DO NOT Run with Reinke Sports

Don’t let Dean Reinke run away with your hard earned money!!!

I have only been blogging for about a year but even I, a blogging rookie, realize it’s probably not the smartest thing to virtually make enemies.  If Reinke Sports Group ends up making good with all of the runners, cities, and charities they have scammed, I promise to eat my words and post an apology.

In the meantime, I give you my first Public Service Announcement: DO NOT RUN WITH REINKE SPORTS GROUP/USRA HALF MARATHON SERIES!  And here’s why…

November 11, 2011: I purchased a Schwaggle deal (via for registration to the Tracy Half Marathon scheduled for January 29, 2012.  I registered and received a confirmation via email as well as a receipt for payment to Reinke Sports Group.

December 8, 2011: A friend forwarded me a news article, “Tracy Half Marathon: Without Permits, Race is Off” which states that Dean Reinke had been collecting registration money for the race without securing the permits needed.  This article also states that he took money yet failed to put on another USRA half marathon on Nov. 23 in Stockton and at least a “couple dozen” registered runners hadn’t received a refund.

December 9, 2011: I received an email from Reinke Sports Group, subject: Tracy Half Marathon on January 29th.  This email states: 2nd Annual Stockton Half Marathon is now “Tracy Half Marathon” January 29, 2012 at West Valley Mall! Flat and Fast Course! Still part of 30-city nationwide USRA Half Marathon Series! January 29, 2012 at 8 AM
    New Website Here  
    Register Here!
    Scenic course!
(After reading countless articles about the races Reinke DOES NOT put on, I have discovered that this is how Reinke does it: he will not put one race- in this case, Stockton- and then rename it for another date- in this case, Tracy- thereby scamming people not once but twice with no actual race whatsoever!!!!  THE NERVE!!!)

December 22, 2011: A friend, concerned by the news article from 12/8/11, sent an email to Dean Reinke asking if the race was still on he replied:  “All systems go and the City of Tracy and San Joaquin have requested we move the date to May 20, 2012 to better accommodate their local calendar……stay tuned on and I’ve attached our 2012 schedule where we are expanding from 20 to 30 markets!

Spread the word – the Tracy Half (formerly Stockton Half) will once again be a great event!

Happy Holidays!


In other words, “Why of course I’m still taking registration money but never intending to give you a race!  Tell your friends!”

December 26, 2011: I received an email from Reinke Sports Group noting the date change to May 20, 2012.

January 13, 2012: I received yet another email from Reinke, subject: Tracy Half Marathon Update‏, that states:
May 20, 2012 at 8 AM
    Start and Finish at West Valley Mall
    New Website Here

April 30, 2012: A friend wrote me that all of the links to the Tracy Half Marathon site were broken, nothing but error messages so I sent an email to Dean asking, “Is this race still on for May 20th? I paid, I get ALL of your emails- any updates on Tracy?”

May 1, 2012:  Dean replies to me: “It is not our event.”  To which I reply, “I have several emails from your company regarding the race, my race registration confirmation, and the date change- all emails include links back to your site.

Please let me know how you plan to remedy this- I purchased the Schwaggle deal yet they say that it is up to you to provide a refund.  I expect 100% of my money back due to this cancellation.

Thank you.


May 2, 2012: Dean writes me back, “You need to reach out to Group Commerce and San Joaquin County.  We are no longer involved.”

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?  <Insert super angry, pissed off, livid face here.>

May 3rd, 2012: I write to requesting a refund and they reply: “I sincerely apologize for the issues you have experienced with Reinke Sports Group. We have severed our ties with this organization and no longer do business with them.  Unfortunately, since we no longer have any funds for their events we are unable to process any refunds to participants like yourself and you would need to pursue any further action directly with their organization.

In other words, I’m never getting my money back nor are any of the other runners who bought the deal and registered for a race that was completely non-existent.  I think most people would let this go, I, however, am a hot-blooded Portuguese Scorpio who HATES injustice and I REFUSE to let this go for the good of all running kind.

