The New Landscape of Trail Running
As the whole world continued to be shut down due to Covid-19, and life is still in limbo, I sway back and forth between is this really happening?, and this isn't really happening!
I'm not sure what I thought when this all began
Looking back I was being naive, I had the same feeling as when the forest fires of 2003 happened here in the Okanagan valley.
You know it is terrible, you have no control over it, but you also know it can't go on forever, and you have the sense that elsewhere in the world life is going on as normal.
Well this is clearly not the case this time, we don't know when it will end and life is not normal anywhere is the world.
I sway back and forth from loneliness and loss, to reminding myself it can't last forever.
It won't last forever but what will life look like when this is all over? Will it ever be completely over?
The New Normal
I have always been that runner that likes to take photos of our fun running experiences with my friends. Standing right over their shoulder or jumping on their backs for fun funny pics!
I am usually free with my hugs, high 5's and general physical closeness with my running buddies and my runners. Covid-19 is not only causing a shift of our physical lives, but for myself it is causing a shift in who I am and how I interact with others. I feel a sense of losing parts of who I am, sadness that I am not able to be me, and I back away from friends when we are running if I feel they are inside my now very very large bubble.
For myself as a Coach, Race Director, and a friend, things will not ever be the same. Even when there is a vaccine we will all be on high alert with personal distancing and sanitization, it is creating a hole is the very centre of our trail runnings community culture.
The New Challenge
I am choosing to shape the new reality of our lives as a new challenge, rather than wallow in my feelings of loss.
Moving forward I will still give out those free hugs, but it may be to a smaller select few (lucky them to get many more hugs), and take our fun photos but again it will be with my select few that are in my safe group.
As for Coaching and Race Directing, I am taking on the challenge to still hold the clinics and races BUT, in a new way.
As a racer I don't often eat of the food tables as I have food allergies, and I've never liked the thought of so many snotty hands touching all the food lol.
The more I have tried to shape out events and clinics around the new policies, the more Iv'e come to realize that some of it is not so bad, and we will be permanently changing the way we do things.
What! You'r out of BACON?
Have you ever gone to an aid station and been thinking about the watermelon you just know is there to arrive and its all gone? Or the Bacon? You've been dreaming about the bacon for the last 11km and all that is left is the greasy pan that you insist you need to lick out!
Yah me too! So we have decided to change our food stations permanently to pre order what you want. We pre package it (in a clean area and I have my food safe), put it in individual containers with your aid station # and racer # on it. BOOM you know you have watermelon AND bacon waiting for you because you ordered it and nobody gets your food bin but you......
No bugs flying around it, no snotty hands but yours touching it, sanitized food safe container allll for you!
I like it! Every time I host and event or volunteer at one, I hate having to throw food out at the end. A perfectly good bag of M&M's that are left overs in a bowl garbage, gummy bears, garbage, chips, cookies, cake all garbage. This will create a bit more work but little to no waste and that makes me happy.
What do you think? Do you like the idea of pre ordering your aid food or is this just one more thing you need to do online? We would love to hear your thoughts.