It is an unprecedented time for our world. Coronavirus is becoming a part of daily conversation and making an impact on our lives, including the sport that brings us all together.
Races provide entertainment, challenge, and often an escape from stress in other parts of our lives. Right now, though, race directors are having to look at the risk that moving forward with events poses to the community as a whole. No one wants to be responsible for someone getting sick because of their race.
Normally, MRG would be presenting you with our Community Members of The Week. This week, I am choosing to share the words of Spartan Ultra World Champion Rea Kolbl:
I was on my way to SLO @spartan Ultra with my van when I heard the race was cancelled. I must have been living under a rock (or in a van? ?♀️) since I didn’t really expect this to happen, bummed to have to wait another month to race again. But I’ve decided to take advantage of the weekend anyway and point my van north: heading to Big Sky in Montana for the Shedhorn skimo US National championship race instead (which happens to be one of my bucket list items I can now cross off). As much as working on the van has been a ton of work, this kind of flexibility made the last two weeks of stress all worth it.
Two years ago a similar thing happened and I was devastated (granted at that point I’ve already flown to the venue). In this past two years I’ve managed to get myself into enough sports that there’s always more events than there are weekends, and more adventures than there are days.
If you’re super sad about this, here are a few things that helped me: just because your race is cancelled, your fitness isn’t. If you’ve trained your butt off for the ultra, go find an adventure instead! Set a PR on a long trail, climb that really tall peak. If you have travel plans you can’t cancel – go on train-cation ??♀️ (or even a vacation if that’s your thing). Whatever you worked for won’t disappear,
What can we do?
- Follow Rea's Advice: Just because you can't race, does not mean you can not keep reaching for your goal. Get out for a long trail run, take a fitness class online that you have wanted to try, sign up for a virtual race, take a challenge like the Spartan 100 burpee challenge. Keep moving and keep reaching for the next big goal.
- Keep Supporting Your Races: Watching Sam Abbitt from Savage Race announce the postponement was heartbreaking. You can see by the emotion on his face that this is something he did not want to do. He admitted that this was going to be a huge hit to Savage Race and he is not alone. Many races are going to need our support and love more than ever.
How can we help them?
- Register for races later in 2020 and buy merchandise. Send a note to a race director to let them know that you are ready to come back when they are.
- Talk about your race goals for later in the year. Tag races and share that you are still out there working on your goals.
- Share your favorite races on social media. We want to keep showing how special OCR is and bring new people to the sport. Get out there and share your story of what races have done to help you.
- Understand situations. Not all race companies are in the position to give you a refund. Races right now are doing what they can with what they have to be able to make things happen so you can still race.
- Be nice to one another. Emotions are high. People are scared and people are judging one another. Approach things with grace and kindness.
- Check on each other. Find out if your friends or neighbors need help with groceries, check in with your local non-profit who might need an extra hand, see if a friend needs childcare help, see if a friend wants to go for a run. See if a neighbor could use a homecooked meal if they are not getting paid during the downtime.
- Log Off. Too much time online can make you anxious and nervous. That can actually impede your immune system and make you more susceptible. Go for a run, go read a book, go watch a movie you have been wanting to watch. Give yourself a break from the non-gloom and doom.
- Give love to the animals. Take your dog for a walk, ask a neighbor if they need help walking their dog, check with a local rescue and see if they need help with care, cuddle your cat, spend time watching your fish. The animals will help your health.
We will keep you updated on the social channels as things change with races. We want to give races a chance to make decisions as things change so we do not want to report on anything until it comes from a race. If you hear of a race canceling send us a copy of the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure we get it verified and get it out there.
Oh. And WASH YOUR HANDS!