CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said Wednesday the city was willing to bend over backwards to make sure the Dirty Girl Mud Run took place this weekend at Cato Park.

“We were ready to go. None of this is the fault of the city,” the mayor said.

Dirty Girl announced via its Facebook page Wednesday morning, three days before the run, that the event would not take place at Cato Park on Saturday and that none of those who signed up and paid money to participate would get a refund.

This is what Dirty Girl had to say:

“Charleston Dirty Girls-

It is with great regret we inform you that the Dirty Girl Mud Run will not be held this weekend in Charleston, WV. While the city of Charleston worked diligently and closely with Dirty Girl Mud Run to take all possible steps to put on the event, it can not be held due to circumstances out of our control. We would like to thank the city of Charleston as well as the city officials for all the assistance they’ve provided. Per our policy, we will not be issuing refunds under any circumstances.”

Jones called that “criminal.”

“I don’t know how you take somebody’s money and not give it back,” he said.

According to Dirty Girl, it’s in black and white in their participation waiver under section 12.

“I acknowledge and agree that all entries are final with no refunds.”

Depending on when women signed up for the event, they shelled out anywhere from $65 to $95 for the mud run.

By Wednesday afternoon, the West Virginia Attorney General’s office had been “inundated” with complaints from those who were set to participate. Spokesperson Beth Ryan urged anyone with a consumer complaint to file one with their office online at or by calling 1-800-368-8808.

Mayor Jones called on everyone who planned to attend the Dirty Girl Mud Run to still come to Charleston and attend other events scheduled for this weekend’s Charlie West Summer Jam. That includes Live on the Levee with Donna the Buffalo, the Family Fun Day at the Clay Center, the Old Crow Medicine Show concert at Appalachian Power Park and Mountain Stage.

Jones said city leaders have been talking about trying to stage a free event in place of the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

“We stand ready to try and do something but we don’t have anything right now,” according to Jones.

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  • Kimberly Stowers Pack

    Fact is, it does say in black and white in their waiver ...
    "16. I acknowledge that that all entries are final with no refunds" . However, no one that was going to run the Charleston race has signed this waiver and turned it in yet. You sign the waiver and turn it in at the race. There was no race made available, therefore no waivers were signed and turned in to Dirty Girl. Good try!!!

  • Make no mistake

    The fault of this fiasco lays squarely with the Dirty Girls organization. They couldn't or wouldn't perform their parts of the contract with the runners and the city (shuttles to the event venue, port-a-potties on site, and site remediation) . Therefore, they chose to cancel rather than live up to their obligations. This was not beyond their control, contrary to what they are saying.

    They could do this at every venue, and never hold a run, just make millions of dollars. It's called fraud, and it's illegal.

  • Independent View

    Uh, hmmmn, it appears that somebody at city hall did not read the contract before signing it. It was the city's and Mayor Jones fiduciary duty!
    Sour grapes--now sit down and shut up.

  • mook

    NO refunds under circumstances. Wait, what is it I smell,----- could it be SCAM!!!!!! That is what the church lady says!

  • wv4evah

    Seems to me that if they truly cared about the people who were signing-up for this event, Charleston city officials would've required refunds to be given if the event were to be cancelled. All this teeth-gnashing after the fact could have been prevented, had officials lived up to their responsibilities.

    • Not really

      Charleston officials have nothing to do with this. A private business was operating an event. That is outside the control of the city government. Point fingers all you want, but they do not have the power to force a private company to refund money.

      • wv4evah

        Is Cato Park a public space? Is it operated using tax dollars? If not, I'll be quiet. But if it is, and city officials were assisting in the preparation for the event, well, they screwed up. But hey, its Charleston.

      • Barb O

        The City has every right to mandate fair business practices in advance of issuing permits. They didn't do their homework by reading the contract runners had to sign. This company will be gone in no time. They can't survive this but perhaps the City can learn from its mistake.

  • Medman

    For the sponsors to refer the victims of their fraud to the fine print in the contract reminds me of the student apartment rental agreement that one of the Morgantown landlords used for all of his rentals. Basically there was no way for one to ever get the rental deposit back and he could throw you out of the place at his sole discretion at any time and he did not have to disclose the reason. I understand that someone finally challenged him in court and won. The same needs to happen here and I hope the AG will react accordingly.

  • Mud Dauber

    Calling all Charleston, WV Dirty Girl registrants. We promise, we won't cancel and you won't be disappointed. A run put on in Buckhannon WV by the Buckhannon Fire Dept. Great course with challenging obstacles.

  • K Moats

    Who wants a free event? I want my money back! Our team consisted of 10 people! They made close to $1,000 off of us. We live in Va and the eastern panhandle! Our van is rented and paid! What crooks?!

  • GregG

    King Danny said..."I don’t know how you take somebody’s money and not give it back".........Really?! Hell I would call it a "user fee".

    • JS

      Now that's the truth.

    • Iron Mike

      Wasn't Dollar Danny explaining how impossible it was for the City of Charleston to refund sewer fees accrued as a result of flushing our homes. I didn't use any of that water but still had pay for it. Careful Danny those stones might break that glass house you're in.

    • jm


    • Joeyjojo


  • Mason County Contrarian

    Shoe store employment will take a hit now that up to $95 in momma's spending cash is gone.

  • Fransisco Scaramanga

    I think it is horrible that the event was cancelled and money is not going to be refunded. However, I don't think that gives Dollar Danny the right to waste taxpayer money with a "free event." Jones loves to cry the city is needs money and then goes and puts on a free event. This is exactly the type of stuff that shows how much of an ego maniac Jones is. We need to raise fees, but we are not being financially responsible with the funds we currently have. This guy is a joke!

    • CharlestonSoapBar

      He's trying to be fair to the people that got ripped off, and keep Charleston from being drug into the mud because of no fault of their own. I'm sure you're not being hurt financially by a free event, and will probably be spending freely to chow down at some city restaurant this weekend.