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UPDATE: Good Life Halfsy called off due to weather; virtual race to replace event

Good Life Halfsy
Good Life Halfsy(Good Life Halfsy)
Published: Oct. 24, 2021 at 9:58 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The Good Life Halfsy has been cancelled due to poor weather.

Officials noted on their social media that lightning strikes had happened on or around the course, and have advised individuals in the area to seek shelter immediately.

The race had already started at Seacrest Field earlier Sunday at around 8 a.m. The race had been sold out, with approximately 6,000 runners having hit the streets.

Because of the cancellation, the race will be replaced with a virtual race. Participants of the eighth annual Good Life Halfsy will receive an email with more information 10 a.m. on Monday. Officials with the Good Life Halfsy sent an email to comment on the situation:

“Good Life Halfsy Runners,

It was heartbreaking to cancel today’s Good Life Halfsy in-person half-marathon after the race began. Sunday’s race day weather scenario created an extremely difficult situation for runners, volunteers, spectators, City of Lincoln officials, and race organizers, but we are proud of how everyone came together to make the best of a challenging situation.

In the days leading up to the race, we were aware of the potential for inclement weather on race day. The day of the race, we were in constant communication with Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service when we made the decision to start the race. At race time, the forecast included a potential for rain, but we felt in the clear for lightning.

Unfortunately, approximately 35 minutes after the start of the race, a new storm cell formed which produced lightning strikes in the area shortly after that. This forced us to cancel the in-person race and advise everyone to seek shelter for the safety of all people involved. This message was communicated through our network of volunteers and emergency responders to runners on the course using the Event Alert System and public address systems, and then also by text message and email broadcast to all runners.

We worked hand-in-hand with emergency responders in managing this situation.”

“Pink Gorilla Events consulted with Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management during the planning of the 2021 Good Life Halfsy. To monitor weather conditions and the potential threat of severe weather leading up to and during the event, Emergency Management added the Good Life Halfsy to the National Weather Service’s Event Calendar and conferred with meteorologists at the NWS Valley office. In the hours leading up to the Halfsy’s 8:00am start, the forecast called for cloudy, rainy conditions with light winds and temperatures near 50 degrees.

Shortly after 8:30am, Emergency Management received an inquiry from the Halfsy’s Incident Command about a weather front southwest of Lincoln moving northeast toward the area of the race course. Emergency Management contacted the on-duty meteorologist at the NWS Valley office who confirmed the front developed quickly and contained lightning, cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground. He estimated the threat would be in the area for at least 30-60 minutes. Emergency Management forwarded this update to Halfsy Incident Command who decided to implement its race cancellation plan.”

James Davidsaver Lancaster County Emergency Management: Emergency Management Director

When the in-person event was cancelled, we continued to provide as much runner support as possible without jeopardizing the safety of race volunteers. We immediately activated busses and supplemental shuttles to start transporting runners to the finish line to pick up their gear drop bags and then from the finish line to the start line as originally planned.

Since the in-person race was cancelled, finisher medals were not awarded and no one officially finished the 2021 in-person Good Life Halfsy today because the in-person race was cancelled before any runners reached the finish line. A small number of finisher medals were accidentally distributed so you might have seen someone wearing one in the finish line area.

As runners ourselves, we certainly empathize with everyone who was disappointed to not receive a finisher medal today. It was frustrating and disappointing to us to not be able to hang them on your necks. Any participants who continued running after the race was cancelled were doing so on their own accord.

All runners will be automatically transferred to the virtual Good Life Halfsy and we will send an email to everyone at 10am on Monday morning with instructions on submitting your virtual race time.

All registered participants who submit a virtual race time will have a finisher medal mailed to them at no expense. Your virtual time simply needs to be your personally timed run of 13.1 miles. Under these unique circumstances, the running you did today can count towards that 13.1 miles. Simply put, you can add an additional run to the distance you did today to reach 13.1 miles.

In accordance with our event policies, we will also provide a 25% discount to all registered runners for next year’s 2022 Good Life Halfsy. This discount will also apply to runners who had transferred to the virtual run prior to the start of today’s in-person race. This discount will be sent this spring by email prior to registration opening for the 2022 race. Although today’s weather and resulting events were not what anyone wanted for this year’s Good Life Halfsy, we appreciate how everyone came together to keep participants safe and make the best of a tough situation. Runners did the best they could. Volunteers stepped up to provide as much support as possible and got drenched in the process.

Bus providers activated quickly to provide transportation. And our emergency responders rose to the occasion to keep the course safe. Thank you for being the supportive and understanding running community that we have built Pink Gorilla Events around. A weather situation like this is the most difficult to respond to as race organizers. We leveraged 14 years of race-planning experience today in our response. There is always room for improvement, but our response plan functioned as best it could given the circumstances. We will provide as much value as we can by following our event policies and transferring everyone to the virtual race, mailing finisher medals, and providing a discount to next year’s 2022 Good Life Halfsy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at ask@pinkgorillaevents.com and we will do our best to help you.

The Pink Gorilla Events Team

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