Barrelman 2020 COVID-19 Update

From everyone at the Multisport Canada/ Barrelman team, we hope that you, your family and friends are all happy, safe and are able to stay fit in these trying times. We know that many are curious to know the status of 2020 Barrelman Niagara Falls and we apologize for the lack of absolute clarity to this point. The situation has been and continues to be dynamic, and much is out of our control. We are writing today to share with you the information we have and the decisions we have made regarding the race.


Current status of Barrelman 2020

As things stand, Barrelman is scheduled to take place on Sept 20. However, it remains unclear whether we will be allowed to host a mass participation sporting event in Ontario in September. Given the dynamic nature of our new normal under the menace of COVID 19, it is also unrealistic to expect a clear answer in the near future. The truth is, no one knows what will and will not be permissible.

Decision Date: on or before July 15

Knowing that you all need to plan, MSC has set a decision date of July 15 to determine whether we can proceed with the race. Between now and then, we will be working around the clock to get the answers we need to answer the following critical questions:

  • Is MSC allowed to host a public gathering of up to 3,000 people (athletes and spectators)?
  • The volunteer team in Welland has supported Barrelman and our series races for fifteen years. The vast majority of the fifty or so are older folks over the age of 70. We have to consider the possible risk to these volunteers.
  • Given the Welland volunteer situation above, can MSC guarantee the recruitment of the hundreds of volunteers necessary to support you, our athletes?
  • Will the relevant authorities be able to confirm MSC’s permits?
  • Can MSC confirm that paid duty police and EMS bookings are still available?
  • Has MSC given you, our athletes, enough time to plan for travel and accommodations?
  • Will athletes have enough time to train for the race, especially the swim?

One way or another, we will know the answers to these questions by July 15.

We are suspending price increases

Given the uncertainty of the situation we are suspending any further price increases for the remainder of 2020. That means you will not be penalized for waiting until the last minute to register.

Deferral and Cancellation Policy

Once we have determined whether to proceed or cancel the 2020 event (on or before July 15), we will email everyone registered for the race, either confirming the race or clearly outlining two options in the event of cancellation.

  1. You can defer your 2020 entry to 2021
  2. If you wish to withdraw, Multisport Canada will refund 75% of your race fees in 2020

A Careful Calculation

If you are curious where the 25% will go, we have carefully reviewed all our 2020 expenses and calculated what refund amount we can afford to offer and how much we need to withhold to maintain minimum business continuity. Multisport Canada is a small business, operating year-round with several full-time employees, 30+ part-time employees, an office and storage facilities for our equipment along with many other operating costs. In addition to this, Multisport Canada pays all costs associated with hosting each race, i.e. medals, hats, t-shirts, police, EMS, venue bookings, road and MTO permits and many other services which require non-refundable deposits. We want to be here in 2021 to produce the races you love.

Can I waive my refund or deferral?

We have already received emails from customers with offers to forgo any refund. Some have even offered to provide financial assistance and have told us how much they value our races and want to be sure those races are back in 2021. We are extremely grateful for the offers! We are not suggesting that anyone provide us with additional funds; however, if you are registered for a race which is cancelled, we will give you the option to refuse a portion of your refund or 2021 deferral with our sincere appreciation.

What’s next?

You will hear from us as more information becomes available.

While our offices remain closed and we continue to monitor emails please do not email requesting refunds until we have announced our July 15 decision.  Our COVID 19 FAQs can be found here:

Stay safe.

Thank you


John Salt, Jason Vurma and Joseph Park and the entire MultiSport Canada Team