It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2022 National 24 Hour Challenge. The board of directors has met and determined that we will be unable to hold the 2022 National 24 Hour Challenge in a manner true to our traditional safety standards.
We realize that this cancellation comes as a surprise and at the last minute. We have been working non-stop to secure appropriate safety services for the event, and we wanted to exhaust every last option before cancelling the event. Unfortunately, our final option fell through yesterday and there is truly nothing more we can do.
Cancelling the event is not what any of us would have wanted, and we fought as hard as we could to make the event happen, but this was beyond our control. Therefore, we will be providing a full refund to all riders. The refund will appear on the credit card you used to pay for your registration. We will not be rolling over any registrations. If you would still like to buy National 24 Hour Challenge merchandise, we will be opening a website in the next week that will allow you to purchase items, including this year’s rider, volunteer, and crew member t-shirts.
We share your disappointment. Just as you have trained for months, our volunteers have spent countless hours preparing for the event. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this will cause, and we ask for your understanding.
Why was the event cancelled?
The National 24 Hour Challenge has been held in Middleville for the past 19 years. Every year, we have paid for 15 local sheriff reserve deputies to provide traffic control, especially on the night loop intersections. On January 14, 2022, we submitted our request for 15 local sheriff reserve deputies just as we have in the past.
The last week of April, we received an initial indication from the sheriff department that they may be unable to provide all of the local sheriff reserve deputies we requested for our event. On May 13, 2022, we were notified that they would only be able to provide two sheriff reserve deputies for our event this year.
We immediately started to explore all possible alternatives to secure additional traffic control assistance including contacting eight other local, county, and state law enforcement entities, contacting fire departments in the county, and offering to pay overtime rates to full-time law enforcement personnel, to see if we could secure additional traffic control assistance.
We faced a similar challenge with getting medical support. We have always paid for an ambulance and EMT to be on-site for all 24 hours of the National 24 Hour Challenge. On February 25, 2022, we submitted our request for an ambulance and EMT on-site just as we have in the past. On May 19, 2022, we received word that we would have an ambulance, but they could only provide an EMT to staff the ambulance for 8 hours. We immediately started to look for additional medical personnel to staff the ambulance.
The National 24 Hour Challenge board met on May 22, 2022 and determined that it was essential to the safety of the riders that we have the level of police and medical support that we have always had for the event and that if we were not able to identify additional police or medical coverage by May 31, 2022 the event would be cancelled.
As of May 31, 2022, we had only secured four law enforcement personnel and had not identified additional medical personnel. We had exhausted all possibilities, which led to the cancelation of the event.
What about next year?
The inability to have sufficient traffic control and medical services this year came as a surprise to us. Going forward, the National 24 Hour Challenge board recognizes the need to evaluate both the location and scheduling of the event such that all necessary services will be available. The National 24 Hour Challenge board will be meeting this month to discuss how to move forward with the event. We will provide an update on the future of the National 24 Hour Challenge after the board meets.
Gary M. Goscenski
Executive Director, National 24 Hour Challenge