Dear Runners, walkers and Parkinson’s community,
We hope this letter finds you well and safe in your homes during this unprecedented time in our lives. As you are all aware, the Parkinson’s team was forced to postpone our 2020 event in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. With race day approaching, and the uncertainty for the future, we have once again been forced to make some difficult decisions. This is not the news we wanted to share with you today, but after very thoughtful consideration, the Parkinson’s team has decided to cancel the Parkinson’s Half Marathon, 5k and 1 mile walk for 2020 due to the pandemic. It is our responsibility to keep our participants, spectators, sponsors, and volunteers safe so we can enjoy many more races together in the future. Furthermore, we did not want to postpone the decision that might prevent you from making further plans.
We want you all to know we did not make this decision lightly and we weighed all of our options to make the best decision for both participants and our charity, the American Parkinson Disease Association Wisconsin Chapter. Over the years we have built some amazing relationships with individuals, teams, sponsors, and volunteers. Our race is unique and one that we are so proud of. People come out to run our event year after year because in some way most of our participants have been affected by Parkinson’s. Our efforts over the years have continued to grow. Nine years ago we started this amazing journey, and have raised over $300,000 for APDA. Last year, nearly 1,500 of you participated and helped us raise nearly $80,000. This is because of you and your efforts and generosity. For this, we say THANK YOU!
The Parkinson’s Half Marathon, 5k and 1-mile walk has grown to be the #1 fundraiser for the Wisconsin Chapter of the APDA. Our race has not only supported existing programs for people with Parkinson’s, but it has also brought new opportunities to people living with this disease. Our race supports educational programming and exercise classes throughout the state. It helps to provide financial support to families struggling to afford all the additional costs of life with Parkinson’s. Your generosity helps us help the APDA to provide education and support to everyone in Wisconsin affected by Parkinson’s disease, helping them live life to the fullest.
The Parkinson’s team is grateful and humbled by your unwavering support. We’re encouraged by how many of you have already told us to “just keep the money”. As a run for charity and to preserve our ability to continue providing support to people living with Parkinson’s, we must uphold our no refunds policy. Event planning was well underway and expenditures have already occurred. Because 100% of our proceeds go to the APDA, every penny we can bring in to help them this year is crucial. By canceling the race we understand our registration revenue and donations will be greatly decreased this year, and it breaks our hearts to not provide the APDA with this critical funding. We encourage you, if possible, to continue to fundraise for the APDA, talk to family and friends and ask them to make a donation, and allow us to keep your registration fee to be directly donated to the APDA.
We appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented time. We’ve created the following options for your registration:
#1 Donate your registration for this year and receive a coupon code for 20% off your 2021 registration.
- If you choose this option you will receive a coupon code that will allow you to take 20% off your registration for the 2021 event. A receipt for your tax-deductible donation is available upon request
- Use this link to donate directly to the APDA’s website.
#2 Defer your registration for the 2021 Parkinson’s Half Marathon, 5k and 1 Mile Walk.
- If you choose this option you will need to transfer your registration in Runsignup. Or contact us to make the change.
#3 Transfer your registration to another person for the 2021 event.
- If this is the option you choose you will be required to defer your registration in Runsignup and then contact us to inform us of the change.
You MUST GO to Runsignup to make your selection. Here is the link: https://runsignup.com/Race/WI/CottageGrove/ParkinsonsHalfMarathon5kand1MileWalk
In addition to the above three options, we encourage you to join APDA for their annual Optimism Walk in August. This family-friendly, active event also raises critical funds for APDA’s programs and services. Please consider creating a team of family and friends! Registration is free. Please use this link to learn more.
We understand you have been training and were looking forward to a great race. We encourage you to continue running and being active while following public health guidelines. Running can be a great way to stay in shape and escape from the everyday stressors we may be experiencing.
We appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions you can email us at email@example.com or check our website to see some frequently asked questions.
Stay healthy and keep running,
The Parkinson’s Team
Attached is a wonderful recording from a podcast called Running for Real by Tina Muir. She spoke with Meb Keflezighi, 4 time Olympian, Boston, and New York Marathon winner, about the stressors the COVID-19 virus has placed on runners, volunteers, sponsors, and race directors. He encourages you to take this time to recharge and focus on your weaknesses. I would highly encourage you to check out their conversation as it sheds light on some of the things we had to work through when making our decision to cancel the Parkinson’s race. A special thank you goes to Tina Muir for giving us permission to use her work.