The Triple Crown of Running is being shut down.

The Triple Crown of Running is being shut down after 35 years of operation. | Photo via Triple Crown of Running

The Louisville Triple Crown of Running, a local 5k, 10k and 10-mile series of races, is shutting down after 35 years of operation, the committee announced Thursday on Facebook.

“Due to the steady decline in participation, available sponsorship dollars and rising operating costs, the Triple Crown Race Committee came to the only viable conclusion,” the post said. “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 Triple Crown featured the Anthem 5k Fitness Classic, the Rodes City Run 10k and the Papa John’s 10 Miler.

The races supported the WHAS Crusade for Children, which is a nonprofit that provides resources to better the lives of children with special needs. It was started by WHAS-TV in 1954. The Triple Crown of Running raised almost $1.8 million for the Crusade over the last 20 years, according to an email from the race organizers.

“We’re heartbroken that it’s come to an end because it has been a wonderful partnership for us,” said Dawn Lee, the president and CEO of the Crusade for Children. “But at the same time, we have to look back and think about how many children have benefitted from $1.8 million.”

Lee said that the Crusade was thankful for what the Triple Crown had done over the past 20 years. She also said that the Crusade will have to “be creative” as they look for ways to make up the gap in fundraising that will be left with the Triple Crown’s absence.

The Triple Crown allowed participants to compete in any three of the legs, but they had to be registered and compete in all three in order to be eligible as a Triple Crown competitor. The races had 21 sponsors, according to its website.