San Dieguito Half Marathon to leave Rancho Santa Fe
After 48 years running through Rancho Santa Fe, the San Dieguito Half Marathon has changed course. The 13.1-mile race, one of the oldest half marathons in America, has moved from the Ranch to Qualcomm Stadium.
Kathy Loper Events did not respond to a request for comment, but, according to Loper’s post on the event Facebook page, the decision to move was made as they “continue to focus on the quality of the event.”
“In review of how county roads handles their permit process and signage request, how local residents felt and the way our volunteer course marshals were treated, I felt it was best to review other options for this event,” Loper wrote.
In February, about 50 Rancho Santa Fe homeowners and businesses complained to the Rancho Santa Fe Association board about the negative impacts of the event, held on Valentine’s Day in 2016.
Typically the race involved four-and-a-half-hour closures of Rancho Santa Fe roads, such as La Granada, as runners made their way from San Dieguito County Park and back. Residents complained that they could not get out of their homes on race day and they also complained about the proliferation of signage and barricades, which was a pre-event requirement by the San Diego Department of Public Works.
Loper stated that the county required them to place signage on every residents’ driveway two weeks before the event. One resident complained that the signage was “excessive,” with 15 barricades alone on a half-mile stretch of La Orilla.
“The residents were not happy about this and they demanded for the signs to be removed. Our safety equipment company removed them per county roads request,” Loper wrote. “Race day weekend county roads requested for the signs to be placed again or the race would be cancelled. All of this resulted in several angry residents for not being able to get out of their homes and an astronomical invoice from our safety equipment company.”
In February, the Association board said they had hoped to work with the organizers in an effort to find compromises to keep the historic event in the historic community of Rancho Santa Fe.
Next year’s race at Qualcomm Stadium, which also features a 5K distance, will be held on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017. For more information, visit kathyloperevents.com
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