Many would-be Hard Charge participants upset over money loss

By Audrey Wise

July 3, 2014 Updated Jul 3, 2014 at 8:40 PM CDT

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. -- Some of Central Illinois' toughest competitors are fighting a new fight.

Last year the mud was flying in Chillicothe at the Hard Charge four-mile obstacle course.

In anticipation of another fun and challenging event lots of people signed up for the 2014 Hard Charge Event scheduled for this September.

Now they won't be racing or getting their money back.

Those who already paid to participate got an e-mail saying the Hard
Charge organization is immediately ending all business operations.

Its website is now only a statement saying all future events are cancelled. It goes on to say, Hard Charge won't give any refunds because its senior lender has the rights to the remaining assets and accounts.

It's leaving local athletes feeling frustrated. For many of the competitors their reason for participating is much more.

"Obviously disappointed. Not so much the race, just the reason behind why we were running," said Morton resident Joy Clauson.

Clauson's family recently paid over $200 to participate in Hard Charge this fall. About 30 of there friends and family members were supposed to be along side them. All with a common goal of fighting for those that can't

The Hard Charge company did races all over the country and they choose to give $1 from each entry fee to the Children's Miracle Network. For the local race that went to the Children's Hospital of Illinois.

Clauson said, "We're just frustrated that Children's is associated with a company that's not committed because Children's hospital is very committed."

On May 6th Clauson gave birth to baby Jacob. He died in the Children's Hospital 21 later due to medical complications. Some of the members of her team were doctors and nurses that helped baby Jacob through his short life.

Beyond the registration, there group had raised close to $500 additional for the hospital.

"You can't get ahold of anybody to see where that money went, if it was a direct connection to children's hospital or if it went through Hard Charge. Hopefully it does end up in the right hands," explained Clauson.

Clauson said if they are able to get there money back they will be sure to turn it around and use it in some way to benefit the children's hospital and honor baby Jacob.

The Children's Hospital of Illinois got $3,500 from the local event last year.

They released a statement about the current situation saying in part: "CMN is working quickly to determine its next steps and any potential for refunds...We want to thank any racers who registered in hopes of supporting children's hospitals throughout the nation."

Some people are taking matters into their own hands, looking for ways to get their money back.

Several people on our station Facebook page have said they contacted their credit card company and were able to get a refund that way.