Another one bites the dust. And by another one, we are talking about another local fundraising event that’s been canceled thanks to the lingering global pandemic known as COVID-19 — aka, coronavirus.

The 2020 Bethany Beach First Responders Sports Weekend — one of the biggest racing events in the area — had the plug pulled last on Friday, Aug. 14, due to the additional State of Emergency Extension Order issued be Delaware Gov. John Carney. With no indication on when the state will enter into Phase 3, event organizers Rick Hundley and Ernie Felici had no choice but to make the disappointing call.

“Unfortunately, we had to cancel the Bethany Beach Sports Weekend event after Gov. Carney extended the Delaware State of Emergency another 30 days, and the town advising that until the state moves to Phase 3, they will not entertain approving any event permits,” Felici said in an interview on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

“It does not look like that will happen any day soon, so we had no choice but to cancel the event," he added. "It’s too bad really, as our event had always proved to be a good fundraiser for the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company. We are in the process of removing the area posters.”

The 2020 event included the half marathon, half marathon relay, 10k, 5k and challenge runs in the Bethany Beach and Delaware Seashore State Parks region on Sept. 19 and 20.

On the event’s website, a formal message announcing the cancellation pops up on the screen to greet anyone that tries to view the site. It states, “We are heartbroken to inform you that the BETHANY BEACH SPORTS WEEKEND will not take place this year due to an additional State of Emergency Extension Order issued by Governor John Carney with no indication when the State of Delaware will enter into Phase 3. Unfortunately, this decision is beyond our control.

“The Bethany Beach Sports Weekend is our marquee Bethany Beach Event, which benefits the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company and many other area charities. Each year, runners participate in our event, and enjoy our scenic coastal towns, our beautiful Delaware Seashore State Parks, the local shops, restaurants, and our after-race celebrations. We are sad that it is necessary to cancel this year’s event.”

It is the race organizer’s policy to not issue refunds, but they are offering those that signed up deferrals to future races. Any participants that signed up for this year’s Sports Weekend will be granted a deferral to next year’s event, which is scheduled for Sept. 18-19.

The website continued, “We know you’ve put in months of training — getting up early, logging long miles, and making sacrifices in your daily lives. We are runners too — we know what goes into getting yourself ready for race day. You’ve spent time and money, and we are so disappointed that we can’t celebrate together on race day.

“Our small staff & volunteers put our hearts & souls into every event we put on. We take great care in planning for our races, which involves pre-production expenses and commitments — everything from your race swag to on-course fuel, your finish line party, to making sure we have enough porta-potties. We love what we do. We wish you good health for you and your family!”

The next race event on the schedule for Focus Multisports is the Bethany-Fenwick Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. For more information on the event, check out the organizer’s website at www.focusmultisports.com or email them at info@focusmultisports.com.

Staff Reporter

Jason has been in journalism for 20 years. He moved to Coastal Delaware in August 2017 with his wife, Jessica, and their daughters, Kylie, 17, and Grace, 12. He has a passion for high-school sports and especially values the relationships that builds.