Thursday, March 19, 2020

What's next now that there's not any track meets in the near future?

Josh Kerr of the Brooks Beasts leads the field in the
1500m at last year's Brooks PR meet at Husky Track.
Paul Merca photo
The Coronavirus has put the sports world, and for that matter, the entire globe to a screeching halt.

Normally, this site would be talking about what happened at the previous weekend's NCAA track & field championships, and for that matter, the World Athletics indoor championships in China (which were cancelled a month before everything hit the fan in the United States last week), and previewing this weekend's opening meets of the 2020 outdoor season for both the University of Washington and Washington State University, as well as the Doris Heritage Distance meet hosted by Seattle Pacific.

However, the global pandemic changed everything.

Your morning latte at the coffee shop? Good luck drinking it in the shop while you surf the internet, because your latte is only to go.

You want to hang out with friends at that hot new restaurant? Not happening, as most restaurants are closed, with only pick-up or to-go orders taken.

You need to go lift at your local gym? Again, not happening.

For a lot of the area's top track & field athletes, simple stuff like accessing the track is getting difficult.

As of now, the post collegiate athletes that University of Washington head coach Andy Powell and associate head coach Toby Stevenson are working with, are locked out of the UW athletic facilities, including the weight room and athletic training.

Danny Mackey's Brooks Beasts group continues to train at various venues around the city for any upcoming races that may or may not happen leading up to the Olympic Trials and the Games.

In the last few days, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference cancelled all spring sports (it originally announced it was suspended), as did the Big Sky Conference. 

One of the most prestigious spring relay meets, the Penn Relays announced that the meet was cancelled, though it left open the possibility that they would host a one-day meet to allow athletes a shot at obtaining Olympic/Olympic Trials qualifying marks.

The Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa announced on Wednesday that it will be postponed indefinitely.

The first three stops on the Wanda Diamond League--Doha on April 17th, Shanghai and another Chinese city on May 9th & 16th--were suspended.

As Qatar will not allow athletes from certain countries affected by COVID-19 to enter the country, and issues surrounding the virus in China, the Shanghai meet is tentatively scheduled for August 13th, immediately following the Olympic competition in Tokyo, with the dates of the second Chinese meet and the Doha meet to be determined.

The Harry Jerome meet in Burnaby, British Columbia was cancelled for 2020 on Tuesday.

One of Washington's most iconic road races, the Lilac Bloomsday 12k, just announced that it will be postponed to September 20th.

So, what now?

I will do my best to provide content, whether it's going through the vault of articles and photos of meets this site has covered in the past.  There are some running shoe reviews I'm working on that will be posted soon.

I'm hoping to have the ability to post interviews via Skype, FaceTime and other video conferencing outlets with some of Washington state's top track & field athletes.

It's my intention to post something on this site at least two times per week, as well as anytime something is breaking.

Just because we're in a pandemic doesn't mean this site is going on hiatus.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience, stay safe, wash your hands, and if you're running, stay at least 6 feet away from each other.

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