Well, we're in the thick of summer and live events are dropping like flies.
Of course, there are some smaller scale races taking place, but any event over 500 persons is simply not allowed to gather per the State of New Jersey and many other states as well.
So, what do we do? How are decisions made? Why not 'call them' sooner? "DelMo, how we can help?"
Over the past few months we have been inundated with questions on our events. Everywhere I go, someone will invariably ask me, "How's it looking for Escape? Will IM70.3AC take place? If so, how are you going to do it? If not, why are you not making the call now?"
These questions become incredibly complex but I can break it down into a few boxes:
Box #1: The Government. Right now, the Governor of New Jersey holds the power to open, close, move forward, or move back in phases. He is ultimately responsible for the health and well-being of the residents of the Garden State and whether you like the job he's doing or you don't... right now... New Jersey is leading recovery effort in the USA. See this NJ.com article: N.J. is only state in the U.S. to see COVID-19 cases drop for two weeks running. It's data like this which gives us hope for our events scheduled for late in the season, i.e. Escape the Cape and IRONMAN 70.3 Atlantic City. Now, as of right now we are only allowed to gather in groups of up to 500 persons... that's the limit. Back in June, the Governor made an announcement that increased gatherings from 100 to 500 effective July 4th weekend... we're very hopeful that the way NJ is progressing that we will see a very similar increase... but we have to wait and be patient. Now, will there have to be changes to the events, perhaps a tweak or two? Yes. Will we have to adhere to very specific social distancing protocols for the Ferry and Bader Field? Yes. But none of that matters until the limit is increased.
Great info DelMo... however, how long will you wait to make the call on Escape? Ideally, we'd like to make a call now, but we are extremely hopeful ETC, or a form of ETC can take place as New Jersey is doing exceptionally well comparative to the rest of the US. I can assure you that some form of decision will be made by early August.
Box #2: The Mob. I've mentioned this to my team a few times. I've mentioned "The Mob" and they look at me like I'm crazy. No, I'm not talking about the Soprano's, I'm talking about the mentality of the masses. It's times like these when we must be extremely careful of our actions (as we should always be) when making decisions as a business and not to muddy the waters with you/athletes/customers. Let's take Tri the Wildwoods for example. Could we have produced an altered version of the event? Yes. Could we have placed all of the social distancing protocols in place for our athletes? Yes. Did we feel it was benefitting the event to do this? No. And there you have it... we simply did not feel 'right' about producing Tri the Wildwoods in an altered state, and when you're not feeling it... you're a no go. It's just that simple!
Alrighty then, what about IM70.3AC? So many WTC events have been cancelled... you're the RD, what are you doing, and when are we going to know? Here's what I can tell you about IM70.3AC... if there was one place on Earth that we have enough room to socially distance athletes... it's Bader Field. We have been working for months on a robust plan to effectively produce IM70.3AC on September 13. We have presented this plan to the City of Atlantic City. They know us, we know them; however, we are hoping/wishing/praying the State of New Jersey increases the limit sooner rather than later. What's this mean? It means me and my team are actively planning to safely produce and execute IRONMAN 70.3 Atlantic City on September 13th.
Here's the biggest question: "How can we help you?"
If you truly want to help DelMoSports through these uncertain times, we would be extremely grateful if you simply converted your current entry and raced with us virtually. I'm not going to BS you... this is going to hurt... for a long time. The endurance sport world has been absolutely WRECKED by COVID-19. In fact, the live events industry in general have all been decimated. RunSignUp recently released a graphic on our industry... the most telling was 67% of companies will not make it through 2020... that's over two-thirds. So, I ask you, if you really want to help us, please take our virtual option with Tri AC/Tri WW. We had nearly 1000 women take the option for the Hand & Stone Women's PHL Tri Presented by Inspira Health and we are GRATEFUL. Also, don't be shy with our events... TELL A FRIEND!!!
Learn more about Virtual Atlantic City Triathlon (August 1-21) HERE.
Learn more about the Stampone Law Virtual Tri the Wildwoods Triathlon, 5K & Wild Child Triathlon (August 22-Sept 12) HERE.
I want you all to know that we are working on our remaining events, every minute of every day and we are doing our best. We will always make the decision with your safety in mind and we appreciate your past, current, and future support.
Stephen Del Monte