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Worcester Marathon Organizer Dean Reinke Under Fire

Thursday, April 05, 2012

 

The City is bracing to host the Worcester Marathon in June, but a GoLocalWorcester investigation finds that the organizer of the race has had a checkered background with a number of his recent races.

Problems with Other Races

Last month, Reinke, president of Reinke Sports Group, first postponed and then abruptly cancelled his Greenwood, SC race, claiming a problem with the permitting, and instead of returning runners’ registration fees, transferred the money to his Columbia, SC race, which is scheduled for December.

Reinke’s petition for an October 2011 half marathon in Traverse City, Michigan was turned down by the city’s commissioners after they learned of his problems with other races.

“There were concerns about his organizational strength,” Ben Bifoss, Traverse City Manager, said. “And there were two different local running groups that spoke in opposition to it.”

Closer to home, runners in Reinke’s Springfield Half Marathon and 5K races found themselves out of luck in August when Hurricane Irene blew through town and forced the cancellation of the race.

Like all of Reinke's races, fees for the Worcester Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K race are non-refundable and non-transferable.  

Hal Higdon, http://www.halhigdon.com contributing editor to Runner’s World magazine urged caution when choosing to participate in one of Reinke’s races.

“If I hadn't already registered for your race in Worcester, I would keep my credit card in my pocket. Dean Reinke has a long history of failing to deliver on promises made,” Higdon said.

Worcester Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K

The inaugural Worcester Marathon is scheduled to take place on Sunday June 3, starting at City Hall, and this year marks the third year Reinke’s group has sponsored races in the city. Worcester’s first half marathon in 2010 drew more than 1100 finishers, and 900 runners finished the race last year.  In addition to the marathon, a half marathon and 5K race are also scheduled for 2012.

Christina Andreoli, a spokesperson for the City Manager’s office said the city was aware with Reinke's problems with other races, and that permits for this year's race have not been issued.  

"We are aware that events in other communities have been postponed or cancelled due to a variety of reasons," Andreoli said.  "The last two events were very successful.

"The organizer has had a conference call with the City to review the race, permits required, etc. Event organizers will meet with City representatives to review the event and permits required. This meeting is typically attended by Police, Fire, Code, EMS, Health, DPW, etc."

Holden Town Manager Nancy T. Galkowski was very surprised to learn that Reinke had had problems with other races, but said that the town has issued its permits for the marathon.  

“All we’re doing is having the race come through town,” Galkowski said. “And we’ve given them permission to traverse the roadway, as long as there is adequate police detail.”

Michael Amarello, president of 3C Race Productions, said he was aware of Reinke’s situation in South Carolina, but that they had not yet spoken about it. Amarello has done the logistics for the first two half marathons in Worcester, and is on board for 2012.

“I’ve been hired to do logistics,” Amarello said. “I do the courses and the permits. We’ve already met with someone from the City Manager’s office and with officials from Holden, since the marathon course goes through Holden. I don’t believe there’s any problem.”

Amarello will be pairing up with Reinke for the Cape Cod Half Marathon on April 15 and Lake George Half Marathon on April 29. How well those races turn out may be indicative of what’s to come in Worcester.

GoLocalWorcester attempted to reach Reinke for a comment, but calls and emails were not returned.  

Another Area Race with Problems

This wouldn’t be the first time an area race director absconded with race fees. On Thanksgiving Day 2010, after collecting over $10,000 in registration fees that were supposed to go to the Wachusett Food Pantry, organizer Paul Latino disappeared and was found living in Hawaii.

 

 


 

 

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