Implementation Strategies for Garden of Reflection 5K During COVID Distancing Requirements
Revision 1.3 – 7/22/20
Different parts of the State of Pennsylvania and of Bucks County are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. Currently, Bucks County is in the “Green Phase” of the guidelines which allows groups of up to 250 individuals to participate in a planned gathering. At the present time Lower Makefield has fewer than 50 active cases of covid-19. The duration and severity of covid-19 incidence and severity in our area can vary. Because of this, we are all operating with the uncertainty of a rapidly changing situation. While most large races are still canceling their events, several smaller, community-based races have begun to run their events.
The following is based upon the current “Green Phase” for Bucks County and the experiences of other similar races during the covid-19 pandemic, and of the guidelines published by the Road Runners Club of America (originally created by RunSignup with input and suggestions from dozens of race organizers and industry leaders including RRCA).
Participants must agree and sign that ALL RULES MUST BE FOLLOWED. The race director and staff reserve the right to disqualify anyone not following the rules. If anyone is unwilling to follow the rules, they will be asked to not register for the race and/or to leave the premises.
- Offer both in-person and “virtual” race registration options
- Runners MUST pre-register online – no day-of/on-site registration permitted
- Register listing expected finish time so can place runners in appropriate starting groups
- Registration limited to 225 on-site participants (unlimited “virtual” participants can register). With volunteers and spectators, this will keep the overall event count under 250 on-site individuals.
- During registration can request to run with family members registering at same time
- Assign starting groups/corrals of no more than 25 runners per group
- Arrange shirt/bib pick-up at designated site for multiple days before the event (drive through pick-up at the GOR or other location
- Make clear there is a “Virtual” option
- Include e-mail and cell phone as required fields for registrants to ensure multiple ways to contact them with guidelines, updates and changes right up until start of the race.
- If “in-person” race needs to be canceled due to changing conditions and updated guidelines, participants will have 2 options: 1) switch to the “Virtual” race, 2) defer to next year’s in-person race, or 3) donate their registration to the memorial fund
- Anyone with covid-19 like symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with covid-19 in the past 14 days may not attend and defer to next year or do the “virtual”
- Require anyone at the race (staff/participant/spectator) who traveled to a “hot spot” (the list of states in the then current PA Department of Health notice) to have quarantined for 14 days upon their return or had a negative test in the previous 72 hours to be on-site
- Have extra masks available for anyone who shows up without a mask
- Add “covid specific language” to the race waiver (race, township, etc. not liable if contract covid while at or participating in the event, no covid-19 like symptoms, etc.)
- Add specific language to registration that they affirm they will follow all instructions, wear a mask, maintain social distancing, etc. Participants must acknowledge and confirm.
- Instructions will be sent to all participants multiple times and in multiple formats (email, text, posted on website, etc.) prior to race day
Day-of Prior to Race:
- Extensive signage will be used on property to direct people and assist in maintaining proper social distancing while at the Garden of Reflection
- Utilize extra staff to direct people and enforce social distancing and other rules
- No on-site, day-of registration.
- Have a greeter meet all cars in circle before they enter the GOR parking area to ensure they have pre-registered.
- Create and enforce social distancing lines outside bathrooms, in starter corrals, to pick-up post-run bags, etc.
- All staff, participants and spectators are required to wear masks at all times (except runners while on the course)
- Participants stay in car or in designated corral areas while social distancing prior to their corral being called
- Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available at several locations throughout the race start/finisher area
- Temperature check all participants before can enter corral is not required. But if we got a local medical office/hospital volunteer to perform this check should we still consider??
- Bathrooms not open but will have multiple port-a-potties supplied by the township. Dedicated attendants to regularly sanitize port-a-potties and enforce social distancing.
- No spectators permitted except those accompanying minors, special needs and disability participants.
Day-of During Race:
- Modify course to reduce the out and back sections to minimize passing more runners (utilize the Brookfield development across the street from the GOR). Also evaluate using track on GOR grounds for part of the course
- Runners will be required to run on the right side of the road at all times so, during the few times they are passing other runners coming in the opposite direction, they are better able to maintain social distance
- Have a one mile walkers course to reduce on-course congestion. Walkers will start in the latest corrals and all other guidelines must be followed.
- Have rolling start instead of mass start (assigning runners a specific starting corral/time) with no more than 25 per starting group/corral to better spread runners throughout the start, on-course, and finish areas
- Have starting corrals go off at 5-minute intervals (time to get one group off and the next group lined up while maintaining distances)
- Have social distancing markers at the start of the race so runner’s line up at least 6 feet from one-another
- Masks required in the corral until their race begins (optional while running during race)
- Must carry masks with them so can put mask on immediately after completing the race
- Encourage social distancing during the event.
- During the race runners asked to adhere to a “no drafting” rule- can’t follow a line with a runner within 6 feet ahead of you
- During the race runners asked to adhere to a “wide-passing” rule- to pass a runner must swing wide of the runner by 6 feet
- No water stations on the course- must carry own water/hydration (one bottled water will be provided for each runner after the race in the runner’s bag)
- Runners prohibited to discard bodily fluid (i.e., spitting, etc.) during the event
- Runners “encouraged” to continue through the finish area ASAP and move to their cars or to an area where they can safely social distance
- Masks required post-race on property
- No in-person post-race activities. Encourage people to leave after the event and have a virtual post-race event. Mail out awards.
- Post-race snacks (pretzel, water bottle, etc.) pre-packaged and picked up at the finish
- Results will be posted on-line following the race- no board will be available at the race with the results (to prevent runners from congregating in a small area to read results).