Emerald Isle cancels annual marathon

Emerald Isle announced it has canceled the annual Emerald Isle Marathon, seen here in 2018. (Zack Nally photo)

EMERALD ISLE — Town officials announced Thursday another major event, the 7th annual Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K run, has been canceled because of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, the town canceled its St. Patrick’s Festival, the Christmas parade and the beach music festival because of the virus.

The races had originally been scheduled for March, but were then postponed until Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31. Now, with the virus affecting many people in Carteret County and areas from which the races draw its participants, “the Emerald Isle Marathon committee has made the difficult decision to forego the rescheduled race in its entirety,” the town said in a press release.

“As we approach autumn, it is clear that COVID-19 continues to impact all aspects of our lives,” said Candace Dooley, a town commissioner and director of the races. “Our goal was to hold a wonderful race in late October. Yet, we cannot place our competitors or community at risk.”

The race brings thousands of people to town, including family members, aiding businesses. Participants plan for it in advance. Some of the registration proceeds go to charities, some to town efforts.

For example, in 2018, when 725 people finished the races, $18,000 (50% of race proceeds) went to the town’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee for future bicycle and pedestrian improvements in Emerald Isle, and another $18,000 went to Little Pink Houses of Hope, a breast cancer charity that provides vacation opportunities for those fighting breast cancer in Emerald Isle.

The longest race is a qualifier for the high-profile Boston Marathon.

Participants can opt for for an automatic deferment to the 2021 event, Saturday, March 27, or a full refund.

Current registrations will automatically be deferred to next year unless they request otherwise. Those who prefer a refund should email emeraldislerun@gmail.com.

Due to a high volume of email traffic expected, those who seek a refund should allow seven to 10 days for a response, officials said.

“You have trained hard, made travel arrangements, dreamt of the finish line and put blood, sweat and tears into your preparation for race day,” Ms. Dooley said. “Your hard work and dedication are admirable.”


Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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