Update 17 May @ 9:20

I will be working with the EBRPD this upcoming week to determine the possibilities including re-scheduling for later this year (Fall timeframe, avoiding the hot summer months), or partial refunds (there have been costs already incurred). I will use this forum to post updates.

Update 15 May @ 21:17

On Thursday, the area was hit by a thunderstorm dropping about 1/2 inch of rain. This made the access roads impassable to emergency vehicles. In addition, del Valle was struck by lightening and experienced a power outage that was being addressed.

I will be working with the EBRPD to determine the possibilities.

Additional information will be forthcoming.

For those interested in running this weekend, please see http://insidetrail.com/calendar/reservoir-dogs-trail-run/

15 May @ 10:25

Attention: The Ohlone Wilderness 50K Trail Run is canceled by the EBRPD authorities for Sunday, May 17, 2015. Additional information will be forthcoming.

EBRPD cancels the Ohlone Wilderness 50K Trail Run for Sunday May 17, 2015

38 thoughts on “EBRPD cancels the Ohlone Wilderness 50K Trail Run for Sunday May 17, 2015

  • May 15, 2015 at 11:09 am
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    How does one react when one hears that extreme pain and suffering will be avoided? In this case with supreme disappointment. This was going to be my first Ohlone and my second 50k. I hope you will be back next year!

    No comments on this particular case since I don’t know anything but I know first-hand the park districts can be … difficult sometimes.

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    • May 15, 2015 at 11:49 am
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      One could in theory find some runners who are up to a similar pace, carry water, and do it anyway…

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    • May 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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      Their trucks were just washed clean by the rain yesterday, don’t think they want to get muddy tires anytime soon.

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  • May 15, 2015 at 11:39 am
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    :(( Supremely disappointed!! Would have been my first 50K and was so looking forward to it. Question for organizers… Is there a possibility of it happening on some other date in 2015?

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  • May 15, 2015 at 11:47 am
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    Same here, bummed that race is cancelled. I was very nervously waiting for this.. There is always next year!

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  • May 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm
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    Some of you, all of you have worked very hard this year to get for the Ohlone. Due to injuries I was sitting this one out. Still I looking forward to cheering the finishers. The decision to cancel on the part of the park dept. is premature. The ground will be hard as a rock tomorrow. What do you say we gather at Del Valle on Sunday and get rip roaring drunk!
    Peace,
    Paul

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  • May 15, 2015 at 12:09 pm
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    Was at the TH earlier this morning – trail was semi-muddy. Certainly runners’ favorite shoe weight training + hills.

    Then I saw a few mountain bikers returned cussing about the mud and how they can’t even ride on it. I am sorry that you could still walk your bike up there. I normally would pass all of you uphill, but now you are talking?

    I loved the slinging mud, remember the gust, rain, and mud NF50, people?

    Then a ranger at the TH mentioned as I returned told me that O50 was subjected to be canned, not because human can’t run on the mud, but cars can’t drive on it to deliver aids and such. I pointed at the sunny sky and blowing wind for the next 48hrs. Science?

    Well, the purpose of the trail run is the elements added. We don’t have heat this year, so mud is a good substitute. I thought we invented helicopter for a reason.

    Oh50k canceled due to cars not able to drive to deliver aid sounds like runners to run on their feet is just an option. It’s also my first time running this race, and I thought this race was momentarily directed by a local PTA fundraiser for a 5k race. Anyway, joking aside, safety is #1. I promised my mom not to get a scratch whenever I run on trails :) Well, I usually ended up scratching the trails instead. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    I wasn’t taken up on the decision. How about you? Cows are still grazing and going up Horse Heaven, so what gives?

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  • May 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    There must be tornadoes, out of control wildfires, or a huge influx of aggressive bulls and rattlesnakes. Otherwise I see no need to cancel the race. Dummies! Vance Roget

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  • May 15, 2015 at 1:59 pm
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    My only hope is the race organizers are fighting hard to make this event happen and working with EBRPD to find a workaround. Hard to believe weather could have caused this many issues!

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  • May 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm
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    I know there was a lightning strike there on Thursday that caused power and communications outages – maybe that is why????

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  • May 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm
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    Given the unfortunate news, a few other runners and I are planning on continuing with an unsupported, unofficial “fat-ass” style running of the course at 8AM on Sunday, including a BBQ with friends at the end. Any others interested?

