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Yes, the race should go on. The 2020 KEYS100 race permit is in hand, and race day is one week beyond the current 8-week CDC guideline regarding event cancellation. So, yes, the race should go on. But the importance of protecting the community’s health, the vast unknowns regarding COVID-19 and the advance planning needs of registered participants must come first. For these reasons, the 13th annual KEYS100 scheduled for May 16-17 is regrettably cancelled.
For runners and their crews and race staff and volunteers, hotels, flights, vehicle rentals and a host of other significant expenses are also at stake. In fairness, waiting until the end of 8 weeks to see if the coast is clear or the CDC ban on gatherings will be extended, is out of the question. Planning time is a must for all. A virtual race alternative? How do you create a “virtual” event that remotely approximates the experience of running down spectacular Overseas Highway, either individually or as a team? And postponing the race until later in the year is not realistic, either. Who knows how long the viral threat will remain? How can a new date be selected after a dozen years of racing on the 3rd Saturday in May that won’t create major conflicts for a big number of you?
No one could have foreseen this health crisis. As is the case every year, 2020 race preparations began the day after the 2019 race. Major costs are incurred throughout the year and get heavier in the months leading-up to race day. We raise and donate a lot of money each year to the very worthy “Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys”. But, race directing is also my job. From a very personal perspective, then—including the emotional connection to an iconic event now in its 13th year—I want the show to go on more than anyone. But not this time.
To balance this complexity as best we can, partially compensate registered runners and ensure that the 2021 race goes on, the following compromise regarding deferrals and refunds is being offered: Both individuals and teams will have the option of a 35% refund of your paid 2020 entry fee OR a deferral of 75% of that fee for the 2021 KEYS100 on May 15. The selection MUST be made BEFORE April 7, 2020.
FIRST STEP: Log-in to your “RunSignUp” account.
Refund: Individuals--if selecting this option, refunds can take up to a week to post to your account, so please check that the credit has posted accordingly.
Teams—team refunds must be initiated manually. Send me an email request at email@example.com to request your partial team refund.
Deferral: If selecting this option, you will be able to claim your deferral “discount coupon” code of 75% prior to registering for the 2021 race. Team captains may also select this deferral option.
(Note that deferred entries will NOT be transferable or refundable.)
A great many of you are returning runners. Please know how grateful I am for your terrific support over the years. And for those of you who were heading to Key Largo for your first KEYS100 race in May, I look forward to seeing each of you in the Keys in 2021. For now, stay safe and be well.
Additional race information can be found at http://keys100.com.
Registration is open for the 13th Annual race across the islands of the Florida Keys in this Southernmost part of the United States. The Keys is a chain of unique and inter-connected islands--some inhabited, some not--ending in the City of Key West, just 90 miles from Cuba. The Florida Keys, known locally as "The Conch Republic", is a spectacular and laid-back sub-tropical paradise, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay/Gulf of Mexico. The Keys feature great fishing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving, hotels, resorts, B&B's and cuisine and cocktails to fit every budget. There is entertainment to fit every taste, important history and a unique culture, sunsets that will keep you spellbound, special events going on throughout the year including the KEYS100, of course, and you don't need a passport to visit here! So, what are you waiting for? We've saved a space for you!
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.Questions?
The official race video, created in 2014 by Naples, FL videographer Jay Staton, is an excellent representation of the KEYS100. A full length version and thousands of photos, stories and videos from past years may be viewed at the "Photos & Stories" pages on the race website, KEYS100.com.
In order to receive important and timely race updates and information, please sign-up to receive periodic newsletters from Ultra Sports, LLC. Also, add the Race Director to your address book: Bob Becker, firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 954-439-2800. You may unsubscribe at any time. Sign-up here
"Race Rules & Standards" have evolved over a dozen years to address personal, event and community safety, to avoid becoming the cause of traffic disruption on race weekend and to promote fair competition and sportsmanship. Compliance with them not only accomplishes these goals but goes a long way towards insuring that Monroe County will invite us back the following year to host KEYS100. These notes are directed to teams, individual runners, crew and drivers and even friends and family. Familiarity with them is a must. While we apologize for its length, please take the time to read and understand what is expected of everyone on race day. "Race Rules & Standards" appear on the race website under "Need to Know", will be printed, distributed and reviewed on race weekend at pre-race orientation and are printed here for your convenience.
