OCTober 1-3, 2021
52K • 26K • 11K • VK• kids race
Please read full announcement below
September 15, 2021
To Our Broken Arrow Skyrace Friends and Family...
The past six weeks have been incredibly difficult here in North Lake Tahoe. Our community is still reeling in the aftermath of the Dixie and Caldor fires, during which the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Tahoe City hit 620 (the scale actually only goes to 500). Many families in the region – including my parents, in-laws, and Christin and I – were forced to evacuate our homes.
For several weeks – indeed, until late last week – it was looking as if the fires would, once again, make it necessary for us to cancel the 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace. But, thanks to the outstanding work of fire crews, the smoke – and danger to life and property – have largely abated. Today, we are delighted to announce that the Broken Arrow Skyrace, presented by Salomon, will indeed go forward on October 1-3, barring any unforeseen circumstances out of our control, of course!
We could not be more thrilled to announce this, but we also think this is an important moment to pause and reflect.
Since we last gathered on the high alpine trails of Palisades Tahoe (the new name of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows), humankind has witnessed – and collectively experienced – a relentless series of scary, disheartening, and demoralizing events from a global pandemic to hurricanes, unprecedented fires, political upheaval, and more.
We have shared these experiences but, unlike other times of tragedy and upheaval, we have borne these burdens largely in isolation from one another. The COVID-19 pandemic in, particular, has been a sort of "great pause button on life," preventing us from doing many of the things we love, namely gathering as a community to celebrate this fantastic sport we all hold so close to our hearts.
While we are beyond excited to gather again and watch you #ringdasbell, we also want to acknowledge that many in our community have lost loved ones during this time and many more have struggled with mental health issues and substance abuse..or simply lacked the motivation to “get after it”. It’s important that we are mindful of all that we have gone through as we cautiously begin resuming certain aspects of public life. We would like to emphasize that we are not out of the woods yet in terms of Covid, and will act accordingly on race weekend so that every participant and volunteer is protected.
While conducting emergency operations meetings over the last few weeks, it was difficult to even consider putting the race on. Friends in South Lake were in real danger of losing their homes, the amazing mountain playground around southwest Desolation was burning and no one knew just how far the Caldor Fire would spread. I have lived in Tahoe since 2003, and I can tell you that I've never seen anything close to what we have just experienced.
However, as perpetual optimists, we genuinely thought that the universe would give us a break. After so many challenges, so many lives lost, so much heartache...we just thought – and hoped – that we might catch a break. Through the outstanding work of fire crews, wind direction working in our favor, and more precipitation on the way, it appears as if that break (fingers crossed ten ways from Sunday) has arrived. The sky is blue, it is traditionally a more wet time of year and we're feeling optimistic again.
If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is that we live in an unpredictable world. We would be remiss to not point out that things could change tomorrow or some other challenge could raise its ugly head. However, at this point, we are confident and convinced that we can put on a world-class event on October 1-3.
We cannot wait to celebrate with socially-distanced “hugs and high fives”, and LOTS of bell ringing ... and honestly, maybe a few tears.
Saying that it has “been too long” feels a bit dismissive of the suffering and trauma that so many in our community have experienced, but we can't hide our excitement about once again gathering again with our Broken Arrow Skyrace family.
Please stay tuned over the coming weeks as we'll be announcing some other VERY exciting events and news. As always, we are grateful for your support and understanding during such a trying time. We appreciate you!
Your grateful race directors,
Brendan Madigan / Ethan Veneklasen / Geoff Quine