Racing returns to Ohio and many other parts of the world.
After a year or more of runners hearing the words cancelled, postponed or “we are going virtual.” Running events return again to many places around the world including here in the Buckeye State.
Starting last fall, events started reappearing around Ohio albeit with numerous health protocols that came from the Ohio Department of Health and pushed down to the local health districts in each of Ohio’s counties.
Races that were able to be held in the fall had limited fields with staggered starts and many of the bells and whistles that made these events special were not permitted. Gone were the awards ceremonies, post-race food spreads, onsite results and in many cases runners were even asked to leave the venue once they had completed their event. It was certainly frustrating for all, but runners were desperate to get outside and let loose, while Race Directors needed events to stay financially afloat.
Fast forward to 2021, as the vaccines starting rolling out and the number of infections started dropping, the requirements started to loosen. Then on on June 2, Governor DeWine ended most of the health orders* and things really started to open up again. Many events that were able to, quickly converted their virtual events to in-person events while still maintaining a toe in the virtual space for those who may not be totally comfortable with crowds again. So now and for the time being, participants are able to choose from both an in-person and a virtual race options which seems to work nicely for all.
As of writing this article, our race calendar has around eighteen races scheduled with numerous more in the startup stages. The very popular race calendar, Ohio Runner as added many new events since June 2 and it does not seem be slowing down.
*As of today, Friday June 18, Governor DeWine plans to lift the State of Emergency Ohio was under during the pandemic.