[ You are receiving this email because you are registered for the 2021 Afton Trail Run. ]
I hope this email finds you happy, healthy, well trained and excited for the 27th annual Afton Trail Run on Friday July 2 and Saturday July 3, 2021.
Today is Friday June 25. Today was the day we were set to charge you for your Afton Trail Run registration. As you all learned by reviewing THIS https://www.aftontrailrun.com/afton-trail-run-2021/ prior to registering, we were not going to charge your card until one week before the race just in case the pandemic took a turn for the worse and / or if state regulations were tightened back down and we were forced to cancel the event. Fortunately, the situation with the pandemic continues to improve and we are clear to proceed as planned on that front.
Unfortunately, the Minnesota State Legislature has not yet passed, in its entirety, or the portion(s) of the Minnesota state two-year operating budget that would fund our State Park system. Minnesota enacts budgets for a two-year cycle (a biennium), beginning on July 1 of each odd-numbered year. If the overall budget agreement, or a specific funding bill / budget for the state parks is not passed by 4:00pm on June 30th, Minnesota State Parks will shut down. If the parks shut down we will be forced to cancel the Afton Trail Run. All of this said, there is a specific bill that has been introduced in order to fund the parks, allowing the parks to stay open even if other portions of the budget are not agreed upon by the July 1 deadline. Additionally, both publicly available information and information from our internal sources suggests that there is quite a bit of optimism at the state, that these bills will be passed and a government shutdown will be avoided.
So, as it sits today we will take a few more days to monitor the progress at the legislature. We will then charge your card, either 1.) as soon as the overall budget or the specific budget that funds state parks is passed OR 2.) on Tuesday June 29; whichever comes sooner. Waiting to charge you much closer to the event day of July 1 is not logistically viable as UltraSignup has several manual processes they have to go through and there is a significant administrative burden for both UltraSignup and us (Cheri and I) throughout the day that they run cards. Wednesday and Thursday I have to be out, hands-on at Afton State Park marking trail, setting up aid stations etc.
Should the government ultimately shutdown without a State Parks budget in place, we will give you the option to receive a 100% refund of your entry fee (less the UltraSignup / credit card processing fee) OR allow you to opt for a 100% rollover to the 2022 Afton Trail Run.
After what has been an uncertain year-and-a-half, I am so sorry for this added stress and uncertainty. Hopefully these budgets are passed and we can race, and this will have been just another exercise in mental resilience and adaptability. I am staying positive and keeping optimistic and I hope you will too!
Finally, be on the lookout early next week for some final event info and updates. I can’t wait to see you all!