Organizers of Arlington 9/11 fundraiser frustrated after website taken over, race signups down

A popular Northern Virginia fundraiser meant to benefit charities connected to 9/11 is now stuck after organizers say its website -- a huge driver of registrations -- was taken over.

This year’s Arlington Memorial 9/11 5K will be the 21st iteration of the event. All the first responders in Arlington collectively organize the race. 

 Last year, they had about 2,500 runners and were able to donate $50,000.

 This year, registrations are way down.

They’d hope to have a thousand runners so far, the last accounting: 147.

"Normally, this race just kind of, everyone knows about it. And now, I think the problem is that people can’t find our website in order to register, and that’s the issue. We’d probably be at our normal numbers if it wasn’t for that," said Josh Milfeit, the race director.

 Last fall, Milfeit got an email saying the website name was about to expire, as were some security features through the website host.    He acknowledges he made an error, he paid for the security, but not the website name,

 As soon as it expired, someone else almost immediately bought the website name and converted the text into what Google translate indicates is text promoting a betting website in Russian.

Now, the website that everyone knows -- the one that shows up first when you search the race on Google -- is inoperable.   

"We’re putting out blasts on our Instagram, our Facebook. One of our folks, God bless her heart, made a QR code, we’re trying all kinds of things to just get it out there that we’re still doing the race, we’re doing the race we’ve done every year for 21 years now, and our registration is super low because technical difficulties is the easiest way to say it," Milfeit said.

Milfeit is continuing to try and work around it.

They’ve created a new website,, and are encouraging people to register there, as they hope more people try and sign up.