Dear Runners, Volunteers, and Supporters,
It is with great disappointment that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 New England Green River Marathon. All entries will be deferred to next year’s race on Sunday, August 29, 2021 (date tentative). For details on deferral and related questions, please see the Questions & Answers section below.
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, and after discussions with our partners, including municipalities, host institutions, permitting agencies, EMS, vendors, members of the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board, and others, we realized that it was not feasible to hold the event. While our race is small, it is complex, involving two states, five municipalities, and many essential partners.
In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has indicated that road races will not be permitted until Phase 4 of reopening (the “New Normal”) and that this stage is contingent on the “development of vaccines and / or treatments”. Reaching this milestone by the end of August seems unlikely.
Finally, and most importantly, we need to consider the safety of participants and volunteers, and the need to protect the most vulnerable among us. This makes this a necessary, if disappointing decision. We have already heard from some runners and volunteers that they will not be at the event due to health concerns.
Again, this is disappointing, but we will be back for a great race next year!
Best wishes for your good health and happy running,
The New England Green River Marathon Race Committee
Questions & Answers
What does “deferral “ mean? Am I signed up for the 2021 race?
You will be registered for the 2021 race. You do not need to do anything or pay anything more. We will send out notification as we put the pieces in place.
Is the date for 2021 confirmed?
We’re still working with all our partners to confirm the date, but we are trying for August 29, 2021.
Why not just refund my entry fee?
In both the registration process and on our website we make it clear that there are no refunds for any reason. In addition, we have already started spending funds on the race, mostly on supplies and equipment that we can use next year. While our race is a fundraiser, over two-thirds of our revenues go directly back into creating a great experience for our runners. In addition, this is all built on hundreds of volunteer hours, an all-volunteer race committee, and volunteer race co-directors. We don’t get paid for this; we do it gladly for you and the river. Finally, too much time has elapsed to refund registered runners by card. Paper checks would have to be mailed. This is logistically problematic as we are a small race committee of volunteers. Unlike larger corporate marathons, we don’t have paid staff to do this kind of work.
I have a fund-raising entry. How will that be handled?
You will be registered for the 2021 race. We will contact you directly with details.
What if I can’t run next year?
If you know at this point that you won’t be able to run the race due to military deployment, pregnancy, medical issue, or other situation, please reach out to us through our website’s Contact page.
Can’t you take measures, such as wave starts, masks, bring-your-own bottles, etc.?
There are multiple factors that make it very difficult to keep participants and volunteers safe. The buses, portable toilets, and aid stations each present their own challenges. Too many facilities are still shared, as is contact with volunteers. Also, our medical providers for the race cannot at this time commit to providing us with the necessary coverage to ensure a safe event. And finally, as we mentioned above, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has indicated that road races will not be permitted until Phase 4 of reopening (the “new normal”) and that this stage is contingent on the “development of vaccines and / or treatments”. This seems unlikely by the end of August. We just can’t take the risk of getting all the gears moving and having to cancel after the training is done and the money is spent.
Why not postpone the event until later in the fall?
Two reasons: First, with all the postponed events this season, the fall calendar has filled up. There are few dates that don’t conflict with other races. Second, we have no idea whether Phase 4 (when we can hold the race) will be next month, in this year at all, or next year.
Why not wait until July to see if things change?
The more time goes along, the more money and time we have to spend on preparation. This isn’t an event we can stand up in six weeks. The worst outcome would be to spend the money and time, and have people train, only to have to cancel. Then everyone loses everything.
Will there be a virtual event?
We have made no plans for a virtual event at this time. Our marathon is all about the place and the community, and without those, it’s just not the New England Green River Marathon