This project is an outgrowth of the Race Cancellation Data Project by Josh Reed of On Path Events, with the support of many others in the industry. We all are banding together to promote resources that keep the running community alive and thriving during the COVID-19 outbreak - and beyond. Our statement below:
Our hearts are broken.
The race is where our community comes together. No matter how different we are, our personal goals connect us as we toe the start line. We race to overcome our own challenges, for a cause dear to us, or to spend time with our friends. We start together and give it all we have until the finish. We run in hopes of finding a better person and a better world at the finish line.
The COVID-19 outbreak has devastated our sport. We’ve watched races across the globe shut down, victim to something we have no power to fight. These events have suffered immense financial losses which will never be recovered. Many race directors and their teams won’t have any income for months and may not be able to stay afloat after this crisis. Rescheduled events have already suffered losses and will still bear additional costs, all while competing with the existing race calendar. Many races and race directors may not make it to the other side of this disaster. Some may not find it in their budgets and hearts to go on, and the community will lose some of the people most committed to keeping it strong.
But we keep running, and we need the people who help us reach our goals.
The future of racing may look very different. We’ll lose events that are at the core of our community. This reality confronts everyone from the participant who trains during long runs and early mornings, to the race teams – who give their lives, long days and early mornings, to help runners reach their goals. We may lose the races we love, and they may lose their livelihoods.
The outbreak may have just begun – we hope it will stop soon, but the pain that we feel as runners without a place to join together as a community is about to echo through all of society. Many people will suffer far more than we do. Many of us and those close to us may lose jobs, and some of us may lose our lives.
But we keep running. We need to, because it gets us through every day, and it will get us through these days.
Help us build a fund to keep the spirit of racing alive in our community – something that will last long after this terrible outbreak is over, leaving us better people in a better world at the finish line. Help us provide and promote an infrastructure that uses the people who know races best, to help sustain the running community without them.
o To sustain and expand organizations that support their community year-round outside race day.
o To promote initiatives that get people out running (walking, riding, etc) and supporting each other.
o To develop and spread nationwide - activities and competitions using event and fitness technology.
o To provide resources to encourage people to continue training and competing, and keep them close to their support networks.
The time to come will be tough without races, but it will be tougher for everyone if we let the reason that brings us to the start line be forgotten. If we can work together to keep it in our hearts and minds, we may come to that finish line better people still.
#wekeeprunning, because we don’t know what we would do without it.