Vancouver-based WHY Racing successfully held their second in-person event of 2021, the Spring Classic. The event used masks, health checks, and staggered starts to keep athletes safe.
In order to meet statewide safety requirements, WHY scaled back with the event’s festivities. For the first time since March 2020, vendors and a beer garden were present at the event.
In order to participate in the event, athletes now have to pass health checks and wear masks whenever they aren’t running. According to Jennifer Lyman, registration coordinator and runner, the safety measures were successful and participants were very respectful of the restrictions.
“As a participant myself, I think they were always safe,” Lyman said. “I’ve always felt safe.”
5k finisher Chris West echoed the sentiment.
For both Lyman and West, WHY’s races are an opportunity to get outside and have fun. Running during the pandemic has been an opportunity for many to stay fit and relieve stress. Many more people have begun running as a hobby during the pandemic, including West.
In 2020, WHY Racing did not cancel any events so that they could offer athletes a healthy outlet during the coronavirus pandemic. Clark County has been in Phase 2 of the coronavirus reopening plan since March 1, so WHY was able to hold the Couve Clover Run in-person on March 20.
According to Lyman, many more people raced in 2020’s virtual Spring Classic than 2019’s in-person event. Running has become more inclusive because virtual events have removed some of the anxiety of live racing, said Lyman. She believes that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the industry forever, but in a good way.
Bob Hoffman, a vendor from Northwest Personal Training, felt good about returning to events.
“We’re taking a lot of precautions, so I hope people continue to visit us,” Hoffman said.