An aspiring marathon runner reflects on running during a pandemic - Casper, WY Oil City News
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An aspiring marathon runner reflects on running during a pandemic

Glenn Januska trains in Casper, Wyoming. (Photo courtesy of Glenn Januska)

Editor’s Note: Over the course of the last several months, Oil City News has been publishing a special community blog from first-time marathoner Glenn Januska. Glenn was planning to “run with the herd” in the Casper Marathon on Sunday, June 7, 2020 until the race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today I am running 3 miles, not a long distance, but this is the final week of tapering for what would be the Casper Marathon on Sunday, June 7th.  I am sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that the Casper Marathon was cancelled, a victim of COVID-19. 

As a member of three online running communities, it was a daily event to read posts from runners announcing that the next race they were signed up for was just cancelled.  If Cheyenne Frontier Days is the Daddy of ‘em all in regard to outdoor rodeos, then the Boston Marathon is the Daddy of marathons, and the Boston Marathon was recently cancelled for the first time in history (although now apparently it will be held as a virtual event in September).

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I thought about continuing my marathon training routine and running 26.2 miles on Sunday, but while I would have the mileage, it wouldn’t be the same.  Looking back at my second blog post, I said about my first 5K, “and I learned what I really loved about running…. being around other runners.  The atmosphere for that run was more like a carnival and I loved it.”  Without the packet pickup, getting my running clothes/gear organized, attaching the bib, the comradery of the other runners gathered at the Casper Events Center early on Sunday morning, stretching, watching everyone’s pre-race routine, using the restrooms (once, twice…..maybe a third time) before gathering at the starting line, the countdown, the starting gun, and pressing the start button on my Garmin watch as I begin, it just wouldn’t feel right. 

So, I have transferred my training calendar over to 2021, all geared up for June 6th, the date of the 2021 Casper Marathon.  For everyone, I hope you stay healthy.  For the runners, I hope to see you at the start line one day soon!

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.