MCRRC & COVID-19 Information
In March, the board suspended all club activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, we told you we would continue to update the club as restrictions changed and provide any decisions the board made as the result of those changes.
Montgomery County has announced that it will enter Phase 2 Friday 6/19 at 5pm, which will significantly change the restrictions on
activities. Phase 2 in Montgomery County will allow groups of 50 people or less to gather outdoors, with restrictions. At this time, our race schedule will remain suspended and our training programs will remain virtual. But, this does allow the opportunity for us to provide more flexibility regarding other club activities. We recognize the desire for many of our club members to run together again, and that it is likely that these restrictions will decrease further in the near future.
The county guidelines as they pertain to us:
- Total group size can be 50 people or less.
- Groups running together should be 10 people or less.
- When meeting (at the parking lot, trailhead, etc.) follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.
- Water stations or refreshments of any kind are not permitted at this time. Runners should carry and supply their own water.
- Montgomery County does not require masks while running. However, to avoid negative confrontation with other trail users, it is recommended to have a mask to use when needed.
- Please do not congregate after a workout.
- Montgomery County has opened tracks for public use, however, they are not issuing permits until Mid-September at the earliest. Anyone using tracks are doing so in an unofficial capacity and are not representing the club.
We have done a good job of flattening the curve. However, the pandemic is still ongoing – we are still living with the virus out in the world without a vaccine or effective treatment. It should also be said, as some health officials have noted, you should know who you are running with. We are all better off if we expand our social interactions slowly with people that have been following social distancing and stay-at-home guidance.
Additionally, we are providing detailed information below which was adapted from the RRCA and CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association).
- Do not participate in group running if you are feeling sick or ill, have a fever, or if you have been in contact with someone unrecovered from COVID-19.
- Persons from high risk groups for COVID-19 complications should consult their physician before participating in group activities.
- Do not engage in traditional forms of physical contact (hand shakes, high-fives, hugs, partner stretching, etc.).
- Do not engage in close group pictures/selfies. Always maintain social distance guidelines.
- Do not spit or “nose rocket” in public – bring along tissues or a small towel or a hanky if you need to get rid of some snot during your run/walk. If you must spit, do so away from people and areas that will have foot traffic.
- Do not share personal items, such as hydration, energy gels, towels, etc.
- Runners are encouraged to wear a face covering when around others before and after runs.
- Runners should self carry personal hydration (bottles/packs), and use hydration stations or fountains for refill only.
- Meet in locations that provide large, open spaces allowing for pre- and post-run social distance guidelines.
- Avoid gathering in a location that may cause conflict for others in the area, including businesses, customers, and residents.
- Never block entryways, sidewalks, trails, or access to bathrooms or fountains. Ensure that others have room to get past the group while maintaining social distance guidelines.
- Avoid meeting indoors, where runners may encounter multiple touchpoints (doors, counters, etc.), and where there could be limited airflow.
- Choose locations where a run route is available that allows for social distancing for the group, and while passing others.
- Consider the public perspective of gatherings of any size, even those within local guidelines, and whether the meeting location exposes the group to negative backlash. Meeting at less popular locations may aid the group in avoiding negative attention.
- Regarding stops during a run, groups should step off the path/trail at least six feet, and should maintain social distance while stopped.
- Groups should be respectful of others on the trail/path, and understand there may be a heightened sensitivity from other trail users. Give other trail users as much space as possible, and avoid “swarming” where the group splits and goes around others on both sides. Participants should refrain from making negative comments to other trail users, or responding to negative comments received.
- Groups should continue to use signals and or call out for passing, obstructions, or stops as usual.
The club is continuing to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and the county’s plan to reopen Montgomery County.County Executive Marc Elrich announced that Montgomery County will enter Phase One of its reopening plan on Monday, June 1st — full article here.Regarding running in Montgomery County, groups must be kept to 10 or less – recommended to consist of family members or those we frequently interact with. Currently, our training programs will remain virtual. As not all of our members reside in or run in Montgomery County, we recommend that you become familiar with the regulations in your jurisdiction and act within those guidelines.
As promised, the club continues to closely monitor the continually evolving situation with COVID-19 and provide you with updates as decisions have to be made.
Recently, M-NCPPC announced that Montgomery and Prince George’s County Parks the cancellation of all events taking place in parks and in park facilities through May 31, 2020.
As a result of this decision, the club has decided to extend our suspension of all club activities through May 31, 2020. This means that we have unfortunately cancelled the Memorial 4 Miler scheduled for May 25th as well as Run for Roses scheduled for June 13th. *** Please note that for any events not mentioned here, no decision has yet been made. We are working hard to keep our website updated and have listed race cancellations on our race page.
Given the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 and the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the cancellation of social gatherings of more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks, the Board of Directors has decided to extend the suspension of club activities.
The Board of Directors has suspended all club activities through May 17, 2020. This includes, but is not limited to, races, weekly workouts, training program workouts, social events, etc.
Please note that the club’s no refund policy remains in effect. Current registrants for the Pike’s Peek 10K will have the opportunity to defer their entry to next year’s race for a fee of $5 (half of our usual deferral fee). Registrants for the 2020 race will NOT pay the regular entry fee for the 2021 race. All registrants will receive a special link to use when registering for the 2021 race and will only be responsible for the deferral fee upon registering for the 2021 race.
Additionally, the Germantown 5 Miler will be held on July 4, 2020 and club leadership is working on a solution for the Annual Awards Banquet, originally scheduled to follow Run Aware on May 3rd. More information on the status of this event will be made available when possible.