The Coronavirus is serious stuff. As of yesterday (February 7) there have been 637 deaths from the disease with another 4,821 people in severe condition. So far, 31,481 people have confirmed cases of Coronavirus. There is no indication that it's slowing down.
Parts of China are on lockdown.
While I don't want to minimize our prayers that go out to all for a speedy recovery and a cure for this pandemic, I want to touch on the business implications for the endurance industry from the disease.
Many participant shirts and finishers medals are being made in China where factories are closed. Some factories claim to be closed for another two weeks, some for longer.
Even if they return in two weeks, the result will be manufacturing that is backed up for months and will most likely impact events throughout the year.
We strongly suggest that you put in your medal and shirt orders at LEAST one month earlier than you normally do, and preferably two months earlier than you normally do. Otherwise you may very well be in a position of not having any shirts or medals on race day. Coronavirus or not, I'm sure we all understand how athletes will blame you and slam you on social media if they don't get what they expect.
Heck, for big city races you may want to explore creating branded face masks as a giveaway. The spread of coronavirus continues to double. Unless this pandemic is cured soon, there will be an increasing fear of being in large groups.
Don't wait until it's too late to make sure you have a wonderful event for your participants.
And don't forget to wash your hands.