Overall Director of the Race Committee
I would like to express my sincere condolences to all the victims of COVID-19. I also pray for the quick recovery of everyone who has been affected by this disease and all those who are in difficult situations.
As we stated during the online announcement on February 17th, the UTMF Race Committee has been preparing for the UTMF2021 while carefully observing the situations surrounding COVID-19 and exploring various safety measures. Last month, we postponed our final decision on whether to hold the UTMF2021 for one month to observe the situation. Now, as of today, March 17th, the situation surrounding COVID-19 has continued to evolve, and we are still facing many uncertainties and unpredictabilities.
Under such circumstances, we concluded that we might not be able to host a safe race for racers, volunteers, staff members, sponsors, and local communities even when we implement all the safety measures that we can possibly think of on the day of the race.
Even when the state of emergency that has been declared for Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures is lifted, it will be extremely difficult to predict how COVID-19 would continue to spread. If we make a decision to hold the UTMF2021 today and are forced to cancel it right before the race, we will be in a financial situation that will make it extremely difficult for us to continue the race next year and beyond.
Therefore, we made a difficult decision to cancel the UTMF2021. This is a decision to make the UTMF a sustainable race that would be welcomed and loved by trail runners and local communities.
Since we canceled the UTMF2020 last year, we have been working with a strong determination to hold the UTMF2021 by implementing various safety measures such as setting up a new course and finish area. However, seeing how COVID-19 is still spreading, especially the spread of variants, we must admit that the situation has evolved beyond our expectations.
We apologize that our decision will be a great disappointment and trouble to racers who have been training and preparing for the race, volunteers who have been participating in course maintenance and those who are planning to work on the race days, sponsors, exhibitors, partner organizations, and local people who have been providing us with great support.
As stated in the attachment, we are going to notify the registered UTMF racers about future processes including entry rights for future UTMF races and discount on entry fees.
Details will be send to the registered email addresses of racers and posted on the official UTMF website and Facebook page around early April.
We are committed to keep working to convey the virtue of keep challenging ourselves and fascination we feel toward trail running through the beautiful culture and the natural environment that surround Mt. Fuji. We appreciate your understanding and continuous support.