Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon canceled on day of race

Runners upset with organizers

Santa Barbara Half-Marathon Canceled

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Veteran's Day Half Marathon 2017 is now the race that never was. 

The 13.2 mile race was supposed to start promptly at 7 a.m., except it didn't. Hundreds of racers were at the starting line on Saturday, when it was abruptly cancelled.

Angry runners called and emailed our newsroom looking for answers.  

Andreana Menesez came all the way from Santa Clarita to run the race for her birthday. She said organizers claimed they were waiting for more volunteers to show up to start the event.

"It was a little after 8 a.m., and they did announce that it had been canceled," Menesez said. "There were a lot of boos from the crowd."

Some runners decided to do the race on their own, but they were told there were no water stations or portable toilets on the course.

"This is not a new event," Menesez said. "It's been on for years. How did it get to this point? They should have cancelled this long before."

The event, which used to feature a flyover, military tanks and American flags at the last mile, has been riddled with complaints in recent years.

In 2016, runners complained about lack of water stations, disorganization out on the course and not getting a medal at the finish line.

In 2015, the marathon was cancelled just weeks before the race and many people who registered then say they have still not received their refund.

After Saturday's fiasco, people took to social media to vent their frustrations. Some urging others to never sign up for the race and others wondering if they would ever see their money again.

"We are all entitled to it. I know registration fees were between $95 and $115 and that's about $50,000 from hundreds of participants that's somewhere. They obviously didn't spend it on organizing things," Menesez said.

NewsChannel 3 emailed race organizers, but didn't get a response.

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