Virtual races are great, and they’ve given runners a way to stay engaged and competitive throughout the pandemic. As fun as virtual runs are, they can’t compare to in-person events on set courses. Unfortunately, the days of racing with hundreds or thousands of other runners at the same time are still a while away, but a Hamilton, Ont., series called Don’t Touch Me! Races have a COVID-19 compromise of sorts: race the same course as everyone else, just at different times. There are three Don’t Touch Me! events: a 5K run/walk, the Cookie DOH 10K and the COVID 19K. Each race has a set route that participants can run from now until August 17.
Participants will receive a bib in the mail after registering for the race. Once they receive that, they can take it to the race course and have a go at their run. The course is open to racers from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day through to the end of the competition window. The instructions on the event website tell racers to find the start/finish line for their race. Here, they will hear a beep, which signals the start of their run. From there, they follow the course as it’s outlined on the website.
After a runner is finished the run, they can find their results online. Participants will of course have to wait for the final results to be posted in August, but they can see where they stack up against the runners who have already run for the time being. All runners will also receive a Don’t Touch Me! race shirt.
Race organizers remind participants to stay safe and respect social distancing guidelines throughout the entirety of their races. It’s also important to remember that the race course won’t be closed, so runners must obey all traffic laws. But really, even if you have to stop at a light for a few seconds or wait to cross a busy street, it’s a small price to pay to be able to race on a real course again.
To find out more about the Don’t Touch Me! Races or to register for one of the events, click here.