PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — After careful consideration, the Illinois Valley Striders announced the 47th running of the Steamboat Classic has been rescheduled from June 20 to Sept. 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Event organizers cited several reasons for the cancellation:
- Social distancing precludes social running and walking. Many Steamboat Classic participants enjoy training together during the months of April and May.
- Understanding that large-scale public events will not be allowed in early summer.
- Inability to effectively recruit volunteers and conduct meetings and onboarding sessions with the event committee and volunteers.
- Inability to conduct organizational meetings with sponsors, vendors, and partners, including first responders and the event medical team.
- Lengthy lead times required to order appropriate numbers of shirts, medals, refreshments, etc.
“Given the uncertainty during the pandemic, we didn’t feel it was practical nor prudent to plan and promote our event on our traditional June date,” race director Philip Lockwood said. “Many of our loyal participants and volunteer use Steamboat on Father’s Day Weekend to start their summers. We hope our new date serves as an aspirational goal for our community to get ‘Moving Forward Together’.”
The rescheduled Steamboat Classic features the 4 Mile Run/Walk and 15 Kilometer (9.3 miles) Run along with a One Mile Fun Run/Walk. The event is open to runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes of all ages, ability and fitness levels.
Event organizers encourage everyone to engage in regular physical activity while observing social distancing recommendations. In addition, organizers are finalizing plans for the following:
- Maintaining the “Early Registration” fees through the end of June. (Current registrations will automatically transfer to the new date.”)
- Distributing the “Stay at Home Steamboat Start Training Plans” on all related digital platforms.
- Hosting a “Virtual Steamboat Classic” during the week preceding Father’s Day. Participants will have the opportunity to earn discounts and win complimentary registrations for posting and sharing their results.
- Launching a “Summer Steam Training Program” as soon as social distancing is no longer required.
- Promoting a “Weekend of Running in Peoria” on Labor Day Weekend with running & walking events for the entire family, including the IVS Bridge to Bridge Run on Labor Day.
For registration or more information regarding the 2020 Steamboat Classic, visit: www.steamboatclassic.org.