Runners still finding release on the road during coronavirus

By JOHN ZENOR AP Sports Writer Henry Ton was looking for a way to help himself and neighbors stay fit and active after his gym closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 46-year-old software engineer in suburban Phoenix organized a small running group he jokingly calls his “Social Distance Distance Running Club.” Runners across the country are still hitting the pavement and the trails, singly and in small groups. It’s a way to get in their workouts, reduce the sense of isolation and work off some stress with gyms closed amid the coronavirus. “Everybody's probably like me, just sitting around in my house eating all day,” Ton quipped. “This is a way to get out, get some fresh air, sweat a little.” For some, running also provides a social outlet in a time when officials are encouraging social distancing and limiting the size of gatherings to 10 or fewer. Many have given up that aspect of it too, yielding to the safety of solo runs. Elite distance runner Kaitlin Gregg Goodman is among those urging people to run alone. Goodman posted on Twitter: “QUIT RUNNING IN GROUPS." For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. Sports cardiologist Benjamin Levine said continuing to run has physical and psychological benefits. But he also suggests those running with others should likely double the recommended six feet of social distancing because of the increase in the amount of air they’re breathing in and out. “I think it’s preserving both your physical and your mental health,” said Levine, who is a professor of medicine at UT Southwestern and Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas. “I think it’s critical. But that’s not just psychological. That’s biological. I think exercise is one of the few things we can do that has a very, very clear and manifest positive mental health benefit.” But Levine, the director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, said people need to observe guidelines. “It’s not the time to be running hand in hand,” he said. In Montgomery, Alabama, Marsha Trotter and members of her running group still gather four mornings a week for runs. They split up into smaller groups for different workouts, as usual, but are more conscious of keeping their distance. They spread out for post-run photos to post on their Facebook page instead of standing side by side. “It’s a normalcy,” said Trotter, a 45-year-old registered nurse. “Obviously people are not going to come out if they’re running a fever or have a cough or feel sick. That’s normal all year round anyway. But I think runners are crazy enough anyway so that nothing really scares them, so they’re going to come out and run and then go home.” Runners keep lacing up and heading out even while most races are canceled or postponed, including the Boston Marathon. Gail Nestor, a 52-year-old from Johns Creek, Georgia, had qualified for Boston, which has been postponed until Sept. 14. Nestor has kept logging about 75 miles a week, first enjoying the social aspect and “running just for running’s sake.” She said it helps her cope and she has more time these days, too. “We joke about how we’re helping our immune system," Nestor said. “We’re like, We need a support group, Runners Without Races.” The rapidly changing dynamics of this pandemic have changed the running habits of Nestor, who has finished Boston twice among her 19 marathons. Nestor originally was still running with one or two other people, though they tried their best to stay at least 6 feet away from one another at all times. She noted Wednesday that she’s now running on her own to protect herself from the virus as much as possible. Like Nestor, other runners have opted to mostly go solo. Aidan Walsh, founder of Racefaster in New Jersey, advises his runners to run alone these days. The 39-year-old former Fairleigh Dickinson runner said many are logging more miles with their social and perhaps professional lives restricted to varying degrees. “I would venture to say they’re doing more than they ever did simply because they have less going on in their lives and also there’s really nothing else to do," said Walsh, who started the retail stores and serves as a running coach and race director. “They can’t go to work, they can’t go to the gym. They can’t go swimming." But people can run — even in virtual races. For those Harry Potter enthusiasts, there's this: A virtual running group that's "changing the muggle world — one mile at a time." The Potterhead Running Club is the brainchild of Brian Biggs, a big Harry Potter fan who caught the running bug six years ago. He started the club with participants completing a distance that’s chosen along with an individualized theme. They can walk, bike, swim and lift weights to complete their goals. “Everyone is welcome in our community, and every skill level can do a virtual run. Because you don't have to actually run," said Biggs, an reserve officer in the U.S. Air Force. He is currently assigned as an emergency preparedness officer for the state of Vermont and lives in Connecticut. “You can walk, you can bike, you can swim. You can sashay or meander. We like to say, 'It's your race, your pace at your place.'” So far, the Harry Potter group has logged more than 12 million miles and earned more than $2,200,000 for nonprofit charities around the world. Another Georgia runner, Susan Camp, founded the Decatur branch of Moms Run This Town. Camp said her group generally had 12-15 runners for their Saturday morning outings. When the coronavirus threat first hit, they discussed doing group runs with staggered starts. That changed as the virus spread. By Monday, her chapter decided not to organize any group runs during this period of social distancing. “I had some women chime in and thank us for making that call because it was making them nervous, seeing people organizing group runs and asking for people to run with them,” the 40-year-old Camp said. Camp acknowledged that she would miss the connection, friendship and support that often comes from running with others. One member established a Facebook page that gave them a place on social media to discuss the running and wellness goals they otherwise might have shared during their group runs. “We just get so much out of running together,” Camp said. “You can ask anybody, it’s for our mental health.” ___ AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Milwaukee, David Brandt in Phoenix and Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.  .....»»

