Impact of Coronavirus on Rhode Races

It is hard to believe it has been two months since we made the incredibly difficult decision about our ability to host the Newport Rhode Race in its traditional sense.  It feels like a lifetime ago.  And while we feel so much has changed in the road racing landscape, so much still remains unknown.

In the weeks and months since the Coronavirus has canceled all Spring road races, the running community has come together in a show of strength and resilience – not that anyone who is a runner is surprised!  These traits define a runner.  While road races were shut down, running was not canceled.  We have come together through virtual events, social media sharing and long-distance support to show that no one runs alone.  And we have seen so many new converts to our sport!  Running has maintained its normalcy.

While Rhode Island is now emerging from the Stay at Home orders, we are in a wait-and-see status to determine if and when we can go back to holding races.  I won’t say “go back to work” as we have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to research and read about how to host a race in the safest possible manner, trying to think of creative ways to support our community, and encourage your physical fitness during a lockdown.

To that end, we wanted to share our new Covid-19 promise to you for the remainder of the year:

As the COVID-19 global pandemic is still unfolding, these are Rhode Races’ promises to you:
* If we are forced to cancel or postpone the event, registrants will receive a 100% transfer of the net entry fee and add-ons paid into ANY Rhode Races event, good for 1 year from the original race entry. The entry fee of the race that you are transferring into will be determined by the pricing schedule for that event on the date you complete your registration into the new race. No refund of any difference, if applicable, will be issued.
* Alternatively, you may switch to the virtual race, in lieu of the deferral/transfer above, if you choose.  The virtual race will keep many of the same components of the actual race with virtual bibs, age-graded results, race swag and a rich community to share your successes.
* We will continue to keep you informed as information becomes available and decisions are made.  We promise to answer all email inquiries within 24 hours.
* Once we are finally able to race, we will continue to provide you with a clean and safe environment to race; and will implement additional measures to ensure the health and safety of our community as necessary.
* You can review our complete policies [HERE]

Our Bristol race is next on the agenda and we are currently working with the 4th of July Committee to see if any manner of an outdoor event can be held this summer.  We have about two weeks before we will know what, if anything, will be possible.   In the meantime, we are also working on an alternative plan, and again – just waiting on a few answers before we can communicate.

Across the country, a few races are starting up again – albeit very small, local ones.  We will know in a few weeks how those races went, what protocols are working and what aren’t, and the immediate future of events.

We are still very hopeful about the fall races, but they will likely be different from what we are used to. We are lucky in that our remaining races are primarily small local events, which are more likely to come back sooner than larger, international ones.  We imagine we will have to limit participant fields and have other safety protocols.  The next few weeks are really going to be a test to see how running events can evolve in the Fall.

In the meantime, we also have some fun ideas and challenges that we are creating in the coming weeks to help keep you motivated, fit, and connected while we try and determine the new normal.  We will have a RUNRI Challenge for July and a Rhode Races Fit Challenge for August. One of the main components of both of these challenges will be to raise some much-needed funds for local charities and support our running community.  Two main components of our Rhode Races mission.

So we thank you, from the bottom of your hearts, for your continued support and kindness as we struggle through these times.  Your words have made such a difference as we are reeling through all of our emotions.   We cannot wait to get back together with you all in person soon!

Thank you!


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