Wow. So much has happened in the last few weeks. Welcome to the “new normal” of Covid19. Almost all races in the next 2 months have been canceled, and how much further this will extend is still not clear. Solo running with 6 feet of social distancing is the new mandate. The latest New York State guidelines to be in force tomorrow (4.17.20) call for mask use whenever we are out in public. Running alone without a mask is ok but we are asked to carry a mask to put on if we find ourselves needing to come within 6 feet of another. However, to quote the Fleet feet website “Running is not cancelled!”. Over the last 2 weeks virtual races and running events have become the norm, and have been organized by all of the three major running stores. These are events where one can run and even compete solo but log results, pictures and accomplishments into the social media space. Through this medium we can continue our running relationships virtually, as we all now find ourselves doing with so many of our social interactions. The below events are going on right now with each of the stores and more will undoubtedly be coming. As a group representing all runners in the area, GRTC would encourage you to visit their respective websites and facebook pages for upcoming virtual events (and just to virtually communicate with your running friends). All three stores also remain available for on line purchases of all your running needs. In spite of a regional and nationwide “lockdown” we runners are a resilient lot and have “found a way.”

ROCHESTER RUNNING COMPANY:  An ongoing 24 hour community relay keeping runners on the road continuously as long as people support it. Sign up for ½ hour slots to run on your own and log in miles (at any pace) in their website. Report your accomplishments on RRC facebook page.


MEDVED  RUNNING AND FITNESS: Just finished (4/6-4/11) a virtual “photo scavenger hunt challenge”. Find and submit pictures of specific things to find on your runs, then post to facebook page. Presently (4/13-4/19) in a 5 day “high 5 challenge” with participants running 5 days this week and posting their data and pictures.

FLEET FEET SPORTS: “Spring cleanup” virtual race with 5K, 10K and ½ marathon options. The event takes place this Friday 4/17. Run solo, submit your times, and all participants get something from the FF closet (a random medal, shirt, bid or decal). › rochester

Also, for those many GRTC members who look forward to the GRTC mileage patches at the end of the year, GRTC will honor miles done in a virtual race. You can submit these as usual. We require that the miles be obtained in an organized virtual race (not just running on one’s own) where the distance has been reported and can be obtained on the sponsors website. 

So………………at this point, with “real” races cancelled for the immediate future, don’t despair. The world of virtual running can keep us in shape, maintain relationships and frankly just be fun. Though its disappointing not to be able to be physically together this can help us all get through. And we have a sport for which this is feasible. Virtual basketball………not so much. So please log in to the sites of each of the running stores to see what’s still going on, get involved with virtual events and remember that they are all still there for on line purchases. Get involved with virtual events and we can all get through this with our sport intact. And of course, stay smart and stay healthy. See you out on the road (6 feet away)

Doug Jones (president GRTC)