DA Looking into Boulder Marathon Cancellation

Organizer's explanations for last-minute notice called into question

Sep 22, 2014
Outside Magazine
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Boulder Marathon's 5-mile and half-marathon races were scheduled to take place around the Boulder Reservoir.    Wikimedia Commons

The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office says it will investigate the circumstances around the sudden cancellation of this year’s Boulder Marathon. On Friday, the race organizer announced that the October 5 race would not be happening.

Runners are complaining about both the abrupt cancellation of the event and the fact that Jeff Mason emailed registered participants on Friday saying they would not be getting any refunds. According to the Denver Post, Mason’s email explained that racers who registered for this year would have their entry fee apply to next year. 

District Attorney Stan Garnett, in an email to the Daily Camera, wrote that he would assign a senior investigator and senior deputy to look into the matter this week. “This is not a situation where a young child’s life is at risk, or anything like that,” Garnett wrote. “It’s an issue involving money, and we will take our time and figure it out, and figure it out fairly.”

Mason’s notice to runners said the race was being canceled due to lingering damage from a 2013 flood that caused the cancellation of last year’s race. Entrants in the 2013 events had their fees carry over to 2014. He also cited the death of runner Jessica Dillon during the Boulder Spring Half Marathon this year and the death of Lesley Kinder, the former race director.

But on Saturday, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said that Mason did not get the proper permits required to run the race. He needed one from the Colorado State Patrol first if he wanted approval for smaller local permits. Two thousand runners were set to participate.

“To even throw in the flooding is ludicrous at best,” Denver runner Michele Brown told the Daily Camera. “And then talking about the deaths—what do they have to do with anything? So I think we deserve a little bit more respect, as paying customers. We deserve more than some cryptic phrasing and a lame automatic reply via email.”