By Mathias Eichler
Winter, trails, darkness, and all the weather.
One last hurrah before the end of the year. Runners, get ready for a fun and festive holiday treat along the trails of Squaxin Park.
Paul Huddle, Senior Director, Global Trail Running, Ultra Trail Whistler by UTMB organizing team lead, signs an official open letter to the trail running community addressing the Whistler kerfuffle:
We understand people are trying to make sense of what took place, however, the mischaracterization of our goals, methods, and importantly, our people – suggesting unethical behavior and dishonesty – has come as an unpleasant surprise to us.
They clearly did not expect the backlash.
In retrospect, we should have kept the lines of communication open between us and CMTR to inform them, as a courtesy, of our conversations; perhaps this would have made a difference. We will never know whether the outcome of the partnership announcement would have been different, but we could have, and should have, been better here.
The letter will make no one happy. The lines are drawn now, and no one seems to be backing down, at least online. UTMB is considered to be the bad guy and these backhanded apologies aren’t helping. If they REALLY did not anticipate any possible backlash with their announcement of a new race in Whistler then I understand that there were initially surprised by it, but now, that they are seeing as digging their heels in. Do they have a way forward? Is there a way to calm the waves? Probably not. The Whistler by UTMB Instagram account hasn’t posted a single update since the initial announcement. Even that letter is just listed in the ‘links in profile’ section to avoid comments by the raging mob.
Meanwhile the Polettis are in Hong Kong for their Translantau by UTMB event.