KEYS100—RACE RULES & STANDARDS
Every Runner, Every Team & Their Respective Volunteers Are Equally Responsible for Knowing and Complying with ALL Rules
PERSONAL, EVENT & COMMUNITY SAFETY:
IV’S and SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN PROHIBITED. Anyone using an intravenous device or supplemental oxygen for ANY reason will be immediately disqualified from continuing to race. If medically required for a team member, that runner may not continue under any circumstances. Any other use of an IV or oxygen by a team member will result in immediate disqualification of the entire team.
AFTER SUNDOWN. Defined strictly as 7:30pm Saturday until 6:00am Sunday, ALL racers (and pacers, if any,) must wear a vest or similar item with reflective material clearly visible 360 degrees, as well as clearly visible colored blinking LED lights facing front and rear. Anyone not complying will immediately be stopped and not allowed to continue, and may be pulled from the race. Both reflective vest (or similar) AND blinking lights must be worn. (Reflective vests that incorporate blinking colored lights front and rear are acceptable.) Wear all gear as prescribed or sit until morning. No exceptions. Your life--and the race permit--are at stake. Important note: Headlamps do NOT count as required safety gear, but wearing one or carrying another type of light is strongly recommended. It can be quite dark in certain sections of the course which will materially impact your ability to maintain your preferred pace. Be smart; be prepared with all appropriate nighttime gear. CHECK-IN REQUIREMENT: PACKET PICK-UP REMINDER FOR 100-MILERS AND RELAY TEAMS: AT PACKET PICK-UP IN KEY LARGO ON FRIDAY, ALL INDIVIDUAL 100-MILERS MUST SHOW COMPLETE, ACCEPTABLE NIGHT GEAR, AND ALL TEAMS MUST SHOW TWO (2) COMPLETE SETS, IN ORDER TO PICK-UP RACE PACKETS, INCLUDING RACE BIBS. EXCEPTIONS TO THIS INSPECTION REQUIREMENT MAY BE GRANTED BY RACE MARSHALS AT PACKET PICK-UP FOR TEAMS EXPECTING TO FINISH UNDER 13 HOURS.
LIMITING NUMBER OF PEOPLE CROSSING OVERSEAS HIGHWAY. When crossing US#1 on foot due to location of parking to either exchange or support a runner: For teams, only the new runner and a maximum of ONE additional team member may cross the road for the exchange and to assist the finishing runner. For individual runners, no more than ONE CREW MEMBER AND A PACER may cross the road. All others must remain on the vehicle side, well back from the roadway. ALWAYS wait for traffic to pass in both directions, then cross with extreme care. NEVER cause traffic to slow down or stop when crossing highway. YOU MUST WAIT. Severe time penalties or DQ will be enforced with a zero tolerance policy towards dangerous crossings of, or behavior on, any roadway. EXCEPTION AT MM40 AFTER CROSSING SEVEN MILE BRIDGE, all team members or individual runner support crew may cross the road to meet their runner past the driveway into Veteran's Park. To avoid a bottleneck and allow runners to pass or be served at the aid station, no one other than race staff and active runners are allowed between the end of the bridge and the driveway into Veterans Park. Meet or exchange your runner past the driveway. No parking in Veteran’s Park or on the ocean-side shoulder. Vehicles are moving at high speed in this area, so it can be very dangerous. Extreme caution must be taken when crossing the highway.
