Organizers for the Gold Rush Mother Lode adventure race, one of the premiere AR events held in the U.S. each year, has announced that it is postponing the 2014 race due to the extreme draught conditions in California. The event was scheduled to take place between September 10-14 in the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, but will not be rescheduled for next year.
As many of you probably already know, California is in the midst of one of the worse draughts in recent memory, and the danger for wildfires is at an all time high. In their announcement regarding the postponement, Gold Rush organizers point out, their last two races have been impacted by wildfires, and the possibility of that happening again is simply to high. Rather than risk endangering competitors, or having to reroute the course through areas they don’t have permits for, the team behind the Mother Lode has elected to cancel this year’s event, and refund all entry fees.
All is not lost however, as race organizers have announced that they are planning a 24-30 hour adventure race to be held on the weekend of September 13-14 instead. While it won’t be as long, or tough, as the Mother Lode, it will give AR teams an event to compete in. Details are still forthcoming, so watch the Gold Rush website for an announcement.
Alternatively, my friends at the Expedition Idaho adventure race, which is scheduled to get underway in just ten days time, are offering Gold Rush teams a discounted entry if they can change their plans, and get to Coeur d’Alene in time for the event. Expedition Idaho returns for the first time since 2011, and it promises to be an excellent race for all involved. Admittedly, this is short notice, but the opportunity to run an expedition length race is there if your team can be flexible. Contact the ExpID team for details.
It’s a shame that the Gold Rush Mother Lode won’t be taking part this year, and hopefully conditions improve for its return next year. California is in a true state of emergency right now, and the danger for wildfires is incredibly high. August is likely to be a hot, dry month as well, which will probably only make things worse. Kudos to the experienced team behind Gold Rush for making the tough decision to postpone the race. That couldn’t have been an easy choice to make, but it is definitely the right one.
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