LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The popular Triple Crown of Running event is being canceled.

The organization behind the event posted the news on Twitter on Thursday morning. It wrote that after 35 years, the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic, Rodes City Run 10K and Papa John's 10 Miler will no longer be held. The 2019 series was the final event.

The Triple Crown of Running statement says the fate of the races was decided because of declining participation, rising costs and the competition for sponsorship money.

Organizers sent a letter to people who had participated in the events in the past thanking them for the support.

The LTCOR could not continue to create the type of experience that would meet their standards and measure up to the quality events they have nurtured for nearly four decades. The committee worked with a number of great people and organizations in an attempt to get ahead of these challenges prior to the 2020 race season to find collaborative solutions. In the end they had to make the difficult, but necessary decision not to move forward with the events.

The organization thanked its many sponsors for support over the years. 

Runners are disappointed, to say the least.

"It makes me sad," Adrienne Early said.

"It's really honestly pretty devastating to see this happen," Zoe Thompson added.

Fleet Feet in St. Matthews was a sponsor. Operating partner Erin Bailey wasn't surprised by Thursday's news.

"As a sponsor, we knew that the numbers were declining each year," she said. "It's hard to get sponsorship dollars. It's hard to get people just to write a check."

The Triple Crown of Running race series has contributed $2 million to local charities including the Crusade for Children. 

The Kentucky Derby Festival shared the following statement with WDRB News:

“The miniMarathon was part of the Triple Crown of Running in the early years. We appreciated the partnership and know it’s become a staple in Louisville. We hate to see that it’s going away. Because the running community is so supportive of the Derby Festival, we’d be open to conversations about creating a running series that feeds into the mini and Marathon.”

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