By Rick Willis
There was only one person on the C’ville High School track when I dropped in for a flat run. I kept half a track between us and felt pretty comfortable. As the temperature rose, a couple and then a single came down to walk. I could still keep seven lanes between us. Then, a family with three small kids launches onto the track. They started walking, taking up four lanes, sometimes five, so I left, my personal comfortable zone compromised. The question is: How can we stay safe while running?
According to the Center for Disease Control, we should maintain at least 6 feet between runners while actively participating in the sport. Some of us choose to run in a group of two or three others we trust. According to the CDC, transmission of coronavirus happens between people who are in close contact with one another and through respiratory droplets, produced through a cough or sneeze—not sweat.
Virginia Tech’s Linsey Marr, an environmental engineer professor, said on NPR that runners can reduce the risk of transmission by increasing that distance to at least 10 feet because runners are breathing harder and release more moisture. Also, runners who are finishing a workout can make bad decisions to pass people too closely. Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, says back off. If we push too hard we may forget to maintain physical distance.
Most agree the best way to avoid transmission of Covid-19 is to run where and when there aren’t people round. Pre-Covid I ran with 50 people every Wednesday morning, and now I leave when eight people show up on the track. For social runners like me, who enjoy the give and take and talk during a run -- that bites.
CTC is organized to provide a structured organization for the purpose of promoting running as a sport and healthy lifestyle within our community. CTC’s support of non-profit running events helps raise funds in the local community.