Why, Dean, why???  (click this photo for yet ANOTHER article damning Reinke)

I did a little internet research on my new best friend Dean Reinke, and found that he is notorious for taking money and failing to stage races.  He has done this since the 1980s, all over the country, yet CONTINUES TO GET AWAY WITH IT TODAY!  Search for his name on Google and you will find countless articles calling him a crooked scam artist, taking money sometimes even in the name of charity- and then not putting on the race or putting on the race but then not paying the said charity.  Google his name plus the word “lawsuit” and it gets even better.  Also, check out Dean Reinke’s Facebook page– scroll down and on his wall you can see 2 bad press articles yet he defends each one, blaming the cities and counties, not once speaking to the money he owes.

Check out this Runner’s World forum about Dean Reinke– while some of his races have actually taken place, the stories of how he has screwed our fellow runners abound- races where packet pick-up is the day prior, yet no address is given of where to pick them up; email addresses that bounce back, phone calls that are left unanswered.  There’s even a whole blog dedicated to Dean Reinke and his evil ways and here’s a link to a very recent article (April 2012) anticipating trouble with an upcoming race due to partnering with Reinke, “If I hadn’t already registered… I would keep my credit card in my pocket. Dean Reinke has a long history of failing to deliver on promises made.”

All that being said, what am I gonna do about it?  Well, looks like got the message, I’ve also got this handy blog so if anyone does an internet search on Reinke or the USRA Half Marathon Series, this post will hopefully be found and will deter people from participating in any of the future Reinke “races”.  I have also filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau (adding to Reinke’s collection of 17 BBB complaints) as well as my Attorney General’s Office and plan to paraphrase this post in a nice little Yelp review.  (Be sure to check out the one Yelp review there- another runner who was completely robbed by Reinke!)

My goal with this post is to protect my fellow runners from an experience like this and a person like Dean Reinke.  Please don’t give him any of your money and if you have and were cancelled on without a refund, please do all of the above as well and let’s work together to keep our running community professional!  THANK YOU!

And just in case you need to get a hold of good ol’ Dean:
Dean Reinke – Reinke Sports Group
1531 Dale Ave.

Winter Park, FL 32789

O: 407-599-0568 / C: 407-310-6373

Woo!  So glad I got that off my chest!  I sure am still pissed about this though- if you were me, what would you do?  Have you done a Reinke race?  If so, what was your experience (positive or negative)? 

And don’t forget to enter my Happy Feet giveaway– a winner will be drawn next Thursday!


53 thoughts on “DO NOT Run with Reinke Sports

    • He’s pretty resilient, right? HOW HOW HOW?!?! As it came from Active, I didn’t give it a second thought! Part of me thinks Active is responsible too- I mean, WHERE DID THE MONEY GO???

  1. That is just wrong! Dean Reinke is a crook. Dean Reinke is a fraud! It is a lesson that scamming people can be done without consequence. The only way to stop him is to sue him, and who wants to get a lawyer when it is $30 bucks at stake? I think this is how he gets away with it. Each runner is giving him a couple “jacksons”, which does not add up to much for each individual, but I bet adds up in his bank account significantly.

    Good job raising awareness Laura! This will be the best way to combat the crooked stealer Dean Reinke. Any city or county approached by Dean Reinke should be aware of his fradulent behavior. Perhaps they can stop accepting his attempts to put on races?

    • I think this has started to happen (cities/counties denying Reinke) due to the years and years of bad press- it’s amazing how much is out there! Now that running and racing is becoming more and more popular, hopefully scam artists like Reinke (he’s not the only one, I found!) will be pushed out.

  2. I experienced the same thing except I paid the full $60 for the Tracy Half! He answered my first email and assured me the Half Marathon would take place on May 20th. Since that reply I have heard nothing. I have sent him two emails requesting info and asking is the event taking place? He has gone silent and most certainly has my money. The running community is made up of tons of really good people and Mr. Reinke is clearly not one of them.

    Thanks for standing up to him! I am a firm believer that good ultimately wins in life but sometime one must wait a long time.

    • Oh, I am so so sorry you had to pay full price! That bites. Man, I really hate this guy Reinke… I think maybe alerting other race organizers or high profile bloggers may be a good way and I have a comment here from someone stating a Runner’s World article on this guy was shelved- how can we get that article back?!?! This is hundreds of thousands of dollars he has swindled from the running community across the entire country!!!!

