Greetings from Boulder County,
Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile Postponed Until Fall 2014
One week ago I emailed you with the news that the 7th Annual Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile event was going to be postponed - to be held at a time later this fall.
Over the last week, everyone that lives in Boulder and the surrounding counties has had to deal with the aftermath of the 100 year (1,000 year?) Boulder Flood. In addition to lives lost, many, many houses have been destroyed (to one degree or another) and stories of displaced citizens and flooded basements are common. Indeed, the list of challenges around here is long. It will take many years for Boulder County and the other adjacent counties to recover from this.
And this long recovery is unfortunately just beginning. Having seen much of it, I can tell you that the damage caused by this flood is much greater that you can probably imagine. Though the Four Mile Fire three years ago caused great destruction up in the mountains, the Boulder Flood is the most devastating event that has ever hit the city of Boulder itself, bar none.
In the face of all this, I was of course understanding when I got the news that the City of Boulder and Boulder County decided to not host any events for the remainder of 2013. In other words, the 2013 Boulder Marathon & Half Marathon is now postponed until next fall. Unfortunately, there is no other logical time to hold the event before fall 2014. Therefore, the 2014 Boulder Marathon is now to be considered the 2013/2014 Boulder Marathon event.
In order to honor the registrations of all of our 2013 registered participants, we will allow all of these people to participate in our 2014 Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile event next fall at no charge. In other words, your 2013 Boulder Marathon event registration just became your 2014 Boulder Marathon event registration.
From an event perspective, there's obviously no way to anticipate a situation like this - where the largest flood that has ever hit Boulder County happens just ten days before the event. Just as there was no way to anticipate what happened ten days before the event three years ago with the Four Mile Fire. However, the situation is different this year. Three years ago I had the option to cancel the event altogether and move on to the next year. I chose the more difficult route, which was to operate a (much smaller) event anyway two weeks after the original date. Those of you who know me personally know that I would have conducted the 2013 Boulder Marathon event as well, if it was at all possible. But unfortunately it isn't possible. There's just no other way to put it. So with this news from the City of Boulder and Boulder County, the decision was obviously out of my hands. Not that I disagree with the decision, because I don't. Given everything that has happened, it's just not possible (or appropriate) to conduct the event this fall.
Again, to be clear, all of you who registered for the 2013 Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile event are now automatically registered for the 2014 Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile. We will finalize the exact date of the 2014 Boulder Marathon event after the emergency flooding response is over - probably
a month or so from now.
Boulder Marathon Donating Over $10,000 in Race Food to Local Charities
Since the beginning of the year, I've been working harder than ever to put together a really great food line-up for the event. And all this week I've had shipments of food, Gatorade, etc. arriving from all over. It was immediately clear to me that if we weren't going to hold the event this fall, then all of our race food needed to get into the hands of flood victims. Fast.
Therefore, all of the race food is now headed to local charities who are helping people affected by the flood. In all, we're donating food valued at nearly $10,000 to Boulder flood relief. Also, all of this donated food is delivered in the name of our 2013 registrants. I've received dozens of emails from participants from all over with kinds thoughts for all of us in Boulder - thanks to all of you! I thought donating the food in the name of our runners would be a gesture you'd all appreciate.
It's really devastating for me personally when something like this happens. Especially because I know that this was going to be the best Boulder Marathon event yet. For me, the preparation for this event is not much different that preparing for an actual marathon - in other words it's a lot of work! And for it to be put off until next year is definitely a disappointment. The Reservoir construction is over and the place looks great, but now you'll have to wait until the Spring Half to see it.
Before I sign off for now, I must share a good running story from my junior year at South High in Denver. A story about running disappointment...It was 1982 and the day before the Colorado state cross country running championships. I had won the Denver city title for the DPS weeks before and was favored to finish top 5 at "state". On Friday afternoon, the day before the race, I went into the South gym to jog around a bit and do some stretching. I literally tripped while running across the floor, and proceeded to roll and break a bone in my foot. I showed up at state the next morning in a cast up to my knee. You wouldn't have believed the look on my coaches and teammates faces! So I know how you feel, trust me. But the next year I was back running again in the state championships, as a senior. I remember how much appreciated finally being able to run in state, especially after missing it the year before. Hopefully you'll have that same feeling at the 2014 Boulder Marathon event. I know you will.
So hang in there and recalibrate your running goals this fall. Pick some key workouts and really go for it. Test yourself. Challenge yourself. Perhaps run in a different race, maybe Denver Rock and Roll? Then next year you can return to the Boulder backroads. Where you belong.
By the end of this weekend, take satisfaction in knowing that all of the 2013 Boulder Marathon food will be in the hands of Boulder Flood victims. As it should be, I know you'd agree.
Thanks for your time. And for your understanding. I'll be back in touch with more tales of the Boulder Flood.
Race Announcement • Saturday, September 14, 2013
The Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile event, scheduled for Sunday, September 22nd at the City of Boulder Reservoir, will be postponed to a future date. The new date will hopefully be announced in the next few days.
I think we would all agree that the importance of a running event in the face of all this is miniscule. And even if we were able to pull off the event next weekend (which appears to be an impossibility at this point), it would seem inappropriate given what has happened.
For those of you who are veterans of my Boulder Marathon or Boulder Spring Half events, you remember just three short years ago that we had to postpone the Boulder Marathon event as a result of the Four Mile Fire. It's just incredible that we find ourselves in the same position again. When the 2010 event ultimately happened it was a success, and a sort of celebration that paid homage to the Four Mile Fire victims. We will come up with a way to do the same with our 2013 Boulder Marathon event, when it ultimately happens.
Though some races would cancel outright in the face of all this, I assure you that the Boulder Marathon event will still happen this fall. I just cannot say when at this point. When it ultimately happens, it will be one heck of an event!
For a real understanding of what's going on here in Boulder County, the following article will give you much more detail: CNN Boulder Flood Article
Thanks for your time and understanding. And be safe, wherever you may be.