UPDATED: A message about COVID-19
Good morning members and followers,
Another two months from my last statement and while we have gotten glimpses of the daylight ahead, our collective head is still not above water (yes, I realize I’m mixing metaphors), and we still are in the midst of an absolute dumpster fire of the year that is 2020 (just please no dumpster pool parties, that’s disgusting). Most of the local area triathlons have been canceled (we expect to hear about the last few that are still hoping for in-person events in the next few days). Most of the major marathons have been canceled. Marine Corps was canceled for the first time in 45 years. And almost all of the US-based Ironman (70.3 and 140.6) events have been canceled for the year. There are still a few of those remaining as “we are a ‘go'”, but with many of them being in hot spot areas, we don’t expect them to happen, but will monitor Ironman/WTC’s word on them. The World Championships for both Ironman and Ironman 70.3, which were originally postponed to early 2021, have now been canceled. So again, to steal the wordage from our good friends at Kinetic Multisports: 2020 is just a dumpster fire year. Can I get a “REDO!” please?!
With regard to the DC Triathlon Club itself, the Club’s Board of Directors has been discussing and talking at length about what we want to do, what we feel safe doing, and what we feel safe encouraging our members to do. I wanted to thank everyone who partook in our “re-opening” survey giving us your thoughts about what you felt comfortable with. We discussed the results of the survey at our last Board meeting and have begun to formulate a slow re-opening of the Club and what we will officially start to support again. Please keep in mind that anything that we, the Club, do as an effort to re-open goes only so far as what YOU, the member, feel comfortable doing. If you do NOT feel comfortable or safe doing anything that we are offering as we attempt to bring, in what we feel is a responsible level of gathering, the Club together, then we encourage you to continue to train on your own and maintain physical distancing.
- Saturday rides: starting Saturday August 1st (not THIS coming weekend (7/25), we are going to begin officially supporting the Club Saturday ride again. We are going to ask that every rider bring a mask or gaiter and wear them when you are standing around with the group NOT riding and encourage the use of them during the ride if you are mixed in with a group of riders. We encourage groups of no more than 5 people to ride together and to spread out (in a road-safe responsible manner) as much as possible. I personally will be at the August 1st ride and you can bet that I will have my mask on me and will be using it.
- Fall Time Trial Series: once the weather starts cooling off (dear lord hopefully it does soon!), we are going to look at weekend times/dates to host a series of fall time trials. These will give you an opportunity to put all that Quaran-fitness to the test and see what you can do on the bike. These events can be staffed with minimal organizers/timers while the event participants will be spaced out with at least 30 seconds between riders so there will be little close contact between people. There will be a max cap on the number of participants as well. There will be a nominal charge to pay for the timing system used, but any 2020 program participant (NTP, ODP, HIP, IMP) can participate for free. Date/Location/Time to be announced soon.
- Virtual Happy Hours: we will continue the every-two-weeks Zoom happy hours. We know everyone is probably “Zoomed-out” from work Zooms and personal Zooms, but we will continue to hold these happy hours every two weeks as a way to engage with your fellow DC Triathlon Club members. Outdoor space at bars/restaurants is hard to come by and party sizes are limited. Bars/restaurants are also the points of highest potential transmission, so we are going to avoid in-person happy hours. But please, if you’re not Zoomed out, join us every other Thursday for our happy hour. They occur from 6-830PM and you are more than welcome to eat food and drink lots of drinks while on the Zoom. We don’t judge eating habits! Our next one is a week from today on Thursday July 30th.
- Group Runs: We are not going to start supporting the organized group runs just yet. Anyway, it’s just too darned hot to organized runs right now. 😛
- Masters Swim: We are not going to re-open the Masters Swim Program yet. The coaches for MSP come first and foremost about whether they feel comfortable being on deck coaching. Once they do, then we will begin looking at re-opening MSP if the pools are open!
