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Calgonquin Races postponed

Due to ongoing pandemic conditions in Kern County, next month’s Calgonquin 25k and 50k Trail Races have been canceled. The decision was made based on participant and community safety.

Kern County is still in the Purple Tier, the State’s most restrictive classification, indicating that the COVID-19 virus is still widespread in our community. Although we are optimistic that conditions will improve between now and race day, we cannot move forward with this event based on the assumption that we will be in a different tier by next month. Conditions have simply not improved enough to the point where we can move ahead with the races.

This is very painful for us to share, as we know all of the registrants have been training hard to prepare for the vert and dirt that this beautiful course offers and we have been planning this for over a year. Yet we know this is for the betterment of all of us getting ahead of this pandemic and putting it behind us safely and properly, so it does not come back, ever.

In reviewing our schedule, we have decided to postpone the Calgonquin 25k & 50k Trail Races to 2022. All registered entries and add-ons will be carried into the new 2022 date (to be determined). If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Race Directors: Jason Swanson at [email protected] or Brett Swanson at [email protected].

A few of you have asked about the possibility of running the Calgonquin virtually this year. To be honest, we hadn’t really considered the idea – we’re not big fans of virtual races (we much prefer to run and hike with all of you, eat Carlos’ donuts together and enjoy the trails as a community). But this isn’t a normal year – so we’re going to make sure that you have a virtual option. We know you’ve all been training hard and might want to continue on with your plans. Just because the in-person event has been postponed, you shouldn’t throw your running or hiking goals out the window.

Here’s how it will work: if you’d like to participate in the virtual Calgonquin races this year, simply let us know by the end of March that you’re committed to running or hiking this in 2021 (those participating in the virtual event will not be deferred to next year). Run or hike the distance that you signed up for anytime and anywhere between April 1 and April 30 and post to our Facebook page with your run or hike details (bonus CALQ stickers if you include pictures!). We’ll be cheering for you virtually! Finishers will receive a finisher’s mug, a visor, AND a Hoorag (shirts will not be an option this year and we will not award any trophies). Shipping is on us.

Here’s the catch: 25k runners and hikers need to log at least 2,000 ft. in elevation gain and 50k runners and hikers need to log at least 4,000 ft. on their runs/hikes (it’s been a rough year, so we’re taking it easy on you here).

If you’d prefer not to participate in the virtual event, you don’t have to do anything – you are automatically deferred to the live race in 2022.

We hope this option provides a few of you with the opportunity to put your disciplined training to use, with the added convenience of completing your race mileage at your convenience, right where you are. As for the full race experience – we hope you’ll all join us next year.

With this virtual race option, we request that you please do not show up on April 17 in large groups to run or hike the route. We don’t want anything to happen that could jeopardize the use of the Lehigh trails for future events. As a reminder, this is private land and you need a daily pass or yearly pass to use the trails, see: https://www.tehachapitrails.com/. We feel confident that the virtual race option should satisfy the desire to participate in this year’s events.

We know this is disappointing, but on the bright side, we can see the light at the end of this tunnel. As we progress ahead there will be new guidelines to open endurance events, the vaccine rollout is rapidly increasing, and all of this will get us back to running races in California safely.

We want to extend a huge thank you for the patience and understanding of all of the participants. Your support and that of our sponsors is helping us get through these challenging times. We are anxious to get back to hosting this inaugural event and cannot wait to see all the friends we’ve made as part of this incredible running and hiking community.

We’re sincerely bummed that we must postpone the in-person event, but already can’t wait until 2022! Until then . . . stay healthy, keep running and hiking, and we will see you soon!