The Games Must Not go On
Today is common and uncommon for me. I work from home (when I'm not frequently on a plane) so that part of our new world is common to me. The uncommon part is that I was supposed to be on a plane today heading for a double-header; race number eleven (San Diego Leprechaun Run) and race number twelve (San Diego Half Marathon) with the "Amazing Mr. Liam"--my special needs racing buddy. All the events were scheduled around the Team Hoyt San Diego Annual Fundraising Dinner with Deena Kastor as guest speaker.
But alas, in the last couple of days, the first domino to drop was the NYRR NYC Half which was cancelled. The only thing Manhattan (who's slowly cordoning themselves off from the world) is missing is Kurt Russell with an eye patch as they have been hit HARD with this nasty thing.
Since then, the NBA, March Madness, and Disneyland have closed. Never in my lifetime. The closest I can come to this is 9/11 which understandably changed everyone's lives forever. From the lens of a runner, races fall into the dangerous gathering category with large numbers, but also massive amounts of sweat. Even Forrest Gump has coronavirus. Not good, in fact very bad.
Given all that, it goes without saying, but I'll say it, these are all the right moves. A good friend of mine from my childhood neighborhood, Tom Costello, is a nightly correspondent on NBC News. and having been sick the last two months myself (not with any symptoms of Coronavirus,) he flat out said "I wouldn't get on plane." At the time of our conversation, I was still thinking I would get on a plane and race. I realize as I type this how ridiculous that sounds. The San Diego Half Marathon was cancelled this morning along with the Leprechaun race and the Hoyt Dinner.
|Last Year's San Diego Half with Liam|
Tom's full report last night on NBC is HERE. Tom had spent the day at John Hopkins Medicine and had probably the best information I've seen on Coronavirus. He posted the below on Facebook and gave me permission to share;
In terms of the run world, we deal with sweat--a lot of sweat and I'm a prolific sweater. Most of us like to run with others which puts us at risk given how it's transmitted (caveat; I AM NOT AN EXPERT.) I used to run in a large social run group in Denver, and can imagine they will have to think about group runs on a Saturday with close to 200 people. My blog's indirect namesake; the Boston Marathon is right around the corner and I'm guessing will be cancelled.
As of this writing, the games will go on, but my guess is it will not. It's not unprecedented; on a smaller scale, the NYC Marathon was cancelled the year of Hurricane Sandy, but that came and went; COVID-19 is here to stay and despite what our "stable genius" said, it will be here in April with a vengence.
|Boston Athletic Association COVID-19 Update|
Another aspect, I'm having to process is going to the gym. I belong to 24 Hour Fitness and they've been sending out updates, but I imagine their attendance will rapidly drop off as no one wants to share a machine right after someone sweated on it. I went last weekend and thought more than twice about how much I wiped down before and after, but I'm also a face sweat wiper; touch a treadmill, wipe your brow's sweat with the same hand? I don't think so.
In terms of lost training or lost expenses for race fees or more so for destination races, it's unfortunate, but it pales in comparison to the fact that people are DYING. Yes, I'm disappointed to not see Liam this weekend, but that kid is highly susceptible to infection and frankly, I'm more at ease knowing it was the right thing to do. I went for years without a cancelled race, missed NYC, but came back to race it the following year. These races are insignificant.
This too shall pass. Be smart, be safe. Keep running...
How are you managing your run world in light of the coronavirus?
As I blog less frequently, keep track of my race schedule and training with Liam on my twitter and Instagram.