You recently received communications regarding this year’s running of the Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon. In order for you to understand our decisions, we feel that you deserve a more detailed explanation.
The Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon is an event organized by the Lincoln Track Club, a nonprofit organization focused on running, connecting, and giving back to our community in Lincoln, Nebraska. Our team is all volunteers. We have no employees and nobody gets any financial payback for their time and effort. Most of us have day jobs, and we are facing some of the same hardships as you—loss of jobs, cutback hours and wages, uncertainty, and stress—all of which is caused by the unknown of this pandemic.
During the last few weeks we relied heavily on the expertise of local government and medical professionals in order to keep apprised of the ever-changing situation. Ultimately, as each day went by, the recommendations from the CDC and our local experts made us realize that we would not be able to hold the Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon on May 3, 2020. This was extremely difficult for us to come to grips with. Immediately, we started to look at the possibility of rescheduling, but we were not able to coordinate a date that worked between the City of Lincoln, University of Nebraska, and all other entities involved in making our race a success.
We understand that many runners show up on race day and enjoy the event experience but never step back and get an in-depth look at what it takes to put on a top-class event. Events like ours experience a variety of up-front costs, which are required for race day to go smoothly. Some examples of these costs range from athlete swag (T-shirts, medals, merchandise) to behind-the-scenes items (timing equipment, aid station supplies, marketing and advertising). As stated and agreed upon during your registration for the Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon, we do not issue transfers or refunds for event registrations. Providing refunds would financially devastate an organization such as ours and prohibit us from operating in the future.
We want to see all our runners be successful, so the Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon is becoming a Virtual Race for 2020. Everyone who participates in the Virtual Race will receive their finishers medal, and all registered runners will have an opportunity to receive their race shirt. In addition, we have committed to giving all 2020 Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon registered runners a 30% discount on next year’s event. We understand that not everyone is going to be thrilled with this news, but we also know that the running community is made up of strong individuals who will come out of the COVID-19 crisis stronger and that the vast majority of you will understand and be compassionate about the decisions that we have been forced to make.
As we have seen many changes in our lives the past few weeks, the one uplifting thing that has been noticed by many people is that the trails and sidewalks are still active with runners. Running gives us a way to enjoy the fresh air and forget the stresses and hardships that we may be facing. We wish you the best in this situation. Stay healthy and stay running.
Glen Moss Nancy Sutton
President, Lincoln Track Club Marathon Race Director