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Looking Ahead: In the Wake of COVID-19


A Statement from the International Institute for Race Medicine


The International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) stands in solidarity alongside our races, our
athletes and our race medics in this time of unprecedented turmoil due to the worldwide
COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that everyone is facing uncertain times; and many are
making very difficult decisions unthinkable only a few short weeks ago. The IIRM applauds race
organizers for postponing upcoming races and salutes our race medics who are volunteering
once again, this time on the frontline in the race to contain COVID-19.


The IIRM pledges its support to the endurance event community. We stand ready to assist
events now and going forward. We support the recommendation for social distancing as the
best form of action to fight this pandemic. We are available to answer questions about
implications of COVID-19 for running clubs, races or individuals seeking to stay active during
this time.


In anticipation of the recovery of the endurance event industry, the IIRM is available to advise
events on best practices in the wake of COVID-19 and what will most likely be a lasting impact
to mass gatherings of all types until definitive prevention is developed, effective and widely
available. We will work to gather and analyze data from events to develop best practices in
staging events in light of the concerns this pandemic will generate in mass participation events
in the future. We will work with race organizers and community agencies to develop guidelines
that ensure the safety of volunteers, spectators and participants. The IIRM is also concerned
with how survivors of COVID-19 will be impacted when engaging in vigorous exercise and
competition. We are committed to studying this as well and we ask for the support of race
directors in this effort.


The mission of the IIRM is to promote the health and safety of athletes participating in
endurance events. The IIRM invites all endurance event organizations who share this passion
to join us in forming a consortium dedicated to implementing the safe and successful return of
endurance events.


Respectfully submitted by:
John Cianca, MD – Houston Marathon
Pierre d’Hemecourt, MD – Boston Marathon
Courtney Kipps, MD – London Marathon
George Chiampas, DO – Chicago Marathon
Matthias Krull, MD – Berlin Marathon
Rebecca Breslow, MD – Boston Marathon
William Roberts, MD – Twin Cities Marathon
Joe Chorley, MD – Houston Marathon
Cathy Fiesler, MD – IIRM Board Member
Fumihiro Yamasawa, MD – Tokyo Marathon
May Tan, MD – Dublin Marathon
Matthew Sedgley, MD – Baltimore Marathon
Martin Schwellnus, MD – South Africa
Stuart Weiss, MD – New York Marathon
Chris Troyanos, ATC – IIRM Executive Director