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What will a WSR Covid-secure event feel like?

We know lots of you are as excited to get back to running events as we are to organise them! Honestly, we can’t wait. But we all know they’re going to feel a little different in these weird times, especially the races going ahead in May and June.

As you know, we put our runners first and we also try and be as upfront with you as possible at all times, so we just wanted to share with you our plans and how our events might be affected so you know what to expect when you rock up.

The big things we need to consider

As you know, we’re insured by UKA and therefore governed by their guidance and good practice, which has passed down from government guidance and turned into Run Britain guidance and TRA who ultimately give us our race licence (heads hurting yet?).

We’re constantly keeping an eye on updates and guidance, so things may change or get tweaked as we get closer to the events and we move between steps. However,  we want to give you a flavour of what you can expect from our upcoming event, from us as organisers, and also what we expect from you as participants to help keep everyone safe.

As you’re all probably aware by now, Covid-19 transmits in two key ways: droplets and touch. We have to consider how to reduce all types of transmission to a minimum in order to keep you, the runners, and our crew as safe as possible while at our events. This includes:

  • Pre-event Covid screening means you must stay at home if you have any of the Covid-19 symptoms
  • Participants are required to be test and trace compliant,and WSR will use your data for this purpose too if required. If you have any symptoms post-race, you must upload onto the NHS test and trace system and notify WSR immediately.

How we’re managing droplets

We are all experts at social distancing by now, so in order to reduce droplet transmission it means keeping your distance from others.

  • Transport – please abide by current travel guidance. Travel for events is allowed, but if using public transport or car sharing, please continue to follow latest government guidance.
  • Reducing face to face contact – race numbers will be posted out to you so you can turn up at the start and go. No pens will be provided so PLEASE complete your details on the back before you leave home.
  • Mask up – you’re encouraged to wear masks around the event village. Even though it’s outdoors, it’s good practice while not running to reduce any risk further. You will be required to wear them if you enter marquees (for example admin, bar and shop).
  • First aid – will be provided in a secure manner if needed. You will be required to carry your face mask on route in case you need medical help so you can put it on while being seen to. We recommend you download the what3words app to help give accurate location markers.
  • Rule of 6 – we know you’re all as keen as us to catch up with other runners and see how they’ve got on over the last year have been. However, if you’re chatting in groups, please maintain social distancing and try not to crowd in larger groups. Signage around the event village will remind you of this.
  • Virtual race instruction – again, to stop large crowds gathering, your on-the-day instruction will still come from the maestro Andy Palmer, but it will be via video a few days before the race for you to watch.  As normal, you’ll get the race instructions after deadline day via email. We know it won’t be the same, but there will also be an A-frame with any last-minute changes by the start pen on race day.
  • Staggered starts – groups of 6 will be set off 30 seconds apart to help spread runners out on the course. You will be asked to arrive at a set time to help stagger arrivals as well. We ask you to be sensible and avoid milling around; use the facilities, get yourself race ready and then head to the holding pen to start your race.
  • Etiquette – absolutely no spitting or nose rockets while at an event! Please run on the left and pass on the right to help other runners while you’re out on the course.
  • Spectators – we know our events are great for spectators to show their support for runners, but during these times we are asking to minimise risk. Please limit spectators that you encourage to come along. If they want to watch, please avoid the busy start/finish areas and spread out to cheer in the large fields we have, wear masks when shouting encouragement, and limit contact if supplying aid to runners.
  • Marshals – will be limited in the first few events until rules are relaxed; routes will still be expertly signposted with marshals at critical points, but you can expect to see fewer people on course to help reduce the risk to runners. Where necessary, they will be in appropriate PPE, but as friendly as ever underneath it. Please respect them and their needs, as well as your own.
  • No evening entertainment – there will be none at the first few events to avoid large crowds gathering, but we hope you will still stay and enjoy the atmosphere of the events while respecting the rules we have to abide by to keep you and our crew safe.

How we’re managing touch points

  • No safety pins will be provided – you’ll need to attach your race number with your own or some event clips before you start.
  • No key drop – we ask you to carry your keys or keep them safe. Runners will be able to leave their bags in the large marquees, which will have an entry and exit clearly signposted. For Frolics, teams are encouraged to make an area away from others and set up a socially distance area for themselves.
  • You are required to carry your own hand sanitiser –there will be stations available at key locations in the event village and at aid stations as well.
  • Cupless – all our races are cupless now, so you need to bring your own drinking vessel and marshals will fill from arm’s length for you at aid stations.
  • Food/fuel will not be provided –we know the Lovestation will be missed, but it will be back before you know it. We would encourage longer-distance runners to carry anything they need or leave it at aid stations/changeover points. For the races where you can drop things to be taken to an aid station, it will say in your race instructions how to do this.
  • Goodies and medals – will be laid out for finishers to take themselves. We know it’s not the same experience as getting a J & J hug, but for a few months it’s the safest way to collect your goodies. Prize bundles will be given in a box to the winners.
  • Facilities – showers and toilets will be cleaned regularly, but there will also be a non-toxic hygiene spray available for your own use. We recommend you spray door handles, toilet seat, toilet roll holders, sanitiser push button, shower buttons and hooks.
  • WSC will have a limited shop available on site –we encourage you to place a click and collect order before the event so it can be packed and brought for you to collect. Instructions on how to click and collect will be in your race instructions and on the Facebook event page. If you need to shop on the day for any last-minute items, there will be entry and exit signs, clear signage on limits to be inside the marquee at any one time, no trying on clothing, and limited items on display to reduce touch points. Our lovely shop team will be as helpful as possible in holding up sizes and helping find items you require, but please help them by pre-ordering if you can.

Welcome back

Our events are planned to feel as White Star as they can within the current restrictions that we must follow. The biggest way that they will feel like WSR events is that you are there!

We can’t wait to see you back running, and encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the events. But please follow the rules and guidance we issue to keep you and our team safe. All of this will mean we can return to a ‘normal’ White Star experience all that bit quicker, once all restrictions are lifted.

If at any point don’t feel safe at an event or have some concerns, please come to the admin area so they can be addressed and dealt with as soon as possible, to make sure all our events are safe for everyone.

See you soon,

WSR Crew

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