Another week of interesting sessions and engagement with the Strength In Numbers session. See highlights below:
- In Egypt, running events are still restricted to small groups. Organisers though are still optimistic and have been preparing for events scheduled in the last quarter of 2021. As always finding appropriate courses due to the heavy traffic in cities like Cairo is a challenge. Many new runners in the pandemic like most places.
- In Australia, a number of states are locked down. Sydney just had the lockdown of 5million people extended for another week after 27 new COVID cases were reported. Numerous major and smaller MP events cancelled with a few days of notice. There are still huge contradictions – almost 20,000 spectators at Australia v France match with crowd restrictions lifted two days before the match. Crowd could have conceivably been much bigger if the ticketing window was longer.
- Canada has moved to a new stage where masks are recommended but no longer mandatory in smaller cities. There are also contradictions in regulations where smaller events (500 participants) are very restricted and have to submit a “communicable diseases safety plan” whereas there have already been announcements of major events (concert) happening in October (5,000 people).
- Travel in Canada is also progressing as 3 airports are allowing outbound travel for essential needs (i.e. sports, students)
- In Atlanta, Georgia, the Peachtree Road Race took place last weekend with a total of 50k participants spread over 2 days (usually 60,000) The organisers implemented vaccine verification. Around 80% of participants had been vaccinated. Canine sniffers were used for runners that had not been vaccinated.
- More organisers in the US are seriously considering including sniffing dogs as part of the process. They have proven to be 95.8% accurate in detecting COVID in humans.
- Domestic travel in US is getting much easier with packed airports and roads for 4th July celebrations but the sense is that international travel is some way off and its unlikely that there will be significant numbers of international participants for Fall events.
- The next two months will be critical in terms of planning and understanding volunteer availability for Fall events which may be linked to policies put in place by schools as to whether students are able to volunteer.
- As restrictions are lifted in the likes of US, UK and Australia one of the new challenges is making staff feel comfortable returning to work. It seems that a large percentage still prefer to work from home but clearly face to face meetings are critical for event planning and delivery.
- Despite months of discussions, Dublin Marathon, due to be staged on 24 October, was cancelled for the second successive year. Organisers decided that there are “too many unknowns”.
Strength in Numbers sessions are now once a month on the first Mon/Tues of the month.