This week the California Coalition of Endurance Events, cofounded by a group of Running USA members including Spectrum Sports, held a successful demonstration for government officials and media to show how events like runs, triathlons, walks and bike rides can resume in a safe and responsible fashion.
“We invited county and city officials and the media to come and see for themselves that we can return to endurance sports safely, just like IRONMAN has been able to do around the country when allowed,” said Mike Bone, President/CEO of Spectrum Sports.
Attendees at the Oceanside demonstration experienced a mock event setup with contactless registration and packet pickup process, temperature checks, contactless water stations with reusable cups, and digital post-event results delivery – all with enforced social distance and no mass gatherings.
Check out a recap video from the event here:
Bone said that the Coalition is working diligently to educate decision-makers about the professionalism, lead times and positive economic impacts of the endurance industry, so that they can better understand the impact of shutting events down for prolonged periods.
“When you explain to them that we are a professional industry, and we have six to nine month lead times, they start to understand. We’re not a restaurant that can just reopen in 72 hours,” said Bone. San Diego County officials and mayors and councilmembers from cities attended the event.
“We really need to educate, and as an industry we’ve done a poor of job of educating people about our industry because we’ve never had to before,” Bone noted. The Coalition has also developed resources that showcase the economic power of the endurance space. Participant events generate over $70 million for charities in the state annually and over 100,000 Californians are employed by endurance companies. It’s estimated that the state hosts 8,000 events with over 2,500,000 participants each year.
Next steps include using the video to illustrate how events can resume safely in cities across the state. The Coalition also hopes to hold a similar demonstration soon in Northern California. You can learn more about their efforts here.