By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer
Runners in the 26th Annual Meadow Brook Runs may be masking up but they will not let COVID-19 slow them down, as the race is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 at Valley Bank’s Meadow Brook Branch at 1100 Corporate Parkway, Birmingham.
The fun begins with late registration and packet pickup at 7:30 a.m., followed by the 5K race at 9 a.m., 1-mile Fun Run at 10 a.m., and awards ceremony at 10:30. Walkers and pets on a leash are welcome.
As expected, participants in this year’s Runs must follow COVID-19 guidelines. Race Director Dr. Robert M. Cosby even donned a mask to see what the race would be like ahead of the event.
“We want everybody to feel safe and be safe, so we’re asking all the runners to bring and wear a mask during all stages of registration, packet pickup, gathering at the start line and then also as they return to the area,” Cosby said. “I tested this myself and ran through two major races wearing double face masks, double foam cotton face masks, and actually in cold weather they feel good.”
Everyone is asked to socially distance the standard 6 feet and wear masks at the aforementioned areas, as well as at food tables. Pre-registering can help reduce crowds at the registration table, and Valley Bank will provide hand sanitizer.
Cosby recommends masking up while running too, but runners may opt to tuck their mask into their waistband during the race.
“If they feel like it’s going to get in the way during the race, they can take them off,” Cosby said. “But they are asked to socially distance while participating in the race and reposition the mask before reaching the finish line and regrouping.”
People are asked to stay home if they experience symptoms of coronavirus or have been exposed. Individuals should self-quarantine at home for a minimum 10 days from the start of symptoms.
Those who participate will receive gift bags including a copy of the book “Pandemics, Plagues and Natural Disasters” by Erwin W. Lutzer, a copy of the “Jesus” movie DVD, military-related media, Bud’s Best cookies, a Children’s Hospital Band-Aid dispenser, promotional items from Fidelity Investments, hand sanitizer, Golden Flake potato chips, food coupons and more.
Also available will be special “Pandemic Survivor” T-shirts, Cosby said.
“This is a world-shattering event in our lives, and we’re making history for the next 100 years if the world lasts that long. We’re the survivors. We have gone through it, and we’ve had to adjust,” he said.
The release of the “love birds” will mark the start of the 5K; these consist of between 50-100 white doves and have become a Meadow Brook Runs tradition. High above, the huge U.S. Garrison flag will fly courtesy of the Hoover Fire Department. Over at the finish line, those who complete the race will…