District Attorney launches investigation after cancellation of Boulder Marathon

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BOULDER, Colo. -- The Boulder Marathon was canceled Friday, just two weeks before it was supposed to take place. Monday, the Boulder County District Attorney's Office said an investigation was being launched into the cancellation. Additionally, there is a chance the race may be saved and take place as planned on Sunday, October 5.

In a letter to registrants, race director Jeff Mason cited the deaths of 20-year-old Jessica Dillon (during May's Boulder Spring Half Marathon) and 53-year-old Lesley Kinder (the founder and former director of the Boulder Backroads Marathon), as well as lingering flood damage in the area.

It was not entirely clear how those incidents directly impacted this year's marathon. At the time of the cancellation, the event had missed deadlines for several permits it would have needed to move forward, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett talked about what his office would investigate, "What were people promised, how much did they pay, what were the representations about cancellations and that sort of thing."

Runners were told they could use their entry fee for this race to enter the 2015 Boulder Spring Half Marathon or next fall's Boulder Marathon. But that's pretty much what they heard last year when it was canceled.

"I paid to enter in 2013," Mike Blackburn said. "That money was supposed to apply to this one so now he's had my money for two years and it doesn't look like I'm ever going to get it back."

The city even says it was going to give Mason until 24 hours before the run to apply for all of the permits.

"I mean he's been doing this for seven years. Why all of a sudden now he's missed the permit deadlines?" Blackburn asked.

Mason bought the Boulder Backroads Marathon in 2007 and renamed it.

FOX31 Denver has learned that since that time, he has nearly $200,000 in tax liens against him as well as several other civil actions filed in state court. We tried to contact Jeff Mason for comment but we have not heard back from him.

But it doesn't mean it's the end of the road for the marathon.

Jeff Suffolk runs the Human Movement and is working with the city of Boulder to come up with plan. "If we can give -- you know save the race -- and give them an event on October 5, we think we've done a good thing."

Suffolk has been in meetings all day Monday and says he's very confident the race will go on as planned.



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