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PSC opens sports facilities to help in fight against COVID-19

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While the coronavirus pandemic has suspended the 2019-20 NBA season, it has not lessened the league's global impact and reach. Over the past week, 20 NBA and WNBA players created public service announcement videos to share important health and wellness information about ways to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Those videos have generated more than 37 million views across the league's social media accounts. The league is using its vast digital footprint and the powerful voices of teams, players, coaches, doctors and others across the NBA family to launch "NBA Together" - a global community and social engagement campaign that aims to support, engage, educate and inspire youth, families and fans in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of NBA Together, the NBA family is committed to contributing and helping raise more than $50 million to support people impacted by the coronavirus and community and healthcare organizations providing vital services around the world, which includes the more than $30 million financial commitment already made by NBA and WNBA teams and players to date. NBA Together is centered on four key pillars that will amplify the latest global health and safety information, share guidelines and resources, and keep people and communities socially connected through digital tools and virtual events as everyone copes with the impact of the pandemic: 1. Know the Facts: The NBA launched its  Coronavirus Information For NBA Fans webpage, which is updated daily with the latest information in their regions on how they can best protect themselves and stop the spread, featuring infographics and shareable resources with guidance from the CDC, WHO, former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and local and federal health experts. We have produced 20 public service messages to date featuring current and former NBA and WNBA Players. The NBA and WNBA will continue to use the influential voices of players, coaches and legends through public service announcements to inform fans on the best ways to stay safe and healthy in both their body and mind as the world faces the rapidly changing and evolving pandemic. 2. Acts of Caring: “Acts of Caring” will aim to inspire 1 million big and small acts of kindness to support those impacted, including community and healthcare organizations providing relief.  Using #NBATogether, we will call on players, fans and the general public to share ways they are sacrificing in this time of crisis to support friends, families and communities.  These acts can include teaching virtual classes, buying groceries for neighbors in need and donating supplies to local health centers.  Visit to learn more. 3. Expand Your Community: “Jr. NBA at Home” – a new, interactive content series – will include daily posts on Jr. NBA social channels and NBA digital properties around the world to provide at-home basketball skills and drills that promote physical activity and character development and can be completed individually and in limited space.  The program features curated content and messages from NBA and WNBA players to inspire boys and girls around the world to stay active in a healthy and safe way. The program will feature daily posts on the @jrnba social media channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and NBA digital properties across the globe, and integration with NBA technology partner and mobile basketball training application HomeCourt. Jr. NBA Philippines Facebook will integrate these content pieces and feature additional videos in the future. In addition to "Jr. NBA at Home," the NBA will engage education and wellness partners, such as  Scholastic Inc., Discovery Education, and NBA Math Hoops, to promote existing resources for students and parents that have been adapted for at-home learning. NBA personalities and educators will create short virtual lessons that will make learning at home fun. And in an effort to combat the higher levels of anxiety and stress during these uncertain times, the NBA, in partnership with  Headspac, will provide mental wellness and resiliency resources and tools to encourage fans to be mindful of their mental wellness and the wellbeing of those around them. 4. NBA Together Live: Every day at 3 p.m. ET (3 a.m. PHT) on the league’s official Instagram account, members of the NBA family, including current and former players, coaches and others, will join live broadcasts for engaging interviews.  Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love tipped off the series last Saturday, March 21 PHT and we will soon be adding other platforms where we will have daily live content at a set time.  We will also be streaming classic games every night at 8 p.m. ET (8 a.m. PHT) on NBA social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.  To further help NBA fans stay connected with their favorite players and teams, the NBA continues to offer a free preview of NBA League Pass, the league’s premium subscription-based product, until April 22 (April 23 12 nn PHT).  This complimentary offering features access to full length and condensed replays of all games from the 2019-20 season, as well as an expansive archive of classic games and content. Fans can redeem this free offer by signing into their NBA account through or the NBA App on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android mobile and tablet devices, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other supported devices. The phrase “bigger than basketball” is often used when discussing the efforts of a player or team to make a positive impact in their community. The response to this global pandemic is the epitome of “bigger than basketball” as the NBA looks to do its part to help people across the globe come together and work through these tough times......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 26th, 2020Related News