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  • May 15, 2015 at 6:57 pm
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    really disappointing to see this notification. i’m sure a lot of runners have been training hard for this – one of the toughest 50ks this side of the country. i missed the quicksilver 50k – my home race – to run this.
    hopefully, we can get an explanation for this sudden decision.

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  • May 15, 2015 at 8:40 pm
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    All of those hours of hard work down the drain.

    Government agencies march to a different drummer.

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  • May 16, 2015 at 8:08 am
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    Is anyone interested in a training run tomorrow (race day)? If so, I was thinking of starting at Stanford parking lot at 6:30 (when parking lot opens) and running to top of Mt. Rose and back … bring your own food and we can refill water bladders at Calaveras Rd. (Mile 10ish and 30ish) … feel free to call or email me if you are interested (916) 616-3675 mshoup.pls@gmail.com …. thanks … mike

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  • May 16, 2015 at 9:33 am
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    Half an inch of rain… Half an inch… one centimeter of rain…

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  • May 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm
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    I got to say that the reasons for the cancellation are pretty lame. I understand that it’s not the race organizers who cancelled it, but the folks at EBRPD. I think EBRPD acted prematurely to cancel the race 48 hours before start time over concerns that likely won’t be an issue on Sunday. Friday and Saturday are dry and warm and I would imagine that most of the roads will have dried out to the point that they are at least drivable. The power seems like a none issue since generators could be brought in to supply the power needs of the race.

    I’ve done countless road, track and cross country races and have never had a event get cancelled. This was to be my first ultra and it gets cancelled because of mud…

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  • May 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    Unbievable! that ground will have soaked up any of that rain and the race directors run generators anyway. Ohlone is a well run super great ultra, i hope it will get rescheduled or there’s always next year! Tough on everybody. Thank you sponsors, see you next time.

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    • May 17, 2015 at 3:26 pm
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      Hi Bev,

      Gad, what a bunch of manure from EBRPD, it is as dry as a bone out here, 1/2″ on already dry land does not make for much mud–just went to the site to find out how the run went. I kept seeing a runner out here conditioning, conditioning so sorry for all of you especially since it was nice and cool today. Love, Judy

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  • May 17, 2015 at 6:06 am
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    Race director is silent. Could we get some mention of rescheduling this? a refund? credit for next year entry? Not sure what part of the course was affected but an out and back from the finish, even a few loops would have been far better than cancelling.

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  • May 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm
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    The latest update is very unacceptable. Why reschedule the race 4-5 months to a time of year where it’s more likely to rain, which is what started this whole schnanigan. I assume most things are in motion and rescheduling for a week or 2 seems to be a lot less painful then stopping everything and restarting it a few months later. It’s always more costly to stop and completely restart an event.

    A partial refund is totally unacceptable. The financial risks of putting on an event such as this are not on the paying customers. Those risks rest solely on the race organizers and their sponsoring partners.

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  • May 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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    Larry, thanks for your hard work in organizing the race. You must be as disappointed as any runner in rhe cancelation.

    Looking forward to the next one, either later this year or next May!

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  • May 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm
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    C’mon people, it’s not just a half inch of rain and a bit of mud… I agree, that would have largely dried out by now, and I’d sure run in those conditions. But that half inch of rain fell in ~20 minutes at my office in Santa Clara, and the blob on the radar was 4x larger and darker over the hills. Those are some steep hills back there, we all know & love them, and at the bottoms of the canyons, that could well have turned into six feet of fast-moving water. The “roads are impassable” could well be “because there’s a four-foot-deep gully there that wasn’t there an hour earlier”.

    As for silence from the RDs, I’m sure they were just as blind-sided as all of us, don’t go beating up on them. Two or three days, especially weekend (gov’t agencies!) isn’t terribly long to be trying to figure out what to do.

    — Uwe

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    • May 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm
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      Well put – Thank You
      ( also thanks Ken – next post )
      Fred

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  • May 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm
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    Larry & Ann. Thanks for the months of hard work; the unfortunate cancellation should not detract from acknowledging your efforts. We are looking forward to the next Ohlone 50k

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  • May 17, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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    Would-be participants should be given the option to run a race that is rescheduled to proceed in the coming weeks or receive their entry fee back. Most have trained and prepped for the specific timing of this event and that can still be salvaged. If organizers (or EBRPD) decide to push off for months, then all entered athletes should be refunded and can re-register if they so choose.