- New Triathlete Program participants: I feel SOOO awful for everyone in the Program as you tried to join an incredible sport and (I might be biased) an amazing triathlon Club in like the WORST YEAR POSSIBLE. I am so sorry that this happened to you and I would give anything to get you all your year, your program, your building of friendships that will last a lifetime, and your first foray into the triathlon world back, if there was some way to go back in time. But alas there isn’t (unless you have one of those machines like they do in DARK [which everyone should watch! SUCH a good show!]). You will still have that first time crossing the finish line of a triathlon, and that is something that no pandemic can ever take away from you. It might be early next year, it might be late next year, but you still get that exhilaration crossing the finish line of your first ever triathlon. Ain’t no coronavirus gonna take that away. In the next month or two, I would really like to meet with all of the participants of 2020 NTP, be it a special Zoom event, or a physically distanced meetup in a park (as long as it isn’t 1000 degrees), and talk to you all about your experience, your hopes and goals that you had coming into this year and program, and just generally your thoughts about triathlon.
That is where we stand now as we approach the end of July. The Board will consider new approaches and new ideas as time goes on and as we monitor the outbreaks that are around us and the potential spikes that might happen in our area as places start to re-open. We want everyone to be safe AND to feel safe being members of the DC Triathlon Club. That is our first and foremost consideration. We really and truly appreciate you all being members of the Club and we hope that you are continuing to enjoy being members of the Club as much as it is possible right now in the hopes that once we get through this, we will be back bigger and better than ever!
Please stay safe!
Good afternoon members and followers,
It has been almost two months now since I put out my last statement and what a crazy two months it has been. We were just entering our period of stay at home orders and hoping that this would be over quickly, but here we are two months later still in the midst of the pandemic and an emerging economic crisis. We have all been doing our best to physically distance and help the health care system out by flattening the curve as well as to try to protect those susceptible to infection from this virus (which is not just elderly, but those of ALL ages with hypertension, asthma, diabetes, and many other immunocompromising conditions).
I am writing this update because we are on the cusp of warmer and nicer weather and I know we ALL direly, desperately, fiercely, greatly, badly, SERIOUSLY want to get outside more to bike, run, and especially swim. As the various regional authorities start discussing and looking to re-open non-essential businesses, I wanted to reiterate the Club’s policy regarding group events and gatherings at this point in time:
We, the Club, are not sanctioning, organizing, or supporting any gatherings of Club members in any form or fashion, at this time while the area’s governing bodies are recommending “stay at home”/”shelter in place”/no gathering policies outside of your quarantine family.
We know that pools are considering re-opening and we know that swimming is a great form of exercise (before you hop on the bike and then run, of course!), but we are not going to organize group swims (especially coached swims for our Masters Programs that put our coaches at risk) at this point. We know that the weather is getting MUCH nicer and those weekends are perfect for long bike rides, but we are not going to organize or support the weekly Saturday club ride at this time. We will not organize or support group runs either. We still encourage everyone to maintain physical distancing and to self-quarantine should you start feeling sick or come down with symptoms.
We want to stress (and “re-brand”) this as physical distancing! You should never feel socially isolated or distant from your family, your friends, or the DCTriClub. We are holding virtual happy hours every 2 weeks and I (your Club Prez) am happy to chat with each and every club member or follower so that you have some social contact and a friend to interact with even if we are physically distant. These are the toughest times that any of us have seen and we know some of you all are being hit harder than others (either from a job perspective or social/physical contact needs), but we like to think of you all as our triathlon family and we are here for you (as best as we can be). We encourage you to continue to wear masks while out in public and while running, and to avoid touching things with your hands (I’ve gotten great at pushing crosswalk buttons with my knees) while out in public. We encourage you to ride safely and carefully while outdoors. We know traffic is a lot lighter these days, but it seems the crazy fast drivers now have fewer obstructions to slow them down, sadly.
