Dear Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) Members and Running Community Friends,
It has been almost five months since the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the state of Michigan and changed our lives in ways we never imagined possible. The running community has been heavily impacted as event and program cancellations and transformations to a virtual platform continue into the fall.
Similar to other organizations, Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) has had to embrace rapid and constant change (hence the all too familiar buzzword, pivot). The health and safety of our members, partners, volunteers and the community at large remain our top priority.
During the state mandated stay at home orders, we launched KAR Scavenger Hunt and Theme Weeks via Facebook, offered discounts to virtual events and provided our members with the opportunity to participate in the Virtual Kalamazoo Marathon and Borgess Run for the Health of It events free of charge.
While larger events and programs continue their hiatus, in person activities have started to emerge as the stay at home orders lifted. KAR’s midweek group runs in Portage, Richland, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek resumed in July, under our COVID-19 Group Run Operational Preparedness Plan and guidance from federal, state and local authorities.
As we continue to evaluate club activities into the fall, below are the statuses of upcoming Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) events and programs. As always, these are subject to change based on the guidance referenced above, as well as the availability of community resources:
- The Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) Annual Banquet and Membership Meeting scheduled for March 25, 2020 will be transformed to a Membership Picnic and Awards Ceremony on September 29, 2020 at Texas Drive Park. This event will serve as our Annual Membership Meeting and Election, and will honor our Runner Recognition Award Winners. The Membership Picnic and Awards Ceremony will be FREE to KAR members and more information will be coming soon!
- The Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) Club Championship Series and the Award Ceremony scheduled for November 10th have been cancelled for 2020. All participating races with the exception of four were cancelled or changed to virtual events.
- The summer session of the Fast Track 5k and 10k Training Program in Kalamazoo has been cancelled.
- The fall session of the Fast Track 5k and 10k Training Program in Battle Creek is TBD.
- The Summer Safari Half and Full Marathon Training Program has been transformed to a Virtual Run Camp.
- The Kal-Haven Trail Run scheduled for April 4th, 2020 has been postponed until November 1, 2020. At this time, the event is planned as scheduled on the new date.
- The Turkey Trot Time Prediction 5k Run is currently scheduled on November 26, 2020. The event will continue to be evaluated based on federal, state and local guidelines and the availability of community resources.
- The 42nd annual Kalamazoo Klassic scheduled for June 19th and 20th (and postponed until October 3, 2020) has been converted to a virtual platform. Registration will open on August 15th and runners can participate in the 5k Run, 5k Walk and/or 10k run on a course of their choice between October 3, 2020 and October 18, 2020. More information will be coming soon!
- We are beginning planning for the 2021 Beyond Half and Full Marathon Training Program in Kalamazoo and will be evaluating program operations in alignment with our COVID-19 Group Run Operational Preparedness Plan and based on availability of community resources.
We will continue to remain flexible and adaptable and there will be additional changes and updates as we move into the fall. Decisions will continue to be made based on recommendations and mandates from federal, state and local authorities, the practices of similar community organizations and the availability of community resources.
Communications will be sent as soon as possible to members, event, program and group run participants and partners as soon as possible after decisions are made. For more information on membership, event, program and group run status, visit www.kalamazooarearunners.org
Thank you for your support and cooperation as we strive to promote the health and safety of our runners and the overall well-being of our community. We will get through this together and emerge stronger than ever.
The Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) Board
Bonnie Sexton, President
Natalie Rowe, Vice President
Cheryl Wesler, Treasurer
Robert Poznanski, Secretary (interim)
Board Members at Large