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Discussion: USARA 2020 Nationals cancelled

in: Adventure Racing; General

Jul 20, 2020 4:02 PM # 
Dear Racers,
After months of working through possible alternate plans and options, including the development of the USARA Strategy for COVID-19 Risk Mitigation, we are unfortunately forced to announce the cancellation of the 2020 United States Adventure Racing Association Adventure Race National Championship in Cable, Wisconsin.
Throughout this time, we have worked to create alternative protocols to mitigate risk and meet local regulations and requirements in the hopes that COVID-19 cases would decrease.
As we have gotten closer to the event date, it has become clear that many of the challenges in conducting a safe and fair USARA Nationals are insurmountable. In the end, we do not feel confident that we can ensure the safety of our participants, volunteers, staff, and host community, as well as produce an event that would have the same feel and be at the same caliber as previous USARA National Championships.
While we are seeing a return of races in some areas, USARA Nationals draw a large number of people from around the country. When combined with the challenges of obtaining local permissions and permits and having to heavily modify the event format, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 USARA National Championship.
We want to thank all of the racers who reached out and who responded to the survey for having a voice in the decision. We would also like to thank all of the USARA board members and the local race director, land managers and outfitters who worked hard over the last few months as we explored options that would allow us to hold the event. They were all looking forward to hosting you and they have all been incredibly supportive during this time.
On a positive note, we have already begun to plan next year’s 2021 Nationals and are excited to announce that the 2021 USARA Adventure Race National Championship will be in Cable, Wisconsin on September 9-12, 2021. The course and format are epic and we believe that after a disappointing 2020, this will be a very special national championship.
In addition, we will allow those teams who qualified for the 2020 USARA National Championship by competing in a regional qualifier to retain their entry spot for the 2021 National Championship.
We understand this news has been difficult to read, and it has been one of the most frustrating decisions we have ever had to make. It is difficult to express fully our disappointment in how this season has developed for everyone. Please be safe and enjoy some time off as we remain committed to the future of the USARA National Championship and look forward to seeing you next year in Cable, Wisconsin at the 2021 USARA Adventure Race National Championship.
Jul 20, 2020 4:17 PM # 
I really appreciate all of the thought and effort that went into this decision. A few weeks ago all registered racers received a detailed plan for the event to accommodate COVID safety precautions. USARA asked racers to review the plan and respond back to a survey about their opinions/ability to attend. I felt that the USARA team carefully considered public health mandates, racer input, and race organization safety when arriving at their decision.

I'm grateful that we will (hopefully) get a chance to race in Cable, WI next year.

The race is important, and the social component of our small sport is almost equally important. It would be interesting to hear others' personal ratios of importance. The interactions we have pre- and post-race are nearly as valuable as the race course itself. Under COVID precautions those social interactions would be limited, or potentially worse, taken off-site with no precautions.

So thanks to USARA for executing what I believe was a very time-intensive thought process and I am excited to enjoy Cable in 2021!!!
Jul 21, 2020 6:51 PM # 
I think that Nationals, more so than any other race, is about the social aspect as much as the race itself. While it's sad to not have the race, it would have been strange to have the event without the social aspect. 2021 is really getting itself a set of high expectations!
Jul 22, 2020 2:52 AM # 
I would have felt v conflicted about it. Sad
and relieved at the same time. Sad for the big reunion it seems to be and relieved I don’t have to worry about it. Bring it on 2021! At least, I hope!
Jul 22, 2020 12:13 PM # 
exact same, W4J! when we visited family over the 4th of July it was great to visit but the next two weeks i was on edge with "am i getting symptoms that I could have transmitted unknowingly last week?"
Jul 22, 2020 2:52 PM # 
For sure! And with my job, and my husband is in health care, our interaction circle is very small.
Aug 4, 2020 5:47 PM # 
USARA is now holding a virtual nationals, scheduled for the same weekend. Details here:
Aug 12, 2020 3:57 AM # 
The structure of the race is unclear to me. Do we have to sign up to get that information?
Aug 12, 2020 2:49 PM # 
Yes, detailed course instructions is included with your registration confirmation email. But here's a general overview:

Stage 1: Run/Trek – minimum 3 hours with at least 1 hour of off-trail travel
Stage 2: Cycling – minimum 3 hours
Stage 3: Non-Bike/Run Discipline - minimum 2 hours - examples: paddling, swimming, climbing, skiing, caving, etc...

In at least two of these stages, you must include an element of map and compass navigation (permanent or self-designed orienteering course) or find at least 5 geocaches with the Geocaching app
Aug 12, 2020 4:30 PM # 
So we can plan our own routes or use routes posted by other members?

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