Good evening -
This year would have been our 17th annual XTERRA EX2.
Our XTERRA race is hands down our favorite event of the entire year.
For me and the EX2 staff, it's a weekend filled with fun, hard work, and lasting memories.
We are extremely disappointed to have to cancel the race.
XTERRA has a special place in my heart as it was the first EX2 race that I ever participated in as a racer...way back in 2004...13 years before I took over the helm as race director and owner of EX2.
Please know that cancelling this race was not done on a whim.
It was a decision that was well thought out and coordinated with the park, my staff (some of whom have worked all 16 previous editions of this race), and several trusted friends and advisors.
There are three main reasons why I cancelled the race.
First and foremost, when I asked my team whether or not they felt comfortable working the event...many of them said they did not.
And to be honest, I don't either.
Why you may ask?
The simple answer is too many people too close together.
Putting on an XTERRA is not like putting on a simple trail running event (we put on 14 of those each year).
It takes 2 days of preparations on site and a team of 12 people (plus another 15 volunteers) working closely together to get set up and then execute the race.
Rocky Gap State Park is EXTREMELY busy in the summer.
If you've never been there before, you may not know that there is a casino at the park, a popular golf course, an amazing campground, and a day use area that fills up by 9am on weekends during the summer. 1,000 people+ use the day use beach area Saturdays and most Sundays during the summer - adjacent to where we stage the race.
We all would be sharing the same bathrooms, parking areas, and other common space.
We have AMAZING support from the park on race weekend, but ensuring athletes and other park users remain safe is always a challenge. This year it would be even more challenging.
Second, as of today, Maryland is still in phase 1 of its re-opening plan and has a 10 person limit on any gatherings.
In addition, all events at Rocky Gap are cancelled through the end of June.
Phase 2 of the re-opening plan is coming at some point, but when I don't know.
I also don't know what the gathering limits will be raised to...but I anticipate that it's going to be 50.
There is a very high likelihood that many or all special events will be cancelled for all of July at the park and significant social distancing rules will be in place.
Our event reaches 350 to 400 people when you include racers, volunteers, friends, and family. This is way above the anticipated 50 person gathering limit.
Third, I just don't think having an event like a triathlon is the right thing to do at this time.
That's what my gut is telling me...and I trust it.
EX2 Adventures is celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and has put on over 280 events. This year, we have a race calendar filled with 18 cycling, trail running, and multi-sport events. So far this year, we have had to postpone or cancel seven of our first eight races and more might be cancelled this summer. All of our events impact each other as many costs are shared across our events during the year. In addition, many race-specific costs are expended many weeks and months before a race ever takes place.
I was able to put the breaks on many costs related to XTERRA EX2, but not all of them by any stretch.
EX2 has largely had the same postponement and cancellation policy since its founding. It says that if an event is postponed and the athlete can't make the new date, then they receive 100% credit to another event. This is also the case if an event is cancelled. This policy always results in a financial loss for EX2, but we believe the credit policy treats our athletes fairly. Many events across the county do not provide any credit, deferral, or refund options at all and others charge a fee to defer.
Like many small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a very negative impact on the financial health of EX2. With that said, we understand that this situation is extremely difficult for many individuals and families. For these reasons, we have modified our normal policies to allow more flexibility.
With regard to your race entry,
you have three options on how to proceed. Please click the link below to make your selection.
Option #1: Defer to the 2021 race (July 11, 2021).
Option #2: Receive 100% refund of your registration fee (the processing fee charged by Active is not refundable).
Option #3: Donate your entry fee to EX2 Adventures to help our small business survive this tough situation.
Thank you for your support of EX2 and our XTERRA race. Take good care of yourself and your family.
If you have any concerns at all about the options above, please contact me.
Hang in there. Stay safe, healthy, and active! I hope to see all of you at XTERRA EX2 in 2021!!
Race with EX2