  3. I’m very sorry that this has happened yet again. I hope that the more information that gets out there the less people will register for his races.
    You should email Matt McCue with Runner’s World. He contacted be about writing an article but I think the article has been shelved. Maybe your information would get the article off the shelf!

    • This is brilliant- totally am going to write McCue, thank you for the tip. This is hundreds of thousands, if not more, of dollars he has stolen- HE MUST BE EXPOSED!

      • Matt McCue and I exchanged phone calls but nothing yet… tons of new articles have come out exposing Reinke yet he defends, defends, defends. May have to write a follow-up and continue the fight…

  4. OMG, that is shocking. I hope this post reaches everyone who might even be considering using these guys.

    On an unrelated note: wait, what? You’re Portuguese? Yay! Us hot-blooded Portuguese do rock. 😉

    • This post is getting tons of hits- I sure hope it doesn’t either!

      (Also, all your comments have been getting lost in my spam folder for some reason, just approved them all!)

    • Aaron thank you so much for the assistance- I received an email from Tara stating that she is going to mail refund checks out to those who registered for the Tracy Half.

      I am more that impressed with’s response to this issue and willingness to keep their customers happy despite the fact that these issues really had NOTHING to do with at all! And I will update this post shortly to reflect that! THANK YOU! 🙂

      • That is very cool to hear. I work for NBC Bay Area located in San Jose and they might look into this issue, since there are a few of us that are runners and dont want this happening to others

  5. Hi Laura, a friend and I are using Hal Higdon’s 18 week Intermediate 1 marathon training program to train for the Hartford Marathon in October. As such, at week 9, we need to run a 1/2 marathon, and so I looked at local 1/2 marathons and found the Freeport Maine 1/2 marathon. Luckily, I also run with a group of runners and today I asked them if they were going to run this. They alerted me to the fact that Dean Reinke is the organizer and that I should stay away from the race. Back in the office, I asked them for more specifics and they sent me this URL to your post, here. OMG, how can some people live with themselves when they know they are willingly ripping people off??? Crazy!!! But thank you so much for bringing this to light and saving my friend and I from parting with money we could easily give to a worthy half marathon that, for example, donates to cancer research or diabetes, or heart disease or anything other than just lines the pockets of a scammer!!!

    • Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, he is definitely not to be trusted! From what I read, some of his races actually do take place but not without issues- lack of pre-race communication, lack of course support, etc.- and even some people have had a good experience at a Reinke race but the negative comments far out weight any of the positives! I am still on a mission to get Reinke exposed- the further I read, the more I KNOW he MUST BE STOPPED!

      Some Reinke supporters have stated that when you sign up for a race, it typically says no refunds; however, in this case, you can’t just take money for a race you don’t have permits for and then change the date twice and then cancel the race and THEN claim the fine print! SO RIDICULOUS!

      I am very glad to hear you were saved- and much luck at your marathon!

    • My son and I did register and paid for the Freeport Maine race. I have been fighting to get my money back since August 2012. I have sent emails, made calls, filed complaints with BBB, FTC, Attorney General of FL and several Orlando area offices. I was even blocked from the USRAHALF facebook page after I continued to blast them. The terrible thing is that my son and I are running a 5K in all 50 states (started Jan 2012) and we flew up to Maine to run this race and knew nothing about the scandel and cancellation until the day before the race. I continue to fight to get my money back and so far I am still waiting.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I was thinking of running the Freeport Maine Half Marathon Aug. 12, 2012, but now that I know who it is run by, I’ll stay well clear of it and find a half marathon that donates to a worthy cause like cancer research, diabetes, Lyme Disease, anything other than one that lines the pockets of a scammer. Thanks again!!!

  7. I was just scammed by Reinke. My wife and I signed up for the run in Tracy, ca which was suppose to take place May 20th. Leading up to race day we had heard nothing about packet pick up, start times, etc so I started calling. Of course no response! I have called or emailed over a dozen times with no response at all. How is this guy not in jail? Please continue to spread the word about Reinke Sports .

