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Runners worried about fate of ‘Dirty Girl Mud Run’

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PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio -- Some local runners are worried a planned mud run could come to a halt.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is scheduled to take place Aug. 9 at Southington Offroad Park in Portage County, but the organization behind the run abruptly canceled a race planned for this weekend in West Virginia without offering refunds.

The company wrote on Facebook the cancellation was due to circumstances out of its control but did not specify what those circumstances are. On its website, Dirty Girl Mud Run, a for-profit company, says it donates some proceeds to the nonprofit Bright Pink, which combats breast and ovarian cancer.

A group of women from Molonlabe CrossFit have paid $75 each to register for the Cleveland area race in honor of a friend who survived cancer.

“We’ve had t-shirts made up that say ‘fight like a girl’ on the back, because that's her saying, that's what got her through her treatments,” said Eleni Manousogiannaki, who owns the gym. “I'm looking forward to the experience, so canceling, for me isn't just about the money, it's about the experience, and I don’t want them to cancel.”

Last week, organizers of a ‘5K Foam Fest,’ planned at the same venue, canceled the run just days before the event. It led the Better Business Bureau this week to release a warning about so- called fun runs.

Dirty Girl has a "D+” rating with the BBB.

“There seems to be a rash of canceled events for these fun runs,” said Sue McConnell, Vice President of the Cleveland BBB.

Before signing up for a run, the BBB recommends researching the organization online, reading the fine print to find out about refunds, check with the local venue to make sure the event is still on, and pay with a credit card for a better chance of getting money back.

“You don’t want to be caught paying $75 or more to register for an event, look forward to going, maybe even make arrangements to take off work, then have the event abruptly canceled, leaving you no recourse,” McConnell said.

For now, there's no indication the Cleveland area Dirty Girl Mud Run will be canceled.

The event organizers have not yet responded to FOX 8's requests for comment.