River to River Relay again postponed due to pandemic
The 34th running of the River to River Relay has been postponed for the second year in row due to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
An announcement about the popular event was made recently on social media by the relay’s race director.
The River to River Relay traditionally is run during April. The relay route begins in the LaRue-Pine Hills area near Wolf Lake and ends in Golconda.
The 2020 running of the River to River Relay was postponed due to the pandemic.
Race director Brad Dillard announced the postponement of the event for 2021 in a message which was posted Jan. 24 on social media.
“After much discussion and thought, The River to River Relay Organizing Committee and the River to River Runners’ Club have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the only responsible course of action is to postpone the 34th running of the River to River Relay again until April 23, 2022,” the message shared.
“Trying to bring 2,000 runners from all 50 states and some international destinations into Southern Illinois literally by planes, trains, and automobiles during a still raging pandemic does not seem to be the appropriate course of action.
“Additionally, many runners and volunteers alike have unofficially indicated they would not feel comfortable participating in the Relay in April dramatically effecting the quality of an event we could conduct.”
The race director’s message voiced appreciation for “everybody’s patience as we intentionally waited until what we felt was the very last minute to make a decision. Back in December we had some hope that with the announcement of new vaccines we would be in a much improved position by the end of January but, overall, that is not the case.”
Organizers “also carefully studied other options like having the Relay in September. However, September has hurdles like there being substantially less daylight compared to April, and if large scale running events are able to proceed (a big IF), there would be many conflicts for runners and volunteers alike.”
“While we are extremely disappointed at having to take this path, the safety of runners and volunteers will always be our first priority and we are confident this is the only responsible option with the current status of the pandemic and vaccination program.
“All team registrations and start times will continue to push forward exactly where they are at now so team managers do not need to take any action to participate in the 2022 Relay. Just keep training.
“We thank all runners and volunteers for their interest and dedication to the River to River Relay and we will begin immediately working on the 2022 race and what we expect to be the the best one yet!”