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wharf to wharf 2020

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!"#$%&' !"#$%&' ()*+#,-.+# /"#0%%&'#x#!"#123&' /"#;213&' 678#-9#:-.+ 678#-9#:-.+ 678#-9#:-.+ 678#-9#:-.+ Brought to you by On Your Own, In This Together THE VIRTUAL WHARF TO WHARF RACE THE VIRTUAL WHARF TO WHARF RACE !"#$%&' 678#-9#:-.+ 678#-9#:-.+ How and Why the Famous Wharf to Wharf Race Went Virtual for 2020 by Tara Fatemi Walker ...continues on pg 3 T he Wharf to Wharf race, a beloved community tradition that began in 1973, draws thousands of attendees and observers each year. While many are disappointed that the traditional "physical race" won't occur in 2020, people understand the need for precautions—and event organizers have managed to create a successful, alternative "virtual" event. This way, participants can be safe and still accomplish the race. Reaching the decision to hold a virtual race was not easy. Wharf to Wharf Race Inc., a California nonprofit corporation that administers the race, has a Board comprised of seven Board members and seven Advisors that works from September through July each year to produce the event. Once the seriousness of the coronavirus in the U.S. became clear in March, the Board held many extra meetings. They had several discussions about the effects of COVID-19 and explored many options. "We considered holding the event, cancelling outright, or having a virtual event for both Wharf to Wharf and Little Wharf," says Race Director Scott McConville. They also entertained the idea of postponing the event to a later date, and elaborated on the pros and cons. "However, our Board was unanimous and steadfast in their belief that any event resembling WTW in a mass gathering format just simply wasn't feasible," says Scott. "So instead of postponing the event to a later date in the year, and ultimately being forced to cancel or go virtual at the last minute, we decided it was best for our organization to take advantage of our popular date on the calendar, the fourth Sunday in July, and host the Virtual Wharf to Wharf Race. We also were attempting to be forward- thinking amidst the unknown—and we wanted to see if it was possible to provide an opportunity to bring the community together with a fun, engaging, virtual event." Throughout the discussions over several weeks, they kept coming back to doing what felt right for the organization. Health and safety, Scott added, were paramount in the decision. Board Member and Treasurer Mark McConnell echoes this sentiment. "The first and foremost concern of the WTW board was the health of our running community and the community at large," says Mark. "In hopes that the pandemic would resolve itself, we postponed for as long as we could making a final decision regarding canceling our events. However, it became apparent that it would not be possible to safely host a large event like WTW, so the decision was made to cancel (the physical event)." Mark says there were two major things that factored into their decision to try the virtual format. "One was financial, in that we faced losing a significant amount of money in fixed annual costs that were going to be paid whether or not we had an event. We hoped the virtual event would allow us to recoup some of that loss or even see some profit this year," says Mark. Although the organization is financially secure, it is always challenging to face a loss.

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