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Shutdown may force Marine Corps to cancel D.C. marathon

Oct. 15, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
The 37th Marine Corps Marathon - The People's Mara
Runners with the 37th Marine Corps Marathon begin the 'People's Marathon' in Arlington, Va., Oct. 28. This year's race may be canceled if the government shutdown doesn't end by the end of the week because much of the marathon takes place on federal property, race organizers announced Tuesday. (Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga / Marine Corps)
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The Marine Corps Marathon will be canceled if the government shutdown is not resolved this week, race officials announced in a news release Tuesday.

“Without a resolution to the government shutdown this week, the MCM as planned is in jeopardy of being canceled,” race director Rick Nealis wrote in the release. “While still considering and exploring all possible options, the MCM has targeted this Saturday, October 19, as the date to officially notify runners of the status of the event.”

The annual race in Washington, D.C., attracts 30,000 runners from throughout the world. However, most of the 26.2-mile course includes federal property such as the National Mall and Marine Corps War Memorial, which are closed due to the shutdown.

General registration for this year’s race sold out in 2 hours and 27 minutes, with runners paying $99 to enter, it’s unclear whether race organizers intend to reimburse or otherwise compensate entrants if the race is called off.

“There are many variables being discussed at the present time,” Tami Faram, spokeswoman for the marathon wrote in an email. “The Marine Corps Marathon is exploring all options.”

In 2012, after superstorm Sandy forced the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, race officials there offered several options to runners locked out of the race, including a refund or guaranteed entry to the event’s 2013, 2014 or 2015 marathons.

Nealis’ statement was posted to the official MCM Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon, and within an hour it had been shared 1,500 times. Many of the 500-plus comments indicated that runners nevertheless intend to run some form of marathon on race day, Oct. 27.

“Beyond sick about this,” one runner posted. “Training for months... Flight booked... Hotel booked... Family coming in to watch...months and months of miles, guts and the occasional tear.... I feel lost.. And heartbroken for all the other runners like me.”

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