A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Warning: Don't run the Safe Harbor Half!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... After the Safe Harbor Half Marathon (aka, the race from hell!) I decided I needed to alert the proper authorities about the harrowing experience the runners had. I wanted to contact...

1. The organization the put on the race.
2. Local runners so they know not to run it.
3. The police.

I found the race on the New Holland Bicycle page. I didn't know what sort of organization that is or who is in charge, so I clicked on "contact us" and wrote a message to let them know what went on at a race they promoted on their website.

Unfortunately, the person who emailed me back was the RD. 
It looks like the whole thing is his operation. He IS the authority. This is the email I received from him:

"Thanks for emailing us. We talked to the neighbors in the area afterward and have found that they have had great trouble with this person in the past.  He is mentally ill. Compounding the problem, the neighbors have told us he thinks he owns property he does not.  We are rerouting the course for next year.

We are offering a credit (free) to our next run, a 5k/10k in Wernersville, Pa (Reading Area) on May 5th to runners
who were inconvenienced. Please email if you can attend. The run is up and down steep roads only.   You can win a pair of running shoes at this event."

Okay, first of all, they are rerouting the course for next year? NEXT YEAR? Second, thanks but no thanks on the free entry to another one of your races! Third, "to the runners who were inconvenienced"????? INCONVENIENCED!!!!???

I emailed the RD back to ask if he called the police. This is the response I got:

"I was told the neighbor called it in.  Also, one of the neighbors kept an eye out for the runners that tried to complete more than the 13 mile loop re-routed."

This information is just NOT lining up. When I finished my first 4.2 mile loop, the RD told us there was a "grumpy neighbor". How did he know that? There is no cell phone reception. I was with the first group of runners who didn't encounter the grumpy neighbor, so we were the first ones to complete a loop. Yet the RD knew about the angry man before we got back.

I am seriously wondering if the RD sent us past this dude's house on purpose? I mean, his house was actually depicted on the map he gave us!

I bet I know why the RD didn't call the police. I bet he didn't have any permits for his dumb race.

As far as letting other runners in the area know to BEWARE of races put on by this guy, I posted my story in several local running Facebook groups. So far, my blog post about the race has had over 2000 views. I think I was successful in getting the word out to warn people!

The last thing I decided to do was call the police. I heard the neighbors had called the police and the woman who was shot at  told me she called the police. I decided to call as well. The state police has jurisdiction over the area and the officer I talked to claimed they didn't get any other calls about this incident and seemed skeptical of my story. He asked me why I didn't report it on Saturday. He made me feel pretty stupid. I thought it's better to report something than not!?

So that's the story. The last thing I want to say is that from now on I really need to research a race before I run it. If it's the first year for the race (as this was) I need to contact the race director and find out more information.

Lesson learned!


  1. I think you did the right thing by making those contacts and alerting other runners.

  2. EXACTLY! I thought things didn't line up when I read your race recap because the RD mentioned the grumpy neighbor right from the start. How did he know he was grumpy? When did he find out? And what did the guy say to make the RD thing he was grumpy?

    I don't think the RD was being malicious sending you around this guy's house but he also didn't do his due diligence enough either.

    Second I'm really sorry to hear the police reacted the way they did. It's unfortunate that someone so mentally ill, the he not only threatened but actually shot at innocent runners, has a gun. I hope the police follow up on this; it sounds like all they need to do is talk to this guy's neighbors to get an idea of what mental state he's in and to try and get him help.

    What a seriously crazy race. I'm glad you alerted other local runners!

    1. It is a mystery. I am honestly not convinced he knew about this. I mean unless a runner turned around and told him, thus getting back to the start before us? I hope the officer who talked to me just was new or something and wasn't aware of the guy, and after filing my info, talked to others and got some more stories. I can only hope. Oh well, I did my part!

  3. I think you did the right thing and am so sorry you were met with such opposition. I think the blog posts are a good way to warn people about this race and honestly, this is worse publicity for the RD to have this published. Another thing you could do is, if you're a half fanatic or marathon maniac (dunno if you are or not), is warn those groups. There are a lot of fanatics and maniacs looking for races to moon up or become 50 staters and this is definitely one to avoid. Some races have good or bad reputations in those groups, too.

    1. I never heard of a half fanatic or marathon maniac! I am guessing they are facebook groups? I could warn them as well. Someone in one of the local running groups just recommended this site this morning: https://www.bibrave.com/ So I will go on there and review as well. Thanks for the tips.

    2. Bib Rave and also Race Raves, I think it is.

      Half Fanatics are a huge group! I'm kinda surprised you haven't heard of them. You can google it, but they do have a facebook group. They run multiple half marathons, sometimes back to backs and have "levels" of membership. It's pretty neat for anyone who likes half marathons. My friend is a maniac- she's run 100+ marathons and almost all in costume. They have a reputation of being "fun runners", but there are some pretty speedy maniacs and fanatics out there too (even a sub-group of maniacs who want to run a sub-4 hour marathon in every state).

    3. Wow, sounds like a great community!

  4. I am so angry reading this post...Of course the RD is dismissive. Of course the officer you spoke to is, too. Why do I get a feeling if a male runner had called in the incident, he wouldn't have been so flippant? I bet you're right about the permits. I also think you did the right thing!!

    1. Well I did my part. I don't know what else to do. I'm pissed as well!

  5. This race director was very irresponsible and it seems his only priority was to make money.

    I am very glad you are safe!