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Posted On: 7/2/2012

Dean Reinke: "Run, Don't Walk Away From This Man."

Don't Mess With Maine!

 
Like 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.
 
In 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).
 
The 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 this man.'"
 
Unfortunately, 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 Reinke:
 

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:

"As 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 requests 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:
 
"HERE'S A 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 much?"
 

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.   

Comments:
Monday, July 09, 2012 4:37:13 PM by Anonymous
I have always admired NE Runner, and never more than now. Congrats on your courage and integrity, and that goes double for the folks of Maine. Reinke's track record doesn't speak for itselfit absolutely screams, and anybody with a shred of decency and compassion for those who have gotten fleeced by this low-life should indeed "run, not walk" away from patronizing, or sponsoring, any of his events. I wish we had more like you here in Worcester, MA. We're stuck with him, and more's the pity. Good to see that there are folks out there who do the right thing.

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