Racers revolt over a weekend 5K

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- After a racer revolt, of sorts, organizers of a weekend fun run are apologizing.

Runners in the Neon Run, held Saturday at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, said they were ripped off.

They paid between $30 and $50, plus a $10 parking fee, to run the 5K course through the dark.

The runners were supposed to be doused with glow-in-the-dark paint along the way. Some advertisements offered free beer, food and entertainment at the finish line.

Racers, and even organizers, said the Neon Run did not deliver.

The runners were hit with little, if any, neon paint. Dark lights did not illuminate their shirts or the course. They ran through none of the promised lasers or fog. They found no free beer or food at the finish.

"I had to buy a beer at the end to relax my nerves because I was so mad," said runner Adrienne Smith, of Goodyear.

Some complained the course would turn from asphalt to gravel without warning in the dark.

The Neon Run Facebook page called it "A Race that will Blow Your Mind," but racers have now created a spoof page, calling it the race that "Blew Their Money."

"As far as I'm concerned the whole thing was a big lie, a fraud," Smith said.

Runners who bought tickets on Groupon may get a Groupon credit.

Organizers, who remain unnamed and anonymous, are asking unhappy racers to email them at info@theneonrun.com.
The organizers donated $2,500 to Ronald McDonald House Charities as a goodwill gesture, but with several thousand racers, grossed tens of thousands of dollars.
These organizers are not affiliated with other similar Valley races, like the Neon Splash Dash.