Eastern States 100 for 2020 is cancelled

A message from Jeff Calvert, President of the Eastern States Trail Endurance Alliance and it’s board of directors:

With great sadness, I’m announcing that the Eastern States Trail-Endurance Alliance (ESTEA) has decided to cancel the 2020 running of the Eastern States 100.

This is a moment we’ve been dreading for weeks, as we’ve watched peers across the country and around the world wrestle with the same difficult situation and arrive at the same painful conclusion.  We hoped to avoid that with a combination of race adjustments and mitigation measures that would allow us to hold an acceptable version of the race, while not compromising the race experience.  We spent many long hours in that effort, as we continued to make necessary arrangements and pursue required approvals.

Securing approvals and permits for an event like this is critical, and we’ve worked closely with the many entities involved in that process since the conclusion of last year’s race.  Unfortunately, the process for review and issuance of one of the required permits was suspended indefinitely because of the pandemic, and we’ve recently learned that it will almost certainly not resume in time for our race.

Faced with the fact that we are less than 60 days from the race with no indication that one of the necessary permits can or will be issued in time, and with lingering concerns that even the extensive mitigation measures we’ve been planning might not be enough to safely and responsibly hold this race in a way that meets our standards, lives up to our principles, and delivers the full experience entrants signed up for, we feel strongly that suspending our decision any longer is not in the best interest of the race, its participants, and all those affected.  At this point, cancelling the race is our only responsible option.

A 100-mile race is an emotion-laden commitment, and certainly many of you will be very disappointed.  We are as well.  As ESTEA board members, we take our role as stewards of this race as a solemn trust, and we’ve tried our best to make a well informed and reasoned decision.  Though it was difficult, our decision was unanimous, and we stand behind it.  Thank you for your understanding.

Your options:

You may defer your current entry for full credit to either 2021 (tentative date August 14, 2021) or 2022 (tentative date August 13, 2022).  Our refund policy remains in effect (50% of the entry fee).  We will send detailed instructions for each of these options to all entrants in a separate email next week.

Final thoughts

The Eastern States trails are still out there waiting for you — please don’t let this cancellation keep you away from their beauty and challenges.  We’ll continue to maintain and improve them, and the people and businesses of the region will continue to welcome you with the grace and warm hospitality that helps make this a special place — please visit and support them.

Also, we commit to doing everything in our power to make next year’s race the best one yet.  As ultrarunners, we have a unique relationship with adversity.  We recognize that setbacks trigger resilience and that low points are only prelude to new heights as long as we keep moving forward.  Better times are coming, happier trails are ahead.  See you in 2021.

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