- The Bad News: The 2017 Everglades Half Marathon & Biscayne 5K has been cancelled.
- The Good News: All registered runners will receive refunds in the next week.
Since Hurricane Irma hit South Florida in September, we were monitoring the situation, trying to be hopeful the race would still happen while trying not to bug the National Park Service while they were in recovery.
About 2 weeks ago, we were notified that Shark Valley (where the race is held) is still under water and may not even open this winter. Even if the water receded today, it would take more than a month to get the pathway in shape for our event. Thus, we no longer had a permit to run our original course. You can read more about it here.
The Everglades Half Marathon Course
For the last 2 weeks we have had numerous conversations with registered participants to find out if they would prefer we cancel, or if we should simply relocate the race. The attitudes of runners were somewhat split. While some wanted the race to happen no matter what, there were enough people who we thought were going to feel upset by the change that it made the event unfeasible.
We reached out to the City of Homestead, who worked very hard and fast to help us identify a suitable location to hold the event. The city made the most sense because it sits right between Biscayne & Everglades National Parks, and is also the gateway to the Florida Keys. They were fantastic and extremely helpful, but when it came right down to it, we felt like the course we ended up with wasn’t what people had signed up for.
For anyone who made non refundable travel plans, I think you are still going to be happy you went to South Florida in December. Most of the park is still open, and the area can use your tourism dollars. It is going to be a truly excellent time to visit. You can still find airboat tours, hiking, and the drive down to Flamingo is still driveable. Biscayne National Park is also still open and definitely worth a visit. You will love it.
We are working with our registration system to automatically issue refunds to everyone who registered. Refunds will be processed early next week and should hit everyone’s bank accounts by end of next week. If you would rather have us donate your registration fees to the National Park Foundation to help fund the recovery efforts, please let us know before Monday.
If you would prefer to defer your registration to another race instead of a refund, we have waived the deferment fees. You can start the process here, under the “How to Defer to Another Race” section of the page.
Please note that refunds that will be issued will not include any donations to the National Park Foundation, training shirts, or any hydration systems we have shipped out.
We are sorry we won’t be able to hold the race this year, but we are excited about our 2018 race lineup and we hope to see you at one of our events next year.
President of Vacation Races