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Route 66 News

‘No chance’ marathon organizer will be rehired

Joplin’s city manager said there was “no chance” Dean Reinke would be rehired as the director of the 2011 Mother Road Marathon, according to a report in the Joplin Globe.

In an e-mail headlined “A Special Message from the Mother Road Marathon,” Reinke, of Winter Haven, Fla., questions the city’s ability to put on the run this year, and adds that he has received numerous inquiries and requests to step back into the lead planning role.

But Reinke no longer has any rights to the marathon. […]

Jim Frazier, interim executive director of the Joplin Sports Authority, said of Reinke’s remarks: “I think the perception that he has is without the reality of facts.”

Reinke organized the inaugural Mother Road Marathon last year, which drew about 1,500 runners. But, afterward, the city of Joplin quickly announced that Reinke wouldn’t be rehired and sued him in federal court when he filed a trademark claim for the 26.2-mile footrace.

The Globe reported that a settlement of $30,000 to Reinke was paid late last year.

I’m afraid that with so much confusion about who’s putting on the marathon, you might have dozens, maybe hundreds of runners who simply won’t show up for the event. It also doesn’t help that I still don’t see an official link at the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau for the race.

The Mother Road Marathon goes from Commerce, Okla., to Joplin, and is believed to be the only marathon to traverse three states — Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

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