Summertime is almost here, which is usually a big time for marathons and bike races. Some will not be going forward, as usual, this year.
It was Preston Johnson’s first year training for international races as a sponsored athlete.
“It’s addicting, you know it’s more than just running it’s a way of life,” said Johnson.
The pandemic caused companies to drop his sponsorship, but Johnson’s motivation to keep running remains.
“My schedule has more or less turned into, why do I love running, why am I doing this,” said Johnson. “It’s not motivated, anymore, by the big race down the road.”
Johnson shares his motivation with a group of 10 to 20 people, in a running club he created, that meets every Wednesday.
“Whether it’s for mental health, physical health, to lose weight or seeing how far they can push themselves,” Johnson said.
Ashleigh Steed with Utah Running said their sales in trail gear has increased since their doors re-opened.
“There are a few trail races going on in the upcoming weeks,” Steed said.
Steed was training for the Ogden Marathon before it was rescheduled for the fall. It would have been her sixth time running the race that’s a Boston Marathon qualifier.
“It was really just kind of devastating,” said Steed. “That’s what get’s me through the winter is having something to look forward to.”
The Salt Lake City Marathon was held virtually.
Others, like the Deseret News Marathon, were canceled.
The Spartan Race, mountain racing and Ultra Marathons are still on for the summer because of how spread apart the contestants are during the races.
Something, events in the fall, like the St. George Marathon, might have to consider.
“I know a lot of places are doing staggered starts, 20 people go every five minutes,” Steed said.
For the races rescheduled in the fall, Steed wonders how aid stations will look and how water will be provided.
“Do you just need to carry all of the water you need,” said Steed.
As for Johnson, he hopes people will still run without the competition.
“It’s something you can do on your own and safely do during this pandemic,” said Johnson.
Here is a list of some of the major races in Utah: