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Safe Return to Running Guidelines

The Ready to Rock: Safe Return to Running Guidelines will empower everyone involved to focus on a safe return to running. These guidelines outline measures we will be taking to reduce risk for participants, volunteers, our team and communities. With attention to density reduction, touchpoint minimization, enhanced hygiene, screening and education, as well as self-awareness, we will continue to deliver to you a rockin’ participant experience with necessary adjustments so that you can race safely, race smart, race your best.

Five Principles  

Enhanced Hygiene

  • Hand sanitizer, hand washing stations and disinfectant wipes will be readily available around our event venues. Cleaning of common venue areas will be enhanced.
  • Staff and volunteers will be provided with face coverings, and are required to wear the face covering properly at all times around the event venue. Disposable gloves will be used in applicable areas.
  • Participants will be provided with face coverings at packet pick-up, and participants are required to wear a face covering properly around our event venues, including the start corrals and finish line areas. Find the World Health Organization (WHO) instructional video on how to properly wear a mask here.

Screening & Education

  • We are providing training for staff and volunteers in appropriate personal health, personal hygiene, and safe support in necessary functional areas.
  • We will provide Volunteer Smart™ guidelines for event volunteers.
  • Participants, staff, and volunteers will be required to respond to a pre-event health questionnaire.
  • We will in many venues institute no-touch body temperature screening. Individuals with a body temperature greater than 100.4° Fahrenheit, or 38° Celsius will not be allowed to participate, volunteer or work.

Touchpoint Minimization

  • We will be reducing or removing touchpoints and points of interaction between staff, participants, and volunteers without compromising event safety and security.
  • We have redesigned and reimagined areas such as packet pick-up, expo, merchandise, and finish line to minimize person-to-person contact.
  • Aid stations will be reconfigured with more space to minimize both participant-to volunteer and participant-to-participant touchpoints.

Rockstar Run Smart ™ Participant Support

  • We will introduce the ‘Return to Running Pledge,’ emphasizing participant responsibility for competitive cooperation, and consideration of our community while participating.
  • Participants should review and embrace the Rockstar Run Smart™ Running Tips
  • Participants will be empowered to determine their individual level of self-reliance to further minimize their interactions and touchpoints with other participants, volunteers or staff.
  • While plenty of aid stations will still be present along the course, participants will be encouraged to carry their own nutrition and hydration by using items such as hydration vests and belts.

Density Reduction

  • We will institute measures to increase space for participants and supporting personnel in areas such as expo, packet pickup and finish line.
  • Alternative start configurations may be implemented to reduce the number of participants waiting in an enclosed area and to optimize distancing opportunities.
  • Modification or elimination of non-essential race services and functions, such as expo and merchandise may also occur.
  • The most significant element in course density reduction is being able to extend the duration of the start line program.

Analysis of course participant density - primarily from runner flow data from previous races - indicates that providing the maximum available time for starting all runners will result in a reduced density across the course, at aid stations, and through to the finish. Controlling and modifying the flow of runners from the start provides a measurable reduction in course density.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Series endeavors to use this element as its guiding principle - the modification of race start structure – and the primary methodology for course density reduction; and an improved running experience.

To our global community, we know that both our athletes and our communities want to be racing; we do too. While The IRONMAN Group’s mission is to provide exceptional, life-changing race experiences for athletes of all levels, from their first step to the finish line, we can only accomplish this by providing the safest possible environment and safeguarding the citizens of our host communities.

COVID-19 has substantially altered the global sports landscape and will have material impact on the mass participation industry in the immediate term. We want to reassure you that the health and well-being of our community is our primary concern. To this end, we are doing our part to communicate effectively and follow public health agencies and governmental authorities’ recommendations.

We expect that there aregoing to be substantial and widespread event postponements in the coming weeks and months. The decision to proceed, restrict, modify or postpone an event will be based on availability of community resources and ongoing event-specific risk assessment in coordination with the relevant healthcare and government authorities and the IRONMAN Global Medical Advisory Board, an independent medical advisory board focused on health and safety.

For events that will continue, The IRONMAN Group, along with the IRONMAN Global Medical Advisory Board, has outlined a series of pragmatic and practical actions designed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 or any other infectious agent to athletes and to members of our host communities. These steps will help athletes achieve their goals while allowing communities to secure the benefits of hosting mass participation sporting events. They will be implemented worldwide at all IRONMAN Group events beginning March 19 and will continue indefinitely.

Self-care and Risk Minimization

Athletes who are sick or have been potentially exposed to an infectious agent must not compete or attend events, as this puts others at risk. As a community, we each have a personal responsibility to protect each other by complying with this rule. We ask that all athletes, volunteers,and partners follow the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for basic protective measures against the new coronavirus:

  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
  • Regularly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash your hands with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of used tissues immediately and appropriately in a bin.

Providing Flexibility to Participants

Certain races will be postponed or cancelled due to the outbreak and we will communicate these as soon as practical. Our goal will be to move the race to a date later in the year. We work in close partnership with the relevant public health authorities in the territories where the races take place and err on the side of safety for our participants and the host community. If an event cannot occur on the scheduled date, we will take the following actions:

  • Postponement: Registered participants for events that are postponed due to COVID-19 by the local health authorities are automatically transferred to the rescheduled date. For those that the new date does not work, we will allow deferrals into the same event the next year.
  • Cancellation: Registered participants for events that are cancelled due to COVID-19 by the local health authorities are automatically deferred to the same race in 2021.
  • Other options: We are vetting other options to allow displaced participants to race in 2021 and will communicate those in due course.
  • Participants in Quarantined/Restricted Territories: For runners in certain designated quarantine or restricted territories who have registered for races that  have NOT been postponed or cancelled, we will aid in finding alternative races later in the season.

Safe Event Experience

In order to provide the safest experience for our athletes, we are instituting the following at our races, effective March 19.

  • Reinforcing Social Distancing in all elements of the event
  • The hours of on-site event registration will be expanded
    • Participants will be allowed to pick up their participant race kit/race bib and immediately exit expo area.
    • Participant density will be decreased by increasing individual race space staging, corrals, etc.
    • No-handshake behavior will be encouraged for the duration of the event.
    • Non-core, high-contact services will be suspended.
  • Hygiene First
  • Staff and volunteers who are interacting with participants pre-race, on race day and post-race will be provided gloves. Hand-washing stations and sanitation stations around the venue for athletes, volunteers and spectators will be increased.
    • No-touch waste disposal stations and receptacles will be rolled out as available.
    • Frequently touched surfaces at race venue locations such as workstations, product distribution areas, tables and electronic devices will be cleaned regularly.
    • When possible, on-course food and fluid supplies will be single use/single serving closed packaging.
    • Participants planning to return home by airplane or rail are encouraged to avoid travel post-event for 24 hours allowing their immune system time to recover post-race.
    • No onsite interviews or press conference with professional athletes.
    • No handshake/contact on the race podium.
    • Printed document distribution will be eliminated.
  • Medical Service
  • Education and awareness training regarding signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be provided to all medical and volunteer staff.
    • Frequent communication with health authorities andhealthcare facilities will be implemented to assist in assessment, referral and initial management of suspected COVID-19 illness of staff, participants, volunteers, and spectators.