Race to Robie Creek Fails to Sell Out, Boise Runners Explain Why
For gutsy Boise athletes, the third Monday of February isn't just President's Day. It's the day where they hover over their computer at high noon, hoping to get one of the coveted bib numbers for the "toughest race in the Northwest" before it sells out.
We're talking about Race to Robie Creek registration day. The race usually accepts a little over 2,000 participants and sells outs in minutes. The record is nine minutes. Before the world got weird and COVID-19 brought everything to a screeching halt, the 2020 race sold out in 12 minutes and 12 seconds. 33 days later, the race was canceled.
Participants who chose to donate to their registration fee to the charities that were expected to receive funds from the race, were given a guaranteed entry into the 2021 race. The 2021 race went virtual, so those guaranteed entries rolled over to this year's in person race if runners still wanted to take advantage of the offer.
Many do not. Registration for this year's race did NOT sell out in minutes. In fact, the registration window is still open and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, February 27 if the spaces aren't filled. At press time, there were are over 650 spots still available.
Why Wasn't the Race to Robie Creek 2022 a Sell Out?
Many speculated that it had to do with the stringent COVID-19 protocols organizers are requiring. Like other running events that have taken place in-person in the City of Boise during the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are required in the starting/finishing areas, in shuttle lines and on shuttle rides.
However, Robie's vaccination policy is VERY different than those of the Turkey Day 5K or Famous Potato Marathon. Those races require that you're vaccinated against COVID-19 or produce proof of a negative test during a given window before the event. Robie will NOT accept a negative test from participants. Their policy reads:
Yes, all race participants and volunteers will need to have proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Details about how to submit proof of vaccination are forthcoming. In order to be fully vaccinated for race day, all race participants and volunteers must have received their second shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or a single shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on or before April 2, 2022. Individuals who received their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine more than six months prior to race day, i.e., before October 16, 2021, must also receive a booster dose of any of the vaccines on or before April 2, 2022. A negative COVID-19 test will not be accepted as a substitute for proof of full vaccination.
It's asking a lot of people, but is that what turned people off from this year's race? We asked Treasure Valley runners who've ran the race before why they didn't want to do it this year and asked for their honest answers.
On a personal level, this author chose not to take advantage of her guaranteed entry from 2020 because she grew tired of virtual events and pretty much threw in the towel on running when her last in person race got canceled in 2020. She's terribly out of shape and once Robie announced there would be no finish line party and no spectators to celebrate with in 2022, it just didn't seem worth pushing the limits to train for the race. If she's more in shape next year, she'll be back.
How about other runners? These are some of the responses we got. Opinions are opinions of the respondents and do not represent this radio station.