Many road races have suffered the fate of cancellation due to the COVID-19 (coronavrius) pandemic, and, despite efforts to go on, the 10th running of the Blueberry Cove 13.1-miler, or half-marathon, was unable to escape a similar fate.

The University of Maine, Blueberry Cove Camp’s sponsor, determined earlier this month going ahead with the Sunday, Aug. 30 race, which draws runners from around the country, was not safe.

According to the event's Facebook page, an announcement was sent to registered runners on Aug. 7, signed by Steve Cartwright, race director; Ryan LeShane, Blueberry Cove director; and Ryder Scott, statewide director of University of Maine 4H Centers.

"We were very hopeful that we could hold a smaller, safety-minded race, but that is not to be in this pandemic era," the Facebook post included. "We fully support being safe and healthy, and that is truly the most important consideration. We are all very sorry for this late notice, but up to this point we still hoped to hold the half-marathon."

The half-marathon will offer three options for those who signed up for the event. The first is the ability, without additional fee, to switch registration to the 2021 race. The second is to donate the registration fee to support the camp during a difficult time. A refund option, including the fees and payments for meals, and overnight cabins also is available.

“We are grateful for your faithful support of the race and Blueberry Cove and Tanglewood camps, and all that they do for children,” the group said in the social media message.

The message also stated officials were unable to open camps this year, and that is a loss for the campers as well as a financial challenge for the camps.

Provided the virus is sufficiently over, or at least safely under control, officials said the camps intend to re-open in 2021, and the Blueberry Cove 13.1-mile race will be held next summer.

Held at Blueberry Cove Camp in Tenants Harbor, the race was scheduled to take runners on a scenic course from the camp, looping around to Marshall Point Lighthouse (featured in the film “Forrest Gump”), along Drift Inn Beach, and back to the camp.

On July 17, race officials announced they had capped the registration at 80 participants, in the hope to safely hold the event.

“With health, and safety precautions in mind, we have capped the 2020 race at 80 participants,” Cartwright announced on July 17 in a Facebook post.

While many road races previously had been postponed, canceled or gone virtual due to the pandemic, the  Blueberry Cove 13.1-miler was to take off on Sunday, Aug. 30, Cartwright said previously.

But now, due to safety concerns, it will not.

Proceeds from the race benefit scholarships for at-need children to attend the University of Maine-sponsored 4-H Camp, which includes Tanglewood in Lincolnville.

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