DES MOINES, Iowa — A race that was scheduled to happen here in Des Moines in August has been canceled.
The out-of-state organizer made the announcement with no notice and no refunds for an event geared towards charity.
Mud runs with obstacle courses are growing in popularity.
“We were excited to do the race, we’ve never really done a race together like this we thought it would be fun to do it this year,” says Travis Hamilton of Grimes.
Hamilton and his wife Jena signed up for the Hard Charge race scheduled in August at Cownie Sports Complex. However, after they dropped the $150 dollars in registration fees the company canceled the event.
“I got the email sometime last week and it just shocked me that they weren’t going to refund any money just close up shop and say thanks but you get nothing for it,” says Hamilton.
Hard Charge posted a statement on their website in part saying, “It is with much regret that Hard Charge is providing notice that it’s immediately ceasing all business operations.” It goes on to say no refunds will be provided.
“It`s not something that we would normally spend that much money on and we did it to have a family event and to also benefit a great charity. So, it was kind of frustrating to not know where your money was going or if anyone was going to receive it,” says Jena Hamilton.
Participants signed-up believing part of their registration fee would go toward Children’s Miracle Network at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Officials say they’re still hopeful.
“They did let us know that any funds donated up to this point would still be coming to the hospital to support Children`s Miracle Network. We are confident this will be the case, they are a credible partner and we have appreciated the partnership so far,” says Sarah Brumwell with Children’s Miracle Network.
Brumwell says Hard Charge donated $8,000 last year after a similar race in Cedar Rapids, they’re counting on that partnership again.
“I can`t be certain when we can expect to see that but we are confident that it will still be coming to us,” says Brumwell.
Three companies offering similar mud-obstacle course races have stepped up to help.
The Titan MOB race is being held at Living History Farms on August 23rd and is offering a $30 registration fee and free parking.
Participants are asked to email a copy of your Hard Charge registration confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org and will get a discount code back to sign up.
Spartan Race is also stepping up to help with complimentary registration to their Midwest events.
They have one scheduled in Chicago, IL on September 27th and another in Lincoln, NE on November 8th.
The Ultimate Athlete Games is also offering free registration to Hard Charge participants, their closest race is in Chicago on July 19th.