So here is the deal. At this point, it looks like the Government shutdown may have a big affect on the race. The entire situation is a mess, but we aren’t going to get into politics here. We spoke with both the park rangers as well as our friends at Lake Powell Resort today. They were wrapping everything up before being required to leave the building. Here is what we know:
The National Park Service
They will be putting a ranger at each entrance 24 hours a day to keep people out. They will also be working tirelessly to round up people inside the park and get them to vacate… all without pay. If the shutdown lasts past the 14th, our permit to run inside the park is likely to be nullified. No guarantees either way. I will say the park service rep we have been working with has been great and she will do what she can to help us.
Aramark (Lake Powell Resort)
Aramark (the company that owns and operates the Lake Powell Resort) will have until Friday to pack up. Guests staying there now have 48 hours to leave. If you have a reservation with them, we do not suggest you cancel it yet. Things could very easily change in the next two weeks and assuming they do, you are going to want to keep your reservation. As a company, they are still operating, but nearly all their properties are associated with the park service, so they are taking a huge hit by this.
With both the resort and the park, once the shutdown is resolved it will take a day or two for them to ramp things back up. So, even if things are resolved on the 16th or 17th we may not be able to hold the race as originally planned.
It sucks, but we aren’t letting it get us down! Our race is still on. The government might not be running, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be either! We spent several hours yesterday and spoke with a number of you to figure out your concerns and to try and develop a plan for the race. We are still optimistic the shutdown will be resolved and it will be business as usual in time for our race on the 19th (the longest shutdown was under the Clinton administration and it lasted 21 days – on average they are more like 11 days). However, in the event that the park remains closed to us, here is the plan:
We are reviewing our options to select an alternative course. We are confident we can put on a great race no matter what, however, we want our races to be exceptional and a great experience for our runners. We are working on this plan B and will start announcing more details as we get closer. Keep in mind, Page itself is on a mesa. A small mesa. So, in order to get 13.1 miles and start/finish somewhere workable, we may need to add an uphill to course. We’ll do our best to limit this. If any locals have suggestions, we welcome your input.
Extra Curricular Activities
If the lake is closed, it will be a huge disappointment to most everyone, but the surrounding area of Page has a lot to offer outside the lake. Antelope Canyon is only 5 miles away and Horseshoe Bend is only 4.5 miles! We may even give you some local tips on entry points that may or may not get you down to the lake so you can go for a swim (shhh!).
Again, we do not recommend that you cancel your reservations at the Lake Powell Resort yet, but you may want to consider making a second reservation somewhere in Page as a back up. Be sure to ask what their cancellation policies are. You can find some options here: https://visitpagearizona.com/places/page-lake-powell-hotels.html
For those of you uncomfortable with uncertainty, you can still get a 50% refund and because the race shirts are already ordered, we will even ship your race shirt to you if you wish. We understand if you’re less than thrilled and will do everything we can to do right by you. You can always call me directly at 949-295-3302 or email me at email@example.com.
We are making backup plans, and expect to make final decisions by Columbus Day, depending on the circumstances. We will announce the alternate course as soon as we have a few things finalized.
To summarize: The race is still on! The Lake Powell Half Marathon is going to be awesome. Thank you for hanging in there with us.