SFSU coach reflects on the current state of sports during COVID-19

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Courtesy of Tom Lyons

Diani Ellis

“Quarantine got me into the best shape of my life, but [quarantine] has also stopped me from showing off the shape I am in,” said Tom Lyons, a full time Cross Country and Track field coach at San Francisco State University.

Since the beginning of March, all outdoor activities and sports have been put on hiatus due to COVID-19 shelter in place regulations. Both professional and school athletic events have been hit particularly hard, as all scheduled sporting events have been cancelled until further notice. Under these conditions, maintaining any fitness routine has also been difficult.

As a pretty athletic person, Lyons has always been an avid runner. After suffering from a knee injury in 2000, he began biking as an alternative. 

“I’ve been bike racing for almost 10 years now and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon,” Lyons said.

Even as a full-time athletic coach at SFSU, 58-year-old Lyons still manages to bike between 20-40 miles a day. And quarantine hasn’t stopped him from that, if anything it’s helped him bike more.

“I live in Marin. So almost everyday I bike from home across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the city and to SFSU,” Lyons said. Most days I bike a bit more after getting home if it’s not too dark.” 

Lyons even trains for bike races throughout the year.

But now, under shelter in place regulations, any scheduled bike races that Lyons was set to compete in are cancelled until further notice. The Zamora Bariani Road Race, which was originally scheduled in March, is canceled, along with two other bike races planned for April and May.

“My last race was the Snelling Road Race back in February, which was a 50 mile race, out near Modesto as you approach the Sierra Foothills. I got first, and as you can see in the picture, notice the social distancing,” Lyons jokingly said while laughing.

As quarantine regulations continue to extend until the end of this month, no one is sure of when public sporting events will resume.

“National Championships that are happening in August, are still planned to happen,” Lyons said. “But we’ll see what happens honestly.”