Triathlon in New Mexico Cancelled Due to Security Concerns

Air Force Base

(from Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2013) At Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico there was supposed to be a run, bike, swim scheduled this weekend. The Jay Benson Triathlon was suddenly cancelled by the owners when they were unable to fulfill last minute security requirements. Duane Kinsley, the owner of the race and Sport Systems athletic store, said the last minute decision to cancel the race was the store’s failure to provide further personal information than originally had on the application. There were over 2000 anticipated participants and the Air Force Base was requiring the additional information including full name, middle initial, driver’s license, and full social security number in order for the ability of background checks before the race.

Duane said the Base did not mention that the increased security was due to the Boston Marathon bombing, but these requirements came from the base within the last two weeks. “We were on track with security requirements until two weeks ago. We’re not upset that they have these requirements, it’s just unfortunate timing”, he said. There was no possibility to inform all 2000 participants in this amount of time regarding that they were supposed to arrive to the race only an hour before starting time.

This cancelation will be devastating for his store, but Duane said he will be looking for another venue for future triathlons. Sport Systems athletic store does not have insurance to refund participants the way they want to, which will add even a greater impact on the financials of the store.

Other events since the bombings have occurred successfully even with the intense security. Some of these events include the London Marathon, Five Boro Bike Tour, and the Penn Relays track and field competition. A spokesperson for the Kirtland Air Force Base said, “Regrettably, compressed timelines since the Boston incident did not allow participating individuals to provide necessary information to access the installation.”