We are always looking at how we can keep you safe, and in these difficult time with COVID-19, we have put together a series of protocols and procedures to help with this. All of these measures are approved by UK Athletics, Sport England and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. This page is designed to help you to understand what we have put in place to make the events safe.
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 druing lockdown 3.0). The UK Government gave the go ahead for running events in England to restart from 29th March 2021. 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 removed on 19th July 2021 and continue to update them as the Government regulations and guidance changes.
The following measures, procedures and protocols are those which have resulted directly from the approved documents.
You must NOT attend the event if you have displayed symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 7 days, unless you have had 2 negative tests from a rapid lateral flow test and registered the result with the NHS. The negative tests must have been taken not earlier than 5 days after a positive test.
If you are in the same household as someone who has tested positive in the last 7 days you can attend the event, but are strongly advised to take daily tests, and you must take a test on the day before and the day of the event to ensure you are negative.
More detail about self-isolation and the rules are available on the Government's website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection. These rules may be slightly different to those we have implemented. We do this to ensure that our events are safe for all.
For information about what the symptoms of COVID-19 are, you can check the latest guidance on the NHS website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/.
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, and the use of wave starts to space out runners at the start
- Optional use of face masks
- The alteration for water stations and medal collection to be self-select
This is the number of times we interact directly with you and vice-versa. When you arrive at an event you will 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 ensure that those registered with us are those running with us.
Your timing chip is still removed at the end of your race in a nicely spaced 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 and water at the end of the race from a self-selection table.
During the fully compulsory 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 felt 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. At most events we have kept some waves even after the compulsory restrictions, but in larger numbers per wave and smaller gaps in between each wave starting. As little as 60 seconds in between.
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:
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 courtesy 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. This is what is normally in place during events in normal times.
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 presented to you at the event now.
In summary the events are safe for you take part and enjoy running with us. We have left no stone unturned in making everything as positive and enjoyable for you, but also looking after all the important COVID precautions. This is in part why we were voted the Best Running Events Management Company 2021 in the Southern Enterprise Awards.
Importantly, you can pick up your running bling and celebrate (in a safe way) 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!