Even though running is experiencing a healthy boom in participants, the COVID pandemic has crept into the crevices of our beloved sport. We all need to help endurance sports.
Many running-related businesses, including races, fall under the "small business" umbrella, and their fate is as unsure as any other business these days.
With that in mind, we asked you and the races and brands we've worked with over the years how to best support all aspects our sport. Not surprisingly, you didn't disappoint; we all want to be sure our sport stays as solid as your quads and vibrant as that finish-line feeling.
Below are a range of ideas from scavenger hunts to soothing skin creams. Check them out, and let us know in the comments below if we've missed any ways to help endurance sports. We'll continue to add to this post until we are all back and running strong.
- Not sure what shoe to buy? Give them a call and talk through your running history + shoe preferences. They can face time you with options.
- Remember that sports nutrition has an expiration date, so if your running fuel shelf is empty, buy off of their shelves.
- Many running stores are offering curbside pickups or even super cool bike delivery. Speaking of bikes, many bike shops are offering tune-ups and purchases, so reach out for help with wheels.
- Buy gift cards or make future appointments with massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, other care-givers.
- Consider buying gift cards or otherwise supporting local running store employees who may be furloughed or out of work right now.
- Follow local stores, nearby races, and running clubs on social media to see the cool scavenger hunts, challenges and races you can do that help with COVID or other worthy charities:
- Here are a few suggestions:
Twin Cities in Motion: Run For All: April 24-26
Charm City Run (Maryland) Live Give Run Virtual Race Challenge: Through April 30
Boston Bulldogs Run for Recovery Virtual 5K: May 14-16
#Climb4Community Challenge in Pacific Northwest: Through June 11
Team Quarantine in Lander, Wyoming: Through May 3
- The Endurance Sports Coalition, a combination of running, cycling, triathlon and other endurance events, creates one united voice for the endurance sports industry, which accounts for 50,000 events annually, 500,000 jobs, and provides health and fitness experiences to 30 million Americans. Sign the petition to ask, "Congress and the White House to consider extending payroll protection programs and additional business survival grants" and/or write to your congressperson: Take action here.
- Many races are non-profit and run by a skeleton staff—and plenty of volunteers. Add in the fact that it can take over a year to organize an event (permits, law enforcement, street closures, start + finish line features, aid stations, etc.), and it's abundantly clear: Nobody who wants a race to go on more than a race director. Before you aim your frustration about your race being canceled at the person who had to make the rough decision, step back and put yourself in his or her shoes.
- If your race is canceled and you are are given the choice of a refund or contribution, pick the latter. This will help keep the race going so you can enjoy it next year.
- Extra points for making somebody laugh.
- Your chapped hands and your wrinkles around your eyes (who me?) will thank you for this gem from Nature's Gem.
- Now's an ideal time to destink all your Lycra—and your kids sporting equipment with Win Sports Detergent; grab the deal here on Amazon.
- Put some bounce in your step—and donate to the World Health Organization—with some fresh Balega socks.
- Grab a new springy pair of kicks—and save some serious bucks—at Topo Athletic, shoes made for the form of your foot.
- Check out your mobility and movement patterns with this series of self-analyzing videos that help you discover your underlying mobility and stability imbalances, and then show you how to correct them and apply them to your running form.
- The Superhero in Scrubs Bibboards are not only adorable, they also pin your mask, no ears needed. (Ear fatigue is real.)