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2020 Road Apple Rally going online, finalized plan to be ironed out by mid-August

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON — The 2020 Road Apple Rally is the latest event to go virtual amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christa Chapman, marketing and public relations specialist for the City of Farmington’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, said Farmington’s 40th annual mountain bike race will be an online setup comparable to this year’s Shiprock Marathon going virtual.

“They’re trying to figure out what software, platform they’re going to use,” Chapman said. “Communication is slow for everybody right now.”

Farmington’s storied bike race is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 3, but Chapman said it’s unknown whether it’ll be held on that date or a later date in October. Chapman also said it's unknown whether it'll be held within one day or spread out over multiple days.

Additionally, Chapman said it’s still to be determined whether the race will feature a customized app or if one must keep track of their own times.

Under the state’s latest public health order, Chapman said going online was the only guaranteed approach to ensure this year’s Road Apple Rally would happen. Chapman also said a staggered start time format for an in-person race would not have been feasible.

Dennis Freeman races, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in the Road Apple Rally in Farmington.
Ralph Winebarger approaches the finish line, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, during the Road Apple Rally.

Chapman said the city looks to finalize all the nitty-gritty components by mid-August.

Chapman said an online format gives race organizers more options to work with due to the timing of the event.

“It’s our 40th year. It’s got to happen somehow,” Chapman said. “We’re committed to making it happen.”

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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