By Eugenia Jones
Although detailed COVID-19 guidelines and an operating plan were in place for this year’s Yamacraw Trail Races, it was the recent record flooding that forced postponement of the event from this weekend, April 10/11 until the weekend of May 22-23, 2021.
According to an announcement posted last week on the Yamacraw Facebook page by race directors Brian and Shelley Gajus, some parts of the course were still underwater and where the water had receded, flooding had left 4-6 inches of mud/silt, debris, downed trees, trash, and unsafe conditions. Gajus said there was not enough time to clean up the trails by this weekend, and he did not feel comfortable putting 500+ runners on the trails at this time.
According to the race directors, proceeding with the races this weekend would not align with their values of promoting participation in outdoor activities for a healthy lifestyle, advocating for the value of national/regional parks and trail systems, and sharing a commitment to environmental stewardship.
The annual Yamacraw Trail Races (50K, 25K, 10K, and Children’s races) typically attract approximately 600 racers from across the nation. The racers traverse through some of the most beautiful portions of McCreary County’s Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork Scenic River and Recreation Area.