If you’ve been following the reports from national, regional and local health officials, you are aware of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases – in particular the Delta variant. The Mathews Outdoor Club (MOC) is monitoring the situation and is ready to adapt to any restrictions that may be imposed for group gatherings.
The MOC is eagerly anticipating our largest race of the year: Mathews Marathon & Half Marathon is on track for Saturday, October 16. While no restrictions have been shared as of this date by the State of Virginia, MOC is ready to adjust and adapt, as we have throughout the pandemic.
First adjustment: the Mathews Marathon & Half Marathon registration is limited to 200 participants. That limit is for both the full & half races combined – currently, 120 are registered with approximately six weeks to go.
Next adjustment: we may elect to start the Marathon & Half Marathon in waves of 25 participants, 2-5 minutes apart, if needed. The Marathon racers would be in the earlier waves, followed by Half Marathon participants. The wave starts will provide more spacing at the start line, one of the most crowded times of the event.
Other adjustment: the award ceremony is the other event feature that will be quite crowded. It is already scheduled to be held outdoors in-and-around the Put-In-Creek Park Pavilion. The surrounding grass & pier are also open for all participants and spectators during the ceremony and provide ample space for comfortable distancing.
These adjustments are consistent with the MOC’s flexibility throughout the pandemic. We have not canceled a race for the past two years – instead, we’ve reduced participation, used wave starts and made various other accommodations to encourage safe behavior while still keeping our events enjoyable. As always, we welcome feedback and input from our participants in how we can continue to provide these events.