The United States federal government shut down at midnight on Jan. 20 which has lead to the cancellation of races, affected event organizers say.
A bill to fund government operations and agencies, including national parks, failed to pass on Jan. 19 resulting in the shut down. The National Park Service has a contingency plan in place for government shutdown(s) and posted on its website that “some parks in the National Park System may have areas that remain accessible to visitors; however access may change without notice, and some parks are closed completely.”
At least two races, including the Lake Mead Marathon and the Run for Regis 50K, posted that the federal government shut down led to the cancellation of their events.
The Lake Mead Marathon was scheduled to go off on Jan. 21 in Clark County, Nev. (pictured below) while the Run for Regis was slated for Jan. 20 in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Both did not happen, at least in an official capacity.
“The federal government has been officially shut down indefinitely,” the Lake Lead Marathon posted to its website on Friday. “Prior to the official announcement, we were optimistic that our government would do their job, so that we could do our’s. Unfortunately, due to the shutdown, we have been forced by the National Park Service to cancel the race. As much as we love putting on events for our athletes, this unique circumstance is out of our control.”
In a follow-up post on Jan. 20, organizers shared that “the national park is still open to the public. As a business, we are prohibited to enter the park, but you are welcome to go run the course with your own nutrition, and you will still receive your shirt, medal, bib and goody bag at packet pick up.”
Lake Mead Marathon announcement
Run for Regis shared on Facebook that “the government did not pass a funding continuation and is currently considered to be shut down. This means the CVNP is closed and our event permit is invalid, so we are unable to hold the race properly. We are not allowed to set up timing equipment, aid stations, or a finish area shelter.” A virtual run was hosted in place of the official event, according to the Facebook post.
Run for Regis announcement
According to the Atlantic, the 2018 government shutdown is the first to occur under the condition of the same party – the Republicans – controlling the Senate and Congress. According to CNN, the last time the U.S. government shut down, in 2013, races that went through national parks were also affected.