Coronavirus Update: USA

This page will be updated as the situation develops. Please check back regularly for updates.

It has become apparent over the previous few days that the global COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’) pandemic will have serious consequences for the 2020 event calendar. Many major events have now been canceled or postponed, and smaller events are currently deciding how to respond to this rapidly changing situation as new rules, regulations, and recommendations have been released by national and state governments as well as sports governing bodies.

Whilst these are unprecedented times for all of us, we want you all to know that your wellbeing is our number one priority. The endurance sport community is founded on a shared belief of mutual support in the face of adversity. We are confident that if we work together we will come out of it stronger and more resilient than we entered.

A Word on the Event Organizers

All of us at Let’s Do This know just how frustrating this is for participants – to have an event canceled once you’ve bought the entry and put in all the hard work of physically and mentally preparing yourself for the challenge can be hugely disappointing. As disappointing as it is, however, during this time please do spare a thought for your event organizer, as this outbreak puts many of their livelihoods at risk. 

Organizing events is a low-margin business at the best of times. Most events taking place in the next few months will already have incurred significant setup costs. Having to cancel or postpone their events puts huge pressures on both their businesses and themselves personally. Please bear with them as they try to find the best possible resolution for both participants and themselves in these unprecedented and confusing circumstances. 

The Current State of Play

The situation is changing rapidly, but Let’s Do This is here to help support and give guidance where we can. Please remember that this is just guidance from Let’s Do This regarding the effects of COVID-19 on endurance events and that we are continually monitoring official updates both in the USA and abroad regarding the pandemic and the resultant best practices. 

Is it safe to attend mass participation events?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Monday March 16, updated their guidance on gatherings of more than 10 people for at least the next eight weeks.  In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 the CDC advises that both staff and attendees of any gatherings above 10 people should either be canceled or held virtually. The official White House notice published on Monday March 16 also advises avoiding any non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people. There has not, as of yet, been any official explicit bans on public gatherings of any size, such as in France, Italy, and Ireland. However, it must be reiterated that both the CDC and White House advise against attending gatherings of more than 10 people. 

USATF have established a COVID-19 working group and have advised everyone to follow CDC guidelines on hand hygiene, as well as group gatherings. USATF also suggests following the guidelines of your local health authorities, as the COVID-19 pandemic is being addressed differently in different areas. USA Cycling has also made the decision to suspend all events through April 5 and calls on members to suspend all scheduled races and events effective immediately.

The CDC advises that anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 should practice home isolation – separate themselves from other people in their homes, and stay away from other people and pets as much as is possible. If you are unable to have a test that determines whether or not you are still contagious, the CDC recommends only breaking home isolation if you have been fever free for at least 72 hours, and other symptoms have improved, and at least seven days have passed since your first symptoms appeared.

Will all events be canceled or postponed? 

As per the guidelines and restrictions above, most of the major events across the country in the upcoming 3 months have been either canceled or postponed. You can find a community-sourced list of canceled major events here. With new country-wide and state specific guidelines of avoiding any non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people, it is likely that most smaller events will also be canceled or postponed. 

That being said, we are not quite sure yet on how far into the future event organizers will be looking when cancelling their events, but Let’s Do This will keep you updated as the situation develops. 

How long will this last?

It is currently not possible to tell how long this current situation will affect the endurance event calendar. While current studies suggest that the peak will have passed by June, new information is being discovered rapidly. The pandemic is being addressed differently in each state, and so checking the guidance offered by local health authorities is essential. 

So, What Are The Options?

Following these restrictions and guidelines, participants both in the USA and globally are understandably confused as to what their options are surrounding events they have already signed up for, or were hoping to participate in. Below we have tried to answer as many of these questions as we can, with the hope to further expand our offering in the upcoming weeks:  

How do I find out about the status and/or contingency plan for an event that I have already booked?

If you booked an event through Let’s Do This, then please refer to your original Confirmation Email for the organizer’s email address – check your spam folder if you can’t find it. Please contact them directly via email, or check their website for details. They are best-placed to answer your queries. 

We are working on updating events as fast as we can on our site, and linking you to the most valuable information regarding the status of your event. 

My original event has already been postponed/canceled – what are my options?

While we understand that having your event canceled is highly disappointing, we at Let’s Do This see no reason for all your training and dedication to go to waste. The rise of technology and the demand for mass participation events is paving the way for exciting new ways to connect with events and build the communities that they foster. 

Entering virtual events and creating accounts on participation platforms such as Strava are fantastic ways to participate in your dream events from the convenience of your current location; reducing the need to travel, interact with mass crowds, or even leave the comfort of your own home. Many event organisers have already begun offering virtual events, and here at Let’s Do This we are working on creating an epic virtual event experience for our users. 

While entering a smaller event in lieu of cancellation may have previously been a viable option, with new guidelines in place it is likely that for the next couple of months even smaller events will be forced to postpone or cancel. That being said, when social distancing measures ease in the future, it is likely that smaller, local events will be the ones to bounce back the quickest. Many events on Let’s Do This have smaller field sizes, and we will help you understand and make the most of this when these events come back on the market.

Let’s Do This, Together

There can be no doubt that we are facing unprecedented times. We are all in this together, and we at Let’s Do This remain absolutely committed to helping people find and enjoy epic experiences for as long as it’s safe to do so. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us, as we plan to be with you every step of the way. 

Further Resources & Latest Information

CDC Advice on Prevention and Symptoms

CDC Guidance on Mass Gatherings

CDC FAQ’s

WHO Guidelines on COVID-19

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America

USA Cycling Statement on COVID-19

USATF Statement on COVID-19