2020 Blue Ridge Relay response to COVID-19
- Let’s Run! September 11-12, 2020…If the current COVID-19 crisis is resolved, restrictions are removed and government guidelines give a green light for large gatherings (and races) to resume. BRR staff is working and planning and BRR will be ready to run on schedule.
Most of the work that BRR staff completes throughout the year is from the office…phone calls, emails, permits, permissions, volunteer recruitment and scheduling, supplies procurement, etc… However, we also spend lots of time on the course meeting with community leaders, volunteer captains and groups, driving the course, etc… We are on schedule as we diligently work through many of these meetings remotely.
- Alternate Date…October 16-17, 2020. If the current COVID-19 crisis continues through the summer and September is still on the cusp of COVID-19 restrictions. This is the date that we’re currently exploring with all of our permits.
- Cancellation…As stated in #1, we’re working and planning for 2020 BRR. However, if the current COVID-19 crisis continues into the Fall and we cannot host 2020 BRR on the scheduled or postponed date, then teams have 3 options:
A: Refund… We will offer to refund your team entry fee. We believe that this is the only choice. In good faith, those teams who registered before the COVID-19 crisis hit the USA or registered in the midst of the crisis should not be penalized.
B: Virtual 2020 BRR…Start times will be posted, runners can run the applicable leg miles from home, teams can conduct virtual handoffs and teams can still log the 208 miles…in sequence. We will ship your 2020 BRR shirts and finisher awards, and go after this year’s BRR in an unusually epic manner. If your team participates in the virtual 2020 BRR, any race-day related expenses not incurred will be offered as a refund.
BRR does not require teams to recruit volunteers nor does BRR impose an extra “volunteer fee”. BRR exchange zones are staffed by local community groups recruited by BRR. A percentage of every entry fee supports these community groups who rely heavily on BRR contributions…for many, BRR is their largest fundraiser of the year. These groups do a lot of work, with few resources and have a life-changing impact in the lives of many in need in our small mountain communities. Obviously, in a virtual BRR these community groups will not be serving BRR, but teams can still support these community groups with the entry fee.
C: I appeal to your team to not accept a refund in whole or part to support BRR staff and/or BRR community groups. BRR is a year-long event for teams as you recruit, train, plan, etc… BRR is also a year-long event for your BRR staff. Much time and expense has already been incurred in the planning and preparation for 2020 BRR, and it will continue up to race date. Blue Ridge Endurance is a small business and it’s always a joy to host BRR teams/runners. In addition, we’re thankful that BRR can have big impact in our small mountain communities. We can’t offer curbside service, can’t open our doors when the current health crisis abates, etc… Our time and financial investment is to host 2020 BRR.
As our attention remains on the current health crisis, we continue to pray for those whose health and families have been impacted. We hope for a restored tomorrow.
Thank you for running with us. You are greatly appreciated. Hoping to see you at The Start!
Ken Sevensky, BRR Director