COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - A Minnesota event organizer who canceled a local charity mud run at the last minute has now dumped its entire slate of runs.
The news comes as angry runners contact FOX 29 Investigates and a prosecutor steps in.
The company told local runners its event was canceled on Facebook just the day before the run, FOX 29 Investigative Reporter Jeff Cole says.
Nearly 100 acres of scenic farmland in Collegeville, Pa., were to be the setting for the LoziLu Mud Run last Saturday.
As seen in videos on LoziLu's YouTube channel, mud runs are happy, fun-filled events at which women slog through muddy water and scale obstacles, often for charity and the sheer fun of doing it with friends.
"We had a great time doing it. I did it with a group of about 10 women last year. And it does get you dirty," said Nicole Lasorta, a public relations executive with the Buchanan firm of Bryn Mawr.
After running last year, she convinced her two work pals, Megan Keohane, a Phillies ball girl and former college softball player, and Jen Tedeschi, a distance runner, to do it this year.
"You get excited, you look forward to doing it, you start the countdown, you know, making sure that you're staying in shape and ready to race," Keohane said.
"You know, I've done all sorts of normal 5Ks, and I did a half-marathon, but nothing involving mud or obstacles, so I thought that this would be fun to do, and especially with them," Tedeschi said.
But as Saturday's event neared, Lasorta wondered why she had not received the normal email alerts providing event details, when to arrive and where to park.
She scoured the web and found some bad news.
"The same issue happened in New England, that they canceled the race just before it happened but didn't notify anyone," Lasorta said.
While she and her friends learned the race had tanked before they drove to Collegeville, others did not. FOX 29 has been told about 25 cars packed with women ready to be caked in mud pulled into the lot only to be told to go home.
What went wrong? Problems with the company running the event.
LoziLu Mud Run, which shows women competing in its events on its Facebook page, is a Minnesota business run by new owner Frederick Bradley Kellogg, also known as "Brad Peters."
A mugshot shows Kellogg from a 2012 felony theft conviction. He's serving 20 years on probation for the crime. His company also canceled a mud run set for New England in July.
FOX 29 has learned his problems with the business have prompted a county prosecutor in Minnesota to hit him with an alleged violation of probation. The prosecutor's office says he's been summoned to appear in court on Monday.
Kellogg did not return FOX 29's phone call for comment on the failed mud run and alleged probation violation.
A woman claiming to be his secretary said she'd give him our message.
Kellogg's criminal attorney refused comment.
And his civil attorney didn't return our call.
But there's another problem. The owner of Varner Farms in Collegeville was unavailable, but his father told FOX 29 his son had never approved the race to be run on the farm's rolling fields this year. And he'd been trying for months to alert runners, using a Facebook post like one posted more than a month ago.
LoziLu has argued its troubles are "due to a significant increase in insurance costs" and a "over 50 percent decrease in runner participation." And it has just now canceled all of its remaining 2015 mud runs.
"All runners will automatically receive a full refund," LoziLu's Facebook page promises.
A website called ObstacleRacingMedia.com, which first reported on Kellogg's troubles last week, also called ahead to future locations on LoziLu's mud run schedule and found several of those sites had yet to be secured.
Lasorta and the others have gotten their money back, about $60 each, from the website where they registered, Active.com. Others have gotten refunds from a deal site they used called Rush49.com.
But not everyone has been so fortunate. Many registrants report on the LoziLu's Facebook page that they haven't gotten responses or refunds from LoziLu despite being given an email address for "Brad."
Some tried to stop payment on credit cards only to learn they can't because they registered more than 60 days earlier.
And disappointment remains for the would-be participants.
"I apologized a million times because I felt like a jerk," Lasorta said. "I told everyone, you know, 'I did this last year. It was so much fun. Let's do it again.' I talked everybody into it, and then it was a big bummer."
FOX 29 Investigates has also learned that, while LoziLu says its mud runs benefit a Leukemia-fighting charity called L.I.F.E. and has done so under prior ownership, that charity has yet to receive any proceeds from LoziLu this year.