitting 'I agree' to long online documents.
• Always pay run-registration fees with a credit card, rather than cash, debit or a wire transfer. If the run turns out to be fraudulent, credit card charges can be disputed afterward, whereas those other forms of payment cannot.
• Keep all documentation of your payment. After you finish the online registration process, you should get a confirmation receipt; print out a copy of this and any additional documentation.