UPDATED: A message about COVID-19
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