In September the arrival of COVID-safe racing saw runners sprint to our start lines, smashing new PBs and celebrating their first medal in months.
Since then we have delivered 13 successful COVID-safe events, from fast road 10Ks, trail half marathons to duathlons.
Our carefully adapted, smaller and simplified events have been a hit with runners who have been overjoyed to have the opportunity to commit to a goal, run with others and get that sought-after finish line feeling, in a safe and controlled environment.
Sarah who runs for Heddington Road Runners rated the experience our Water of Life Half Marathon so much, she wrote “The race was a masterclass in how to organise an event in the time of COVID. Really enjoyed it too!”
While Ryan Jarvis commented of our Duxford Dash event, “In spite of the virus I felt safe and secure all day…plenty of consideration went into making the event COVID-secure.”
So, how is COVID-safe racing different and what can you expect when you attend one of our COVID-safe events?
Your race briefing will be sent out a pre-race email. Included in this is a health declaration form which you must fill out before the event.
You will be allocated an arrival or start wave and advised to arrive a limited time (specified) before your event.
In the Event Site:
You will check in at the entrance/carpark, where you will scan a barcode for track and trace using the NHS Test and Trace app (if you can’t access the app, we’ll have a back up option).
Social distancing will be enforced throughout our event site using markers on the floor to indicate appropriate distance and signs.
Depending on the event there may be a limited self-service bag drop available, or access back to your car at any time.
Event packs will be sent out in advance or will be collected from Race Enquiries on the day.
There will still be safe access to toilets!
Sanitiser stations will be placed before you enter the event site, before Race enquiries, by the toilets and before the post-race refreshments and snacks.
Sadly, no spectators will be allowed for now, as this is a requirement enforced by Run Britain.
Race enquiries will be open for the whole event to help you with any query you have.
During your Race:
You will be allowed to set off on your race at any time within your start wave.
You will be set off with 15 second intervals between the runner ahead of and behind you.
During your run you may overtake other runners, but you will need to be mindful of keeping your distance while doing so.
There will be a self-service medal and post-race water and snacks pick up.
We will be in contact with you later in the day, with a link to your provisional results and photos.
Prize giving to the top three male and female athletes and category winners will be awarded via email post-race.
COVID-safe racing certainly has positives: it’s super-efficiency means that your race day will be much shorter! The constant stream of runners being set off means the race atmosphere is still there, so that no matter your pace there will always be a fellow participant close by to chase.
Whilst we can’t wait for the return of mass starts and cheering spectators, we’re so grateful to be able to host events for you in this new way, with it’s own positives.
Put your lockdown training to the test – there’s no better time to get back to running with other people and getting the buzz of an event experience. If you haven’t yet taken part in a COVID-safe event, join us soon and let us know how you found it.