AID STATION food, drinks, ice, and other supplies (as well as ice and water at un-staffed cooler locations) are for individual runners ONLY and not for pacers and other crew members. Quantities are stocked and replenished with runners only in mind. Teams are self-contained and are not served at aid stations except in emergencies. Note that the finish line is different; food and drinks are for all runners, team members and REGISTERED volunteers.
BIB NUMBERS must be worn on the runner's front and be clearly visible at all times.
DRIVING & SUPPORT:
PRESCRIBED EXCHANGE & SUPPORT LOCATIONS. Team runner exchanges and individual runner crew support, must take place at prescribed stops only. Separate preliminary lists of these locations appear on the race website; FINAL lists which must be used during the race will be distributed and reviewed at pre-race orientation meetings. You are not required to use every stop; but, when an exchange is made or support given, it must be at one of these locations. First violation will receive a one-hour time penalty. Second violation will result in immediate disqualification.
NEVER DISRUPT TRAFFIC. Vehicles pulling on and off the road must do so conservatively, waiting for an adequate opening and not interrupting moving vehicles. Once on the road, speed must be maintained; no slowing down to converse with or otherwise support any runner. As with the other rules, time penalties apply.
ACTIVITY PROHIBITED ON BRIDGES. No change of runners is ever allowed on a bridge. This includes Seven Mile Bridge. No support of any kind may be given to a runner on any bridge, and no support may ever be given from a moving vehicle. If approaching Snake Creek drawbridge (MM85.7) with gates down OR warning lights flashing that indicate the bridge is about to go up, runners and vehicles must stop IMMEDIATELY and wait until the bridge re-opens for vehicular and foot traffic. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE RULES WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION. THIS INCLUDES TEAM DQ IF THE TEAM RUNNER ON SEVEN MILE BRIDGE IS UNABLE TO COMPLETE THE DISTANCE.
PARK OFF ROADWAY. Vehicles must be parked completely off the road surface whenever stopped. Vehicle doors must not open onto the road. Do not block bike lanes or trails. NEVER block a driveway, park or enter on private property uninvited, and NEVER walk a dog on private property.
SUPPORT VEHICLE. Each team must have its own vehicle, and only one vehicle per team (or individual runner) will be allowed on the course. A “shuttle” vehicle to ferry crew or gear to the support vehicle is permitted on a very limited basis, but the “shuttle” may not remain on the course in active support. Vehicle size & type restrictions--FIRM: The team or individual runner support vehicle may be a car, SUV, minivan or full-size passenger van with standard roof line only--no raised roofs. Not allowed on the course at any time are motor-homes or RVs of any type and of any length, including slide-in truck campers. Oversize vans including any RV conversions, are not allowed. Pick-up trucks up to ½ ton with two axles and “standard” wheels and tires are discouraged, but allowed as support or crew vehicles, but nothing over-sized will be allowed. No trailers of any kind or size, nor receiver basket or similar extensions, may be used in this race. Only one active support vehicle per team will be allowed on the course. The decision of the Race Director or his designee will be final should any question arise about acceptability of a support vehicle. If you are unsure about whether your vehicle will be okay, ask the RD BEFORE the race. Note: Headlights must be on whenever the vehicle is on the road.
PARKING LIMITATIONS FOR NON-PARTICIPANTS: Due to extremely limited parking throughout the race, secondary vehicles, including those of family and friends, are NOT permitted at any support or exchange location or aid station. Supporters, including family and friends, are invited to view the race start and are welcome to watch the finish at Higgs Beach. They may also park at non-race support locations and cheer their runner from there or walk to a support location--including an aid station--to do so. To reiterate: PARKING is the issue, not cheering fans!
NO PETS: Pets are not allowed in race-support vehicles, including team vans and individual runner support vehicles.
VEHICLE MARKING & SIGNS. Vehicles must have the team or individual runner number CLEARLY visible--team or runner name is recommended but optional--on all four sides of the vehicle, and must display both "CAUTION: RUNNERS ON ROAD" AND “SUPPORTING RUNNERS CREW, SLOW MOVING VEHICLE” signs on the rear of the vehicle, as required by race permits. (These signs will be provided at pre-race check-in.) Bring blue painter's tape for mounting.
