WPS Half Marathon

April 29, 2020: The race that wasn't

Foodfare Winnipeg Police Half Marathon wishes we were running this weekend

Hello Registrants of the 2020 WPS Half Marathon!

I hope that all of you are keeping safe and healthy during these challenging times. You are all well aware of the effects COVID-19 and the related fallout impacting our event. I have said how sorry we are already, but as we roll into what would have been race week with this stellar weather forecast, our team (and likely some of you) are having the wounds opened again.

I wanted to provide an update to you all. We have full intention of offering a kit pick up as soon as government emergency procedures permit so we can provide you your shirt, medal and finisher gift. It is the least we can do considering you paid your entry fees. While I have explained why we are unable to provide refunds, and I know the waiver outlines how the event could be cancelled, it still bothers me more than you know. That's why getting you these items is so important.

We also know that many of you have pledges to turn in but that too will have to wait until the government emergency measures allow the Canadian Cancer Society to open its doors again and provides for face-to-face interactions.

One bright spot that I would like to pass on: With the support of the Cancer Society, we are still able to refund registration fees for runners who achieve certain fundraising targets. You can qualify for a tax receipt equal to your registration or the fees refunded if:

  • You are a 5K participant who raises $200
  • You are a half marathon participant who raises $350
  • You are a 2-person relay team that raises $700

Just direct your supporters to your fundraising page on the Running Room site here. The Cancer Society will be thanking donors for their support of runners and they will also be providing the refunds once the emergency orders have been lifted.

Like you, I have lost money on cancellations and it doesn't feel very good. We are working to keep this race afloat and if there is any chance of keeping you coming back one day, we want to make that effort.

That said, until restrictions are lifted to the point where we can assemble a team to put kits together and then host the kit pick up, we are not in a position to provide details. Frankly, at this stage I have no idea what it will even look like - but I believe we will pull it off!

I want to take a few minutes to share with you some of the creative alternatives your volunteer committee tried - just so you all know we fought this one to the end. Second week in March, we met as a team as COVID was ramping up and we determined a course of action. We were going to collapse the breakfast and seating area and go to an open start line (Start when you like and avoid contact) for one hour and only use the East half of the course with a turn around at Portage/Overdale. We also decided that food was going to be provided in sealed packages prepared by trained food handlers. We secured all government permits and created all the new maps and had them loaded ready to go on our site (this was a massive amount of work by our volunteer team).

Then a few days later, the Manitoba Government introduced crowd size limitations and we adjusted by creating a plan for a virtual run. These changes included creating a whole new set of events on the Running Room site so people could still sign up! Within a few days the government announced a state of emergency creating conditions that prevented any sort of event because the City of Winnipeg cancelled all special event permits. (These permits are needed because they allow us to run on the roads, have food and gather) At that point I knew our 'goose was cooked!'

There were many fair questions about postponement. We also reviewed this. At the onset, in my position I needed to consider the likelihood that fall runs will even be allowed to progress. This is speculation on my part. The fall run calendar is already very full and some events from spring will attempt the move. We could not secure a date or location without cannibalizing other events which was not something I felt was fair or ethical.

So, we cancelled with the hopes of getting you all some race gear and keeping our fingers crossed that IF we can pull off a 2021 event you will join us.

Stay tuned for emails and updates to the site with details as we can provide them.

In the meantime, stay well and continue looking out for each other.

Please email us at questions@wpshalfmarathon.ca if you have a question or if we can be of assistance.

Thank you!
Nick Paulet
Race Director