Published March 15, 2020 & updated March 16, 2020
The Second Wind Running Club, a running club affiliated with the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), urges all of our amazing runners and walkers to abide by government directions including declarations and mandates pursuant to the COVID-19 pandemic. The County of Champaign encourages our community to consult reputable sources of information, including the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Facebook page (C-U PHD website) or the Illinois Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control websites.
Government Mandates: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order on March 16, 2020 that mandates all events of 50 or more persons to be cancelled in accordance with new CDC guidelines, one week after proclaiming the State of Illinois in a state of emergency. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 as a pandemic.
Health Agency Guidelines: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a March 15 Press release recommending the limitation of mass gatherings to no more than 50 persons (or no more than 10 persons in substantially impacted communities). The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District recommends limiting gatherings to no more than 25 persons, as recorded via a press release through Facebook Live on March 15, 2020.
- Practice good hygiene: If you run in events in the coming months, be a good health steward.
- Please do not show up if you are feeling ill or have flu-like symptoms or are not feeling like your normal self.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer after using the port-a-john.
- DO NOT spit or “farmer blow snot rockets” from your nose in public – bring along tissues or a small towel or a good old fashioned hanky if you need to get rid of some mucous during your run.
- Carry your own fluids to avoid contact with others on course.
- Follow guidelines for practicing social distancing as prescribed by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and state health department (Illinois Department of Public Health, IDPH).
- For transparency, the RRCA further recommends considering postponing any nonessential events that involve group congregations.
Should you choose to run: Note that as declarations may restrict the size of congregations or gatherings, many public facilities may be closed or inaccessible around Champaign County. Please do not meet up with other persons if you are feeling ill or have flu-like symptoms or are not your normal self. If you do venture out, you should plan ahead before starting your walk, run, or other form of exercise routine...and practice social distancing techniques prescribed by the CDC. Throughout Champaign-Urbana please note the following known closures that can affect your run (this is not a comprehensive list):
- Urbana Park District: facilities closed effective immediately through at least April 12
- UofI Armory: indoor track facility closed effective immediately through at least April 6
- Champaign Park District: facilities closed effective immediately through March 31
Other resources about the COVID-19 Pandemic:
- Johns Hopkins has developed a daily-updated website tracking cases around the World and more specifically in the U.S.
RRCA press release - Race Cancellations (March 3, 2020): Keep in mind, when a race is forced to cancel due to severe weather, civil unrest, pandemics, and more, organizers have already committed to financial outlays for items such as shirts, medals, and other costs they cannot get refunded from their vendors. Participants need to understand that the Coronavirus has disrupted the supply chain for items such as finisher medals and shirts. If a race is unable to provide these items that were marketed to participants, organizers are at the mercy of disruption in global supply chain issues. Be kind to your race organizers and understand it is not their intention to delay providing finisher items to participants.
RRCA Article about Race Cancellations Insurance (March 3, 2020): it is important to review the event’s refund policy. Most often, race organizers have a no refund policy that you agree to during the registration process. Race participants are encouraged to respect an event’s stated refund policy, and understand that if an event gets cancelled due to a public health crisis, that situation is completely out of the control of race organizers. No race organizer wants to cancel an event, but if public health officials require cancellation, organizers must follow this directive.
If a participant has purchased some type of cancellation insurance (ie: Allianz policy through registration), it is important to read and understand the fine print for coverage. In the case of a public health crisis or pandemic, these types of policies most likely will not provide coverage/refunds in the event of a cancellation or if a participant elects not to participate. For example, KandK insurance labeled cancellations due to COVID-19 as a pre-existing conditions not covered under their policy.
If you have any concerns or requests, please email the entire Board of Directors below.
Let's Have Fun!
Jim Fair III, RRCA Certified Race Director
President, Second Wind Running Club