Troubled 'zombie run' group plans another Fort Worth event

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on May 26, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 10:12 AM

FORT WORTH — On Saturday, don't expect to find many children playing baseball, or friends riding bikes at Gateway Park in Fort Worth.

Thousands are expected to turn out for another zombie-themed "fun run" hosted by DFW Zombie Run.

But the event is raising plenty of concern with past participants, who say they are still dissatisfied with what they experienced at a March run hosted by the same organization.

Michael Coller and his daughter ponied up more than $150 for that race along the Trinity River. He describes a chaotic time filled with hour-long lines, a disorganized race course, limited water, and an event that was closed early because it was so out of control.

"It was so poorly organized, and I never got a refund," Coller said.

Organizers of the event originally promised a refund on their Facebook page after News 8 reported on the problems.

But soon that changed to free admittance to a future race, like the one happening on June 1.

Other participants like Angela Barker were surprised to see the group's Facebook page active again after so many questions surrounded the previous race.

"It was all very confusing," she said.

A couple of weeks ago, Barker said she was visited by authorities investigating the March race.

"It was the U.S. Postal Service looking to investigate the run and the people that were putting it on," she said.

The USPS wouldn't confirm or deny to News 8 whether an investigation is under way. That is the standard federal response for many active investigations.

A public relations firm hired to handle media inquiries into the upcoming race told News 8 on Sunday it was no longer associated with the organizers.

E-mails and phone calls to DFW Zombie Run were not returned by the time this story aired. 

Jeff Lott, the group's organizer, previously said he was overwhelmed by the turnout at the March event and that future runs would be handled differently. He never provided specifics on how that would happen.

He also denied saying any proceeds from the event were intended for local charities, although a number of racers told News 8 they had been told differently.

UPDATE:

Race Director Max Raper sent a document detailing the changes the marathon has undergone on May 29 ahead of the race on June 1. Find that here.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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