Coronavirus & CityStrides

Nobody starts this thread so I do, because the virus is also an issue for CityStrides as more and more people worldwide are asked to stay at home, and I read that there is at least one European country already (CZ) where it will be forbidden to run outdoors in less than 48 hours.

I would like to be responsible and avoid unnecessary proximity with other people whenever possible while hoping the complete quarantine won’t be decided in the coming days in my hometown.

Unfortunately, there are very few uncompleted streets that I can reach from my place without using public transportation. If I have to run from home, I will never be able to complete my city since the furthest nodes are around 30km away (18 miles) and I am not an ultra-runner able to run 60km (36 miles) in one day on a regular basis.

My questions:
How does the coronavirus affect your running?

What are your strategies to remain effective?
I may look for a bike next week to ride to the places where I want to run, although I belong to the minority that does not like to ride a bike in town.

What can @JamesChevalier do to help in this “crisis situation”?
I see that some testers are very happy with the new challenges. It may be a temporary goal, and it will be a good thing for people who have already run their neighborhood, but I would personally prefer to use the coming weeks to go the hard completion way (100% of nodes, or as close as possible from 100%). I would like to see the missing nodes in the streets where I already reached 90% of the nodes. They are hidden at the moment, but there are probably some that are within reach without using a car or a bike, and if I can identify them, I would like to run there.

I think I will write down this idea next week and hope it will be popular since I read several times than I am not the only one willing to get as close as possible from 100% completion both in street and in node terms.


When I run in my city, I will be lucky if I see more than two people. Total. So I’m not concerned about disease transmission from other individuals.

(I live in America where the automobile is worshipped. I also run in the dark half the time.)

I’m also not close to reaching the point in my city that I can’t run to an incomplete node from my house. I may reach that point in several months. But by then I expect the Covid19 Panic to have ended, at which point I’ll drive to a park to complete the sections I couldn’t reach.

In my country freedom of movement has been significantly restricted, people are advised to stay home with only few allowable exceptions. There is a safety valve clause that allows going outside alone, so I guess running is technically possible.

As far as CityStrides is concerned, I’m in a similar situation as you: the vast majority of my neighbourhood is completed. I kept a handful of runs open intentionally for “emergencies”, so I guess I can still do those but that isn’t going to last long. I was also taking public transport to reach unexplored areas, that’s obviously off the table for now. I could drive out by car, but much as I like collecting streets it feels like difficult to justify this as some sort of emergency if I have to explain my trip to police.

I guess my strategy is to run what I can still reach from home without too many unproductive kms, and after that maybe “clear” the map nearby by using the time filter and run stuff near me again. I did most of that before joining CS and the traces are a bit untidy… I expect my project to take at least 3 more years, so a delay of a few weeks/months doesn’t matter all that much. Weeks without running would be very hard, a few weeks without CS is bearable.

I would like to see 100% node completion as a goal regardless, and having some better support in CS would be great (total city node completion percent, total nodes completed per activity etc.). I think it’s a great idea to pick up any missing nodes on streets that were 90% completed… or even start running in neighboring cities to keep busy. I basically stopped running my 1100 street city when I had to drive more than 15 minutes to start my run. I’m at 91% and saving the rest for a few big marathon type long runs. Regardless, keeping active and away from people as much as possible is a great idea (and maybe away from handles, guardrails, crosswalk buttons and such).

This is a decent take on it… Coronavirus Running Advice: How to Run Safely Outside During Social Distancing | GQ

Maybe trying to hit those rare out of the way nodes is a good way to keep away from heavily trafficked streets anyway.

I think and guess in the Netherlands it’s ok to go out by yourself. No contact and really amazing good springtime weather. So to keep moving, i guess i keep running (alone) and i am curious how deserted it all will be.

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I’m sure I’m ignorant but what possible motive could there be for anyone to ban someone from running outside alone because of the Corona virus?


