We encourage people of all shapes, sizes, and ages to participate in long-distance walking, running and biking marathons. Think that there might be a reason not to bother? A physical impairment? A financial liability? Most of these “reasons” are just excuses. You can do anything you put your mind to doing — and you should! Late last month, boy scout troops participated in a half-marathon in Bowling Green, Ohio. They showed us how it was done!
COVID-19 certainly changed the dynamic of the marathon, but several options were still offered by the boy scouts, who helped construct the course: the 10K, Tenderfoot 5K, Virtual Half-Marathon, Virtual 10K, and Virtual Tenderfoot 5K. Gender specific shirts were available for order.
Know someone who entered the races? You can do a quick lookup and tracking search here.
The boy scouts and their scoutmasters went through a long process trying to get approved to fund and finance a series of races at the end of August and beginning of September, but they were approved through hard work and dedication — and putting into place security features to protect against the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak.
The Bowling Green races were orchestrated without water stops, meaning participants had to carry their own or risk dehydration. Those who were not running were required to wear face masks at all times by city officials. Those who were running were allowed to take them off after the race began.
Local health departments helped provide pre-race regulations alongside city and state officials. These included successfully providing participants and onlookers with the necessary safety procedures to be followed during the race, providing a variety of registration options for various fitness levels (and also to help spread out the number of registrants to different races conducted on different days to mitigate the chance of coronavirus transmission), and coronavirus screening procedures during packet pickup. There was a 750-person limit on the field.
The race began with participants spread out at least six-feet from one another, and no pre-race announcements were made at the starting line. Sanitization stations were provided for racers and onlookers. In addition, there were no ceremonies conducted after the completion of each race.
Another boy scout troop in Columbus, Georgia biked an impressive 150-mile marathon over one weekend in early October. Racer Benjamin Wicks said, “The first half was kind of rough, but when we got to the half-way point it was all downhill, so it wasn’t that bad.”
How long does one prepare for a 150-mile bike ride? Maybe not as long as you might think! It only took them two months. They too had to deal with coronavirus safety measures in order to conduct the marathon.
Troop 98 leader Brandon McNeely said, “Thankfully, this is an outdoor adventure, so the risk is a little less outside than being indoors. When we meet and do other stuff we were always trying to meet outside. If we met inside, of course we always wore the masks.”
Check out this race from days gone by: