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The 45th annual Canal Run is embracing the challenges of 2020 by moving to a virtual event.
“Putting on a safe, memorable and high-quality event is always our number one priority,” Race Director Angela Luskin said. “With everything we know and have researched, that would be put in jeopardy with an in-person event on July 18.”
The virtual event is free for all participants, and runners are invited to participate anytime between Monday, July 13 to Sunday, July 19. Runners can register free at www.canal.run, and are asked to send their results in via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or post them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We’ll be working with local sponsors to create a Copper Country Strong gift package for two random participants.
Anyone interested in getting a commemorative t-shirt will need to select that option while registering online. T-shirts will cost $20, can be shipped out to racers where they live, and will have a “virtual” badge on them to help us remember this historic year.
Anyone who is already registered for this year’s event can choose between a full refund of their registration, pushing their registration to 2021 or donating their registration fee to Canal Run, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
The decision to move to virtual wasn’t made lightly. The Canal Run organizing committee researched all options and sifted through 296 survey responses before making this decision. In the end, it was decided to keep our event in July and moving to a virtual experience was the best option.
“This year has been really hard,” Luskin said. “Our committee is made up of an all-volunteer team dedicated to providing a safe, memorable and high-quality event. We’re devastated that an in-person event can’t happen, but we hope this virtual event helps participants celebrate the Canal Run in their own way. We hope this year’s virtual Canal Run brings joy to people like this great event has for four and a half decades.”
Additional information will be announced in the coming weeks on the Canal Run website at www.canal.run or by following Canal Run on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
It is a difficult decision to make, but a mix of safety, logistics, finances and volunteer support didn’t leave the Canal Run’s organizing committee with much of a choice. While the state of Michigan is continuing to open up and indeed is allowing 500-people outdoor gatherings now, that’s not enough for us to feel confident in planning our event. We usually see a crowd more than double that size gathers at Quincy Green after the race, and that’s about how many we expect at the five-mile start each year. Logistics involved with safely pulling off transportation, crowded race starts, handing out food and water to participants, and keeping bathrooms and other shared spaces sanitized are all too big of question marks right now. The financial considerations are also sizable. This event costs roughly $30,000 to put on each year. Even a scaled-down event would likely cost as much as $10,000. Then comes the matter of revenue, with concerns over an outbreak likely keeping more people home, we would expect a much smaller crowd of participants this year. Finding corporate sponsors during this kind of economic environment is also difficult. On the volunteer front, we would likely need more volunteers at a time when finding volunteers is more difficult than it has ever been. Given these concerns, we feel confident hosting a scaled-down Canal Run on July 18 isn’t feasible.
We do look forward to bringing the Canal Run community a memorable experience this year, whether that’s a virtual event on July 18, or moving the event back to September. If you would like to provide your input please complete our survey by Sunday, June 14 at 11:59 p.m.
The Canal Run’s organizing committee is committed to conducting a safe event for our participants. We’ve been doing this for more than four decades, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not letting that commitment to safety waiver.
For the first time since our Event Alert System (EAS) was introduced, we are currently at alert level black, which means we’re canceling the in-person Canal Run. More information on the EAS can be found below.
Below are some tidbits about what you need to know.
In the meantime, those of you out training are reminded to follow social distancing guidelines at all times during training.
The Event Alert System (EAS) communicates the status of course conditions to participants leading up to and on race day. The levels range from Low (green) to Moderate (yellow) to High (red) to Extreme (black) based on a variety of factors, including weather conditions. All participants should familiarize themselves with the Event Alert System prior to the race, remain alert for directions from race officials and announcers and take precautions to prepare properly for varying weather conditions on race day. EAS Levels during race week will inform participants of the current event status and provide preparation tips based on advance weather forecasts or other factors.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Phone: (906) 483-1153
921 W. Sharon Ave.
Houghton, MI 49931