Canceling a road race is not a matter that a city nor a race committee take lightly. The facts are that the five inches of snow, reported by the National Weather service within driving distance of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina caused much concern with the city fathers. 1,500 volunteers driving in from around the state were also on their minds. Race officials and city officials tried to work out their differences late into the night and early into the morning. In the end, the city officials made the decision, whether one agrees or not, to cancel the race. The following is the letter of explanation from the race committee. RBR hopes that the runners who traveled to the event consider the event for 2011:
Once again, the Myrtle Beach Marathon Board of Directors, itâ€™s Executive Director and entire organizing committee want to express our sincerest regret that the 2010 Marathon and Half Marathon were canceled due to the weather. Please understand that for those of us who work tirelessly and selflessly for the success of this event, 365 days a year, this was simply devastating. The Marathon and Half Marathon are our marquis events; the â€œCrown Jewelsâ€ of our Marathon Weekend and most of us consider this event like one of our children. To see this happen and to think we have let our participants and many supporters down has been crushing to us.
But we have been heartened and uplifted by what has happened in the wake of all of this. The abundance of well wishes and words of support we have received have raised our spirits and have been so heartwarming that itâ€™s difficult to put into words our gratitude. And what has been most inspiring through all of this has been the demonstrations of the resilience of the marathoning community. Runners and marathoners are such a hardy group and would not be deterred by the unfortunate circumstances. We watched as you ran through the streets in your own private events, smiling, whooping and hollering and looking just as satisfied as you had run the â€œactualâ€ event as water was offered and medals were placed around your neck at the finish line. Our wonderful and selfless volunteers, city workers and entire community who came out to cheer you on awed us as they were determined to give those of you who wanted it, a â€œglass of lemonadeâ€ from the lemons presented to you the night before. And later that evening we were mesmerized while so many of you danced and partied at the House of Blues like nothing had even happened; as we felt like a group of jilted brides and grooms at our own reception.
Pleased be assured that as events unfolded during the last hours leading up to these events that our committee worked endlessly and fought hard to have this event go on. Our crisis management plan was implemented. We pleaded and even begged at times to delay the decision to cancel for as long as possible. We offered to work through the night, knock on every door; call every phone or whatever it would take to make this happen. Thankfully in the end, the â€œcooler headsâ€ of our city officials and medical staff prevailed preventing what could have easily become a real tragedy. To those of you who believe the event should have been postponed or delayed further, we assure you that there was no option that wasnâ€™t given serious consideration, but in the end, given the circumstances, we did not believe we had either the resources or the ability to provide an event that would be reflective of the integrity and quality of our organization or be respectful of the rest of our community.
In the end we are hopeful that you realize that we are like you, runners who love the sport and feel so fortunate to live in such a beautiful community that we want to share it with others in the marathoning community. This Marathon run almost exclusively by volunteers is first and foremost a charity fundraiser. As runners ourselves we are also a very resilient group. We believe that all things happen for a reason and pledge that the aftermath of this will be fertile ground for renewed efforts and ideas that will in the end make us a bigger, stronger and better. There is a particular sensitivity and sympathy for those of you who traveled great distances and experienced personal disappointments. Accommodations that are reasonable and satisfactory to the majority of you are being contemplated that will hopefully, if possible, bring some degree of acceptable remediation to this experience. Planning a one-day outdoor event like this is a monumental task requiring enormous effort from many, but ultimately logic and reason dictate that the unpredictability of Mother Nature has the final say.
We know that some of you will never be satisfied with explanations, apologies or promises, but to those of you who continue to support us, we feel blessed to have you with us. To the officials and employees of the City of Myrtle Beach and the wonderful citizens of this community who allow us to fill your streets with our crazy runners, walkers, chairs and riders for a few days in February, you have our most humble appreciation. Thank you and see you in 2011.
Myrtle Beach Marathon Organizing Committee.
For more on the event, we suggest that you follow the Running Journal, on their website, http://www.running.net
For more on the sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com