@dallas.devries: even if the risk of contamination while running is very low according to experts, it may be more than 0. Most importantly, limiting the numbers of people outside both avoids confusion in people’s minds caused by exceptions to the rules and makes the work of police officers much easier. That being said, I am happy that we are still allowed to run alone in my hometown.

As for me, avoiding public transportation has completely changed my running experience.

During 3 months, I had maintained an average of 120-130 completed streets per week and was very happy about this. I was above 1 completed street/km and considered myself very efficient given the size of my hometown and the length of the streets.

In the last 2 weeks, I have logged 16 and 21 new streets (despite >100km/week). My average number of completed streets per km has plummeted to 0.2 . It will be even less in the coming weeks since I cannot complete any further street without running more than 15km overall (there is no accessible street left in a 6km radius).

This limitation imposes a change in focus. I now run a bit less, and a bit harder even if there is no race to train for. I will resume my #runeverystreet challenge when the coronavirus will be gone.

This is somewhat funny to see a surge in CityStrides use when I use it less than usual, but that is how it is. I wish a lot of fun to new members.



While I am by no means as prolific as you are, I am in the same boat.

I live in a sub-urban/rural community and I have long since exhausted any streets within realistic running distance from my house. This is one place where a more fully-fleshed out challenge feature would be valuable, as I could re-run my local community or see how many unique streets I can complete each month, resetting each month so I can re-run the same streets.

The ability to easily track what I complete in the challenge is valuable, though and that hasn’t been implemented yet.

Have to agree to disagree on this one. I think its pretty easy to discern a runner from a group of people outside. Certainly understand them not wanting people to use public transportation to get to a run, that is pretty logical. In terms of vectors of attack and intervention I would have to say prohibiting running outside alone is pretty ineffective and inefficient one while removing your liberties. I’m all for taking this seriously and stopping the spread but if you are going to remove liberties it should be for a better reason than maybe more than a zero chance of spread. On that note hopefully you can get back to it soon. I am pretty far from most of my new nodes as well at this point but I’m lucky that I can be in plenty of new areas within a 10-15 min drive still and not interacting with anyone.


I think the lone runner in a remote area isn’t really much of an infection risk, but running in urban settings could actually be a legitimate contagion vector. When I go outside I see so many runners! It seems like everyone has rediscovered their love for running in the past few weeks. Five solo runners panting next to each other waiting at a red light without keeping sufficient distance is the same as a group. Passing pedestrians at close quarters is also borderline… Let’s hope careless people don’t spoil it for everyone.

Since I have to drive to starting points I’ve switched my plan around to hit all the areas that are hard to reach by public transport. I’m basically running deserted country lanes somewhere in the sticks, with the occasional small settlement. It actually makes a nice change from urban streets!

@dbafounta 120 streets per week is insane! I can only dream of such numbers :sweat_smile:

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I agree with you Dallas, but I’m in the suburbs of Minneapolis. We’re in a “stay at home” situation but outdoor exercised is excluded, and even encouraged. While there are many, many more people out walking and running, it my area it’s still quite easy to run wide or go across the street and keep that 6 feet of distance. In an urban, more dense setting, on the popular running routes perhaps it’s a problem, I don’t know.

Since you can’t get or give the virus while driving I have no hesitation driving to new areas to run. I need to drive about 10 minutes to reach new areas and those areas are no more busy than my neighborhoods.

To answer the OP’s first two questions:

How does SARS-CoV-2 (to be specific) affect my running? Two ways. First, I’m avoiding the popular parks and paved trails. Second, because I’m working from home I avoid my 30 minute commute, each way, so there’s more time to run.

How do I remain effective? Just keep on running like I always do, if not more so.

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My country doesn’t have bans on going outdoors yet, but has started to shut down the national and provincial parks for recreational use. I’ve seen a lot of my Strava friends complain about how busy things were previously, so probably a good thing the government has acted that way.

Gotta say you run into very few other people when you’re doing loops of cul-de-sacs in random parts of residential neighbourhoods without parks! Beats the main river paths where there are still tons of people (if not more than previously).