[ This is a copy of an email that was sent out to our mailing list on March 12, 2021 – it contains updates for all of our events including Afton. If you did not receive this as an email and would like to join our mailing list, you can do so HERE https://www.aftontrailrun.com/join-our-mailing-list/ – as always, the best way to stay informed is to visit our website as we will not always email. Thank you. ]
I hope this note finds you all well as we emerge from Winter, and close in on the Spring equinox. The reason for my email today is to let you know that we are both excited and humbled to be moving forward with a modified Zumbro event this year. To be sure, this will be unlike any Rocksteady Running event you have been too over the past few years. As I first envisioned, and then started planning this year’s Zumbro, it dawned on me that it will likely be really similar to what the first (official) Zumbro was like back in 2009 – really quiet, really low key, and of course super challenging and fun.
We have worked tirelessly with our permitting agencies to come up with a plan that will allow us to host a safe event. In the spirit of full transparency, our Covid 19 Preparedness Plan, Event Logistics Plan and Participant Guide are all one in the same – you will find the link below. It is a LOT of reading (about 15 minutes), but it is super important. Here is the deal we are asking that you make with us… if you want to come and run at Zumbro, then you will read the entire document, so we are all unified in one common goal… having a safe and fun event, that respects where we are at today – improving but still not out of the woods. We want you to know that we did not make the decision to pursue a permit for this event lightly. The opportunity before us, to hold a modified event, is firmly rooted in solemn recognition of all that we have all been through this past year, those we have lost, and the unique struggles and challenges that we have all faced. Let us not forget, but, at the same time, let’s enjoy a special, life-affirming day in the woods together – over more days, in smaller numbers and at a safe distance of course.
Complete details about the 2021 Zumbro event can be found HERE should you be interested in participating http://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/zumbro-2021
For those wondering about our other events this coming year; Superior Spring Trail Race, Afton Trail Run, Superior Fall Trail Race and Endless Summer Trail Run Series, the fact that Zumbro has been permitted is no guarantee that the others will be as well. We are working through individual processes for each event; each with their own unique land managers / permitting agencies, communities and other stakeholders – all while things continue to change and morph with the public health situation and associated rules and guidelines. Additional complications such as unprecedented public use of the areas where we hold our races will also require some modifications to our events this year, regardless of where we are at with Covid in the coming months. Some of our primary permitors will not even accept a permit application outside of 60 days right now, so new information and if possible, the opening of registration for those events may not come until we are within 60 days of them, or in some cases even shorter windows. As a result this makes event planning and logistics a little uncertain and chaotic, but it is a challenge we are up for. The best that I can offer is that if you are looking for a “sure thing” and there are other events that say they are permitted and scheduled for sure, go ahead and sign up for them, we will be here for you in the years to come. Should you want to run our events, I guess the path is, keep running, stay flexible and see what happens – it is as much about the journey than it is the destination my friends. We will continue to send these communications and update our website as we have new information to share.
We are grateful for all of you that continue to reach out to us. For those that are not quite ready to run but would like to continue to support us, the best ways to do so are to; 1.) put light and positive energy out into the world, 2.) shop with us at rocksteadyrunning.com and 3.) make a donation to us HERE https://www.rocksteadyrunning.com/product/donate/ – most importantly, please let us know if there is anything that we can do to support you.
We love you, we miss you, we hope you are well.
Zumbro, Superior(S), Afton, Superior(F), ESTRS
Additional Reading, Reminders, Potential 2021 Event Dates and FAQ
* Primarily information for those interested in all of our events besides Zumbro – this years Zumbro info is set and can be found HERE http://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/zumbro-2021
• Those that were accepted into either the 2020 Superior Spring Trail Race or the 2020 Superior Fall Trail Race are still guaranteed to make it through the lottery if they apply / register in 2021 (if either race does not happen in 2021, you will have guaranteed entry in 2022) – as stated previously, you will need to pay the full entry fee. For any remaining race spots that are not claimed, which we anticipate few, the lottery will likely be conducted as normal – that said, if we need to limit the field, we may not accept any additional runners beyond those that had been accepted in 2020. Please note that for any remaining spots we will not be accepting virtual races as qualifiers.
• For all of our other, non-Superior races, they do not sell out so fast that you will miss getting in – if you register right after we let you know that registration is opening (and if you were registered in 2020, you will be some of the first to know), you will have no problem getting in, but it would be wise to act decisively if / when the time comes.
• If we can proceed with races in 2021 it is safe to assume that regardless of where things are at with the pandemic that the races will be simplified, pared down, more self-sufficient, have simpler aid stations with fewer options, no post race meals etc. Field limits may be slightly reduced and race schedules / days may be altered. Entry fees will be the same as they were in 2020 due to other modifications that we expect will increase overall event costs.
• If races can happen there is a strong chance that registration for races will open much closer to the race dates with much less time to make a decision to register – read; we do not want to open registration 6 months in advance, blindly guessing where things will be with the pandemic and associated state guidelines come race day. For those wondering about how to train amidst this uncertainty it appears your options will be to get fit and stay fit not knowing whether or not a race will actually happen or attempt to cram if/once you hear a race will be happening, that is the best we can offer in the absence of having a crystal ball.
• For those that are wondering about how to handle travel plans, lodging etc., I would expect to make those decisions very late / close to event dates and pay the associated premiums and deal with the potential lack of availability OR book early but know and fully understand the refund, cancellation and rebook policies of the airlines, hotels etc that you are using – maybe better yet for 2021 at least, plan to race closer to home, there are great events just about everywhere these days
.• In the interest of the health and safety of all involved with our events, should races resume during Covid 19, you can expect that already vetted and standardized running race industry specific and common sense modifications will be implemented as part of a comprehensive Covid 19 preparedness plan for each of our events. Specific guidelines will be tailored to state and local mandates at the time that each specific event takes place.
• All of our registration policies will remain the same as always: Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance, race registrations are not transferable to other participants, future years races or other Rocksteady Running events and transferring between distances (up or down) is not allowed. The Race Director reserves the right to modify or cancel the race or course for safety concerns, trail condition concerns natural disaster or pandemic. In such cases there will be no refunds of race entry fees. Each athlete must accept any such risk of their entry fee paid. There is no complimentary race entry to a future race. Entry fees collected are used to develop and produce the event, starting well in advance of the race date – including course preparation, race supplies, permits, administration and overhead. We will make every effort to produce a fair and safe event for all participants. Any decision we make that impacts the race date or potential cancellation is carefully considered and based on the overall event safety, sustainability and manageability.
• Dates: While not final at this point and subject to change until fully permitted and / or subject to change due to COVID, the likely race dates should be as follows. Please note that in order to keep social distance, races may be spread out over additional / more days than normal (added on before, or after the dates listed, and may include weekdays).
Superior Spring Trail Race: Historically / always the weekend before Memorial Day weekend – Saturday May 22, 2021
Afton Trail Run: Historically / always the first Saturday in July – Saturday July 3, 2021
Superior Fall Trail Race: Historically / always the weekend after Labor Day weekend – Friday September 10 and Saturday September 11, 2021
Endless Summer Trail Run Series: All yet TBD but likely an almost identical schedule to 2019 and 2020 – Lebanon in May, French in June, Lebanon again in July, Murphy and Spring Lake Park early in August.