Another Iconic New England Mountain Running Race Falls Victim to COVID-19

Last night Chris J. Dunn & Paul Kirsch, co-RDs for the Loon Mountain Race announced the cancellation of their event. Loon Mountain Race hosted the 2014, 2016 and 2018 USATF Mountain Running Championships and selection race for the US Mountain Running Team.

Following the pending Mount Washington Road Race postponement two weeks ago, the Loon Mountain Race has announced the cancellation of its 2020 race originally scheduled for July 12. This event started small but as grown to attract over 1000 mountain runners from around New England and across the United States. In 2018 the race partnered with Trail Sisters to help increase female participation and succeeded in creating an equal number of men and women finishers.

Co-race director Paul Kirsch has been leading junior teams to the World Mountain Running Championships since 2010 including World Junior Champions Mandy Ortiz (2013) and Allie Ostrander (2015). The Loon Mountain Race has donated thousands of dollars to support junior athlete travel to world championship event since its inception in 2006.

Here’s what Paul and Chris wrote:

“It is with great sadness, but equal resolve, that we announce the cancellation of our event. As we took stock of the current COVID-19 situation and projected the health and safety challenges in July, we felt it was the correct decision. The mountain running community is our family. This includes our volunteers, participants, first responders/EMTs, and venue hosts. And like our actual families, the health and safety of our mountain running family is our paramount concern.

While it is likely that things will begin to return to normal in July, the stark reality is that there will still be significant infection control challenges related to large gatherings. And because of this we cannot, in good conscience, subject either our actual families or our mountain running family to these risks. All pre-registered participants have been contacted and assured their entry fees will be refunded. In a few days we will be making an announcement about a fundraising effort to support the event non-profit, New England Disabled Sports. We wish everyone continued good health and look forward to seeing you again soon.”

Chris J. Dunn & Paul Kirsch, co-RDs
acidotic RACING, LLC
Strafford, NH

Editor’s Note: Be safe as we continue to navigate the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to follow the recommendations and updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including proper hygiene practices. Also consider reading iRunFar’s COVID-19: A Trail Running and Ultrarunning Community Guide.

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