Re-Open Endurance Sports & Get California Moving Again

Re-Open Endurance Sports & Get California Moving Again

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California Coalition of Endurance Sports started this petition to Office of Governor Gavin Newsom and

California’s endurance sports industry has experienced a complete shutdown as a result of COVID-19, with no end in sight. The pandemic continues to exact a daily toll on the state's physical, mental and economic health. Immediate action is crucial because most endurance events take place on an annual basis and require extensive planning; thus, any further delay in re-opening threatens not only the short-term viability of upcoming 2021 events but the long-term viability of the businesses that produce these events.

Annually, the endurance industry in California generates in excess of $1 billion in tourism and economic activity and over $70 million in charitable contributions while improving the physical and mental well-being of some two million participants. For many individuals, regular attendance at these events plays a vital role in supporting their personal health through the many positive benefits of community.

Endurance events are ideal for a safe, tiered re-opening, since they take place outdoors with participants in constant motion (i.e. built-in social distancing). Not only that, but race day practices can be modified to limit the number of people in any one place at a time, e.g. using rolling/staggered starts, re-imagined aid stations and no post-race party.

Importantly, of the nearly 8,000 annual endurance events (including runs, walks, bike rides & triathlons) produced in the state, the top 5% average 6,000+ finishers whereas the other 95% represent smaller events that largely operate as family-owned businesses.

Moreover, the viability of our re-opening plan is firmly rooted in science. As Tracy Høeg (MD, PhD in epidemiology) points out, "COVID transmission is around 20x more likely indoors and, with the exception of a few crowded construction sites, no outdoor superspreading events have been reported." Indeed, in a study of 787 Japanese running events held from July 1–Oct 4, 2020, only one case of COVID-19 was reported in the two weeks following the event in a sample of nearly 670,000 athletes and officials. By comparison, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are roughly 1 in 500,000.

Curiously, similar and higher-risk activities are now permitted across the state. Both youth and adult cross country and track & field activities are now permitted in even the most restrictive (purple) tier. Ski operators likewise remain open resulting in long, slow-moving lift lines. Also allowed are outdoor dining at restaurants and indoor retail shopping, each of which clearly presents a greater risk of viral transmission than do individuals in constant motion passing each other outdoors.

California is frequently held up as a paradigm of progress and forward-thinking for other states to follow; in this case, however, the state has failed to live up to its own expectations. We call on California's elected leadership to follow the science and authorize immediately the safe, tiered re-opening of endurance events statewide.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!
At 10,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!