Governor’s Cup COVID-19 Updates

April 23, 2020

Options For 2020 Registered Runners

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate an uncharted path following the cancellation of this year’s Governor’s Cup because of the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to reiterate that while it was a difficult decision, it was made with the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, and the community of Helena in mind. If we cannot be 100 percent certain we can safely host our race, then for everyone’s safety, it is the difficult yet right thing to cancel.

OPTIONS FOR REGISTERED RUNNERS
We know this is difficult news for those who have already registered. Runners have been training and already had made plans to come to Montana this June and cross the finish line in historic Last Chance Gulch. Now that we know this isn’t possible this year, the Governor’s Cup is offering the following options to registered runners:

  • OPTION 1: Defer current race registration to the 2021 Governor’s Cup with no transfer fee.
  • OPTION 2: Request a 50% refund of their 2020 race registration fee. (minus processing fee)
  • OPTION 3: Make their race registration fee a donation to the Caring Foundation of Montanasm to help provide access to preventive health care.

HOW TO SELECT YOUR OPTION
Registered runners can select the option that best fits them by CLICKING HERE and following the instructions on the splash page. If you don’t see a splash page when you get to the website, scroll down until you see the options to select. Runners will select one of the three available options, then login to their RunSignUp account and complete the selection process.

DEADLINE TO SELECT AN OPTION
Runners will have until June 1, 2020, to select either a deferral to 2021, a 50% refund or to make their race registration fee a donation to the Caring Foundation of Montana.

If a runner doesn’t make a selection by the end of the day on June 1, it will be assumed that the runner would like their race registration to be a donation to the Caring Foundation of Montana.

GOVERNOR’S CUP REFUND POLICY
This is an unparalleled situation. Because of that, we are changing our refund policy. Like many races, we traditionally don’t offer refunds. But these are not traditional times. Because of that, we are providing our runners with these options, including a 50% refund.

Here is a great article on race cancellations.

THANK YOU AND WE HOPE TO SEE YOU IN 2021
Once again, thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. We greatly appreciate it.

The 2020 Governor’s Cup may have been cancelled, but we invite you to be a part of next year’s race on June 11-12, 2021. We are already looking forward to when we all can safely get back together and watch your smiling (or exhausted) faces cross the finish line again.

If you have any questions, please contact Governor’s Cup Race Director Bryan Haines at  bryan_haines@bcsbmt.com.

 


April 16, 2020

2020 Governor’s Cup Canceled

After careful deliberation and most importantly, considering the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, and the community of Helena, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel this year’s Governor’s Cup.

To say this is disappointing would be a massive understatement. This would have been the 47th running of our event – one of the longest-running foot races in Montana – that welcomes thousands of runners to Helena and serves as the unofficial start of summer.

We’re disappointed that a sea of kids in brightly-colored shirts won’t kick off Governor’s Cup weekend with our Kids Marathon and Fun Run at Centennial Park. We’re disappointed that we won’t be up well before sunrise welcoming marathon and half marathon runners downtown, shuttling them to their buses to take them to their respective starting lines. We’re disappointed we won’t be celebrating with every runner as they come up historic Last Chance Gulch before crossing the festive finish line.

COVID-19 continues to disrupt our world, and though there is encouraging news emerging each day, there remains a great deal of uncertainty. If we cannot be 100 percent certain we can safely host our race, then for everyone’s safety, it is the difficult yet right thing to cancel.

There is no doubt that as we emerge from this initial wave, life is not going to instantly snap back to how it was in January or earlier. The world has changed, and it is imperative that we continue taking steps to help prevent another wave from crashing through our communities, state and country. Social distancing has gone from a buzz term to the best practice to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Each year nearly 4,000 runners participate in our events, with more than 2,000 in Saturday’s competitive races. Nearly 10% of those participants travel in from out of state, and overall 45% come from outside Lewis and Clark County. If you have ever toed our starting line, you know keeping six inches apart can be hard, let alone six feet. Our finish line is tight and intimate, which is part of what makes the Governor’s Cup such a desirable event, but hard to practice social distancing. Add in close to 300 volunteers, Governor’s Cup staff and loyal spectators, race weekend is a fabulous event that also serves as a potential hot spot for transmission of this virus.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) has presented the Governor’s Cup for the past 42 years and was the main sponsor during the race’s first five years. The race’s mission has always been to promote health and wellness in a family-friendly environment. That’s why the Governor’s Cup is the primary fundraiser for the Caring Foundation of Montanasm, which enhances access to preventive health services in rural and underserved populations across the state.

Unfortunately, the best way for the Governor’s Cup and BCBSMT to make a positive impact on the health of our running community is to cancel this year’s event.

OPTIONS FOR REGISTERED RUNNERS
We know this is difficult news for those who have already registered. Runners have been training and already had made plans to come to Montana this June and cross the finish line in historic Last Chance Gulch. Now that we know this isn’t possible this year, the Governor’s Cup is offering the following options to registered runners:

  • OPTION 1: Defer current race registration to the 2021 Governor’s Cup with no fee.
  • OPTION 2: Request a 50% refund of their 2020 race registration fee. (minus processing fee)
  • OPTION 3: Make their race registration fee a donation to the Caring Foundation of Montanasm to help provide access to preventive health care.

An email will be sent to all registered runners on April 23 with instructions on how to select the cancellation option they would like to select.

WHY NOT POSTPONE
The decision to cancel instead of postponing the race to a later date was made because the fall running calendar in Montana is already full, and a date could not work with all race partners. Not only that, school is back in session, fall sports will be in full swing, and it would be hard for our out-of-state runners to make the trek to Montana.

