Below is the email that we sent out to registered participants this morning. It includes a link to a poll. Even if you're not registered for the event, we welcome your input - feel free to fill it out.
We know that the world is steeped in Coronavirus anxiety right now, and the effects are being felt in all reaches of daily life. Here at Rootstock Central, (in between figuring out how to homeschool our kids and prepping to put our own classes online) we have been talking about whether and how the virus might affect the upcoming Crooked Compass Adventure Trek.
We have reached out to friends who work in the public health and infectious disease sectors for guidance. Based on their recommendations, as of this morning we are still planning to hold the race. As one participant said over email yesterday, in the midst of this ongoing anxiety, "I just want to run in the woods and have fun with my tribe."
We feel the same way, and we have developed a series of practices to help protect the safety of all our racers and volunteers.
1. We will send out all waivers electronically, along with a link to a google drive. All racers will be responsible for filling them out, signing them, and uploading them to the drive. If you have access to a printer but not a scanner, we recommend the Genius Scan app (free version) for scanning and uploading documents. If you don't have access to a printer, a typed signature will be just fine.
2. We will wear protective gloves when packaging and distributing maps and passports. Documents will only be handled by people wearing these gloves.
3. We will remove all punches from the checkpoints and instead use lettered clues, which you will write onto your passport with your own pen.
4. We have shortened the duration of the event from ten hours to nine hours to accommodate a staggered start, which will mitigate the number of people gathered at any one time. You may begin any time between 7am and 8am. You will have nine hours from when your clock starts.
5. We are still on the fence as to whether to offer post-race food or ask racers to bring their own. If we do serve food, as with race documents, we will designate 1-2 volunteers to give it out and they will be wearing gloves. The same will be true for soda and water.
6. We will bring as much hand sanitizer as we're able to get. We ask that you bring your own as well.
As you're all well aware, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and as we follow the news and check in with the Maryland parks, we are also developing contingency plans and alternatives, in the event that we determine that a bigger gathering in untenable.
Option 1: A virtual race. We will set the flags in the woods and provide a window for you to participate on your own time - somewhere in the vicinity of one week. We will send out t-shirts via mail (or, if you're planning to come to another race this season, we can give it to you then). To be an official finisher, you will need to provide a GPS track of your route and potentially a photo of each flag number. If we move in that direction, we will send out more detailed instructions.
Option 2: We will postpone the race until the summer, when hopefully the current situation will have leveled out.
Finally, we ask you to use your judgment, for you own health and the health and safety of all of your fellow racers and event volunteers and personnel and their families. If you're feeling sick, please stay home!
We would also like to hear from you, to see how you're feeling about participating in the race as scheduled, with these accommodations. To that end, we have created an anonymous survey, which we're asking you all to complete. You can access the survey here: https://forms.gle/QhTiKjN9tDGMpfUd9
. We would very much appreciate your participation.
Again, these are our plans, as of 3/13/20. As things continue to evolve, we will keep everyone updated via email and social media of additional changes. We appreciate your patience as we work through these questions in what is a rapidly evolving situation.