    • Oh I am so sorry! ARGH!!!! For me, it’s not about the money at all, just the principle of it, you know?!?! Am trying really hard to get someone to do a story on this emmer effer… haven’t heard back from Runner’s World, but am going to try to pitch this to a local news station and/or follow up with the reporters that wrote about Reinke initially. I have NOT given up the fight!!!!

  8. We have a similar situation happening here in New England, Maine specifically. See the following blog post.
    Dean was denied a permit in Freeport-Me as well as Brunswick, Me and still has the website up and running. He also owes New England Runner magazine(of which I work at) in excess of $3000 for unpaid advertising from 2011. He has gotten away with this since the 80’s because there was no internet/bloggers/social media…hopefully with all this publicity he can be stopped.

    • Our best friend Dean is *this* close to being taken down, I can feel it… this post is getting so many hits, hopefully those in New England, Maine will find these posts and keep their wallets closed! Is your magazine considering a piece on the “USRA” by any chance?

      Readers: please click the link Mick posted above! I applaud that blogger’s more than direct approach- take that, Reinke!

  9. As for back in his career at Brooks Sports (1980’s) this guy has been doing things like that. Check with Jeff Phillips at Fleet Feet, the stories were legendary!

    • Yes, when I started researching Dean “Evil Incarnate” Reinke, the oldest accounts I found of his scamming ways were dated in the early 80’s. He’s a pro at this. What, exactly, does he have against runners anyway??? Maybe he’s a runner too but really, really slow and very, very bitter about it.

      • Much of what Dean Reinke is accused of doing could fall under the U.S. Mail fraud statutes and interstate commerce laws.
        Anyone that utilized the U.S. Postal system in their dealings with this person may contact their local post office and register a complaint. Here is a simple form that can be filed that places the burden on the USPS to investigate and prosecute:
        Be sure to include the apparent magnitude of the problem, i.e. the large number of events that have been cancelled. Remember that deceptive or outright theft through online registrations and payments between parties in different states may also fall under other statutes involving fraudulent interstate commerce. Here is some easy to understand background information and specific cases that involved somewhat similar situations:
        A person can contact their local U.S. Attorney’s office for verbal assistance if they think they have been scammed. Your U.S. Senator’s office can provide you their phone number and often times provide additional assistance. Again, their is no out of pocket expense to initiate these complaints that I am aware of and the burden to investigate and prosecute falls on our government officials.

        Stay safe out there!

  10. I have continued to pursue a remedy to the Tracy run scam. I spoke to a detective with the Tracy PD and he advised to file a complaint with the state justice dept. he indicated that if a few people file a complaint it may get the states attention. The detective recommended going through the state as Reinke is running his business in another state and the issue cannot be handled by the local PD. Please pass the link along to anyone who was taken by Reinke and would be willing to file a complaint.

    • DONE! Thank you!!! I am considering writing a follow up post about Dean “Evil Overlord” Reinke that includes all of these incredibly helpful comments as well as new news articles that have surfaced since I wrote this post. HE MUST BE STOPPED!

  11. Oh yeah. Me too. Dean Reinke took my money in Freeport, Maine too. He is arrogant and sure that he is free from blame! Just imagine any other business doing this… Advertising for a service, promising a service, knowing (because of permit denials) that the service cannot be fulfilled, collecting thousands of dollars in funds, and then just saying, “sorry, but I will transfer you to California, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio…” He KNOWS that people won’t spend thousands of dollars to travel for a $50 half marathon, and he also knows that state AGs don’t really care about a few thousand dollars. There HAS to be some way to stop this evil business! I have contacted everyone I can think of: the Maine AG, Police Chief Schofield in Freeport, Howard Spears of the Maine Marathon (good guy), the BBB, Bob Fitzgerald of NE Runner, and USRA Facebook (although I’ve been blocked now). Dean Reinke has stopped responding to my emails now, but I think one of the things that annoyed me the most was his smug answers that, of course, NONE of this was HIS fault!!

