Ortler Sky Trails 2021 Postponed to 2022
Dear runners from all over the world,
It is with a heavy heart that we announce that the Ortler Sky Trails 2021 cannot take place.
If you were still registered for this summer at the moment of cancellation, you should have received a heads up on tuesday 29 june. You will receive another email where you can choose to donate your registration fee to research on ALS, transfer to next edition or request a refund.
Despite covid and only limited promotion the event has a lot more participants than the international debut in 2019. There are now over 300 registrations and a lot of people have asked to register since we shut down registrations. It’s great to see that the trail running community is finding out about the event. After being forced to cancel by Covid in 2020 we all have all been looking forward to this summer throughout the year.
A long way
You have been training and preparing for a long time and we have worked long and hard to make this event possible together with a team of almost 70 volunteers.
During covid it has been extremely difficult to get any sponsorship. On top of that we have been confronted with additional licensing regulations which have been decided on a national level because of covid and we have been in contact with all necessary institutions as well as investing in legal counseling at our own expense despite the uncertainties throughout the year.
As soon as we heard about the possible consequences of the changes in regulations, we closed the registrations until we knew the outcome and were pressed to make a decision.
We have to take many aspects into consideration. One striking example: Südtirol has rolled out very successful testing procedures which ensured that we could hold the event without worries about testing. Even the hotel staff was trained to play a role in this and be prepared for the summer tourism. Because of changes in regulation with the Green Pass this was not allowed anymore. Since Sulden is a very small village, at the moment of our decision there were messages of having to provide a mobile covid testing facility with medical personnel which would amount to tens of thousands of euros.
We are not a popular football club with millions of euros and a lot of political influence. Neither are we a long time established trail running event with big name sponsors like for example the Lavaredo Ultra Trail. As an event and ALS-fundraiser which only started in 2019 and had to cancel the previous year because of covid, we are already in difficult times and this is not something we can afford. The tourism oriented region has been almost without income since covid, so this is something they couldn't afford either.
We could also have waited and hoped we wouldn't face those obligations, but that wouldn't be responsible either, because if we had to cancel then, the blow would be a lot harder.
Together with all other limitations because of covid, the weight of this aspect clearly tipped the balance towards one conclusion: we had to cancel this year’s edition.
We lost the trust of some participants and offer a full reimbursement of their registration fee. We now face a big financial hit after all expenses we invested in this edition on top of that. We cannot comprehend why it took the EU so long to provide clear regulations before the summer. This would not have happened if not for the changing covid regulations and the uncertainties right before the start of the summer. There is no way back now, so we have to learn lessons and look forward.
Ortler Sky Trails 2022
Although this is a big blow, we are confident that the event would have been great if we were allowed to continue. Everyone involved in the project sees the potential and we’re already preparing for the next edition. It will be bigger and better than this edition would and should have been and we are looking forward to see you there.