A race with no finish line: Organizer cancels third Fort Myers race

A marathon scheduled for November 4 in Fort Myers was canceled, marking it the third time a race put on by the same organizer, failed to happen.

WINK News first reported on John Mathews and Sunshine State Races back in January of 2018. The company has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and at the time of our original report, had more than a dozen complaints. The complaints described two other races, one in New York and one on Fort Myers Beach that were canceled less than a week before the events.

Consumers wrote BBB stating that they could not get refunds for registration fees.

Runners that signed up for the November 2017 Fort Myers Marathon and Half Marathon were given a choice to transfer their registration to a race in Palm Beach in December; the half marathon in Fort Myers in March; or to the full marathon in Fort Myers that is being planned for November 2018.

WINK News uncovered that less than a month before the Fort Myers Half Marathon scheduled for March 4, the organizer still did not have all permits in place for the event. The event was also canceled. Mathews told WINK News by email that there was not enough runner interest for the March 4 date. 

“The November races is already well attended and barring another hurricane … it will go on as planned,” Mathews said.

But the November 2018 race will not go on as planned. According to the Fort Myers Marathon website, the event has been canceled. In an email sent to participants, the reason for the cancellation: downtown hotel construction.

We reached out to Mathews and have not heard back.

Reporter:Allison Gormly