Below are some summary bullets of the most pertinent details. For more information, please read the entire text below the summary bullets.
- The team board has approved holding group runs after Labor Day given stabilization in city health statistics and with the city continuing to be in Phase Four of reopening.
- The plan is to begin with easy runs only for the first several weeks as we work through logistics. Workouts to follow soon.
- Runs will have restrictions on size and rules to help prevent spread, such as wearing a face covering.
- The process for attending runs must be strictly followed (attendees must RSVP on the Meetup site and must agree to the new team waiver upon RSVPing).
- The team will pull back on holding team runs if the positivity rate goes above 3% on a 7 day rolling average or if the city goes below Phase 3 of reopening.
New York City – along with the entire State – is now in Phase Four of re-opening. This permits outdoor gatherings of up to 50 individuals, provided there is social distancing and face masks. As with Phase Three, it explicitly allows outdoor fitness meet-ups, including running. (See NYS guidelines: https://on.ny.gov/3l5RtKu)
In this context, other NYC-based running teams have started group runs. The Board acknowledges that while we will not be the first team to return to in-person activities, we are considerably larger, and consequently, we need to account for and manage our numbers while respecting all health protocols. The Board recently held a vote to begin group runs beginning the second week of September (after Labor Day Weekend). The Board’s decision to return to group runs does not come lightly. That said, we acknowledge that there is significant interest across our membership and we believe it is worth piloting. We will be starting small and vigorously monitoring the process to see if we can scale up for additional runs, or conversely, if we need to return to virtual-only. NYS / NYC health guidelines and our ability to executive a safe and effective process will determine which direction we take! So we sincerely request your patience, understanding, and adherence throughout this endeavor. We will organize this process in two major stages – an “initial stage and “full stage”. The initial stage constitutes our return to group runs. If successful, we will move to the full stage, which will include more runs (more runners TBD).
Below we outline a number of details regarding why the Board is comfortable moving forward, the calendar / timing, and the actual process of joining a run – i.e. the “why”, “when” and “how”. Please read each section carefully.
Health Metrics for allowing group runs
As noted above, New York City is now in Phase Four, which allows outdoor activities for gatherings <50 people so long as social distancing and facemasks are implemented. Below are our external health requirements:
- COVID-19 testing positivity rate in New York City remains below 3% on a rolling 7-day average. Current positive rate:
- NYC remains in either Phase Three or Four.
Start date/times/locations for group runs
As noted above, assuming our city health requirements continue to be met, we will look to begin holding group runs after Labor Day. This will be our target launch week!
- Initially, we expect to host three runs per week. These will consist of two easy runs on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm (same time as before) and a long run on Saturdays at 8am.
- Monday and Wednesday easy runs will take place in two locations – Central Park (Manhattan) and Prospect Park (Brooklyn). The exact locations will either be the same or very close to where we’ve met previously.
- Saturday long runs will meet in two locations – Columbus Circle (Manhattan) and the Red Hook Track (Brooklyn).
- Further details on timing and specific locations will be forthcoming on Meetup.
Prior to joining a run, there will be a few requirements.
- You will need to RSVP ahead of time to all runs. Currently runs will be limited to 20 participants. Hosts will be checking names for every run to ensure you’ve RSVPed – no tag-alongs!
- You will need to acknowledge a waiver that cites risks, responsibilities, and conduct. These include an affirmation that you do not currently show symptoms or feel sick, you haven’t traveled to a state or location where NYS requires a 14-day quarantine, and that you will follow all health guidelines. Please see full waiver here: https://www.dashingwhippets.org/dashing-whippets-running-team-liability-waiver/
- Note: please UPDATE your RSVP if you are unable to attend to allow a teammate to attend. This will be a first come, first serve process.
Run Process (Initial Stage)
When you show up for a group run:
- Hosts will quickly take attendance and ask if everyone has signed the waiver. We will do our best to be very clear who the hosts are prior to arrival and once you get there (via DWRT apparel, etc,)
- Hosts will group people into 2-3 pace groups.
- We will aim to start the actual run within 5 minutes from the Meetup start time so the group isn’t standing around for long. To do this effectively, the routes will be simple and posted on the team Meetup site 24 hours in advance.
- During our Initial Stage, we expect to keep our meet ups <20. If we are able to facilitate runs safely and effectively, we will look to scale up to our “Full Stage”. This will likely include additional runs, including workouts. Details on what our full stage will look like are forthcoming.
Key reminders for the team
- All group runs are VOLUNTARY! Yes, we understand that this may be obvious to some, however the Board wants to be clear that these runs are entirely for teammates looking to run with others again in a low-risk setting. We affirm that running alone – or with members of one’s household – continues to be the safest way to run.
- While we assume everyone will be on their best behavior, if a teammate breaks any of our protocols (either pre-run or during the run) that teammate will be asked to leave the run and the Board will review further actions, which may include banning from future runs.
- If at any point our NYS and NYC health thresholds aren’t met we will discontinue group runs until the metrics are within our accepted range. No wiggle room or grace period on that!
- If a teammate tests positive for COVID and has joined a group run at any point within the past 14 days, we ask that that person notify the Board immediately. While we believe the risk of transmission is small, we will deliberate on whether to continue group runs for that location and, if necessary, will confidentially notify teammates that RSVPd for those run(s). At no point will we share any names or other identifying information. Health and safety remain our top priority
- We understand that despite our best efforts, there are still a number of uncertainties regarding this process! We are all learning how to do this together, so we ask for your patience and benefit of the doubt as we roll this out for the team. What we promise is that we will look closely on what works (and doesn’t work!) and look to improve quickly. We’re very committed to making this happen! 🙂