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Quincy cancels its half-marathon race

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 21, 2013 11:13 AM

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Quincy’s half marathon race has been canceled after four years of operation, and organizers said it will be moved to another location, according to an announcement on the race website.

“The City feels that the race became too disruptive and placed too much stress on the community and therefore can longer support our effort to present this event,” the announcement said.

Organizers went on to add that they were grateful to host the event in Quincy for the last four years, and proud to offer fundraising avenues for local charities.

“These however didn’t outweigh the accompanying concerns,” the announcement said. “We are saddened by this, but we need to respect the process and move on.”

City officials said they had received a “tremendous” amount of complaints about the race two years ago, largely because the expansive event affected so many neighborhoods, said Christopher Walker, spokesman for Mayor Thomas Koch.

Last year, city officials, the police department, and race organizers made some changes to try to mitigate the race’s impacts, but problems remained.

“Those changes didn’t eliminate the disruption,” Walker said. “Folks felt they were trapped in their neighborhoods due to the size of the race and the determination was made that, while we have a lot of road races in the city, this was just too big for the route on a Sunday morning.”

Walker said the cancellation had nothing to do with safety concerns in light of the Boston Marathon bombing, and said it was solely about impact to the city.

The Globe reported in August that as road races and bike rides continue to soar in popularity, some communities south of Boston are trying to strike a balance between the growing number of events and the causes they benefit, against the inconvenience they create, including road closures and the taxing of local services, like police details.

In the case of the Quincy half-marathon, organizers said they are still working on moving the event to another location.

The event is still in the final stages of negotiation, but it would still take place in March.

“It would be premature to make any official announcement at this time until the final permitting process is complete, but due to the time in the running calendar and the many inquiries from the running public, we felt we needed to address this and update all concerned,” the announcement said. “We expect to present a pre-Boston prep half marathon the third Sunday in March, it just won’t be in Quincy.”

The event has grown over the last few years, drawing over 1000 people to take a run along the historic route.

In 2013, the annual March event had to be moved to May due to snow.

The city was required to close several roads at different intervals due to the race, including Fenno Street, Quincy Shore Drive, Southern Artery to McGrath Parkway, Mcgrath/Miller/Elm/Hancock/Hannon, Bergin Parkway to Adams Street, Newport Street to Hancock Street, Hancock Street to West Squantum Street, West Squantum Street from Hancock Street to Harvard Ave, Harvard Street from West Squantum Street to Beale Street, Beal Street from Harvard Street to Adams Street, Adams Street from Beal Street to Hancock Street, and Russell Park.

Organizers said they would post an update on the event’s website. Other questions can be emailed to organizers at info@halfofquincy.com

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