COLUMBIA, SC — The Columbia Marathon has cancelled its third annual race after this year’s winners didn’t get expected awards.
Race director Dan Hartley said the March 8 event is off, according to local media reports. “I’m hopeful that someone will be taking it over to re-establish (it) for 2015.”
Alex McDonald, president of the Columbia Running Club, said he wasn’t surprised to hear about the cancellation.
Winners of events at this year’s marathon didn’t get their awards, McDonald said, adding that the race director has been difficult to reach ever since.
“Sounds like the race was in financial trouble, and he was not going to be able to have awards,” said McDonald, head of the 200-member club that is not affiliated with the marathon.
“We figured there probably would not be a race coming up this year.”
Efforts by The State to reach Hartley were unsuccessful Friday.
The 26.2-mile March race attracted about 2,000 runners this year.
Ric Luber, president of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism, said he’d heard no complaints about the Columbia Marathon.
The Sports Council promoted the marathons held in 2013 and 2012, as part of its mission to attract tourists to the area.
“We’ve really not had any contact with them,” Luber said. “Usually, they would get back if they were going to have another event, and we have not heard from them.”
McDonald said he, too, hopes someone will take up the mantle to host the event in 2014.
“We still feel like with the Governor’s Cup and the Ray Tanner Home Run this weekend, we still have some spotlight events for Columbia,” McDonald said. “But a lot of us are very disappointed that we’d finally gotten a marathon back to Columbia after 10 years, and it may not continue.”
Reach Hinshaw at (803) 771-8641.