Updated as of March 26, 2020
Dear 2020 Marathon Weekend Participants:
This would have been race week for our Marathon Weekend (I’m sure I’m not alone in remembering that!) It goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – that the team here at GO! St. Louis would much rather be loading trucks, unpacking boxes at the Expo, and making final checklists right now instead of sitting at our home computers working on this email. Life had different plans for all of us this spring, and our hearts go out to each of you as you adjust, postpone, and wrap your head around the new normal we are all learning to understand and live in day by day.
I wanted to reach out to you directly with our plans for all registered 2020 Marathon Weekend participants this year. We decided to give you several options to use your entry fee in a manner that best fits your needs. Those options are listed below my letter.
But first, I would like to speak, as many industries have during this time, about running events and financial outlook. It is understandable to look at your participant “deliverables” as a medal, event shirt, finish line food, and timing results – those are costs we all see and understand. But the reality of organizing a race includes much, much more. As with any small business, we employ five staff members, have office space, and use office resources and technology. Salaries paid and time spent have been incurred, and of course aren’t reversible. The real cost of putting on a race includes city permits, hiring of police officers and security staff, equipment to close streets and build an entire start and finish line site and village. Canceling two weeks out means that all of that was in place, and deposits were paid.
In truth, local events don’t ever make a lot of money. We work alongside other small local businesses to continue to provide high quality events in the face of many national chain events coming into our area. I offer this information not only to explain our position, but to share with you that my main goal right now is to keep our business and finances stable so that we can continue to provide quality races for years to come. This year was our 20th anniversary celebration – and I want to make sure that GO! St. Louis is around for another 20 years.
I know I can’t do anything to give you back the hours of training and (literal) sweat equity that you put into preparing for race weekend or the disappointment in not being able to run it. But what I can give you is my promise that we’re going to get to work on the next race, group run, and event when we can all be back together again. Because it WILL come, no matter how distant it feels now.
I can’t thank you each enough for the support and positive energy that you’ve contributed to making GO! St. Louis the strong, active community that it is today. I’m personally thankful that running continues to be an amazing outlet and activity for all of us during this time, and I have confidence that we will come back stronger and ready to take on our next challenge as runners. I wish you all health, fitness, and forward motion – step by step, day by day, we will get there.
All my best,
Mona Vespa, President
GO! St. Louis