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The most ridiculous reactions runners have had to COVID-19

The global pandemic has affected everyone differently, and some runners have come up with some wacky ideas to deal with it

When the global pandemic began, running changed around the world. In some European countries, citizens could only run a short distance from their homes, and in others, people weren’t allowed to run outside at all. Over here in North America, we weren’t forced to work out indoors, but we couldn’t (and still can’t) train in large groups, and many trails and tracks were closed to the public. When this happened, some runners came up with really cool and interesting ideas, like virtual races and individual running challenges. But not everyone had good ideas for running during COVID-19, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the strangest ones.

Government-enforced pace 

We love seeing all of the new runners who started the sport during COVID-19, but not everyone shares this sentiment. Some disgruntled runners suggested that the government enact a law that enforced a minimum pace that all runners had to meet when on their daily runs. If they dipped below that speed, they weren’t allowed to take up space on the sidewalks and roads anymore. This was probably (hopefully) a joke, but it garnered a lot of responses online. Real or not, all we have to say is this: don’t discourage new runners, just welcome anyone and everyone who tries out our sport.

RELATED: Vancouver runner describes COVID-19 experience

Strava arrests

There was an idea floating around the running web concerning the use of Strava as a tool for law-enforcement. Runners and cyclists were tired of seeing other members of their communities breaking social distancing rules and going for group workouts, so it was suggested that police use Strava to ticket anyone tagged in runs and rides with other people. Doesn’t really seem like that would be admissible evidence.

You’re already dead

Spartan obstacle course races have officially returned, and they seemed to be organized with a focus on athlete safety. When the company announced the series return, though, CEO Joe De Sena made the ridiculous claim that the new Spartan races are safer than going to a Starbucks. He also said the world is too sensitive, and if “you’re too afraid to live a Spartan life due to a virus, then you’re already dead.” De Sena took some heat for this statement, and he walked it back a few days later. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a great call to criticize the majority of the population for being cautious during a global pandemic.

RELATED: It’s safe to exercise outside during COVID-19

The dog excuse

Italy was under strict lockdown for several weeks, and citizens were only allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes. Running wasn’t considered essential, but walking your dog was, so some runners decided to sneak in some training while dragging their dogs along with them. They might’ve thought they were being clever, but everyone knew what they were up to.