April 3, 2020
Virtual Package Pickup
I renamed myself #2295 - Brad as I entered the Zoom video chat with about 400 other racers, my chat avatar a single, small static tile among a grid of little video windows. A briefing ensued. This is how a virtual ultra works.
I once ran 32 kilometers on a 250 meter indoor track while winter training for a marathon, but to one French runner that would have been relative paradise. According to a story in the Washington Post he ran 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) straight, never leaving his 7-meter-long (23-foot) balcony. Staying in shape during a crisis of any kind definitely sits pretty high up on the hierarchy of needs — in other words, a bit of a luxury for many — but finding ways to keep sane for many athletes locked indoors is probably as much about mental health as physical.
If you can’t run, just laugh. The Debaters pitches two comedians face to face to humourously debate a topic, pro and con. My family and I usually listen to the podcast edition and this weekend they tackle the punny topic of running marathons. If you can’t get out training this weekend because you’re self-isolating, quarantined, infected, or just practicing social distancing, why not at least have a quick chuckle about your sport.
The website for magazine Canadian Running has started a live updating article of races cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus scare. They write: "The rapid spread of coronavirus has already caused numerous changes in the 2020 racing season. News of events being cancelled or postponed is breaking daily. This live blog will be updated with news of how coronavirus is affecting the running world. " Infected or otherwise, the outbreak of COVID-19 is going to affect a lot of runners training and travel plans in 2020. Has this year's race season ended before it's even really began?