Unfortunately, RMOC & LROC have decided to formally cancel the 2020 Rocky Mountain Orienteering Festival we had planned for September 2-7 in Laramie, WY, due to ongoing COVID-19 considerations.
The reasons and context for this decision are as follows:
1. The US Forest Service has not approved our permit.
2. Until recently, the State of Wyoming had a directive that all people coming into the state for any period of time had to self-quarantine for 14 days. Although lifted as of now, this policy could be reinstated if circumstances change.
3. Recent decisions for major Laramie- & Cheyenne-area events indicate that local authorities and medical professionals continue to see the virus threat as very serious, even if it appears that there are ways to work safely within the environment for events like forest orienteering. For example:
* Wyoming's six largest summer rodeos, including Cheyenne Frontier Days, were all cancelled as of last week. Because of tradition and the importance to local & state economies, this decision was not taken lightly.
* Laramie's summer mountain bike series in the Medicine Bow National Forest (our same area) has been cancelled.
* UW Athletics announced last week that athletes will return to the Laramie campus in waves, with testing protocols and a 14-day quarantine for all athletes.
We hope to see you somewhere in the woods in 2021.
Ooph, this one feels like a gut punch. Totally understandable decision, of course, but somehow this seemed like the first event on the calendar that might actually happen. Thanks for laying out your reasoning and for the ample heads-up time!
I agree, Boris -- I'm really disappointed. I have attended a Laramie event in one form or another (1000-Day, Laramie Daze, informal training) for most if not all of the last 20 years. There are just too many unknowns at this point to make planning feasible.
Unfortunate. I appreciate the decision. Now I know not to make plans. I’ve heard grand recommendations about it. It was going to be my first time. I’ll try to attend in 2021.
Fully understand and thanks for the update. Are you still planning to hold this event in 2021 (if conditions permit) or only in 2022?
No more Billygoat conflict (if it even happens)...
Yeah, well, Billygoat and Corn Maze Champs are maybe the next candidates up for cancellation, we'll see. We're working on ways to get the Billygoat to happen in a modified format if necessary.
Billygoat isn't really a Billygoat without the mass start...
But on the bright side, CT is now allowing outdoor groups of up to 25 with social distancing. So maybe some sort of handicapped start procedure using a start box like the corn maze. Wear a buff on your face queuing for the start. Start someone every 5 seconds or so with the fastest runners starting last. Spreads folks out initially while still allowing trains to form up over the first few legs. And once away from folks you can drop the mask.
Billygoat twice (1979 and 1981) did not have a mass start. But we're considering ideas.
CMO champs had been typically limited to about 50 people. If the covid limit goes up to at least 50 it could be a solid go.
On the other hand, would Mike even go forward with having a Maze this year if he thought he couldn't have more than 50 people (including staff) on hand at any given time?
I think the existence of a maze is the main deciding issue as to whether we have a corn maze event. If they can open it to the public right afterwards, then having our small event should be fine. But at this point I don't know what their plans are.
I talked to Mike this afternoon. At this point they are proceeding under the assumption that there will be a maze, but they have no idea what conditions or restrictions there might be on its use. Stay tuned.
Spreads folks out initially while still allowing trains to form up over the first few legs.
Wouldn't that then defeat the purpose of spreading people out? As in Australia over the weekend though, it kind of sucks that we're having to implement all these procedures to have to get people distancing during events but then large mobs go and hold rallies anyway where there's no distancing happening.
People running 'together' in the forest are still typically spaced well in excess of social distancing guidelines. People gathered for a mass start typically less so....