HELENA -- For the first time in its near 50-year existence, runners will not trek across Lewis and Clark County in the Governor's Cup.
The decision was made on April 16 to cancel the event, and racing director Bryan Haines said the decision was based solely on keeping the runners and volunteers safe during these uncertain times.
"It was a hard decision, but when it comes to the health and safety of our runners, the community, the people who volunteer, the people who come down and fill the walking mall as people are coming up the finish line, it made a hard decision kind of an easy decision," said Haines. "The health and safety of everyone involved is most important."
Heather Lieberg has competed in the Governor's Cup for more than a decade and won multiple races, including setting a new record in the women's marathon in 2013 and said the reasons she feels the Governor's Cup is so special are the timing that surrounds the race and the ability to race so close to home.
"It's exciting. Summer starting, school's over, the community comes together," said Lieberg. "There's so many familiar faces. I mean, I race all over the country, all over the States, and you don't really know -- I mean, in Helena I know so many people. So it's like the familiar faces and having hometown support is amazing."
Participants already entered into the 2020 race have three options on how they want to proceed. Racers can defer their current race registration to the 2021 Governor’s Cup, get a 50 percent refund of their entry or donate their registration fee to the Caring Foundation of Montana.