The Asheville Citizen-Times on Wednesday announced it was canceling its 14-year-old half-marathon race, as well as its associated 5k race and full marathon, which the newspaper added last year. Publisher Dave Neill, in the six-paragraph announcement, said the event “did not generate the funds expected to provide for nonprofits.
The races, staged by the newspaper in conjunction with Greg Duff of Glory Hound Events, raised money for nonprofits and charities to the tune of $235,000 through the the nonprofit Lend-A-Hand Foundation set up by the newspaper, according to the announcement.
A hint of trouble appeared last month, when Lend-A-Hand notified charities that participated in the Asheville Citizen-Times City Marathon that it would be delaying promised payments. The volunteering groups were promised $500 for manning aid stations. The reason given at the time was “an accounting error.”
But during the run-up to last year’s event, there was little indication that anything was awry. In September, the Citizen-Times ran a series of newspaper stories touting the races, especially the new full marathon. Under the headline “Marathon-sized Impact,” reporter Karen Chavez reported that the full marathon, half-marathon and 5k would bring 3,000 runners to downtown Asheville and have an estimated $1 million impact on the local economy.
What is known is the City Marathon will be the largest running event in Asheville’s history, with the likelihood for economic impact lasting into the future. …
Asheville has been pursuing large-scale sporting events, such as a marathon, said Marla Tambellini, assistant vice president and deputy executive director of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“High-profile events like the marathon are definitely opportunities for revenue generation,” Tambellini said.
Lovers of the marathon and half-marathon race in Asheville shouldn’t despair, though. As I reported in November, there’s a new half-marathon set for Asheville this year. It’s being organized by the organizers of the popular Cooper River Bridge Run.
Also, the Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore Estate added a half-marathon. And there’s more: a half-Ironman and a Spartan series race are also coming to the area this year.
Sorry to see this. I ran the inaugural marathon last fall and was hoping to come back and run again.
Two other popular races are no more as well: http://blogs2.citizen-times.com/outdoors/2014/01/14/popular-asheville-running-race-discontinued/