To the Western States community:
We continue to monitor the latest developments regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the country and the world. As an organization, our commitment to everyone involved with Western States remains the same: We will do everything in our power to put on a race this year provided we feel it can be done safely and responsibly. The situation continues to be extremely fluid and dynamic. The past week alone has seen several states enact strict limitations on businesses, gatherings and the delivery of essential services. Some states and numerous cities, towns and municipalities have implemented “shelter in place” restrictions.
We want you all to know that we are working on race solutions for many of the challenges that are inherent to this time of uncertainty. All options are on the table. We continue to plan for our runners to assemble during the weekend of June 27-28, but realize that we need to be proactive as well. In the event that the coronavirus situation does not improve, we are also exploring the possibility of postponing the event to the fall or guaranteeing a spot in the 2021 race for all 2020 race entrants. We are approaching our May training weekend in the same manner. We are hopeful the training runs will be held, but are also looking at options such as consolidating the training weekend or adjusting their place on the calendar in the event we choose to postpone to the fall. We are also aware of the community’s concern regarding qualifiers for Western States. We have a committee tasked with exploring a number of options that we hope will demonstrate fairness and an equitable understanding of how the 2020 ultra calendar has been thrown into disarray because of COVID-19.
The past few days have also brought into sharp relief what a world dealing with coronavirus looks like. People throughout the world are doing all they can to minimize contact with others, to practice social/physical distancing and to avoid large gatherings. We ask that in order to stay ahead of the curve that you continue to be aware of the latest US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines in order to ensure your health and safety and the health and safety of those around you. For our international runners, this means that you understand and are following any public health restrictions or guidelines that are in place in your particular country; for runners in the United States, please abide by shelter-in-place requirements or restrictions on movement if your state or city has implemented them.
Our goal in this unprecedented time remains the same. We will do everything we possibly can to keep our community safe, and to hold our race in 2020. We will continue to update you and be as transparent as possible as we figure out the best path forward for our runners and community. Thank you for your patience and trust in these unsettling times.
Craig Thornley, Race Director
Western States Board of Trustees