Steve Goldsmith, W1HS, writes on the Twin State Radio Club and Connecticut Valley FM Association mailing lists:
JULY 11, 2023
After this week’s devastating weather in Vermont, here is a difficult update from our wonderful Race Director Amy Rusiecki and the Vermont 100 Race Committee. The below message was also communicated in email to all participants.
“It breaks my heart to write this, but due to the devastating flooding that hit the race course yesterday and the lasting damage due to this weather event, the race committee has reached the unfortunate decision that this year’s event must be canceled. The second worst thing a race committee wants to do is cancel an incredible event. However, the worst thing a race committee wants to do is to conduct an unsafe race for the runners, volunteers, and communities. Our highest priority is the safety of every runner, volunteer, trail, and road that this event impacts.
To understand the current situation in the area of the event – Vermont is still under a State of Emergency, and it is currently declared a Federal Disaster area (https://www.fema.gov/locations/vermont). Woodstock Vermont had devastating flooding, including Lincoln Covered Bridge (approx. mile 39 of the course) which is currently covered in a foot of mud from flooding. The Taftsville Bridge (approx. mile 14) is also currently closed and yesterday was under feet of water. The roads by Margaritaville (approx. mile 59) have been washed out and are impassible to runners or vehicles. Many of the east-west routes in Vermont are currently closed with washouts, including Rt. 131 and Rt. 106, which cuts off our access to restocking aid stations, marking the route, crew vehicle access, and even your access to get to the start/finish area. Lastly, emergency services in all these communities are straight out and are unable to support our event at this time. We have included a few photos of the route below, so y’all understand the impact of this weather.
We know that some of you may not agree with our decision, but we hope that you can understand our reasoning. Please understand this is not a decision that came easy, as we are all committed to putting on an awesome event for each of you.
So, what options did we as a race committee consider?
Trying to reschedule the event within a few weeks is logistically impossible and beyond a few weeks we run into the VT50 and numerous other incredible local fall events. Turning the event into an entirely virtual event is not very appealing – that’s just not the VT100! As stated in our Liability Waiver, that you signed when you registered, entry fees are non-refundable if the event is canceled due to public safety concerns, which is the situation that we have unfortunately encountered. We sincerely apologize for this.
While we aren’t strongly encouraging folks to come to the area during this time of disaster, we understand that some with non-refundable travel and lodging may choose to do so. We are working on information regarding local opportunities to contribute to the clean-up efforts. If you are interested in this, please let us know here and we will follow up with you regarding where and when you can pitch in!
Financially, much of the expenses of this event have been spent at this time and are non refundable to us and we are sincerely sorry for that. Please know that the Friday night, Saturday morning, and Sunday post-race food (which has already been purchased and prepped) will be used to host community dinners this weekend for local residents who have been displaced by the flooding and who have lost their homes in this event. The aid station food will be donated to local food shelters and survival centers. If you are in the area, there are opportunities to help with serving food to those displaced, or to get our aid station food to local food shelters. You can sign up here.
At this time, you have three options regarding your registration:
We are offering to roll the VT100 registration from anyone who is interested into this year’s Vermont 50 on September 24, 2023.
We are able to defer entry into the 2024 VT100 for anyone who is interested, however entry fees unfortunately will not be able to be rolled over. We will offer a 25% discount to next year’s entry for anyone who takes this option. We regret that we can not offer a deeper discount to those who roll into the 2024 event, however due to this natural disaster this is the best we can offer in the way of partial entry fee deferral.
You can donate your entry fee to the communities impacted by this disaster and Vermont Adaptive.
Please let us know which option you select by August 1st at this link here. If we don’t hear from you by August 1st, we will assume that you have chosen to have your entry fee donated to the local communities impacted by this disaster and Vermont Adaptive.
On a personal note, I understand that this is heartbreaking to hear. Trust me, this is equally devastating to share. I know that many of you have trained for months and years to have your opportunity to run at this incredible event. I get it, and I am nearly as upset as you are about this decision. My favorite day of the year is the 15+ hours I spend greeting each of you across the finish line – and I am completely devastated that I will miss that in 2023.
I hope to see many of you in 2024, at this year’s VT50, or otherwise out on the trails.
With huge (sometimes sweaty) hugs,
Amy and the VT100 Race Committee