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Duke City Marathon’s spring event canceled

By late March, Duke City Marathon organizers had hoped, COVID-19 would be sufficiently under control in New Mexico to enable the staging of the event they’d postponed from October 2020.

It won’t happen.

The DCM event planned for March 28 has been canceled, it was announced on Monday. The City of Albuquerque deemed the spring race not safe to conduct under the current circumstances, a DCM spokesman said.

“We diligently tried to hold an in-person race this spring,” a post on the DCM’s Facebook page read. “Ultimately, the final decision was out of our hands. City of Albuquerque officials have asked us to cancel the race altogether.”

An event scheduled for Oct. 17, which was to be the second of two DCMs in 2021, is still on as of now.

Registration, the schedule of events, packet pickup, etc., will revert to what was planned for last October. For more information, log onto the Duke City Marathon Facebook page.

The now-canceled March 28 event was to have comprised seven events: the marathon (26.2 miles), the half-marathon (13.1 miles), a 10-kilometer run, a 10k walk, a 5k run, a 5k walk and a marathon relay.

The still-scheduled October 2021 event will follow the same format and the same courses, starting at Civic Plaza and making use of the Paseo Del Bosque recreational trail.

Organizers Tico and Marge Navarro staged the first Duke City Marathon in 1984, and the event ran consecutively for 36 years. In its peak years, the DCM drew almost 10,000 participants for its various races and typically has attracted some 700 runners from out of state.

In January 1993, after a major sponsor withdrew, the Navarros announced that the DCM would not continue beyond that fall. But with help from the city, the event survived and prospered.

The Navarros, having seen the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and the New Mexico State Fair canceled in 2020, had hoped to avoid that fate by doing a doubleheader this year. The coronavirus, however, did not cooperate.

The DCM did hold a virtual event last fall.

The Duke City’s prime beneficiary is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Mexico.

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