IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Fun runs can be a great way to exercise, but what isn't so fun about these races are when some of it turn out to be scams.
"This was the first case I've known in 10 years to have an event that had this kind of trust issue," said Gray Augustus, a store manager for Bill's Bike and Run.
Runners woke up bright and early on June 2 to run in the first "Heartshake Challenge." When they showed up at 8 a.m. to Snake River Landing, no one and nothing was there. One woman even reported to the Better Business Bureau that she had paid $90.
"We're getting phone calls asking why the race isn't going on and saying our logos are attached to it," Augustus said. "We had no idea we were supposed to be sponsoring or involved in any way."
Bill's Bike and Run were contacted back in February to help organize the race.
"Then we never heard anything back from them," said Augustus.
That's why it was a huge surprise when the shop was asked about the race a couple weeks ago. The store then contacted the location management to see if they knew anything.
"We ran into a lot of the same stuff," Augustus said. "They had early on been contacted about doing a race there, and not heard anything since."
The "Heartshake Challenge" stated it would be donating funds raised to Heartstone, a local charity. The charity wrote on its Facebook page that it had no connection to the run.
"One thing is this time of year when these types of races are coming up," said Jeremy Johnson, the Eastern Idaho Better Business Bureau market manager. "We do see scammers taking advantage of that. We just encourage people if they get something, it may look legitimate but it doesn't hurt to just stop and possibly research."
That even includes researching on the charity being involved. An upcoming local fundraiser, Relay for Life, says that its event hides nothing from those willing to donate or participate.
"The American Cancer Society is very transparent, it's all on the website, and ask questions," said Teresa Browning, the event planner for the Relay for Life of Idaho Falls. "They have numbers that you can call."
The BBB also advises using a credit card because transactions can be disputed, whereas prepaid debit cards and cash cannot. Always check out those terms and conditions to make sure you are available to get a refund. As well, keep any documentation of your order like receipts.
Bill's Bike and Run have an event this weekend, and are offering free registration to anyone that can show they registered for the "Heartshake Challenge."