The Columbia Half Marathon originally scheduled for Saturday inexplicably has been canceled, according to emails sent to registered runners.
The long-term fate of the event, which was advertised as the sixth annual running of the event, is up in the air. Dean Reinke, who coordinated the event and others in the USRA Half Marathon Series, responded to an email from The State to say only that he no longer is involved in the race.
The Columbia Half Marathon has no connection to the Run Hard Columbia Marathon, which is held in the spring. The Columbia Marathon also had financial problems two years ago before the Run Hard organization jumped in at the last minute to take over the event in 2014.
Reinke’s half marathon series has run into problems in other locales, with vendors complaining they weren’t paid. Last year, there were doubts about the Columbia event when the Ronald McDonald House, listed online as the race’s designated charity, announced it had severed ties with the race to concentrate its support on its own Red Shoe Run. But the 2013 event went off as planned last December.
The cancellation email sent to runners who had registered to run in this year’s event said: “The Columbia Half Marathon is under new direction and will be rescheduled for 2015. You will be informed of the new date when it is finalized.”
The USRA website says events have a strict “no refund” policy, and the email didn’t mention refunds.