  12. I had Dean as my first client at my new job selling Races and Marathons their shirts and promo items…We printed 3 races for him…he paid for one after countless bills sent and emails. He’s also cost me about 4,000 a month in sales. NO ONE SHOULD HELP THIS MAN OR GIVE HIM A PENNY!!!! After reading what he is about I’m glad I don’t have him as a client anymore. He’s shadey and thinks he’s slick…KARMA will find you DEAN!!!! STOP ripping off people who WORK for their money!!!!! The last shirt company he took was for over 12,000 dollars, mine he owes 3,800….ANYONE out there bidding on his accounts…LEAVE IT BE!!!! He gets you to give a rock bottom price and wants a net-30 term!!! DO NOT DO IT!!!!

  13. I ran the Council Bluffs 1/2 Marathon today. The course was perfect. Got 2 miles of staging on roads then 9 miles, er 8.5 miles of park trail, and 2 finish. Out and back. Cheap. The course support was light but appreciated the volunteers. The weather was nice and cool for a 1/2. Got in on a groupon deal with a friend so figured sure, $35.00 is a decent price

    Now to the complaints –
    1. Course misrepresentation. For a PR type running day – the course mapped out at 12.6 miles Garmin. Not just mine but several friends. While I like a 1:41 half. I’d much rather have a legit 1:44. I just completed the Des Marathon so was looking for a good pre BQ test effort for 2013 . This course miss is incomprehensible to me. Would be disqualification for a USTAF event.
    2. The finisher’s medals were not available – promises made to mail them. Yeah right.
    3. Post race meal was a community 5k fare – bananas, water, and snack bars.
    4. I won my age group but had to leave. Were it not for another friend, my little token would have been forfeited.

    USRA is peddling another October 1/2 in Council Bluffs. I will share the facts about this event across several groups (FB/ running clubs). With a surge of events (Warrior Dash, Color Runs, community based 1/2s and fulls, tris, etc) and success over the last 3-5 years you would think there’s sufficient market appeal to conduct a decent run in the “for-profit” space. USRA clearly ain’t there!

  14. I am in the same boat. I registered for the Edmonds half marathon in September, but they changed the location to Enumclaw which is over an hour away. I did not agree to that and have been emailing and fb-ing on their page without any success. This company is a joke.

    • I have been doing the same after running Edmonds half last year figuring that it was safe to register again, nope. For a bit web site said it would be at Magnuson Park but it is off calendar in his Reinke ramblings newsletter and no links to it through the usrahalf web site. He sucks!

      • Registered for this race and feel like such an idiot because of course it doesn’t exist anymore. What a surprise, they don’t responsd to any form of contact about getting a refund. Someone needs to put a stop to Reinke. I can’t believe he can get away with this sort of scam.

  15. I have timed a few events for this guy. At first, I thought he meant well and overall was a good guy…
    However, after 5 events I have cut ties and have taken a loss of $1000.00 in money he owes me for timing services.
    I have noticed these things about the Reinke Racing:
    1. The races are NEVER in the city where it is posted on his website. There is always a “problem” with the city…yeah…he screwed them and they don’t want him there. For example, Worcester MA, is suing Mr. Dean for a $17,000 bill for his race there in 2012. Then scheduled the race for 2013 and did not secure permits so moved it 30+ miles outside of Worcester. He tried to get me to time this event, but I was unavailable, so he had one of his employees time it manually…it was a disaster.
    2. The shirts and medals are crap. Participants are paying 70+ for his events (which is common in FL), but you get a technical shirt and custom medal, etc… For his races, a crappy cotton shirt and a crappy stock medal with a sticker. Really? This is usually a big accomplishment for runners…
    3. Poor Course Marking/Measurement/Volunteers, etc…The courses are measure via a PHONE GPS….I know this because he borrowed mine the night before and event in New Mexico to go and measure the course. Really? Everyone knows these can be off by .5 mile or more!!! There are a lack of mile marker signs/directional arrows, etc…having the participants running all over the place. The support staff on the courses are pitiful. A race in WA that I timed had a TOTAL of SIX volunteers for the entire event (bless their hearts, as they worked their butts off because he was “donating” to their charity)….
    4. Does not pay the bills. Not only is he in debt to me, a contracted timer, but ironically, I was contacted by TWO other timers within the last two days that he owes $750+ to. AND, have learned about his outstanding bills to various companies (shirt vendors, port o lets, etc…). I will be contacting every timing company in the southeast to warn them about this man and to NOT do business with him.

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