I own a race management company called Rhode Races (I was on the track team at URI) and we produce half and full marathons. We had our 2 large marathons scheduled for April and May—Newport and Providence. Both of those events were canceled due to COVID, with the rest of our 2020 race season in jeopardy as well.
While our ability to put on actual road races is shut down, we’ve been transitioning to virtual events and continuing to build our running community. With so much negativity in the world today, one of the few things left for us to do is get outside for a run or walk. We feel it is important for people to maintain their physical and mental health, have motivation, build their self-esteem by meeting goals, and continue to share their athletic challenges. Through social media, we’ve been encouraging people to get out there and run through the hashtag, #ReleaseTheRunner.
Additionally, I have a freshman at URI who came home for spring break and never went back. He was on the hockey team (recent team travel included NYC and Philly), so we were concerned with monitoring his symptoms—he was fine—while managing his new online learning experience. One silver lining is that I do love having him back prematurely, and at least the hockey team was able to complete their season.
We are all concerned what will happen in the fall—if he will be allowed back to class, if our running events will be allowed to return, and, if not, can my company survive? If any of this is possible, what will it look like and will it be safe? But each day we get up and focus on the positive. We are all healthy and safe and this too will pass at some point.
I have included a picture of my son and I at the Wine Run at Newport Vineyards that we organized.