We hope that our advanced notice allows current runners time to change their plans. It also takes the guesswork out of the hands of potential runners weighing whether to sign up and risk a later cancellation. The advanced cancellation also means the race can offer an option of a partial refund to runners, as the Governor’s Cup has delayed certain race expenditures.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding during this stressful and unprecedented time. We know there will be disappointment and frustration. We are processing those same emotions.

The Governor’s Cup is a labor of love for us. It takes year-round planning by the BCBSMT Community Relations Team that culminates with showing off our great city and Big Sky country to you all. While the developments and continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic have been pointing to this decision for weeks, it doesn’t make sharing the news any easier.

With every end there is a new beginning. The 2020 Governor’s Cup may have been cancelled, but we invite you to be a part of next year’s race on June 11-12, 2021. We are already looking forward to when we all can safely get back together and watch your smiling (or exhausted) faces cross the finish line again.

Thank You,

Governor’s Cup Staff

If you have any questions, please contact Governor’s Cup Race Director Bryan Haines at bryan_haines@bcsbmt.com.

 

STATEMENT FROM DR. DAVID LECHNER, BCBSMT CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

“The Governor’s Cup brings hundreds of runners, volunteers and people together from our community, state and country. Traditionally, this gathering of people makes for a great event. This year, with a global pandemic, it is potentially dangerous to have a mass participation event like the Governor’s Cup. Montana has done a great job flattening the curve, but COVID-19 will continue impacting our lives after this initial wave of infections. Some models have predicted Montana has moved past its initial surge of COVID-19 activity. Those models also assume current levels of social distancing and other mitigation efforts are carried out through the end of May and potentially into June. It is important that even as we begin to relax stay-at-home directives, some measures of social distancing and mitigation continue well into the spring and summer. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana and the Governor’s Cup have always been stewards of health and wellness. The best way to do that as we continue fighting COVID-19 is to not have this year’s race.”


April 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues affecting life for people across the country and the globe. Our daily routines have been upended, with new developments happening almost by the hour. It truly is an unprecedented time we all are going through.

Local, state and federal officials have issued stay at home orders, closures of non-essential businesses and enacted additional measures to help flatten the curve. These actions give us great pause about holding a mass participation event in June.

Less than 11 weeks remain until Governor’s Cup weekend. Our staff continues gathering as much information as possible on the viability of holding our race as scheduled. We hold out hope that we will be able to welcome everyone to Helena and celebrate our 47th Governor’s Cup in Montana’s capital. But, we must also prepare knowing we may need to cancel. The health and safety of not only our runners, but the community of Helena, is our top priority.

In our effort to keep our running family informed, here is the Governor’s Cup plan for moving forward in these uncertain times.

TIMELINE FOR A DECISION
Race officials will decide the status of this year’s Governor’s Cup by April 16. Pandemic developments may cause us to decide sooner, but a decision on cancellation will be made by April 16. We want to make sure runners have plenty of advanced notice in the event the race is canceled.

WHY CANCEL INSTEAD OF POSTPONE
There are only a certain number of dates available in the fall, and the race calendar is already full. There wasn’t an available date that logistically worked for all our race partners.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR POTENTIAL RUNNERS
Governor’s Cup registration fees don’t increase until June 1, giving runners time to wait for a decision on the race’s status. We encourage potential runners to pause and wait until after April 16 to register.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR REGISTERED RUNNERS
Currently, there is nothing our registered runners need to do. We are evaluating options for our runners in the event we need to cancel the Governor’s Cup.

THANK YOU
We appreciate your patience and understanding right now. Continue washing your hands, getting solo runs in when you can, and checking in on your family and friends during this difficult time.

Continue to check www.govcupmt.com, as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, for more information. If you have a question, please feel free to reach out to Race Director Bryan Haines at bryan_haines@bcbsmt.com.


March 25, 2020

The Governor’s Cup staff would like to take some time and provide information to help put runners’ minds at ease a little bit regarding registration rates, while also letting everyone know our current race status.

  • Although race registration remains open, there will not be a price increase in any of our races until June 1. This was the case prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we wanted to remind everyone about that important point. In these uncertain times, we want to be sure runners know they have time to decide on their race schedule.
  • Governor’s Cup race preparations continue, and the race is still scheduled to be held on June 12-13 in Helena. However, we are continually assessing our race planning options. The health and safety of our runners, as well as their friends, family members and the community of Helena, is our top priority.
  • Governor’s Cup staff encourages everyone to try and remain active during this time of social distancing. Regular exercise is not only important physically, but it is also beneficial to your mental health. Click here for a Runner’s World article on making the best of solo runs.
  • Please wash your hands with soap and hot water. I enjoy singing the Macarena chorus to make sure I get to 20 seconds. My family, on the other hand, would prefer a different song.

Continue to check www.govcupmt.com, as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, for more information. If you have a question, please feel free to reach out to Race Director Bryan Haines at bryan_haines@bcbsmt.com.


March 16, 2020

The Governor’s Cup staff is currently monitoring the constant developments with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our thoughts are with those affected by the pandemic.

As of today, March 16, the Governor’s Cup is still scheduled to be held on June 12-13 in Helena. Race staff will continue to monitor pandemic developments, as well as take into account Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state recommendations and guidelines. The health and safety of our runners, as well as their friends, family members and the community of Helena, is our top priority.

Governor’s Cup staff will provide updates to our running family. In the meantime, if you have a question, please feel free to contact us.

We are running along an uncharted course, and everyone at the Governor’s Cup appreciates your patience and understanding during this uncertain time.

Race Questions


What You Can Do Now

  • Wash your hands and practice good hygiene habits.
  • Please practice social distancing. We need to help flatten the curve.
  • Be sure to stay active and fit. Maintaining a fitness regimen can help keep us healthy, both physically and mentally. Get out there and run, but please do take precautions to stay safe and healthy.


Resources