Cue Crazy Train by Ozzy Osborne. You may have heard that song at one of our start lines so hopefully that’ll bring a smile to your face. Times are definitely crazy right now and we know everyone is just trying to get through this crisis. It’s hard to keep a hopeful outlook when things you’ve been working for are getting yanked away (important work projects, school, and of course races). Here’s where we are today with our upcoming races.
First, know that our driving force is to hold as many of our events as we can, if and when it is safe and prudent to do so. If that isn’t a possibility, then we will work hard to reschedule. Our last choice is to cancel a race. Putting on races is what we do, year-round, and it truly gives us joy. Disappointing runners because we have to cancel a race is the absolute worst.
Wood You Rather. This April race is postponed. We want to reschedule this event for later this year, but do not have a date identified yet.
Smith Rock Ascent. This May race is postponed. We are working very hard right now on a new date for the Fall. We are in the midst of rescheduling the various and necessary services that we use (parking and shuttles, for example) and hope to have something nailed down this week or next. UPDATE 3/28: Race is cancelled. We are sadly unable to reschedule for 2020. Email sent to all racers on 3/28.
Portland Trail Series. We are already preparing for the possibility of rescheduling the Spring Series. If we do, it will likely affect the Summer and Fall Series dates, so they will could be rescheduled too. UPDATE 3/20: The Series is rescheduled! New dates are on the race page. Email sent to all registered racers on 3/20.
Stumptown Trail Runs. We have not made a final decision about this half marathon or 50K yet. Since these races are in May, we are expecting that we will have to reschedule or cancel. This one is extra challenging because we aren’t allowed to have two races in one week in Forest Park, and the Memorial Day holiday allowed us to spread this over two weeks by having one distance on Saturday and the other on Monday. Additionally, the 50K is proving tough to reschedule as there are construction projects in Forest Park later this year that will eliminate our ability to use some of the trails. We are tenacious though, and haven’t given up yet on a new date. UPDATE 3/23: We are working to reschedule Stumptown to October. Email sent to all registered racers on 3/23.
Wy’east Wonder, Mt. Hood Races, Bend Trail Series, and Bristow 24/12 Run. These races are in June and July, and at this point, we are hopeful to have them as scheduled. Consider us eternal optimists, but we are not working on options for our races beyond June because 1) we’re focused on these earlier races first and 2) we expect that they will continue as planned. But if this crazy virus situation continues, we will prepare options for the rest of our races.
Rescheduling a race is almost like creating a new race. It first involves the permitting agencies. What dates are even available to use the trails and venue? Some have seasonal restrictions so moving an event to another time of year isn’t even allowed. Once we have a date or two identified, then we begin contacting all the vendors and services who were already committed, negotiating on already paid deposits and new pricing, assuming they are available for the new date.
With the race cancellations and postponements happening all around us, and a limited number of service providers, their schedules are going to get maxed out quickly. If a vendor is already booked for another race, then we have to find a new supplier, or decide to give up on using that service, i.e. go to manual timing the race ourselves instead of hiring a professional timing company, or preparing the post-race food on our own instead of hiring a caterer or maybe not even providing a post-race meal. We want to get a new date communicated to everyone as soon as possible and don’t need to have everything absolutely 100% figured out to do that, but we do want a decent idea of what the event will look like before we get everyone’s hopes up with a new schedule.
Because of all the uncertainty that exists right now, we have pushed the registration opening dates to June for our races that aren’t already open (Elk-Kings Trail Races, Lastest Not Fastest, Portland Trail Series Summer and Fall). We have capped all of our currently-open-but-not-yet-sold-out races through mid-August, so no new signups can occur. Wait lists are in place and people can still get on one since there is not a cost or fee to do so. When we reopen registration, we’ll invite people in from the wait list until we get to our permitted capacities. This hurts as it stops the registration revenue for our company and possibly results in lower entrants numbers when we do have the race. But we think this is an appropriate action to take to reduce the number of people who would register not understanding the ramifications of a potential race cancellation. 4/1 UPDATE: Elk-Kings Trail Races and Lastest Not Fastest are now open, but only as a wait list. The NUT 50K & 17M, our only other race that was open, is now also a wait list.
If we have to cancel a race because we can not reasonably reschedule it, we will give all registered participants a 65% race credit. This is greater than what our cancellation policy states we would do, but it feels better given the situation. We are not able to provide refunds and do not rollover entries to the following year as these options would not allow us to continue to be in business. Race credits are good at any of our races and are available to use for 12 months. UPDATE: We extended Smith Rock Ascent credits for two years.
In all cases, no matter how far in advance the cancellation is announced, we will have already spent money on that race. A lot of purchasing and work does happen in the two months right before a race, but we are working on your events year-round, beginning the week after a race happens. Different organizers will have different cancellation policies based on their abilities to produce events now and into the future. We are a small business; it is just Todd and Renee, our kids when we can bribe them to help, and a whole lot of volunteers who also care deeply about the running community. We are doing the best we can to be able to continue to put on races for you.
We will continue to provide updates on our races as they occur. When a specific race is impacted, we will email all the registered runners, waitlisters, and volunteers. We will continue to heavily use Facebook to share information. Our website will always have the most current information and especially for those not on social media, this should be your go-to resource. Our inboxes are a bit fuller than normal, but continue to be the best way to contact us directly. The Contact Us form on our website is the absolute best way to reach us. Our hours are odd, but you can expect an answer to your email within a day or sooner.
We cannot wait to see you at a start line! Stay healthy and, yes, we’re going to say it, wash your hands.