The path to acquiring the Shawnee Marathon was an uphill climb to say the very least.
As you have probably heard by now, the Shawnee Marathon is under new management for 2016 and moving forward. Run To Succeed Race Management and Timing Company and River to River Runners Timing Services have jointly taken over the race. In the interest of transparency with our participants, we want to share the journey that began during the Shawnee Marathon in 2015.
Both timing companies previously mentioned were booked to time the 2015 Marathon. We upheld our end of the deal. It was the first time out of the events three year history that either company was hired for timing services. It was instantly noticeable that the organization and management of the race was lackluster at best. Rebecca, who had been the race director from the beginning was difficult to find throughout the day when questions and/or needs arose. Several comments were made during the event that it was speculated she had left and went home.
We also learned that it was Rebecca’s intent to end her tenure as the Shawnee Marathon race director effective that day at the race conclusion. Rebecca was planning to move out of Illinois all together and inquired as to whether either timing company had an interest in taking over the marathon.
Once the race had concluded, Rebecca began providing us with all of the course marking signs, several cases of water, paper cups, several jugs of energy drink powder and more. At this point in time, neither company had agreed to take over the marathon, but it was blatantly obvious that she was finished with it and had no intent of a 2016 return.
After a few weeks had passed, we had still not received any form of payment for our timing services. The race was chip timed and there were multiple costs involved. I was able to make contact with Rebecca via telephone who had already moved to Texas by this time. She assured me that the payment would be placed in the mail the next time she went into town, which she stated would be the following Monday. Payment never arrived.
I again made contact with Rebecca who then informed me that she needed me to send a Paypal request for payment so that she could pay via credit card. I did as she requested and still never received payment. I sent the paypal request multiple times and invoiced her multiple times with past due notices all without response. After a combination of phone conversations, text messages and Facebook Messenger conversations, it became very clear that we were not ever going to get paid for our timing services.
During these same phone calls, Rebecca continued to mention the possibilities of one of our timing companies taking over the marathon for 2016. She even suggested that if we take over the management of the event, that she should receive gratuities moving forward for all of the hard work she put into the event over the years. Obviously, not going to happen!
After much deliberation, we strongly believe the region deserves a marathon and elected to jointly take it over and restore the integrity that the event and all of its participants deserve. We had heard stories about her mismanagement of the event money, multiple unpaid bills from the marathon, participants not receiving finishers medals they were promised and cash awards not getting paid, but decided that even though we were going to have some challenges, the race was worth moving forward on.
During our transition, we had discovered that Rebecca ran a marathon registration promotional discount for $26.20 and a half-marathon promotional discount for $13.10 in 2015 for the 2016 marathon race. We were informed that nearly 100 participants had taken advantage of that opportunity. When I asked Rebecca where the money was at from those registrations, she became angry and told me that she didn’t want us to take over the marathon any longer. Luckily, I was able to get the Shawnee Marathon domain name transferred over to my account before this occurred. We had also requested the list of participants multiple times, but were never provided with it. We were later able to acquire the list in full from Active, which is the platform she had used for the registration process.
Even now, as we are planning and organizing this years marathon, we are still learning of unpaid bills from last year. The porta potty provider was never paid; the Saline County Sheriff’s Department was never paid for traffic control; The Burg Cafe was never paid for the meals they provided the day before the race; several pieces of apparel, merchandise and giveaways were designed and never paid for; and the list goes on.
Despite all of the challenges we have faced, we are excited about the possibilities and looking forward to growing the marathon to new levels making it a nationally recognized destination race. We realize that we are not perfect and there will be some mistakes made. This is a transition year for us as we look forward to a fresh start in 2017 with no remnants of the previous race director and her lack of integrity remaining.
We ask that you be patient and understand the hand that we were dealt. We are making every effort to make the Shawnee Marathon the premier marathon in the region.
We are only 4 days away from the 4th Annual Shawnee Marathon in beautiful Saline County! I hope you are as excited about it as we are. We wanted to pass along some registration information, locations and times so that the participants come prepared.
The half-marathon will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. The full marathon will begin within a few minutes of the half. The start location is at Southeastern Illinois College located at 3575 College Road, Harrisburg, IL 62946. The college has indicated that they will have changing facilities available. There is plenty of parking at the college.
There will be two separate opportunities to pick up your shirt and bib number. We will have a table set up at the Burg Cafe on Friday night from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Burg Cafe is located at 9 E. Poplar St., Harrisburg, IL 62946. This is a perfect opportunity for you to “carb up” before the event! Did I mention the meal is on us?
You may also pick up your shirt and bib the morning of the race beginning at 6:00 a.m. It is important to remind you that the deadline to be guaranteed a shirt was October 12th. If you registered after this date, you will not be guaranteed a shirt. Extras were ordered, but again – no guarantees.
We will be offering donuts from Krispy Kreme in the morning. We will also have multiple rounds of pizza delivered beginning at 10:00 a.m. so that there will be fresh hot pizza throughout the late morning and afternoon for the participants.
We are currently contending with a road closure issue that we were recently made aware of. There is a construction crew tearing out a bridge just before the half-marathon turn around point. This bridge is the only way across and the road is currently completely closed to all traffic. We are working diligently on resolving the issue and have been in contact with the engineer overseeing the construction. The hope is to be able to at least allow foot traffic across the bridge.
We will have very nice participant medals being handed out as you cross the finish line. There are also cash prizes for the top 3 in the Marathon and top 3 in the Half-Marathon. Certificates will be handed out and payments will be made at a later time. The awards are as follows:
1st place Marathon – $500
2nd place Marathon – $300
3rd place Marathon – $200
1st place Half-Marathon – $250
2nd place Half-Marathon – $150
3rd place Half-Marathon – $100
As many of you know, the Shawnee Marathon is under new management for 2016. Run To Succeed Race Management and Timing Company and River to River Runners Timing Services have jointly taken over the race. We are excited about the possibilities and looking forward to growing the marathon to new levels making it a nationally recognized destination race.
There will be a follow up message about the route we had to take in acquiring the marathon as we feel it is necessary to be completely transparent with you the participants.
Good luck on Saturday!
We would like to thank all of our sponsors for making this happen. We cannot do it without you. They are Southeastern Illinois College, Saline County Tourism, Harrisburg Medical Center, Banterra Bank, Legence Bank, WalMart of Harrisburg, Krispy Kreme, Dominos Pizza, Southern Illinois Healthcare, SIH Rehab Unlimited, SIH Medical Group, Road Runners Club of America, Maier’s Tidy Bowl, Durham Hardware Store and the Burg Cafe.
The Shawnee Marathon is now under new management for 2016. Run To Succeed, LLC and River to River Timing Services have jointly taken over the event. Please be patient as we are working hard in making the transition as smooth as possible.
The path that was provided for us has been an uphill challenge, but we strongly feel that the Marathon is worth resurrecting and we will do whatever it takes to make it one of the premier events in the region and restore a positive image to the region.
This years event will take place on October 22nd!
Thank you for your patience and understanding! – Tim J.