Thank you for your patience as we have monitored the spread of COVID-19. This is a frustrating time for all of us as we have seen numerous races canceled and it makes you wonder when we will get back to normal.
Three weeks ago, when we posted our last update, we started to see an upward trend in the number of COVID cases in North Texas. In a short time, this trend has grown aggressively resulting in Governor Abbott rolling back parts of the Texas reopening plan. There is too much uncertainty with how the virus is spreading to move forward with the remainder of our 2020 race season.
With deep regret, now is the time to make the call and cancel this year’s events. Our expenses have been minimal to date and allows me to provide a full refund to anyone registered for Six-O or Lake Murray.
There are several factors that went into this decision:
- Three of the four remaining races are in areas with much lower spread than the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area. I don’t feel it’s responsible to encourage large numbers of people to travel to these communities and potentially seed an outbreak there. I certainly don’t want that on my conscience.
- Many of our runners and volunteers are older and I don’t want to put them at risk. I also don’t want to be responsible for someone catching this at our event and passing it on to a loved one who is at higher risk.
- Much is still unknown about this virus. Many professional athletes and sports doctors are concerned about the long term health impacts.
- Even with waivers, liability protection from COVID is a grey area. This has been the subject of debate in Congress.
- Registration numbers will be lower due to fewer people registering or imposed capacity limits. Either situation makes it difficult to produce an event without losing money.
- This is a rapidly evolving situation and permits can be revoked up to the date of the event after many or all expenses have been incurred.
- Anyone registered for Lake Murray or Six-O will receive a full refund (minus transaction fees paid to UltraSignup). Please give us time to process the refunds. It might take a few weeks to get this sorted out in full.
- All race credits from the cancellation of the 2020 Grasslands Trail run will be valid for the 2021 or 2022 season. We don’t want anyone to feel forced to return to a large scale event before they are personally comfortable doing so.
- We are evaluating a low cost virtual run for the 2020 Rockledge Rumble to provide continuity for the race. We expect to make a final decision soon and will provide details by August 1.
- I monitor the COVID numbers daily and will continue to do so for the duration of the pandemic. If I see the numbers come down to a level where we would feel comfortable holding any of the events, we will revisit the decision for our later races.
I’m optimistic about the prospects of a vaccine being available next year that will help us get back to normal. There are a lot of very smart people in the biotech industry working on this. Over the next couple of months, we’ll confirm dates for the 2021 race season. We will be back!
In the meantime, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Please be careful out there. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in 2021.
Y’all take care!
Chris and Anne Barnwell
Blaze Trails Running.