Organizers hopeful Salt Lake Marathon will continue
The 2012 Salt Lake City Marathon might take place after all, just not on its original date.
In an effort to ensure the race takes place this year, Salt Lake officials told representatives of U.S. Road Sports a group that reportedly is buying the marathon from embattled longtime owner Chris Devine they might have to hold the event at a later time than originally scheduled.
Mayoral spokesman Art Raymond said Salt Lake City officials had encouraging initial talks with representatives from U.S. Road Sports on Monday, but he doubts the new group can get all of its permits in order in time to run the event April 21 as planned.
"We've always said the absolute latest we can get permit issues in line to make the April event is mid-February, and we're coming up on that," he said. "We've had that deadline for quite some time. We're not at a point where we are going to say it won't happen, but it's probably more likely the event will happen but will have to be pushed back."
Raymond said the city was willing to work with the group so the race can take place and is excited about the possibility of working with a new owner.
"We're hoping this can be a new beginning and it appears there will be a Salt Lake City Marathon again, but when that occurs is still up in the air," he said. "There is hope for this year, but we are right up against a deadline to do all the things necessary and the date may have to be pushed a bit. But we're cautiously optimistic the event can have a rebirth and get back on track. We love having the marathon in Salt Lake City."
Media spokespersons for the new group, which also owns the Miami Marathon and the Chicago Half-Marathon, did not return messages from The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday.
Devine has had a long history of failing to pay vendors and winners who participate in the race. Many of his staff have quit in recent months, including longtime director Scott Kerr, who left in October out of concern over Devine's business practices.
The city had similar concerns, Raymond said.
"The conduct of the Devine racing group was well-documented with the trouble the race winners had and the outstanding debt to local business and event coordinators," he said.
Even though the race's future is unknown and longtime staff members have quit, registration remains open on the race website.
Tyler Curtis, the city's event manager, hoped to know by the end of the week whether the marathon can take place this year.
"There was some definite movement in a positive direction," he said of Monday's talks.