HELENA — Though there's a little over two months until the starter pistol can be fired, people are excited to have the Governor's Cup slated to be back this June.
The Governor's Cup is scheduled to have three in-person races in 2021: a 5K, a half marathon and a full marathon. Governor’s Cup race director Bryan Haines believes they’re headed in the right direction to hold in-person races, and the reactions he's gotten from everyone have been overwhelmingly positive.
“There's a lot of excitement for the return of running events -- for the return of events in general -- and just kind of a return to a bit of normalcy," said Haines. "We've had a lot of positive feedback with our announcement, a lot of encouragement, and too a lot of understanding that, yes, we are planning to be in person, but it's not going to be your typical Governor’s Cup."
The half and full marathon entries will be capped at 375 competitors for each event and 1,200 in the 5K race, with three flights of 400 people. Anyone affiliated with the race must wear a mask, with runners being the lone exception, as they are able to take off their mask while they’re running. Despite the changes, many runners are just itching to compete, including Governor's Cup runner of nearly two decades Mike Kaiser.
“Everybody wants this to be a safe event, and I don't think it'll diminish the excitement at all. I think you're going to have a lot of runners out there that are just excited to be out there competing again, being able to see their competition and being able to challenge themselves,” said Kaiser.
Spectators are being asked to not crowd the race, specifically at the start and finish lines, which is a bit of a bummer in multi-time Governor’s Cup race winner Heather Lieberg's words, but she hopes with the re-introduction of in-person races at the Governor's Cup, it also opens the door for other races to start up as well.
“I always see people along the course that kind of keeps you motivated, but I think without them it's going to be rough," said Lieberg. "But it will still be an opportunity to race and hopefully this is the start of many more races to come in the near future.”
The Governor's Cup is slated to start on June 12 with the marathon starting just south of Jefferson City at 6 a.m.