COMPETITION & SPORTSMANSHIP:
STRICTLY FOLLOW COURSE. Run ONLY where course instructions direct at all times. Cross the highway ONLY where instructed to do so. Examples: When running on the road shoulder, racers MUST ALWAYS RUN ON THE OCEAN SIDE OF THE ROAD FACING TRAFFIC. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION. When a bike path or sidewalk is available, runners will be instructed to use it and MUST run there and NOT on the road shoulder. This is also NOT an option and will be considered cutting the course. The race’s intent is to keep runners off the road to the maximum extent possible. Runners failing to comply may be required to retrace their steps to the point of infraction, then run the proper route, and will be subject to penalties.
DECORUM. Runners and crew must display courtesy, good taste, decorum and sportsmanship at all times, and must not litter, mar or pollute the landscape or environment. That includes defecation anywhere other than in bathrooms and portable toilets which are available at aid stations and throughout the Keys. Use them. Penalties for doing otherwise, including immediate DQ for flagrant violations, apply. Nudity is specifically not allowed and will be severely penalized.
CHECKING-IN AND OUT. Individual runners MUST briefly check-in at all eleven (11) staffed aid stations, and teams must check-in at the aid stations at MM73.9, MM50 and MM25, unless a timing mat is in use.
NO BIKES. Supporters or pacers on bikes, skates, skateboards and the like are never allowed under any circumstances.
RUNNING UNDER OWN POWER. Runners must progress under their own power without any type of physical assistance. Runners may not use walking sticks, ski poles or similar. Neither runner nor crew may carry an umbrella or shade cover while progressing on the course. Artificial cooling vests or systems are prohibited. Wearing ice in a bandana, buff or other article of clothing is permitted and encouraged.
ENFORCEMENT: Violations of race rules will result in a time penalty for each infraction of up to one hour at the discretion of race marshals. Depending upon the severity of the violation and other factors, including but not limited to flagrancy of the violation and safety considerations, violators may be disqualified from the race at any time at the discretion of the Race Director. A second violation of the required team hand-off and individual support location rule WILL result in DQ. This is a permit and safety obligation. No exceptions. Race marshals and staff will be monitoring the course throughout the race for runner health and safety and rules compliance.
MARSHAL’S JOB—NOTE TO ALL. Race marshals will be on the route to assist runners and teams in any reasonable way. Some will be driving in separate vehicles and others will be imbedded with teams or individual runners’ crews. Marshals will monitor compliance with race rules and be empowered to levy penalties, including disqualification. When workload and circumstances permit (including the direction being traveled), marshals may ferry un-crewed “dropped” runners to the next aid station. Other race staff on the course will assist in such cases as time and circumstances permit. Marshals are NOT authorized to provide medical support, but will attempt to reach race medical staff or call 911, when warranted.
ONE TEAM VOLUNTEER TO WORK MINIMUM 4 HOURS--READ CAREFULLY. CAPTAINS: THIS IS A RACE REQUIREMENT FOR SOME TEAMS. Each team with one or more team members residing within 50 miles of any point along the course MUST provide at least one race volunteer to be available on race weekend for a minimum of four (4) hours to work at an aid station or the finish line. A team driver does NOT meet this requirement! Online Volunteer Registration is required; this allows volunteers to select the position and time slot they prefer--first come, first served--and to confirm that they are fulfilling your team requirement. FOR 2020, ALL TEAMS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A VOLUNTEER MUST DO SO NO LATER THAN MAY 1. FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL MAKE THE TEAM INELIGIBLE FOR RACE AWARDS. While this is a race requirement, we respectfully request everyone's help in encouraging as many people as possible to volunteer. (It is inevitably a gratifying and inspiring experience for those who do.) Please do your fair share in support of the race: identify your team volunteer and have him/her register before May 1st. This requirement will be monitored and enforced.
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