ETA: I wrote a different version of this post with more info here: The Deceit of Dave English & The Folly of the NJ Liberty Run Marathon.
Every day I’m getting more information about fiasco that was the New Jersey Liberty Run Marathon and Fleet Week Festival. I’ll be updating the timeline in the next couple of days when I have a bit more time (I’m traveling right now), but I wanted to post a few more of my thoughts summarizing some of the new info gathered. My sources are the 2013 NJ Liberty Run Marathon Facebook page, comments from other participants, the 2013 NJ Liberty Run Marathon brochure, and several emails between Dave English, Ilya, and a few other parties.
English, a former US Marine, is the race organizer/director of NJ Liberty Run Marathon and Fleet Week Festival. According to the brochure, the proceeds from this event was “going directly into the New Jersey communities where it is needed the most.” This same information (and wording) can be found their the Liberty Run Marathon site. But in addition, on the Liberty Run Marathon site, the charities that would be supported are Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Fisher House (another organization helping the military and their family), The Injured MarineSemper Fi Fund, USO, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Friends of Liberty State Park, and Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Out of the eight charities listed, only two would directly connected to New Jersey. I’m sure the other organizations are fine organizations that do important and critical work, but the brochure advertises that the proceeds will help NJ communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. The brochure did not say anything about supporting the military as well. From the brochure and from parts of the site, participants would get the impression that local New Jersey organizations would be the sole beneficiaries of the proceeds. Whether this would actually be true is not clear based upon the listing of charities on the site.
Also from the brochure, the Liberty Run Foundation claims that they had been supporting Statue of Liberty-Ellis Foundation, Liberty State Park, and the surrounding Hudson County community for “many years.” I don’t know how true this is. There are two records of a $5000 donation to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Foundation in 1985 and a $92 donation to Liberty State Park in 2013. It bears checking out whether Liberty Run Foundation has given other donations in the intervening years.
On the website, Liberty Run Foundation claims to be registered non-profit organization, but it isn’t.
Aside from the whole mess of the cancelled events, I’m struck by English’s complete and utter lack of willingness to accept responsibility for accepting his failure. Time and time again he lies (or is in denial). If you talk to him, everything wrong that happened is not his fault. Rather it’s extenuating circumstances or other people who won’t work with him to find a solution. When the marathon and half marathon was cancelled, English blamed the city and the on-going construction along the course route. However, Jersey City denies this and states that it was English’s incomplete permit application that forced the races to be cancelled.
At Liberty State Park, English spoke with Sinthya about the 5K cancellation. Sinthya commented on the previous post, “He was telling me that “they” I assume meaning the city or Park police had “called” the race bc of the weather since the park was supposedly destroyed last year during a mud run in similar rainy conditions.” This contradicts what Ben was told by a race official that there was no permit for a race at Liberty State Park, so there will be no race. Ben did a little bit of research and found this information on getting a permit for special events at Liberty State Park. In order to have an event, a permit must be filed 90 days before the event is to take place and everything (insurance, fees, signing) needs to be completed 30 days before the event. The races and the concerts were supposed to have taken place in Jersey City around Exchange Place. On May 14th, when the marathon and half marathon were cancelled, English declared that the 5K and post-race concert were going to take place in Liberty State Park, 11 days before the events were supposed to take place. There’s no way English was going to get a permit approved in this short a time frame. Rather than accept responsibility and admit that he messed up, he’s blaming the rainy weather. English said that he can’t have the race because the city or Park cancelled the race.
The only mud run in Liberty State Park that I know about was the Original Mud Run that was held on July 1, 2012. According to Historical Weather, the weather that was hot (average temp of 84, with a high of 94 with 0 precipitation). Giving English the benefit of doubt, I searched the site for what the weather was like up to five days prior to July 1st. The weather was warm with no rain. Not a single drop. English’s excuse that that rainy weather during a mud run destroying Liberty State Park is looking more feeble.
The day before English cancelled the marathon and half marathon, he sent an email to a participant denying that the races were cancelled. In the email he gave no hint or clue that anything was amiss. A couple days before the 5K, English cancelled the concert but didn’t inform any of the racers of this. He continued to say through Facebook that the 5K was going to happen.
The organization of the event spelled out fiasco from the beginning and a few people from the running community in Jersey City expressed their concerns. The sheer level of incompetence is unbelievable. If English intended to commit a scam, he couldn’t even do a good scam because this was so messed up. I have a hard time believing that he is a member of the US Marine because he certainly has demonstrated that he can’t make good decisions or take responsibility. But one thing I do know for sure, I don’t trust a single thing that comes from his mouth.