After Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s Covid-19 update this past Thursday May 6, I have gotten a few questions regarding whether or not the lifting of restrictions for outdoor events is going to change how we will be proceeding with the 2021 Superior Spring Trail Race, May 20-23. The short answer is no, not really, and here is why.
• In order to secure permits for this year’s event, we entered into an exhaustive permitting process with each of the four permitting agencies that have jurisdiction over the race; each with their own protocols, some more restrictive than the states. Our permit was approved based on our very detailed and very specific Covid Operating Plan. With the event under two weeks away, there is not enough time to revise, resubmit, obtain approval and implement a new race plan.
• Runners have already registered for certain days / waves, have arranged work schedules, made family and lodging plans, etc.
• Everyone has a different risk tolerance, and while in light of the very new outdoor event guidance from the state, we could in theory hold an event that more closely resembles races of years past, it is still early days and we want to be respectful of the risk tolerances of those that have already signed up for this year’s race and the premise under which everyone has signed up thus far.
• When it comes to our events and our runners and volunteers’ safety and health in general, I will always error on the side of caution. We are in the early days of the lifting of restrictions for outdoor events and race organizations (and the agencies that permit them) in Minnesota are still trying to decipher exactly what this all means going forward. Rocksteady Running does not plan on flipping a switch and saying ‘wala, we are back to normal’, instead we are going to remain cautious and take a measured approach as we hopefully transition back to normal. We aim to be respectful of ALL of our participants’ varied risk tolerances, and the risk tolerance of the general public that will invariably come into contact with our events.
• Finally, while we in the United States we are standing on the doorstep of better days ahead, I think it is important that we continue to be cognizant of the power of this illness, and its effect on our global community, witnessed no more starkly than by the current tragic impacts that the pandemic is having in India and other hotspots throughout the world.
So, all of that said, everything will remain as outlined in our Superior Spring Trail Race Covid 19 Preparedness Plan, Event Logistics Plan and Participant Guide with the one notable exception that we would like to welcome the friends / family members of our runners to come to the finish line and cheer in your runner, and that runners should feel free to spread out and enjoy the atmosphere after you finish, again, keeping in mind that while there are new changes in the guidance, everyone is still adjusting to these new norms. Please give folks space (both literally and figuratively) as we all make these transitions together. Our Zumbro event was awesome, and this is going to be awesome.
Finally, I wanted to give you an update on where we are sitting with registration for this year’s race. At this point nearly all of the spots have been taken for Saturday but there are still spots available on Thursday, Friday and Sunday – please help us get the word out as we would love to welcome more runners to the North Shore in a couple of weeks. I had the opportunity to run the entire race course last week from Carlton Peak to Lutsen and it was absolutely fricking glorious. The snowpack was gone earlier this year than I can remember, so generally the trail has been in better shape than normal this early Spring. I am sure we will get some rain over the next 10 days and there is always a chance for some mud, but overall, it should be really, really good.
I will have another update for you in about a week with some final thoughts and updates about this year’s race, then we will see you up in Lutsen! Thanks a ton for your time today.