Events Safety and Procedures during COVID-19

We are delighted that events have been able to return in these difficult times of COVID-19. This page is designed to help you to understand what we have put in place to make the events safe.

The Background

In March 2020, events were suspended in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic. As the situation started to improve we began to look at what events might look like once we were able to return.

We began a process reviewing every aspect of our events, and put together a whole series of protocols and procedures to make things safe. As part of this we worked with England Athletics and runbritain, the Governing Bodies for the sport, and in turn Sport England. The protocols and procedures were collated and submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for sign off in July 2020. These were approved by the Government, which paved the way for participation sport to return, including running events.

We resumed events from August 2020, until the end of the year (except during lockdown 2.0 in November 2020, and after late December, when events were suspended again). The UK Government gave the go ahead for running events in England to start from 29th March. This was included in Step 1 on the roadmap following the third national lockdown. These regulations were reviewed by all the statutory bodies to esnure they were still fit for purpose. We have revised the measures since most regulations were remove on 19th July.

The following measures, procedures and protocols are those which have resulted directly from the approved documents.

What has changed?

Every event we have in our portfolio has been re-assessed. This includes every step of your journey with us from arrival at the event, to your passage through the event site, your run with us and what happens afterwards. The key points are as follows:

- Fewer contact points throughout the event
- Increased and enhanced hygiene procedures for all event infrastructure and supplies
- Adjustments made to routes where necessary and the event site to allow for social distancing, although this is now optional
- Optional use of face masks
- The alteration for water stations to be self-select

What does less contacts mean?

This is the number of times we interact directly with you and vice-versa. When you arrive at an event you will queue (socially distanced) to pick up your race pack. Inside this will be your timing chip, bib number, safety pins and cable ties. This means one contact for everything. You have to collect your pack in person with photo identification. This photo identification is required to comply with track and trace requirements.

Your timing chip is still removed at the end of your race in a socially distance area and sanitised.

This means only two direct contacts for the event. Therefore reducing the risk for all and making it safe. You will collect your medal at the end of the race from a self-selection table.

What Happens at the Start?

During the full control period we created waved, rolling starts, which were also staggered. This immediately created a distance between runners, but as these were setup based on your predicted time, it still fel like a race as similar abilities started together. Racing from the moment you start. At the start of each wave, there was no hold sequence, you just walked through the start funnel when called forward and started running when you reach the timing mat - hence our term "rolling start". The feedback from the events has been really positive about this experience, with many telling us that it made them feel safe, but also that it still felt like a race. We have kept some waves even post 19th July, but in larger numbers per wave.

To see the smaller wave version for yourself, have a look at the video below. The larger waves work in a similar format but with more people:

How does it work on the route?

During the race not a lot is different now to normal times. We ask you to keep left or keep right depending on the course and to respect distancing between you and other runners, more for courstesy than anything else.

On ear or in ear headphones are not permitted so that no runners or marshals need to shout to get someone's attention. The only exception to this is bone conducting headphones which are permitted.

What happens at the finish?

The finish is similar to normal. You can still sprint like Usain Bolt for the line and maybe grab a cheeky place or two! Once across the line we will keep you moving along. The finish funnel is much longer than normal to avoid any distancing issues. We remove your timing chip for santisation, you self select your medal and water after this, and then it is all complete. If you are speedy enough to have won a prize, these will be prsent these to you at the event now.

In Summary

In summary the events are now safe for you take part and enjoy running with us again. We have left no stone unturned in making everything as positive and enjoyable for you, but also looking after all the important COVID precautions.

Importantly, you can once again pick up your running bling and celebrate (at a distance) with us and your fellow runners and Sporting Buddies!

It's great to be back with you. So do come and join us - pick an event from the list at www.sportingeventsuk.com/enter-an-event and go for it!