The annual 24-mile mountain run from Girdwood to Eagle River has been canceled due to safety concerns, according to the University of Alaska Anchorage.

UAA says university leadership engaged in extensive discussion regarding safety and the university’s responsibility to bring additional communication and medical support resources to the race.

“This one-year pause will help ensure we can add the resources necessary to respond swiftly to incidents on the trail,” said race director and UAA Associate Athletic Director Michael Friess. “We have always gone above and beyond to ensure that participating athletes are qualified and that they understand and embrace the risks associated with this race.”

Friess continued that while the risks of mountain racing will never be diminished, UAA can improve its ability to respond to incidents.

“The safety of runners and preserving the awesome beauty of the Crow Pass trail will continue to be our priorities in organizing this event,” Friess said.

UAA says leadership will meet with authorities, key stakeholders, State Park authorities and wildlife experts to assess the race plans and determine augmentations to the safety, communication and medical response elements of their classic Alaska race.

“It is incumbent upon the university to lead the way in terms of safety, education and prevention,” said Pat Shier, interim vice chancellor Administrative Services.

Race registrants received an email announcing the suspension of this year’s race on Friday. The note also included an option to receive a refund or donate their registration fee to the Eagle River Nature Center and Healthy Futures in honor of Patrick “Jack” Cooper, the 16-year-old boy who died as a result of a bear mauling while running a race last weekend on Bird Ridge.