As the coronavirus continues to make it difficult to hold big in-person competitions, the track community has found creative ways to produce live meets and events. Last week, the Impossible Games were run in Oslo, and coming up next is an inter-club virtual meet between the Atlanta Track Club (ATC) and Oregon Track Club Elite (OTC). As reported by The Oregonian, the two clubs will face off on June 20, and the meet will feature several events. The entire competition will be streamed live on the ATC Facebook and YouTube pages, and the action will get underway at 7 p.m. ET.
East Coast versus West Coast. The classic rivalry returns.#ReturnOfTheDual
— TrackTown USA (@GoTrackTownUSA) June 15, 2020
The two clubs
The ATC athletes will run at a local track in Atlanta, but it hasn’t been announced where the OTC runners will be competing. Michael Reilly, CEO of TrackTown USA, told The Oregonian that the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field will not be used for the event, and the OTC’s location won’t be revealed until the meet’s live stream begins. This way, few (if any) spectators will be present during the event. Reilly said this meet “has come together quite quickly in the last couple of weeks,” and that it “just happens to align right now with the training cycles between the two clubs.”
What to watch
Team scores will be kept based on each event, just like a regular meet, although this virtual competition will feature a much smaller lineup of competitions than track fans are used to. All that’s on the schedule at the moment are men’s and women’s 600m and 1,200m races and a mixed 2x2x400m relay. Featured athletes who will be racing are 2012 Olympic 800m silver medallist Nijel Amos and NCAA 800m indoor champion Sabrina Southerland, both representing the OTC.
“We wanted to make sure it wasn’t a long event,” Reilly said. “It allows each head-to-head competition to have some meaning and overall to contribute to a team score.”
— @ATLtrackclub (@ATLtrackclub) June 10, 2020
The meet will also double as a fundraising opportunity for both clubs, and organizers hope that viewers of the live stream will donate to hunger relief campaigns in Oregon and Atlanta. Proceeds raised at the event will be divided equally between both locations.