What is happening at marathons this year? Authorities have stepped in the middle of three major-city marathons this year -- one in South Carolina (Myrtle Beach), one in Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), and one in Tennessee (Nashville) -- and weather also stopped a marathon in Maryland (Washington's Birthday).
In South Carolina, as we posted earlier this year, Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon XIII presented by Chick-Fil-A (February 13) was canned eight and a half hours before a rescheduled start because of snow and ice concerns by the city after organisers attempted that morning to move back the start 30 minutes in an attempt for better weather. As reporters at channel 32 noted on their Twitter accounts later, there was snow and icy roads in the vicinity of the marathon course at what should have been setup tiime (3 AM), and the organiser mentioned they could not run on Sunday because of churches on course (proven by simply driving on the route).
In Nashville, Competitor Group, the organisers of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, was forced to shutter Country Music Marathon XI early because of thunderstorm concerns. Runners who had been slower than two hours by the transition point where the half-marathon course splits at 18km were forced to turn to LP Field; other runners who had run the Rosa Parks Boulevard section were told after officials made thunderstorm calls were told to turn around at the 33 km point to end their race and immediately proceed to LP Field, skipping the Shelby Park section. In each case the decision was made twofold; one for the competitors, the other was for the bands that play at 1,600 meters of the RNR marathon and half-marathon series. The cruelest irony was that Leukemia and Lymphoma Society "Team in Training" members in the Southeast who had trained for the full Myrtle Beach event only to see it go down in snow were entered in Nashville, and they were hit, some only going 21km, and others 34km of a marathon that they had entered to go the full 42,195 meters.
In Pittsburgh on May 2, a bomb scare forced officials at the Dick's Sporting Goods Marathon to suspend the event for a few minutes near the finish line. Concerned officials were nervous of another New York-style incident, so they played caution to the wind and forced a slight delay after the top runners had finished, and it went off without a hitch.
Is there a curse this year with marathons? We've had weather play parts in canning a marathon entirely and play havoc in cutting another short. Having done six and victimised by the snow, I cannot see what is next? ◙