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  • May 17, 2015 at 7:56 pm
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    Thanks Larry for the hard work you do on this fantastic run ever year. And also thanks for the call informing me of this unfortunate cancellation, that was very appreciated. I would vote for trying to reschedule the race in the coming weeks if at all possible. It’s a great race to do before my upcoming WS100 race. I know you are dedicated to this race and are doing your best for a possible future rescheduling date. Thanks for all you do Larry

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  • May 18, 2015 at 7:02 am
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    I’m disappointed to see all the people demanding a full refund. The people volunteering to make this race happen for you ask for nothing. Your entry fee is spent in advance of the race on things like permits, food, insurance, awards, equipment, storage fees, websites, advertising, and a thousand other things. The money is gone.

    Rescheduling is tricky because now you need new permits (i.e. the park is available), a date all those volunteers are available so they can help you (they have lives too), and a date that works for the most runners (many have a schedule they put in place earlier in the year which is probably full for some time). I encourage anyone that thinks they can do a better job than Larry & Ann to become a race director.

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  • May 18, 2015 at 9:06 am
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    Thanks to the race directors for doing what they could to pull this event off – Mother Nature had different ideas.
    Hoping that there will be a refund of the entry fee, it will help offset the additional loss of cancelling our hotel reservation w/in 24hrs which resulted in losing an additional $200…

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  • May 18, 2015 at 10:53 am
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    I was disappointed to learn that the Ohlone 50K was cancelled as we were coming from out of town to run it. We found a trail marathon to run near Morgan Hill, but it was no Ohlone. In fact, one of the 5 full marathon finisher’s at the Coyote Lake Marathon works for the EBRPD and explained the situation – the concern wasn’t as much the mud and terrain conditions, but getting trucks and vehicles to aid station locations. I trust the race organizers and EBRPD had our best interests in mind, but am still admittedly “bummed out.”

    My question is, what is the next step? If the race is rescheduled, is there a tentative date? Will we be given the option of a full or partial refund? I agree with others here that frustration mounts as race organizers remain silent.

    A simple email from the RD explaining that they’re still deciding what to do would suffice. It isn’t good race management to leave runners hangin’.

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  • May 18, 2015 at 11:04 am
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    Isn’t there insurance to cover for cancellation of this kind? not just a mother nature kind, but an inept EBRPD human issue kind. TNF50 with Marin Headlands did a wonderful job when it was storming days before and after the race with people sliding in the mud. New York Marathon flunk not by Superstorm Sandy, but by ineptness of Bloomberg and Whitenburg. It took them the longest time to finally did something good to PR themselves back.

    Options:

    – Partial refund sounds like running a 50k with actual 39k on foot – Nope. Nicht.

    -Rescheduling for fall for cooler weather? Oh50k is known for the heat element in May. Sunol wilderness may not get any cooler until Oct/Nov. Watering down to Lululemon 50k is a joke. Plus, many have already scheduled fall races and vacations. As for myself, I ain’t running a Lululemon 50k. I purposely skipped QS because of Oh50!

    – Credit for next year (2016 or 2017), checked. Many races do this such as Triathlons and the Splash & Dash when Steven Creek Reservoir and other lakes went dry last year. People understand the circumstances.

    We want to support the trail running communities and that’s why we contribute to make organized races happen. I preferred not to deal with refund but I am sure a reasonable experienced race director will make good things happen.

    Best,

    RJ

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  • May 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm
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    In the world of ultrarunning you never know what is going to happen. Races get cancelled or courses/distances modified for fires (WSER in 2008), too much water (Lake Sonoma 50 Mile in 2011) and for “safety” reasons as determined by the State and Federal regulatory agencies that manage the land that we run over and through (MiWok in 2013). “Safety” reason based decisions are made after assessing how the regulatory agencies and safety and search and rescue groups would be able to respond to an a need for their services during the event (this included getting needed supplies like food and water to aid stations). These agencies and organizations do this on a daily basis and have a much more complete understanding of the bigger picture of what can happen and what can and cannot be done done than runners do. We rely on them for our safety and we need to listen to what they say, whether we agree or not. Race Directors and their support staff work very closely with the agencies that issue the permits that allow us to run on the trails. They work throughout the year and there is a lot of negotiations and give-and-take on both sides. You don’t decide on a Monday that you want to put on a race the following Saturday – you have to develop a plan, secure permits, line up volunteers, order swag and get the supplies needed for the event. All of these cost time and money, money that has to be spent before the event even happens. When you get injured before a race and cannot run it do you expect the Race Director to give you your entire entry fee back – I hope not. This race is a labor of love for the Race Directors and I am sure no one is more disappointed than they are. We need to support them with whatever the final outcome is. So we all need to take a deep breath and go out for a nice run on the trails while the Race Directors get this thing figured out. See you on the trails…………………….

