As I look out my window at another mid-February snow, I’m wondering what plants will survive the ice storms and return anew in the Spring. Was this the last year to enjoy some percentage of them that will now simply become memories?
I wonder the same about some of my favorite road races, which leads me to muse. Do road races have a timed-out life expectancy? What happens that well organized races with strong race directors and a loyal following disappear from the current year’s race listings? Is there anything that runners can do to keep their favorites alive?
This year, at least two of my favorite local 5K’s drawing 400 – 600 runners, a good number for our small city area, will not be returning to the race list.
The same is true of two marathons where winter brings news that their doors have closed.
January 24th, the Gansett Marathon race director announced the dreaded news on Facebook. There would not be a 2014 race. I wrote a post earlier about this wonderful marathon located in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This was a niche race, no fundraising entries, and requiring previous marathon times 5 minutes over the required Boston Marathon times.
I loved this marathon for the fresh sea air, wildlife spottings and beautiful neighborhoods with only a small section through a business/industrial area. Gansett had a loyal following, but apparently not large enough in number meeting the challenge of the required entry times.
Another winter announcement came from the Mother Road Marathon. An email came to my inbox alerting me to its demise. The MRM website now reads:
We regret to inform you that the Mother Road Marathon has been cancelled indefinitely. The decision was made by the Joplin City Council due to registration declining consistently since the inaugural year. The City of Joplin is the primary funding source for MRM. We have truly enjoyed our runners over the past four years and we thank you for supporting our race.
With both Boston and New York on my race list for 2014, I’m thinking my 2015 plans will include a registration and support of some out-of-the-way marathons with a local flare. There are so many beautiful and interesting corners of this country and the world, I want to explore them on foot, and preferably on the run.
I’m thankful I had the opportunity to experience the Mother Road and Gansett Marathons before their cycles of life ended.
I wonder how many other local races are quietly closing their doors and mysteriously disappearing from the upcoming race lists. I’m hoping my shrubbery and all of our remaining favorite races will survive the ravages of winter and time. If you have favorite races that have recently disappeared, let’s hear about them.