Organizer of Fayetteville half-marathon, 5k to issue refunds after event cancelled

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) - The organizer of the Fayetteville Halloween Half-Marathon and 5k now says he is going to have to cancel the 5k road race as well.

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Yesterday, Extreme Sports Marketing cancelled the half-marathon set for Oct. 29 after the City of Fayetteville refused to give it the organization a permit to run across some city roads.

"One of the reasons they have no permit is that they promoted their event on their website before receiving the proper permits from the city," said Fayetteville spokesman Nathan Walls.

Although the city granted permits for Extreme Sports Marketing's Halloween half marathon in 2015 and 2016, organizers accepted the decision not to grant a permit this year and said they would run the race on county roads.

Race director Jason Miller sent CBS North Carolina a copy of an email showing on Wednesday, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office was set to provide 15 deputies for security and traffic control. But one day later, the Sheriff's Office changed its position.

"With no law-enforcement presence and EMS services we can't have a safe event," said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Sean Swain.

Organizer Jason Miller told CBS North Carolina he decided to continue with the 5k race because it was going to be run in the grounds of the Crown Coliseum Complex which is private property.

But late this morning, he said the Complex pulled out of its contract with the organization, leaving it no place to hold the 5k race either.

Miller said about 500 people paid $40 dollars a piece to enter the 5k. He said all that money will be refunded as will the $80 dollar registration fee that 400 others paid to run the half-marathon.

Miller said costs of hotel rooms for runners will be covered by his insurance. He expects the refund process to take about 72 hours.

"We have people coming in from 16 different states," said Miller who says he born and raised in Fayetteville before moving to Florida. "You would think the city would embrace the tourism and economic impact that the race brings to the city."

Miller sent CBS North Carolina a copy of his company's liability insurance certificate, saying that will cover the cost of travel and other expenses runners may make claims for after the event was cancelled.

Miller says he and his staff are flying to Fayetteville and will be available to meet with any runners who have questions or concerns on Saturday Oct 28th at Orangetheory Fitness located at 1800 Skibo Rd.

Email CBS North Carolina's Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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