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  • May 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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    Thanks to the RD for the call, which came right as I was packing the car to head up! Bad news, but it was very much appreciated. It’s not the end of the world, folks! Very unfortunate, but these things happen. I went out and raced my own mountains instead – strava segments are free racing after all and on your own schedule! Hopefully nobody thinks that the training was a waste..

    This is the 2nd year I’ve been trying to do O50k.. Last year it was sold out right as I was trying to get in. This year it was some rain and monkeys at the park. Maybe 3rd time will be the charm :)

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  • May 18, 2015 at 6:34 pm
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    I (the RD) am remaining silent because I have no new news to project. Please see the post at the top of this chain… “I will be working with the EBRPD this upcoming week to determine the possibilities”. The EBRPD has the schedule of events and I must fit any re-schedule into their schedule. The EBRPD issues the permits. Assuming I am able to find a suitable re-schedule date, I need to find out if that date works for some of the key volunteers, as well as obtain another round of insurance for the new date.

    Please monitor this site for updates.

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  • May 18, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    I know everybody bummed out of race cancelled. But it’s true it’s not the end of the world. We can always run another day or next year.
    In 2013 I and a group of friends were planning to run Grand Canyon R2R2R in October. I trained my butt off for the run but unfortunately 2 days before our event …we got the stupid Government shutdown that year.
    All National Parks CLOSED. Talk about disappointment !!! Nothing we could do.
    All travel expenses & training down the toilet.
    We changed the course. Went & ran County Park in Flagstaff
    And we came back Grand Canyon & conquer Rim to Rim to Rim in May last yr.
    So we will run Ohlone again soon.
    If race director doesn’t comply with the park….He might not get a new permit in the future. So light up your gals & guys
    Keep on training. Will do much much better when Ohlone comes around next time.

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  • May 22, 2015 at 6:41 pm
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    As someone who was looking forward to the 11th consecutive Ohlone 50K, I have a great appreciation
    for the RDs (Larry, Helmut, Anne and all those who have done it before) and the stellar repeat volunteers. It’s not an easy task to coordinate such an event with the park district, the insurance, the volunteers and all the other things we’re not aware of. I’ve seen and heard of people getting lost off trail and people being airlifted out on race day (and off, I spoke to some hikers once when I was running from Del Valle to Sunol and my husband, going the other way, met the same guys waiting for a helicopter rescue a short time later). Stuff happens and they’ve dealt with it beautifully every time. This is not their fault at all, they have to comply with the EBRPD if they want to keep coming back, they rely on their goodwill to pull it off. Don’t forget that while we can more or less easily slog through mud, it’s a lot harder to drive a truck up some of the hills with even a little mud.

    It takes a lot of people to put on a race like this, my guess is around 1 volunteer to every 4-5 runners but Larry can correct me if I’m wrong and wants to bother. The volunteers don’t ‘cost’ anything but they get
    shirts with the year on, as do the runners, and the bracelets at Rose Peak are different each year so all
    that’s money spent/lost beforehand. The food/aid station equipment was most likely already purchased
    too so the registration fee is gone. You shouldn’t expect that cancellation means a refund. Nobody’s getting rich off this.

    While this was a major disappointment, I fully support whatever the RDs decide and, hopefully, if they
    reschedule, I’ll be able to do it. If not, I’ll be waiting to sign up for next year when registration opens.

    Ramona

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    • May 24, 2015 at 8:50 am
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      Perishable food is gone, non-perishable is fine. I don’t know the cost fraction.
      I was surprised there was no refund, which could have been covered by event insurance, perhaps, but I recognize that since the event was cancelled by an external entity and not the race promoters themselves, perhaps it’s justified that the participants bear the financial risk. The vast majority of service providers don’t charge if service can’t be provided, whatever the reason, but I understand financial constraints differ in each case. On reschedule,I think for most it’s unlikely some arbitrary race date will be compatible with most runners’ schedules, so offering refund as an option would be nice, although perhaps not a realistic option given a lack of insurance.

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  • May 24, 2015 at 11:55 am
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    Hi Ann and Larry, you probably investigated this already, but in case not, objectively it seems that the weekend of the time change (Sunday 01 November 2015) presents the smallest number of ultra-conflicts in the area, between now and the holidays.

    Reply

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