2020 RLT Relays and Convid-19
- Created: Friday, 03 April 2020 21:57
I know you've been inundated with covid-19 news over the last couple of weeks. Still, I wanted to keep you informed about the plans for August's and September's Wild West and Flaming Foliage Relays, and what our policy will be if we are not able to stage the relays.
Unfortunately, I have some experience with cancelling relay races.
In 2012, I had a one-day relay, the Front Range Relay, from Fort Collins to Boulder. The day before the relay began, a lightning strike caused a small wildfire to start in the foothills of Larimer County. It became known as the High Park Fire. Race morning I awoke to the Front Range blanketed in a thick smoke. I sent an email from the start letting everyone know the race was cancelled, but teams could come by the start to pick up their race shirts. Many teams came by and offered their support and understanding.
The following year, 2013, the first year of the Flaming Foliage Relay, were the September floods. The day before the start, I started getting emails from some team volunteers saying they could not get out of their town. Some of my staff and I were in a hotel in Evergreen after setting up part of the course. That evening about 8 PM, I received a call from the State Patrol to let me know I-70 was closed with no projected opening time. So, the night before the relay, about 8 hours before the first teams were scheduled to start, I let everyone know that roads along the Front Range were impassible and the relay was cancelled. Luckily, we were able to make it back to my home in Englewood where two friends helped me package and mail the shirts and medals to all the teams.
The reason races have a no refund policy is because by race morning, almost all the work is completed, and a great majority of all the supplies and equipment has been ordered and put into place. Staff and suppliers still must be paid. In both of the above relays, I tabulated what money I didn't have to spend because the races weren't run, and offered teams either a small refund, or I would take that amount and donate it to organizations that either suffered from, or contributed to the recovery. Due to the generosity of the teams, I sent sizable donations to volunteer fire departments and organizations doing restoration projects on flood damage.
This year is a bit different; we have advanced warning that there may be issues that prevent the relays from being held. The restrictions there are now on the size of events could still be in effect.
At this point in the process, the paperwork for the many permits needed have been submitted and the fees paid. As the finisher medals come from China, they have been ordered, paid for, and are just about ready to be shipped. Non-profit groups have been contacted for staffing the runner exchanges.
Moving forward, I must proceed as if the relays will happen so that if we are able to run, the relays will have the quality organization they are known for and you can expect.
If the relays cannot be held, the no refund policy will be in place. However, like I have done in the past, I will calculate those expense that were not spent and that amount will be credited to teams for 2021. The more notice I have, the less will be spent in costs that cannot be recouped and can be credited to 2021.
Believe me, it is more work to cancel a running event than it is to run it.