Hi folks

This is the email we've been dreading. We've been keeping a close eye on the situation for a while and this week it's become apparent that holding the Orcas races this winter is just not a good idea. So we've decided to postpone the races. It's a complex situation and not one we arrive at lightly and we know is a disappointment for all of us.

We've been consulting with those that live and work on Orcas as well as state employees at the park and ferries. We've also been keeping a close eye on the current situation with COVID, especially the Omicron wave which is just now starting to build here in Washington. For those interested in the specific details leading to our decision we'll get into those below.

But first we want to share our current course of action. We are working to find suitable dates for a postponement and hope to be able to share that info with you sometime next week. Once we get that detail nailed down we will give you a variety of options to choose from. Those options will include either: to run the race later this year, to run the race next year, or a 75% credit that you could use for any of our other races. We'll use a google form for you to fill out so we'll have everyone's choices recorded in one place so please wait for that step (next week) to let us know what you'd like to do going forward.

Some of you have already reached out to us to cancel your registration and we've haven't responded yet. Sorry! We've been having the hardest time keeping up with our inbox. All of the options above will be available to you as well. Thanks for your patience!

As for the specific details for our how we came to this decision it basically boils down to a perfect storm of long term staffing shortages at Washington State Ferries combined with what is predicted to be by far the largest "wave" of COVID cases to date due to the Omicron variant peaking right when our races are scheduled. These staffing shortages have already been resulting in a huge increase of last minute sailing cancellations and reduction of planned sailings. And now with Omicron predicted to peak over the coming weeks these ferry cancellations are going to skyrocket.

With the races taking place on an island where the folks who live there are already experiencing difficulty due to the ferries and the forecast for near future for this to only worsen we can't in good conscience exacerbate the situation by adding hundreds of more cars to any already strained system. And that's not to even mention the Washington's already strained medical, emergency response, essential services and air travel (for those coming from afar) systems that are also about experience possibly their most trying month since COVID began. And last but not least is that we also don't want our events to result in further spread of the virus especially at this time when so many are already going to get sick and go to the hospital. We know most of our runners and volunteers are vaccinated and boosted but as we now know with Omicron that is not a guarantee you won't get infected and become at the very least an asymptomatic potential spreader.

We know how much these races mean to all of you. We know how much you trained and we know how much of an inconvenience this will be for you. And we wish we didn't have to do this but considering these races are just a comparative luxury we think this just isn't the time, especially for these ferry dependent races and we hope despite your disappointment you can appreciate our decision. We are hopeful that later this year this wave will have passed, the ferries will once again be able to reliably run their normal schedules, we'll be able to gather safely and run some really tough and beautiful trails on Orcas!

Thanks for your support and we will be in touch again just as soon as we have the postponement dates nailed down which we hope will be in just a few days. Be safe.
James & Katy