The inaugural running of Plymouth’s Long, Hard & Dirty Ultra was originally set to take place on April 18 at Myles Standish State Forest in Plymouth, Mass. The 50K race was set to be the inaugural trail ultramarathon in the town, and 30K, 10K, 8-hour and team relay options were also in the offering.
The event was one the Massachusetts ultra scene’s first races to be impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Rather than canceling, organizers from South Shore Race Management postponed the event to Oct. 10 in hopes that the later date would allow enough time to pass for the event to take place in-person and in its planned format.
That hasn’t happened. Large portions of the United States failed to take the pandemic seriously enough, and now COVID-19 is spreading out of control in most of the country and more than 168,000 Americans have died from the disease. While Massachusetts’ number of new cases have fallen significantly from the early months of the pandemic, cases in the state are once again on the rise. Some of the state’s reopening plans are being rolled back, and more events are being canceled.
Rather than canceling the October race completely, South Shore Race Management announced Thursday on its Facebook page that the event will be offered virtually in lieu of an in-person gathering.
“Although we will not be able to hold Plymouth’s Long Hard and Dirty Ultra as an in person event in 2020 we have re-opened registration as a virtual event that will take place from Friday, October 9th through Monday, October 12th. You can run anywhere you’d like, including in the state forest, they are just not able to accommodate groups/events at this time,” the organizers wrote.
Registration for the virtual event can be done on UltraSignup at this link. Cost to register is $17 per participant, regardless of distance.