MB Marathon organizers stand by race cancellation

By Laura Thomas - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After the Myrtle Beach Marathon was canceled this past weekend, race organizers say they're working to move on and to make the 2011 race a success.

During a meeting Saturday night, the City of Myrtle Beach decided to call off the marathon, saying the winter storm made the route too dangerous to run.

Race President Shaun Walsh says he knows the decision may have upset some runners, but he hopes they understand that the circumstances were beyond anyone's control.

"You've got those people that will never come back because of the weather, and you've got these other folks that have never run here that have heard how great the event is, and quite honestly, it is a great event. We look forward to continuing to grow and continue on for many years," said Walsh.

Walsh says they have drafted an apology note that is going to go on up on the race's official website, thanking those runners for coming and encouraging them to come back next year. He says plans are already in place for next year's marathon.

"We do apologize and we hope to see everybody back in 2011," said Walsh.

The president of the Grand Strand Running Club, Terry Layton, is also the former executive director of the marathon. He says the wrong decision was made.

"It was a great disappointment that the marathon was canceled," said Layton.

He says the cancellation will hurt the reputation of the marathon.

"I'd be very much surprised if the marathon did not take a hit in the number of participants next year," said Layton.

He admits that he does not have all the information of why it was ultimately canceled, but he wishes an alternative could have been worked out. However, Walsh says the city made this decision, and it was the best one for the safety of the workers, the volunteers and the workers.

"If we saved one life or one injury from the cancellation, that's far more important right now," said Walsh.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.