Club statement on restrictions due to COVID-19

Hi fellow Road Runners,

I hope that you and your family and friends are keeping well during these challenging times coping with the current coronavirus pandemic. I also hope that you are not experiencing too much cabin fever and have been able to get out running or at least get out if unable to run e.g. due to injury.
The club’s committee decided to hold it’s monthly meeting earlier this week as customary, but via Zoom which was a new experience for some of us. Most of what we usually discuss was sadly somewhat redundant at present such as new members joining, planning for races, what happens on
club nights, and of course at this time of the year, preparing for much loved Welsh Castles which has sadly been cancelled along with many other races. Although I’m sure we are all getting withdrawal symptoms from not racing, these events will be around in the future even if in different formats for a

I’m sure the government guides have been drummed into you and obviously for very good reasons. I’ve included the statement from the England Athletics website below which mirrors this along with their recommendations regarding the ‘suspension of all athletics activity in England to the 31 May.’
That will no doubt be of no surprise to you all, but essentially that means we cannot meet as a club until after that date and who knows when that will be?

Regarding the guidance on exercising daily, the government has not to date given official guidance on how long people are allowed to spend exercising outside, however, have stated that – like all other time spent outside – this should be kept to a minimum.

My view which concurs with the committee is that we have a responsibility to adhere to this. This is not meant to appear that we are saying this from the position from any moral high ground, but because clearly any steps to minimise spreading the coronavirus is essential.

So, with regards to a period of exercise, there are no specified limits although evidently some examples in which individuals could push boundaries with this e.g. being out exercising all day could be deemed to be one period, yet would be not respecting the guideline that states ‘kept to a

There may be some of us who are fortunate to have not had any symptoms of this devastating virus and/or know of anyone who has. Conversely, there are evidently many who will have had experience of this including, very sadly fatalities. There are club members who are frontline workers and have
experienced others struggling with symptoms and also suffered with these themselves. I have work colleagues who have suffered with symptoms and very recently one who lost a relative.

I hope we can all be responsible with this as it is not just the impact that it may have on our members who are frontline workers, but also all frontline workers. We simply cannot be blasé about this.

That said, taking exercise daily, is evidently good for our mental wellbeing and to allow a change of environment. I feel we are fortunate to still be allowed to undertake this albeit for a minimum time and not with the company of our fellow runners. It is not just the positive benefits that we obtain
from running/exercising, but the social element from being part of a club, meeting regularly, training together, racing, and non-running social events we  old. This lack of social contact may well test our patience, but hopefully when some kind of ‘normal service’ resumes, we will appreciate it so much more.

Having consulted with Mike Feighan who has a Mental Health Ambassador role within the club along with Paul Barter, the club’s Welfare Officer, we have included a list of resources below should you want advice/support on mental wellbeing. To some degree, I’m sure the current situation has affected our wellbeing whether increased worry, loss of routine, change of environment, and/or physical health being affected. We hope these can be helpful for should you wish to access them. Hope to see you all sooner rather than later on the other side of all of this.

Best wishes,

Tim Vialls, Chairman

General resources:


-Mental health and running

– Working from home

– Education


– Stop Breathe Think: YouTube channel: guided videos of beep breathing and mindfulness exercises:


– Exercise: Try some 10 minute home workouts  


– Exercise: Yoga exercises (for a range of abilities)


Government and NHS advice inc Exeter City Council 

– NHS:  

 – Government:  



Financial Concerns 

– Government:  


– Citizens Advice:    

PDF Documents on Mental Health and Anxiety Support

COVID 19 Psychological First Aid

Guide to Living With Worry And Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty

FACE COVID – How to respond effectively to the Corona crisis

Supporting your well-being for clients

Butterfly Breath