Be safe, be kind, and be understanding
A lot goes into organizing a race and everyone including the Race Director wants it to go ahead. There will be many event cancellations this year, not only now but throughout the entire year.
As a former Race Director, I know the feeling of working all year, everyday, toward one goal – event day. Then the rug is pulled out from under you, things beyond your control bring all of your hard work crashing to a halt and thrown away in seconds. You internalize your event and sometimes your self worth and identity become tied to the event that you are putting on. It hurts deeply and personally, when as a Race Director, you receive harsh words, hate mail, or if you can believe it, a death threat over a cancellation.
It happens. It has happened to me.
So please, I stress, be safe, be kind and be understanding.
Entry fees collected throughout the year have been spent in advance on advertising, staff, rent, setting things up, storage and vendor deposits. Typically, large events need to order shirts 10 months in advance, medals 6 months, the timelines on orders and the costs are not day of. The larger the event, the longer the timeline. Think of the toilet paper shortages, if you want 4 rolls you could probably get them today, if you want 1000, it’s going to take some lead time. Very few costs of an event are actually spent in race week or on event day.
Race Directors are now without a source of income, sometimes their only income. As well as timers, event staff, registration companies and sports organizations. We’re all stressed. We’re all in this together.
Be safe, be kind and be understanding. We all want the season to resume, we all want to be running together. Events are doing what they can to be fair with you, their customer. They may not be able to have you run with them now, but hope you will in the future.
Kirsten Fleming, from the Calgary Marathon, wrote this piece on the struggle that Race Directors around the world are currently facing.
Run solo and run safe, more information on our blog here. And remember coaches should be coaching remotely or through email. When it comes to coaching the Safe Sport, rule of two should still be used.
Mental Health Resources
BounceBack BC is a free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.
Article in the Oak Bay New with more mental health resources.
Support Local Businesses
Most local running stores are still fulfilling orders, either having curbside pickup or delivery options. For the most part they are small / local businesses.
A number of local restaurants have the same options, delivery and curbside pickup.
Look at your favourite stores and restaurants and find out how you can support them.
The BC Centre for Disease Control and Health Authorities have banned mass gatherings, the BC Athletics Board of Directors has paused the competition calendar and no events will be sanctioned until the ban has changed.
Refer to the BC Athletics COVID-19 Updates on our Home Page (more news)
Check with the BC Centre for Disease Control for what you can do to limit the spread of Covid-19, self-assessment tools, testing/treatment. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face, maintain a 2 meter buffer between you and others, avoid non-essential gathering. Please refer to the Government sites for more information.
What about the races I am already registered for?
Check with any event you have registered with this year for their plans for this year.
As we learn about event cancellations, we are trying update them in our calendar of events. Check with individual events for details.
Internationally, the Canadian Government is recommending / limiting non-essential travel. Travel to USA and International events is not possible, local regulations are also cancelling a number of events. The most comprehensive international cancellation list we have found is – linked here.
Please share positive, responsible messaging on your social channels. Check in with people, pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t touched base with in awhile. We’re all getting bummed, I am for sure. Do what you can to help each other to stay safe and emotionally healthy.
Articles related to cancelations.
- The Shakeout Podcast - Behind the startline: The challenges of race directing in the age of COVID-19
- Slowtwitch.com – Why can’t I just get a refund?
- MapMyRun – Your Goal Race Is Cancelled, Now What?
- Triathlete.com – A Race Director Answers Your Questions About COVID-19 Cancellations
Resources for Event Directors are posted on our BC Athletics site here.