With so much information floating around about COVID-19 and the Coronavirus, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Now that the US has declared a state of emergency and the country prepares to hunker down in self-isolation or begin practicing social distancing, the NBA, MLB, and many college sports have canceled their seasons. It was only a matter of time before OCR was impacted as well.
Why cancel races?
So why are all race organizers canceling races when most of the people who participate in OCR are at low-risk for any long term effects from COVID-19? As Sam Abbitt mentions in his message to the Savage community, this isn't just about protecting people who registered for races. Canceling races and other large gatherings now will protect more people from coming into contact with the virus and spreading it to people who may be at higher risk.
Epidemiologists refer to this as “flattening the curve.” Essentially, by practicing social distancing and other protective measures, we can delay the peak of the outbreak, allowing hospitals to keep up with the number of patients who need treatment. These measures ultimately decrease the fatality rate of the virus by ensuring that hospitals aren't overwhelmed and can give people get the best care possible. Vox has an excellent explanation of this concept.
Many larger race organizers have begun canceling or postponing races. Here is what we know so far:
Spartan has suspended all races for the next 30 days. Most races will be postponed and athletes have the option to defer or transfer their registration to a race later this year. Spartan is also launching a free 30-day fitness program called “BeUnbreakable” that will help you stay race-ready during this time of uncertainty.
Savage Race has postponed upcoming races in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. All races in May and beyond are still scheduled to go on as planned. Anyone registered for postponed events will be able to transfer their registration to a future race at no cost.
This weekend's race in Houston has been rescheduled for September 26, 2020. Upcoming races on March 28th in Nashville and Oklahoma City are still on the schedule.
Rugged Maniac has canceled upcoming spring races in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Arizona. Their Florida race on April 18th is still scheduled, as are all races after that. For those registered for the North Carolina or Arizona races, registrations will be automatically transferred to fall races in those states. All registrants will be able to participate in virtual races and still receive their bibs, t-shirts, and medals.