Please continue to support our local merchant partners and our local race organizers. BicyclePro Shop, Trek Bicycles, Potomac River Running, Fleet Feet Gaithersburg are all still here for you and really want to help you! Call them up and they will readily help you get whatever gear, equipment, or cycling/running related items you might want. Amazon might be cheaper, but Amazon will never give you the customer service, the care, and the appreciation for your patronage like these stores will. Please contact Rose Physical Therapy Group if you need any physical therapy help! They are here for you! Racine Multisports, Kinetic Multisports, EX2 Adventures, and Rev3 Triathlon have all developed or are developing virtual races and we encourage you to participate in them. You do not have to look at these events as RACES. They can be treated however you would like to look at them. You’re not winning anything except personal accomplishments, if you so desire. I did a normal training run for my half marathon for Kinetic April VR. I took some time to smell the roses and explore new areas and submitted my time. I didn’t care what the time was. I was supporting Kinetic and got in a training run. Same for the virtual triathlons, I did 58 miles on the bike and submitted that for the QuaranTri HalfIM. The distances don’t have to be exact! Running 7 miles for a workout? Sign up for the virtual 10K and submit the time! So think more about these as supporting our local race organizers so that they are still here later this year and next year instead of as an actual “race”. Another thing everyone can do to support these race companies is to like, share, and comment on their social media posts. If you are going to sign up for an event, consider tagging up to 5 friends. This costs nothing and is incredibly impactful. If they have 300 registrants at a virtual race and if each person shared just one of their posts, it could generate 150,000 to 200,000 impressions. If those same people tagged 5 people each and they converted 10% of those tags to entries, it would increase their participants by 50%. That’s huge for them and could help guarantee that these companies will be here next year so that we can race again in our area!
Please continue to be safe and responsible with your quarantine family and we will all get through this.
- Bicycle Pro Shop: reduced hours; knock, call, or schedule online as they have locked the doors to keep customer numbers controlled, consistent cleaning, curb-side pick up / drop off for orders, online shopping for parts and accessories. Two locations: Georgetown and Wakefield.
- Trek Bicycle Arlington Clarendon and Trek Bicycle Washington D.C. Georgetown: reduced hours, appointments, curbside delivery, consistent cleaning, online shopping for parts and accessories.
- M3 Bike in Vienna: reduced hours, consistent cleaning, online sales for parts and accessories, , curbside service.
- Rose Physical Therapy Group: video conference appointments at reduced rates, limited in-person appointments for emergencies. Two locations: Farragut Square and Capitol Riverfront.
- Potomac River Running Store: reduced hours at the Ballston store (the Mall is closed, but they are in the outdoor atrium) and the DC store is shutting down today; there are a number of other store locations as well. In-store customer number controls, consistent cleaning, curbside pickup, a new “concierge service” (find the right shoe for you from afar!) and a fully developed online store with free shipping.
- Fleet Feet, Gaithersburg: no in store service, but they are open for curb side pickup and they will deliver! Shop online and help them out! http://www.fleetfeetgaithersburg.com/homepage-items/who-we-are #runningisNOTcancelled
- WaveOne Swimming: waters have not warmed up enough yet to swim outside, but we will update as things continue to change and when WaveOne announces their schedule.
Good afternoon everyone,
As the situation continues to develop, we are continuing to follow the area’s guidelines.
For now, and sadly for the foreseeable near future, we are discontinuing any and all Club organized workouts, trainings, events, and gatherings. We are not going to officially hold the Club’s weekly Saturday ride, Club organized group runs/track workouts are discontinued, all pools are closed for MSP practice, all Program seminars and clinics have moved online, and any upcoming event will be postponed until such time that this crisis is behind us and the worry about spreading of the virus has waned.
We encourage you to #optoutside in this great weather and get your ride and runs either on your own or in very small groups (we would suggest no more than 2-3 people). If you do gather in small groups, please practice social distancing, and if you even think you might have contracted the coronavirus please self-quarantine and do not chance spreading the illness to others.
As we have said before: Please don’t be alarmist. Please don’t feel the need to hoard supplies (especially toilet paper… this is a respiratory virus, not a stomach bug). Please help out those who are among the vulnerable population, where possible, by offering to pick up supplies. Please try to help out those whose jobs are affected by the closures by buying them some food or supplies and being a supportive DCTriClub team member.
