Qua-run-time; Racing in the Time of Coronavirus

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Qua Run Time

As with most of daily life, the running world has come to a screeching halt in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Events are canceled, leaving athletes without a date to circle on the calendar.

Sara: “All they’re doing is looking forward to racing and that’s all we’ve been working on all winter. And now, all of a sudden, everything is getting canceled. So, now there’s a lot of – they’re bummed and sad.

Sara Fix is the owner and a coach at Endure It, a store in Naperville dedicated to servicing runners, triathletes and other high-endurance athletes.

Fix and her team came up with an idea to fit in with social distancing, while still getting their athletes something to train for: Set a course and have runners participate on their own schedule.

Sara: “then they can text me and say ‘hey, Sara, I’m going at 5 this morning, would you want to go?’ and then I’ll go and I’ll video them and cheer them on and yell and scream and that’s where I feel my happy place is. That’s where I derive the joy out of my job.

Ryan Guiliano was the first person Fix reached out to, hoping the world-class triathlete and Iron Man competitor.

Ryan: “When I got there I saw it was actually a pretty challenging course. Beautiful course but I thought I ran it pretty well and had fun running it.

Setting the pace on the 5 and 10K courses, Guiliano and his wife Jacqui appreciated the disruption to their quarantine monotony.

Ryan: “It just took me out of my routine of sitting at home and doing my training, it gave me an actual race simulation. All right, I’m going to show up and go try and run hard and I had those little nerves and feelings of excitement before going out and doing it. And that’s a feeling that I miss.

Since becoming the first participants, the Guilianos have enjoyed returning to the Endure It website to see countless others tackle the course.

Ryan: “This little event is going to bring people together, sort of like – you’re getting out, we’re doing the same course, the same thing I did and we get to compare times. Once you log on to the website it’s pretty cool because you can see everyone who’s done it so far. And each day since I’ve done it – I ran on Monday – logging on and seeing new names popping up on the board, it’s cool.

Despite sending so much time in isolation, away from her customers and athletes, the newly minted Qua-run-time event has turned things around for Fix.

Sara: “It’s way better running with them, biking with them, swimming with them, cheering them on at races, that’s really more my thing. That’s where I’m happiest. So this has been really difficult for me. I feel as though this, this week, has been the best so far.

If you would like to participate, head to the Endure It website and view the upcoming events. The current course, set in Hinsdale, will close on May 1st. At which time, it will move to Naperville starting on May 2nd.

Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman