Runners in Chicago are racing for a refund after a touring “fun run” event canceled two races in the summer and has yet to announce a make-up date.
The Color Buzz Run boasts five kilometers of lights, lasers and a party-like atmosphere. Its social media pages show videos and photos of big turnouts in other cities like Dallas and Memphis.
Run organizers scheduled a June event at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, but notified participants of its cancellation about a week before the scheduled date. The race was rescheduled to late August. That, too, was later cancelled with participants being notified a few days before the event.
“This is supposed to be a summer event and now it’s fall,” said Brenda Resendez. “I don’t want to do a race in the winter.”
Resendez, who spent $119 on entry fees for her family, said she has not had any luck getting a refund.
“It’s been weeks, months, nobody has gotten back to me. I keep sending emails. Nobody replies,” Resendez said.
Kristin Johnson said she and her cousin chose to sign up for the Color Buzz Run because it was something “different”. However, she said she wanted a refund after the event cancelled for a second time in August.
“I just want my money back and to be done,” Johnson said. “It just doesn’t seem right to me.”
Run organizers emailed customers that a supply issue was the reason the event had to be rescheduled.
Meantime, a spokesperson for the Chicagoland Speedway said the track leases space to third parties and there has yet to be a new date announced by The Color Buzz Run.
NBC 5 Responds contacted run organizers regarding Johnson’s refund after she said her attempts were not helping. A representative soon issued her a refund. However, run organizers have not returned our request for information regarding Resendez’ refund concerns.
According to an online search, The Color Buzz Run is based in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Better Business Bureau gives The Color Buzz Run an “F” rating based on nearly 30 complaints.
“Runners need to use caution when registering for ‘fun runs’ in the area,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “While there are many great organizations that provide legitimate ‘fun runs’, there are others that are looking to take your money without providing the services they promise.”
The BBB said red flags for these types of races include: similar names as other popular races or organizations, questionable or undocumented ties to charities, and a track record of canceling or rescheduling races.