On a personal note: as someone who doesn’t work on the front lines but is an essential personnel at work having to report daily as my company is trying to get our hands on the virus for vaccine research, I understand how scary this time can be. I understand how these measures seem so drastic for something that doesn’t seem to have a high mortality rate. These measures are necessary and important to save lives (think about how many lives ~2% of the US population, or the world population, is). But do not be disheartened or depressed. There are some brilliant scientists, epidemiologists, and doctors working on this day and night. Your triathlons. Your marathons. Your brunches. Your happy hours. Your bike rides… runs… swims… will all come back. The world will return to normal and hopefully we will have learned some important lessons during the process so that we don’t have face something like this again. Spend this time learning something new. Learn a new language. A musical instrument. Take up a new hobby. Think of how often you have asked for more hours in the day. Now you have those hours (you just have to stay inside or in very very small groups), so you can explore new ideas and interests now!
President | DC Triathlon Club
Biotech researcher by day…
We know a lot of our members are being faced with race cancelations given the pandemic virus and are wondering about entry fees and refunds and transfers, etc. We ask that all of our members and followers please act with respect and courtesy toward race organizers and directors as they make their announcements.
Please read this great article from a race director’s standpoint: Pandemics, Mass Gatherings, and The Challenges of RDs»
We know that you have put a lot of effort into the training and preparation for the event, but it is not an easy decision to cancel a race. To then face the backlash of all those registered entrants when the announcement is made, we respectfully request that none of our members or followers be among those getting angry or threatening to sue race organizers over their decision. #berespectful
The DC Triathlon Club
In light of everything that is happening right now, we are going to postpone the Club’s Winter/Spring Member Meeting until a later, as yet undetermined, date. There was going to be communal food for everyone and we do not feel that this is the appropriate time for an event like this to occur.
We are also going to postpone the Club’s Splash ‘n’ Dash & Brews (which was to have occurred on March 22nd) until a later, as yet undetermined, date. If you have already paid your registration fees, we will begin processing those refunds shortly. If you do not see a refund immediately, please be patient as we are also dealing with this in our personal lives and have to prioritize our activities and availability.
For any Program participants (New Triathlete Program, Olympic Distance Program, Half Iron Program, IM Training Program), Clinic Day 2 this Sunday has been canceled. Coaches are planning to either reschedule some of the clinics or move them to online seminars. Please look out for a message from your Program Coaches and Leaders as they determine how they want to move forward.
Please don’t be alarmist, please continue to train and train together in small groups, and please still get out there and support small businesses (bike stores, running stores, restaurants, bars, and especially Asian owned businesses) because they will be hardest hit, but through awareness and calm and lots and lots of hand washing, we will get this under control.
And please be very self aware and if you are feeling ill or showing flu-like symptoms: please stay home and self-quarantine!
There is a NoVA/Women’s HH tonight (Thursday 3/12) and we will continue to hold the event. There will be no communal appetizers offered, but we encourage members to again maintain an awareness but not let this utterly disrupt your lives.
President | DC Triathlon Club
We wanted to reach out to our Club members to update all of you on the current state of affairs for the Club with regards to COVID-19. We take our members’ safety seriously so here is what we are doing in response to the current climate.
We are following the guidance of local, state and federal authorities to implement any necessary plans and protocols for our events and training sessions. Athlete and member safety is important to us and will continue to be our top priority. Currently our partners are not calling for cancellation of any of our events but we will monitor that closely and communicate any updates as they come through.
As a reminder:
The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine, but especially during flu season. The CDC emphasizes the importance of maintaining a safe workplace and encourages the adoption of practices to protect the health of employees, customers, visitors or others. The following practices are recommended by the CDC:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance).
- Perform routine environmental cleaning.
- Wash hands frequently with soapy water for at least 20 seconds and encourage the regular use of hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
The CDC’s website provides up-to-date information on the Coronavirus with helpful steps to avoid the illness. For frequently asked questions, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
As much as we love seeing our club members at events, if you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms within the last 24 hours, please do not attend.
The Board of Directors | DC Triathlon Club