HELENA — One of the most well-known sporting events in the Helena area and the state, at least as far as runners are concerned, won't be happening as the 47th annual Governor's Cup was canceled Thursday.
“The best way for the Governor’s Cup and BCBSMT to make a positive impact on the health of our running community is to cancel this year’s event,” Governor’s Cup Race Director Bryan Haines said.
"To say this is disappointing would be a massive understatement," Haines continued. "This would have been the 47th running of our event – one of the longest-running foot races in Montana – that welcomes thousands of runners to Helena and serves as the unofficial start of summer. "
The 2020 Governor's Cup was scheduled to take place June 12-13.
Each year, the Governor's cup has nearly 4,000 runners participate and more than 2,000 in the competitive races.
The magnitude of the event, as well as the number of outside participants it attracts were reasons why the event was canceled according to the release sent out by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, the main sponsor for 42 years.
"Each year nearly 4,000 runners participate in our events, with more than 2,000 in Saturday's competitive races. Nearly 10% of those participants travel in from out of state, and 45% come from outside Lewis and Clark County. If you have ever toed our starting line, you know keeping six inches apart can be hard, let alone six feet. Our finish line is tight and intimate, which is part of what makes the Governor’s Cup such a desirable event, but hard to practice social distancing. Add in close to 300 volunteers, Governor’s Cup staff and loyal spectators, race weekend is a fabulous event that also serves as a potential hot spot for transmission of this virus."
Runners who have already registered for the Governor's Cup will have the following options according to the release:
- OPTION 1: Defer current race registration to the 2021 Governor’s Cup with no fee.
- OPTION 2: Request a 50% refund of their 2020 race registration fee. (minus processing fee)
- OPTION 3: Make their race registration fee a donation to the Caring Foundation of Montana to help provide access to preventive health care.