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Tely 10 may be postponed until fall

Participants stream down Topsail Road during the 2019 Tely 10 Road Race. The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has called into question whether or not this year's race will go ahead. Organizers would prefer to postpone the event to this fall, rather than cancel.
Participants stream down Topsail Road during the 2019 Tely 10 Road Race. The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has called into question whether or not this year's race will go ahead. Organizers would prefer to postpone the event to this fall, rather than cancel. - SaltWire Network File Photo

Organizers don't want to cancel 93rd annual 10-mile road race



ST. JOHN'S — COVID-19 and the resulting public health emergency has placed a big question mark over this year’s Tely 10.

Last week, Health Minister John Haggie Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s Chief Medical Officer, reiterated that gatherings of more than five people are prohibited while the emergency is in place.

Mass gatherings, such as summer festivals, are not permitted as the risk for COVID-19 outbreak, without a vaccine yet available, is too great, they said.

The Tely 10, which routinely draws in excess of 4,000 or 5,000-plus runners and walkers, in addition to thousands more spectators, would fall into the “mass gathering” category.

Hence, the original date for the 93rd race — officially The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race, slated for Sunday July 26 — is doubtful.

“The way it’s looking now,” said George Stanoev, the technical director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Association, “that current date will not hold.”

The NLAA is facing two possibilities — postpone until the fall, or cancel for 2020.

It does not want to cancel, so is, therefore, considering a fall fate.



“We recognize the fact the race means a lot to the community,” he said, “so we are looking at different possibilities.

“It’s not just a matter of switching a date. There’s a reason we set dates for each race two years out. There is long-term planning that must be done, participants need to plan bookings — vacations for example.

“We work with local volunteer groups on this race, in addition to the municipalities, the (Royal Newfoundland Constabulary), St. John’s Regional Fire Department, Eastern Health … a whole assortment of groups.

“So switching a date is not that simple. But cancelling outright is something we do not want to do.”

Ideally, the NLAA would like to stage the race at some point in October, but that’s up in the air depending on the public health emergency.

“We have great volunteers, and they’ve been doing these events for years. We have great expertise and we will push the envelope as late as we can, provided we are allowed to go ahead.”

A number of profile NLAA road races and events have been postponed because of COVID-19. They include the Spring Indoor track & field meet, the Boston Pizza Flat Out 5K and Nautilus Mundy Pond 5K, next Sunday’s Nautilus Harbour Front 10K, the Pearlgate Twilight Meet 1 and ANE Mile Road Race later this month and the Uniformed Services Run next month.


Posted by NL Athletics on Sunday, April 19, 2020

Twitter: @telyrobinshort


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