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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 were prepared in accordance with industry standards for open air mass participation sporting events including standards from World Health Organization (WHO) and guidance from the IRONMAN Group Global Medical Advisory Board. These guidelines are designed to allow for Rock ‘n’ Roll events to be organized in a manner consistent with both a community’s objectives and with the expectations of public health entities around the world.

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  

The Safe Return to Running Guidelines have been organized around the following five principles:

Enhanced Hygiene

Screening & Education

Touchpoint Minimization

Rockstar Run Smart ™ Participant Support

Density Reduction

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 and an improved running experience.

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.