It is with a sad and humble heart that we need to inform all of you that the Myakka River State Park management team has decided that running races in the park are too dangerous for them to allow them to be held in the future. We received the attached letter on February 5th. We immediately shut down the registration site until we could get this resolved. We conducted a survey to see what our runners and volunteers thought. The results are also attached.
All of us at My Favorite Race Events have always put your safety first in all of our races and if I let you down at Myakka I am truly and deeply sorry and I apologize. I personally will take responsibility as I laid out the course and completed the certification by the USATF. Although we have never had a serious injury more than a sprained ankle or a skinned knee.
I spoke with Assistant Park Manager, Darren Flickenger after the race last year and he admitted that his new traffic pattern, that he implemented for the 2018 race, was an epic failure, but never did he mention canceling the race. In December, Tom Stoppiello and I had a meeting with Steve Giguere, Park Manager, Charlie Brown, Assistant Park Manager, and Darren Flickenger. We discussed the 2019 race and they even said that they were going to produce and install the permanent mile markers on the course. Again with no mention of canceling the race. I had another meeting with Charlie Brown in January and yet again there was no mention of canceling the race.
I tried to resolve this with the Park Managers at Myakka and they refused to budge on their decision.
Not being one to give up without giving every effort to save the event, I contacted Julie R. Kurisko, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks in Tallahassee. She took all the information and had me contact the District Office and District Chief, Valinda Subic and B. J. Givens, Assistant District Chief. I sent all the information including survey results and our newsletter with all the comments from runners included. They would not speak to me in person or on the phone.
After 2 weeks I received an email from them that said the races were canceled. The Myakka Half/5K is officially canceled. But, when one door closes, another door opens!
First of all, we have secured our date, November 14, 2020, and an amazing new location for our 2020 Half Marathon/10k/5k. I’m not at liberty to disclose any details at this time until final contracts are signed and the course approvals are finalized. But it will be even more amazing!
Keep up with this and all our races at myfavoriteraceevents.com.
Thank you, and see you on race day!
Tracy and Kim Hussey