ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.- Sharon Linstedt is just one of a pack of enraged runners.
"I picked out my T-shirt size, paid the $75, paid the processing fee, so I'm out $81.31," said Linstedt.
A payment put down back in January for a half marathon organized by Rapid Running-- that promised a run through Orchard Park with a finish at the fifty yard line of Ralph Wilson Stadium.
After months of training, it was just nine days before the race that she learned it had been postponed indefinitely. Linstedt, who has run nearly a hundred races in her life, said she's never seen anything like this happen.
"It was just shocking," said Linstedt. "And then to come in with an explanation that made no sense. Something about too many runners or something. It was very frustrating."
An email to participants said interest in the race had "exceeded expectations"... And that the postponing the race "will allow those numbers to grow even more."
The run-around came as a huge disappointment to life-long Buffalo Bills fan Marc LaFlamme. The Pennsylvania resident was planning to run the 5K while his son ran the Kid's Fun Run.
"It really hurt that they would do this, especially to all of us who are out of state and planned for this for months," said LaFlamme.
And it really hurt because LaFlamme, who is battling testicular cancer, had actually postponed his surgery to run this very race.
"Most people get very depressed when their cancer comes back," said LaFlamme. "I felt good because I knew I was going to get to do this race, I knew I was going to get to finish on the fifty yard line."
2 On Your Side contacted Rapid Running President David Mason, who at first did not want to give details beyond that cryptic email to runners.
A source within a large company here in Western New York says part of the problem boils down to a bizarre mix-up. She says last week, Rapid Running called her company under the impression it had pledged a large amount of money to sponsor the race. As it turns out, someone not connected with the company at all had misrepresented himself, and had promised money that wasn't available.
It's still not clear who it was, but the end result was a last-ditch effort to find more sponsors, which apparently wasn't successful.
Mason sent 2 On Your Side this statement Friday night when asked for clarification about why the race was postponed: "I want to clarify that this event needing to be rescheduled is not due in any way to any actual sponsor of the race withdrawing or canceling its sponsorship."
The race is expected to be rescheduled for the fall, but LaFlamme says he likely won't be able to participate; he'll be recovering from surgery and won't be able to train.
"The fact that I knew I was going to be able to get to the Buffalo Bills, run out on their field where you know, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas ran before just gave me motivation," said LaFlamme. "But now, they just kind of took the rug out from under my feet, pretty much."
Mason said out-of-town runners can also choose to run in any other Rapid Running race in the country, or they can designate someone else to run in their place.
Rapid Running has a policy of no refunds.
Read the full email sent to race participants here:
Rapid Running Buffalo Half Marathon
to be Rescheduled
June 21, 2012 - Rapid Running Event Management announced today that its Rapid Running Buffalo Half Marathon, scheduled for June 30, has been postponed, and Rapid Running is currently in the process of rescheduling the event.
Rapid Running's President, David Mason, explained, "The interest in this inaugural race has far exceeded our expectations. Although the need to reschedule this event is unfortunate, our registration numbers are astonishing, and this will allow those numbers to grow even more. We want to create a major signature long-term endurance running event as we grow our sponsors into the event."
Event coordinators are anticipating a fall running of the Rapid Running Buffalo Half Marathon. Runners will be able to choose from the Half Marathon, a 5K race and a 1-mile Kids Fun Run, which will include a loop inside the stadium.
Runners and their supporters can expect a festive, spectator-friendly atmosphere during the Half Marathon, with live bands positioned every other mile throughout the course as well as in the post-race area, and a Health & Fitness Expo scheduled prior to the race.
Anyone interested in signing on as a sponsor for this race can get more information by emailing email@example.com.
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org