Mess With Maine!
St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland, concerned members of the Maine
running community were successful in forcing unscrupulous race promoter Dean
Reinke from their region. They were not so successful in keeping him from, as
he has many times before, absconding with runner's entry fees for a cancelled
race—as he had most recently in Sparks, NV, Traverse City, MI & Greenwood,
SC. Add Freeport, ME to that list.
our opinion Reinke is the worst type of carpetbagger, approaching secondary
markets with an alluring proposal that will generate revenue for a community.
Based out of Florida, Reinke has a 37 year-old track record that is hard to
believe. Don't take our word for it. Google the name Dean Reinke. There are
even blogs dedicated to tracking his malfeasance (www.reinkereviews.tumblr.com is one).
Maine brou-ha-ha first erupted at NER Central in early May. The Freeport Town
Council had unanimously voted to deny a permit for Reinke's "Freeport Half
Marathon." Reinke had staged a half marathon in Freeport in 2011 and, by all
accounts, it was a well-organized affair, tempered by a few inconsistencies,
like the police never getting paid, etc. News travels fast and both Maine Race
Director Howard Spear and Race the Runways RD and RRCA rep Mark Grandonico
supplied input to the council.
Town councilor Jim Hendricks received a list of
referrals from Reinke and made it a point to call every one. "Not all were
negative, but the majority were," reported Hendricks, "and this was the list
that he gave me. One woman from South Carolina said, •Run, don't walk away from
Reinke had started promoting and taking money for the half well in advance of
getting a permit. NER reported on its Face Book page that the Freeport Town
Council had unanimously denied the race a permit on May 1, and that runners
shouldn't continue to send in entry fees. That sparked the following post by
Dean Reinke commented on
New England Runner Magazine's status update.
Dean wrote: "Bob Fitzgerald
- News to me - We are in our second year in Freeport with our partners at
Freeport USA, Portland CVB, Maine State Tourism and a local radio and TV
station. We just added a wonderful local charity as we have in all of our
markets. Please drop me a note or better call me before you start spreading
rumors and lies. I have been a fan of your publication for years but I am
surprised you would make such a comment."
Tom Derderian posted and
Reinke answered. Parker Morse posted and Reinke answered. After the following
post from councilman Hendricks, Reinke went silent:
Jimmy Hendricks commented on New England Runner
Magazine's status update:
a member of the Freeport Town Council, The Freeport Half Marathon has BEEN
DENIED AN EVENTS PERMIT on May 1st. This event will not be taking place in
Freeport, Maine. I can concur that the Freeport Police Chief has made multiple
to Mr Reinke in regards to the decision and in an effort to stop him from
continuing to register runners for this event. For more information: http://fctv3.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=0abbaaac9685e3d95e2c7aa2fbdbe4d7
the item is discussed at time: 1:22:21."
On the same day, John Rolfe
wrote the following for the Portland Press Herald:
RACE not to sign up for.
Road Runners Club of America Eastern Director Mark
Grandonico says the Freeport Town Council this week voted unanimously not to
allow a permit for the Freeport Half Marathon, the second edition of which had
been planned for Aug. 12. The race belongs to Dean Reinke Sports Management,
based in Winter Park, Fla., and as Grandonico notes, "the RRCA in March revoked
Reinke's membership for violations of its Membership Accountability Policy,
which also terminated insurance access to many events he owns."
Race mismanagement is an issue here, as a Google search of
Reinke (Better Business Bureau-graded F) and its USRA series indicates.
"I completely applaud the Freeport Town Council decision,"
adds Grandonico, who is an RRCA and Maine Track Club board member. "Runners
have many choices and the RRCA suggests that they shop carefully. Who owns the
event, is it safe, how does my community benefit, does a charity benefit—how
The gig was up in Freeport, so Reinke approached neighboring
Brunswick, retaining the name "Freeport Half Marathon" while showing a race
route in Brunswick on his website and still continuing to collect entry fees.
Reinke would be denied in Brunswick but still kept registration open, prompting
a second post by Freeport Town Counciler Jim Hendricks:
Jimmy Hendricks commented
on New England Runner Magazine's status update.
Jimmy wrote: "Please do not
be duped by Mr Reinke. This event STILL DOES NOT HAVE A PERMIT and has not yet
been approved by the Brunswick PD. Freeport Community Services is not
partnering with him, they chose not too, Habitat for Humanity of Greater
Portland also denied him. The CVB is not in direct support of him. He has had
his membership revoked by Road Runners Clubs of America. His "local race
director" from 3C Race Productions, has cut ties with him. After being denied a
permit in Freeport, the Freeport Police Chief has made numerous attempts to
contact him: calls, e-mails, US mail, etc. and then finally registered mail
last week. He has avoided all contact•."
Reinke is estimated to have
pocketed 100 entry fees at $60 a whack ($6K) before moving on. If you signed up
for the Freeport Half Marathon what you need to do is contact the Maine
Attorney General's office. It's easy and his office can't act until it has
complaints in hand. The
website is: http://www.maine.gov/ag/contact.html.
You can fill out an online form or you can call 207-626-8800.