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It's been quite a roller coaster these past few months with the current public health crisis of coronavirus/Covid-19. We will start our season virtually in mid-August, and hope to be able to run as a group by late September (depending on the Covid-19 situation at that time). We are planning ways to make our club and activities safe and comfortable for all. We will follow any guidance from the City, County and Road Runner Clubs of America (RRCA) and will most likely put specific measures in place that will allow us to run together safely and comfortably.
We are cautiously optimistic that we can run our season in full, and are moving forward with plans to do so, but the upcoming season may look different than in years past. There will be changes in the way we meet, run, gather and generally carry out our season. We have developed a list of guidelines that we will follow, and ask all participants to follow, to keep everyone safe.
Please read and familiarize yourself with these guidelines, and expect to practice them with us this season:
Looking Forward: Guidelines for our Club when Starting Training
We have complied this list of recommendations, guidelines, best practices, creative ideas, and considerations from the RRCA and other organizations that provide valuable guidance for everyone as we define our industry’s new and healthy normal. We have also followed city and country guidelines on gatherings and events, as we feel they provide the most opportunity for safety. While the risk of Covid-19 transmission both outdoors and when not in a crowd is dramatically reduced, please prepare your self on ways to be safe and the latest news on the pandemic:
--Check the CDC Situation Analysis for the most up-to-date analysis and recommendations.
--Identify and closely follow the most reliable local and state sources of information for COVID-19 threat levels, state orders, etc.
--Know your primary care physician and how to contact them should you feel the need to be tested for Covid-19.
Best Practice for Runners, and Our Main Messages for the Season:
We must all avoid spreading or catching Covid19 while running with the club. To do this, please follow these main guidelines:
--Social distance / keep your distance from others before, during and after running with the club
--Watch your bodily fluids (spit, snot, sweat) and don’t get them on anyone. Move away from people if you need to expel any bodily fluids!
--Bring your own water bottle/container, nutrition, mobile phone, hand towel on group runs—don’t share anything
--Use hand sanitizer at every water stop
--Before and after running, wear a mask while with anyone in our group, even when socially distanced
--Consider wearing some kind of mask while running. A buff or neck gaiter that can easily be lifted over your nose and mouth is not a bad idea.
Before you attend a group run
-Do not come if you are sick, feel sick, or may be sick. Even if you think, "Aw, it's just a cold", do not join a group run or activity.
-Use this checklist before you come to a group run.
-Bring a water bottle to carry with you to run. Water stops may be limited. Use hand-held water bottles, waist hydration belts, or collapsible cups and water bottles
-Bring a mask and carry it with you. You will want to wear it pre-run and post-run when we gather (with social distancing). And you may want to wear it on your run, or at least have it handy.
-Check your coach's email to confirm where you will be meeting. While we hope to meet at our regular place in Memorial Park, we may have to move locations, or meet at different locations, depending on the Covid-19 situation or guidelines at the park.
-When you meet your group at the park, head to your pace group’s assigned space next to the east of the stretching deck. Keep in mind this may be closer to the benches and putting range fence. Pace groups may have a yard sign to indicate where they should gather.
-Resist the urge to congregate with the entire club; please keep your distance from other runners
-Identify your coach, assistant coach or group leader for the run and let them know you are there with a raised hand
-Don’t crowd or bunch up to start running; maintain distance in a spaced-out running formation
-Small groups of 10 or fewer will leave a few minutes apart.
During a group run
-Expect to run in small groups of fewer than 10 people
-Run with suitable spacing between others - 6 feet if possible
-Run within sign of a coach, assistant coach or group leader, if possible
-Know the route; consider carrying a printout of the route with you on your runs. Do not rely on others to know the route!
-Expect minimal water stops and altered water stops, different than what we are used to
-Be polite and conscientious - protect others while protecting yourself
-Speak up if something makes you uncomfortable (close contact, running too close together); and do not be offended if someone alerts you to uncomfortable behavior
-Yell out clearly “Passing on your left” when you need to pass someone, and give a wide berth when passing. i.e. Keep social distance when passing.
-Always pass on the left, even if you are in a group that wants to pass. Avoid “swarming”, or passing on both the left and the right.
-Groups will most likely start “faster pace first” on Saturday mornings to avoid passing other groups on the route. For example: 3:30 hour group, followed by 3:45 hour group, followed by 4:00 hour group, etc. and 1:30 hour group, followed by 1:45 hour group, followed by 2:00 hour group, etc.
Water stops and their safety for runners are currently difficult to navigate in a Covid19 environment. Currently, we will follow these guidelines:
-All runners are required to bring and carry their own water via bottle, hydration belt, or hydration pack.
-Water on our route will be self-serve via a water jug/water cooler with a spout.
-Hand sanitizer will be available next to each water cooler; all runners are asked to use hand sanitizer before touching the water cooler to refill their hydration device.
-We will have hand wipes and perhaps gloves to use while getting your water
-We hope to have one coordinator for each individual water stop; one person will be in charge of one water stop each week. That means they are in charge of putting out the table, cooler with water, back-up water, minimal cups, hand sanitizer and other supplies needed for each water stop. They are instructed to use gloves while handing all equipment and setting up the water stop.
-Coolers will be placed 6 ft apart, one per table, unless the table is large and can accommodate two coolers, one on either end.
-Water stops may be at slightly longer distances than in the past (like 4-5 miles).
-Runners are asked to move through water stations quickly (within reason) and maintain social distancing. Don't stand around the water cooler talking; continue to keep your distance even when stopped for a water break.
-Runners are welcome to drop their own supplies at our water stop or along the route; runners will be notified of the water stop location and route in the all-club Tuesday email and their coach's Thursday email.
-Water stops will be in low-traffic or no-traffic areas that allow for runners to spread out
After a group run
-Keep social distancing, stand apart from others
-Wear your mask to be extra-safe
-Keep a water bottle and back-up water in your car, or at our meeting place, for yourself after the run. We will not have a communal water stop at our meeting place after the run
-There will be no in-person seminars after our early-season Saturday runs (seminars are usually on nutrition, injury-prevention, strength and stretching, etc.), but rather Zoom meetings at a certain time, and recorded so anyone can watch them on-demand. They will be posted on our website.
-Don't share fluids. Carry your own water to avoid contact with others on course.
-Don't share towels, food, gels, mobile phones/cameras or any other item that runners sometimes share freely.
-Do not spit, flick sweat, or clear your nose your nose in public – move to the side if you need to expel bodily fluids. Bring tissues or a small towel or a handkerchief if you need to expel bodily fluids during your run.
-No physical contact with others (hugs, hand shakes, high-fives, etc.)
-Practice social distancing - ensure appropriate 6-foot spacing between runners
-Avoid close-group selfies. Try wide-angle photos instead.
-Members whose actions to not meet expectations, or are creating risk for themselves and others, may be asked to leave the group temporarily or permanently.
-Set a good example for all runners! You have RHC on your shirt—people will know who you are. Please remember that you are representing the club.
Should a runner who has been attending groups runs test positive for Covid19
-Please tell your coach, who will tell the club manager, or tell the club manager directly
-Your situation will be kept in the strictest confidence
-Your pace group will be asked to quarantine from the club for 14 days