Thanks to the recent relaxation of restrictions on sport by the government and England Athletics, Bedford and County A.C. is now able to further ease restrictions on training.  We are now operating as a Covid-19 secure environment under England Athletic's step 3 guidelines.  In order to achieve this, the club has had to appoint a Covid-19 officer, and club chairman Martyn Blackwell is acting in this capacity.  The main changes are that more athletes are now allowed in some zones, and that hurdles are now allowed in zones 1 & 2 on a Sunday only.  An overview of the updated policy is provided below (the fully policy is here).

Following reports of two cases of Lyme disease due to tick bites in Bedford Park, Bedford Borough Council is reminding people to be aware while out in local parks and open spaces.

There are several virtual races coming up during the next few weeks.  To take part in these, you generally need a GPS running watch, and a Strava or Garmin account.  The latter is free, although unfortunately GPS watches are not!  You complete your run in a socially distanced manner, and then upload your time.  Entry is often free, and sometimes there is the opportunity to make a donation to charity.  A virtual race is effectively a time trial, but with an edge to it because your aim is to get as high up the leader board as you can.  Some events are open to juniors – this usually requires a parent to accompany the athlete.  Explore the links below to find out more about three of the virtual races that are coming up over the next few weeks:

How to Renew Your Membership

If you haven’t already renewed your Bedford and County membership, you can do that now at a reduced rate.

Given the unusual circumstances this year, the club committee has decided on a 2 stage approach:

  • Stage 1 is to ask now for renewal to the club at a reduced flat rate for the year, including EA (England Athletics) membership.
  • Stage 2 would come later in the year when social distancing restrictions are relaxed, with the option of renewing the stadium pass with Fusion. We will not ask for anything further for the club element at that time and will be expecting Fusion to offer a discounted cost.

Licenced Competition Suspended until at Least 30th June 2020

In response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, England Athletics have extended the suspension of all licenced competition until at least 30th June 2020. This means that all club competitions, including leagues, championships and open meetings due to take place up to that date have been cancelled. Additionally, the English Schools Athletics Association cancelled the 2020 English Schools Championships some weeks ago.

All other collective athletic activity, including group training, remains suspended until at least the end of May. England Athletics say that they are likely to review this again during the week commencing 4th May.

However, the suspension of competition does not seem to apply to unlicensed virtual time trials, so long as these comply with social distancing rules. In fact, England Athletics have recently provided free access to the virtual running platforms OpenTrack and Racefully for all member clubs. A number of virtual races that club members may want to investigate are now popping up on OpenTrack (https://opentrack.run/product/virtual-racing.html).

Please see https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/statement-suspension-of-competitions-extended-u20-u23-champs-postponed/ for the full England Athletics statement on the suspension of competitions.

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