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The Suburbanite
  • Marathon co-founder blasts partner

  • The split-up of the co-founders of the Canton Marathon is turning into a heavyweight war of words.

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  • The split-up of the co-founders of the Canton Marathon is turning into a heavyweight war of words.
    Stephen Mears had announced plans for a newly created Hall of Fame City Challenge marathon to be held June 15. His ex-partner, Julia Dick, then contended the ‘real’ Canton Marathon still was planned for a day later.
    What’s more, she blamed Mears for borrowing more than $100,000 in marathon funds, putting the event in a financial tailspin. The Canton Marathon still owes vendors and cities an estimated $80,000 for last June’s event. Mears countered with a lawsuit in Stark County Common Pleas Court — seeking to dissolve their paper partnership and get an accounting of all business records.
    Now, the latest:
    On Tuesday afternoon, Mears issued a one-page statement, blasting Dick, which he said represents the extent of his comment on the matter.
    In it, Mears said Dick manipulated financial records to make it appear that Mears and his own company StrategyONE Inc. had done something wrong. Mears reiterated that any money he or his company received from the Canton Marathon was for legitimate business expenses in operating the race.
    He provided a four-page summary of various transactions, which he said proves that point. Mears called Dick’s allegations serious and false. He said he won’t permit her attempt to destroy his name.
    “This willful, reckless and defamatory behavior will not be tolerated,” he wrote.
    Again, he stated that Dick coerced him into signing a $150,000 promissory note to pay back the Marathon. He wrote that he signed it because he was under duress, and added the amount was to be adjusted at a future date.
    Contacted by phone, Dick declined comment.
    “Given the choice of continuing to battle over the stalled Canton Marathon or move ahead and bring a first class event to Greater Canton and repay the vendors, (I have) chosen the latter,” he wrote.