The role of a Race Director during COVID19 – Graham Jackson
This has been a testing time for everyone and as a Race Director, you certainly have to think outside of the box. We have strict Government and UK Athletics guidelines which we have to adhere to ensuring everything is done in a safe and healthy environment.
Runners, Sponsors, Suppliers and Partners have all been extremely understanding and it has indeed strengthened our determination to bring races back ASAP. The biggest challenge has been how to accommodate social distancing. Placing people 2 meters apart vastly increases the amount of room that you need to work with and reduces the numbers who could actually participate. The result would be that you have a totally different event from what has gone before.
There would be a sterile zone at the start-finish area, sanitising for all who enter. The runners would line up 2 meters apart and be sent off in waves. The course itself would have no overtaking at any pinch points and no pacemakers as this encourages bunching. For the same reason, there would be no water on the course, no warm up, athletes village, presentation, goody bags at the finish and the biggest one of all would be no spectators.
Sadly, local lockdowns have meant the postponement of our Preston, Manchester and Salford races, so we are currently planning for 2021. Virtual runs have now become the order of the day and in particular, it was refreshing to see our popular Tour of Tameside being run by so many loyal runners who needed their annual Tour fix.
We’re now looking positively at the upcoming year ahead, where we plan on making it The Running Bee Foundation’s biggest year yet! Keep an eye on our website and social channels to keep up to date with all things happening, and we hope to see you all join us during our 2021 calendar of events!