Dizzy Daze 2020: Zombie Plague Edition
Welcome to Seattle. We’re out of N95 respirators, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and bottled water, which is weird, because we’re all a bunch of lefties who decry the waste of bottled water. Things are decidedly abnormal.
So… You’re asking yourself: “Am I running next weekend?” And I’m here to say it’s a definite “Maybe. Probably. Not if you feel sick.”
Here at Two Cats Running Central Command we have been closely monitoring the situation and adjusting our stock portfolios as the situation on the ground has changed over the past week. We’re long isopropyl futures and telecom manufacturers but short cruise lines. And we have contacted Seattle Parks and Recreation to get their official word on how to handle things. They didn’t yank our permit, and said they didn’t have plans to do so, but they’re taking it one day at a time. (Which is appropriate given the theme of our race.)
So… We are planning to be at the start line Saturday at 6 a.m. for check-in if you’re well and want to run.
We have about 100 runners signed up, but for most of the day you will be spread out around the lake. This will give plenty of opportunity to maintain personal space, so we’re mostly concerned about the start, and the aid station/timing area at the beginning and end of the loop. If we can all keep our grubby hands off the goodies at the aid station and each other we should be able to keep risks reasonable.
First things first (or six paragraphs in): If you are showing any signs of Coronavirus then stay home. Let us know and we will happily defer your entry to next year or give you a refund of the race fee (minus Ultrasignup’s fee, unfortunately) and we’ll buy you a puppy. (Puppy not guaranteed.) Seriously. If you’re sick or suspect you may be getting sick, stay home and take care of yourself. We want you to get loopy with us for many years to come. This really is serious, and Seattle is ground zero. Do not let our irreverent prose style fool you into thinking otherwise. But life does go on, so we’re trying to strike a compromise.
The official start time and end time remain the same: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are concerned with being in a crowd at the start and are not going to spend all 12 hours with us, you are welcome to start at a later hour. You won’t be eligible for the “overall weiner” (overall winner) trophy, but our trophies aren’t all that exciting.
We will be doing our best to mitigate possible contamination at the aid station. To that end:
- We will have two hand-washing stations and as much hand sanitizer as we can loot. (Sanitizer is out of stock everywhere right now.) If you’re stopping for aid we recommend you use them.
- Please let the volunteers at the aid station assist you. Limiting the number of grubby hands that touch the supplies is critical.
- If filling a bottle, remove the lid of your water bottle and hold the bottle for volunteers to fill at aid stations from pitchers. Do not hand them your bottle. This mitigates transmission from runners touching water spigots or volunteers touching bottles.
- We will try to have as many individually-packaged snacks as possible, but you might have to ask a volunteer to hand them to you (to keep people from spreading germs to the surface of wrappers as they paw through the selection).
- Any bulk foods (think M&Ms) will be poured into individual portion cups. Take the whole cup, and toss any leftovers.
- Don’t put anything you’ve touched back on the table. If you do, we’ll be forced to set fire to the entire aid station. (Or at least wipe everything down with bleach more frequently than we already will be doing.)
- There will be a drop bag area. If you have any concerns about transmission of the virus you can plan to bring your own snacks in your pack or drop bag.
- Parents: supervise your children near any communal spaces, particularly at the food table. (Tiny grubby hands that get near the food table will be dipped in bleach or fed to the geese that wander around the lake.)
- Stay home if you are sick. We will defer or refund your registration and raise a glass in your honor afterward.
- Be very mindful of touching your face and always wash or sanitize your hands after using the bathroom, sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, eating, or touching your face.
- No farmer blows. No high-fives.
And a final safety plea:
- Don’t run in the road. It would be ironic to spend all day mitigating a virus only to be hit by a car.
Give a shout if you have any questions. We might not have answers, but we’ll try to get through this together.
a.k.a. Matt Hagen and Betsy Rogers