OCEAN CITY – Special events proposed this week hit a soft spot as the Mayor and City Council may change protocol for supporting events.
The council was presented with a hand full of special event requests this week that were awaiting approval. Two of the events, Ocean City 5 Mile Run and Seaside 10 Mile Run, were presented by OC Tri-Running’s Chris Klebe.
Klebe explained that the 5 Mile Boardwalk Run is a kickoff to a fitness challenge weekend.
“We do a bike ride in Berlin, and then we do a triathlon the very next day at Assateague Island,” Klebe said.
This will be the event’s third year in Ocean City and Klebe said, “It is very well liked from what the feedback is from the runners.”
The 5 Mile will cost the town around $264 total, and the 10 Mile will cost around $7,433.
“I can vow for some of the expense because I know that is a big issue,” Klebe said. “We usually handle everything from start to finish…however the Seaside 10 does not allow us.”
Klebe explained the cost to the town is caused by labor costs to set up and breakdown the event, due to liability issues.
“We’re not trying to take anybody’s job away from them but we’re capable of doing it,” Klebe said.
Council President Jim Hall asked if the Seaside 10 Mile Run was for profit.
“It is for profit,” Klebe said. “If you want to call it that, after we cover all the expenses.”
Jim Hall asserted that the council is trying to get to the point where the town will not support for-profit events so that the taxpayers do not have to pay for them.
“We want to get out of financing these special events,” Jim Hall said, “especially these for-profit events.”
According to Klebe, the races routes for both the 5 Mile and 10 Mile.
Earlier this month, the Mayor and City Council were approached with the proposal for Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure event.
Susan G. Komen asked for their race route to be looped, beginning in the Inlet lot and proceeding north on Baltimore Avenue, then move to the Boardwalk to continue south back towards the Inlet.
The police department commented that 40 to 45 officers would have to be assigned to the event for traffic control of the 32 intersections on Baltimore Avenue and general patrol on the Inlet lot, which would be a total cost close to $12,000. The proposed route also calls for Baltimore Avenue to be closed over a six-hour period.
The department suggested eliminating Baltimore Avenue from the route all together, keeping the race just to the Boardwalk. This would reduce the number of officers needed, significantly lowering the cost to the town, and minimizes disruptions to residents and businesses on Baltimore Avenue as well as providing more exposure to Boardwalk businesses.
The council voted to hold the date for the Race for a Cure, and the Susan G. Komen team will work with city staff to finalize a race route.
Councilman Doug Cymek questioned Klebe on the race route of the Seaside 10 Mile Run.
“It will go the full length of the Boardwalk. Before it used to run down Baltimore Avenue and then it became a financial issue for the town,” Klebe said.
Organizers of the races changed the route to include the entire Boardwalk, instead of partially being held on Baltimore Avenue.
“Actually the runners love it because they get more of the Boardwalk,” Klebe said. “It works great for them.”
The council voted unanimously to accept both events for this year and to hold future years’ dates.
The 5 Mile Run will be on June 18 and the Seaside 10 Mile Run will be on Oct. 29.