Running Safety While Social Distancing - Your Thoughts?

Hello all! Up until recently, I thought it was a no-brainer to feel comfortable running with a friend as long as you stayed 6 feet apart. However, recent non-scientific news articles I’ve read (including the one about the super spreading choir singing event) and talking to some people I know (who have brought up things like the wind and the fact that you’re breathing heavily while running) have made me question this.

Does anyone have some good data they’ve been going on regarding running with others these days? I know we won’t all come to the same conclusion - and that’s okay! - but I’m curious how people are thinking about this issue because we runners are a smart bunch and love running with friends!

Watch the video in this article, he talks a lot about how this is spread. I wouldn’t have any hesitation to run with someone practicing social distancing, and obviously being careful about not blowing snot rocket on my running companion. Just my two cents I’m not an expert.

I’ve been paying a fair amount of attention to the recommendations coming out of the medical community, and while some things may be changing (such as whether or not masks are recommended for the general populace), I think the advice we put in the club’s guidelines is still reasonable:

Thanks, Brian! I’ll watch this.

Just in case anybody is curious-out of an abundance of caution I decided to do my runs solo for now. This was recently recommended by runners world:

No judgment to anybody who decides to keep running with a buddy and maintain your social distance. It seems so unlikely to be a big risk!

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Just got this is my email inbox:

That’s my final comment!

Thanks for that link, Liz! It seems that the best approach would be side-by-side running, if you’re going to be running with someone else, and giving all those you pass (in either direction) a wide berth.

Apparently the Belgium study wasn’t actually much of a study. It’s really hard to know what to believe.

Well, phooey. It’s a shame that the scientists behind this didn’t do a better job of getting their data reviewed beforehand. In a world where Paris is banning running during the day and the UK has banned running double workouts in a day (both presumably based on basic principles of reducing interactions, rather than studies of infections between passersby), it would be nice to have something concrete to guide behavior.

The authors are quite upfront in acknowledging their reversal of the normal scientific review process, stating that they are now submitting their methodology and data for peer review but felt compelled to share the results immediately in light of the pandemic crisis we’re facing. Make what you will of their analysis and results but their recommendations seem quite reasonable: for serious exercise, run or bike solo, do so in locations where there are no or few other people, and give a very wide berth (10 meters) to anyone you pass during your workout.

So basically don’t run during the day in any urban area? 10 meters is wider then many secondary streets in Ithaca. That hardly seems reasonable. My main problem with this is that in a time of hyper awareness that makes it all the more important to follow proper scientific protocols so your not adding to the hysteria with information that may or may not checkout. That being said giving people a wide berth is alway recommended especially when you sweat like I do.

Many of us were hoping it wouldn’t come to this. This notice from the Tompkins County Public Health Dept. was issued today and suggests closing of trails where distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.

The Health Department has issued a new policy regarding recreational facilities:

I am recommending the closing of recreational facilities where equipment is shared, such as playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, soccer fields, etc. Other recreational facilities where social distancing cannot be maintained should also be closed. Social distancing includes at least six feet of separation at all times.

I am also recommending that signage be added to all trails and parks to encourage appropriate social distancing. Below is suggested language for these signs. On trails where the appropriate amount of social distancing cannot be achieved I recommend the municipality consider closing their trails.

COVID-19 – GUIDELINES FOR PARK & TRAIL USE WHEN USING THIS PUBLIC SPACE PLEASE MAINTAIN A DISTANCE OF 6 FEET BETWEEN YOU AND OTHERS. IF YOU ARE PASSING OTHERS, CONTINUE MAINTAINING 6 FEET OF DISTANCE. PLEASE CONSIDER REDUCING YOUR USE OF PUBLIC SPACES WHILE WE WORK TO STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN TOMPKINS COUNTY. EVERYONE HAS A PART TO PLAY IN STOPPING THE SPREAD. THANK YOU.

Thank you,
Frank Kruppa
Public Health Director

A post was split to a new topic: Run 2.23 today in honor of Ahmaud Arbery