From the Marji Gesick Website:
We are pushing Marji Gesick to 2021, and the reasons are pretty straightforward.
#1 You paid for the Marji Gesick experience, and we cannot give you the Marji Gesick experience in 2020.
What is the Marji experience? 3,000 people coming together to celebrate the human endeavor to overcome. A celebration of community, adventure, pop-up aid stations, support crews, togetherness, and finding our limits. The Marji we know and love would not be recognizable this year – we cannot deliver the experience you paid for, expect, and deserve. For this reason, we will push our bikes to next year.
#2 The State of Michigan Executive Order
We’ve been working with the Department of Natural Resources since early spring – to modify and adapt another experience we produce called “The Crusher.” Some of you might be expecting us to adapt and offer a Marji-EX option, and I’d be lying if I said we haven’t thought about it. Bottom line: The events are very different. Crusher is a wilderness adventure sending participants away from our community and into the wilds northwest of Marquette County, the Huron Mountains, and beyond. Frankly, the EX adaptation for Crusher “enhances” the experience. Marji, on the other hand, drives thousands of people straight into our community, and we have to ask “Is this the right thing to do?” Even if we answer yes, can we truly expect people to navigate the Marji unsupported, with no signs, and nothing more than a cycling computer? Simple answer: No. It’s not feasible, and it would not be the experience you paid for.
The current executive order limits outdoor gatherings to 250 people for the entire day, across the entire course, in our region. Our partners at the state level define 250 people as racers, family of racers, pop-up aid stations, volunteers, and anyone associated with the event. 1,000 people are registered for Marji. I’m not good at math, but I can tell you the math doesn’t work. Additionally, the state is not issuing new use permits until the end of August, and it appears likely they will extend the moratorium through September, meaning we cannot get permitted for the sections of the course utilizing state property. Could we try to work around it? Sure, if we’re ok with not giving you what you paid for. We’re not ok with that.
The decision was not made lightly – we’ve waited as long as we can. Based on the information available to us, and how we believe things will play out, we see no scenario in which Marji Gesick can be run the way it is meant to be run – together.