How Covid-19 is affecting the cycling and running communities all over the world?
We are all deeply shocked and devastated by the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, which has swooped the planet into a pandemic. Each country has been enforcing strict rules and regulations to prevent the virus from spreading further, which in some cases has become fatal. Our hearts and prayers go to all those who have already lost loved ones to this merciless virus. But how have our followers adjusted to the new, yet temporary, lifestyle?
In China, there is light at the end of the tunnel as the number of new cases has stopped and lockdown measures are being lifted. In Italy, the country is on lockdown for the safety of its people. And the United Kingdom has recently introduced measures to encourage their nation to remain in isolation. Many sports events have been postponed until further notice or cancelled.
This week would have marked the annual London Marathon, which has now been postponed until 4th October 2020. Numerous runners over the country and the world will travel to London for the 26-mile run for charity. We reached out to some of our followers who were preparing for the marathon. Many were appreciative that the event wasn't completely cancelled, others were grateful for the extra months of training. One athlete we follow (Samantha Harrison) posted onto her Instagram - "Today would have been my first full day at training camp. I might not be at the location I would like to be at, but the training doesn't stop". Samantha is an international long-distance runner who we follow on our social accounts, her positivity and motivation throughout the pandemic has been inspiring.
Other events such as the Tour De France have also been postponed. The organisers of the event posted a statement on 15th April: "Following the President’s address on Monday evening, where large-scale events were banned in France until mid-July as part of the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the organisers of the Tour de France, in agreement with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), have decided to postpone the Tour de France to Saturday 29th August to Sunday 20th September 2020.”
Initially scheduled to take place from the 27th June to the 19th July, the Tour de France will follow the same route, with no changes, from Nice to Paris. Over the last few weeks, there has been constant communication between riders, teams, the organisers as well as other relevant third parties all with the support of the UCI, who are responsible for arranging a new global cycling schedule, in which the Tour de France takes pride of place.
“We would like to thank all of cycling’s stakeholders, the Tour de France’s partners, its broadcasters as well as all of the local authorities for their reactivity and their support. We all hope that the 2020 Tour de France will help to turn the page on the difficult period that we are currently experiencing,” the statement continued.
However, the date changes have not been accepted by others. Hugh Roberts, CEO of SweetSpot a main promoter of the Tour De Britain, claimed the Tour De France date changes were "a bit of a slap in the face". The reshuffled UCI calendar has clashed with the French and British cycling dates, leaving some cyclists a bit disappointed. Tour De Britain organisers have stated that the date change will it alter their plans and their event will continue to go ahead as normal. The pandemic has caused a major pause in people's everyday lives and routines, with some finding it difficult to adjust. Staying at home during lockdown has been challenging for those who love the great outdoors. Fitness and training can also be done at home. Running and cycling outside your home, in some countries, have been permitted as long as a two-meter distance is withheld.
The world has rapidly adjusted to this new and temporary norm of life. Communities and neighbours working together during these difficult times provides a comfort that no matter who we are or where we are from; we are all in this together. United.
A gentle reminder that this is not permanent, the roads will still be there waiting for your running shoes and bicycle wheels. The key is to stay safe and positive throughout the pandemic, so that when the world shifts back to reality, everyone will be healthy and fit enough to attend those glorious running and cycling events.
On behalf of the whole Salzmann team,