A statement from Running USA on COVID-19 and its industry impacts
Running USA is the national trade association for the sport of distance running. For the last 21 years, we have shared common resources across the industry in support of our valued members.
The latest guidelines from the CDC (updated 3/15) means that the disruption of all organized sporting events will likely be delayed much longer than initially expected, including road races.This is an unfortunate situation and we are all impacted by its fallout. You can find member updates and statements on our website, and we will continue to update this page daily.
A calendar of endurance events that have been postponed or canceled can be found here.This is authored by Josh Reed and we thank him for this work. This is a good resource to refer to as you consider possible rescheduled dates and to better understand and plan for resources relative to other rescheduled events. If postponement is an option you are facing, we strongly encourage you to consider all operational aspects. Talk with your timing company, photo partner and all suppliers to better understand resource shortages or conflicts.
Yesterday, Running USA hosted a Virtual Race Camp: Crisis Management with more than 350 on the call. That session was recorded and can viewed here. Tomorrow, we are hosting the tenth Data Insight Series: Race Cancellation with imATHLETE and you can register for that here.
In response to these circumstances, some events are receiving backlash from runners. Negative comments about refunds, chargebacks and greed are swirling. We are all in this together and all business sectors are facing uncertain futures. The running industry especially is not a faceless group. Sport has always been a transcendent way to come together.
It is important to remain calm and to clearly communicate the most current information, as well that solutions and alternatives are being worked on. It may be helpful to share with participants that many expenses are incurred months ahead of the event and the option of refunds really is not straightforward or always possible. Remind runners of your commitment to the community, fundraising milestones over time and the local history of the event.
Bringing leaders and decision makers together is in the culture of Running USA. On behalf of the board of directors and the team, we remain committed to educating best practices and helping our industry navigate what’s ahead with additional webinars and information as it happens. Please do not hesitate to reach out with ideas, suggestions or questions.
The Running USA team: