CHICAGO (CBS) — With all the talk of quarantining and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Morning Insiders wondered how a hardcore group of Chicago runners is dealing with the coronavirus.

CBS 2’s Lauren Victory caught up with runners in the middle of training for the Boston Marathon when COVID-19  hit.

Running is one of those sports that can truly draw blood, sweat and tears, especially if you’re Jeff Weinberg, from Lakeview, who tried to qualify for the Boston Marathon five times.

“I literally changed my diet, and I lost almost 10 pounds,” he said. “Try running with 10-pound weights in your hands; you lose the weight, it gives you more endurance.”

The hard work paid off on attempt number six, at the London Marathon, where he carried the Chicago flag over the finish line with a fast enough time.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced Boston Marathon organizers to postpone the race for five months.

“I’ll just have to wait a little longer,” Weinberg said.

So will the rest of Chicagoland’s running community. The Shamrock Shuffle, the unofficial kickoff to the running season in Chicago, has been canceled altogether, as was this past weekend’s March Madness Half Marathon in Cary.

Greg Hipp, executive director of the Chicago Area Runners Association, said all group runs and training teams are not meeting for the next two weeks.

“Seeing all the cancellations and the commitment to postpone, we wanted to work quickly,” Hipp said.

CARA’s Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler & 5K, originally scheduled for April 18, also has been postponed until July 11, which affects race operations.

“April is ideal running conditions. July, it can be hotter, so we’ll start earlier in the morning; 7 or 7:30. That’s to be determined, so we’ll just make some adjustments; adjust some of our typical plans to make sure that we can handle the different hydration needs of a summer event,” Hipp said.

The Road Runners Club of America noted the coronavirus pandemic has also disrupted the supply chain for medals and shirts; so patience is key.

“Not running the race is the right decision, right? I mean, it’s bigger than the race,” Weinberg said.

He’s taking the delay of his dream race in stride, even though that means training for an extra five months.

For those who are able, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend regular exercise to help cope with COVID-19 stress.

Running organizations have said pounding the pavement outside is safer than running inside at this point.

 

Lauren Victory