The 2021 North Downs Way 50 is scheduled to take place on 22nd May 2021.
All of the race information shared on all of the webpages is live and unchanged at this time, however it is possible that we will need to continue to implement Covid-Secure protocols in order to ensure the safety of everyone at the event including but not limited to runners, volunteers, staff and crew.
In 2020 we organised five events between August and October. No positive cases were reported at any of the events, including the period over race weekend and/or post-race.
We have a set of protocols we have fine tuned to ensure:
If May 22nd becomes impossible as a race date either logistically or legally, then the race may be postponed. Just to be clear, this is a worst case scenario. In 2020 the only reason a race was not possible to proceed with was due to a full national lock down. In that case all entries will carry forward to this secondary date and other refund options will be given. The provisional back-up date for the 2021 NDW50 is June 26th, but this is subject to change.
It is possible that some or all of the protocols below will be required pre/ during and post race. All runners will be emailed 4 weeks out from race day with final details of what, if any, of these will be required.
Items listed in bold are in place for 2021 no matter the situation. Items not in bold may or may not be required. Runners will be told 4 weeks from race day which, if any of these will be necessary.
Long distance trail races are by their very nature, largely self supported endeavours travelled at relatively slow speeds. Therefore many of the traditional ‘issues’ of mass participation or road events are completely removed. We will continue to operate an event whilst government guidelines allow us to continue.
PRE RACE PROTOCOLS
If any runner, volunteer or staff member has had any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to race day then they must not attend the event.
Spectators may be asked not to attend the race anywhere on course, at any time.
RACE REGISTRATION PROTOCOLS
Runners may not be kit checked prior to the start, runners must have all mandatory equipment on them at all times as per the normal race rules. Random kit checks will be carried out on course as usual by staff in full PPE.
There may be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing may be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start.
Start: There may be a rolling start. If that is required, then runners will be asked to start any time between 0600 and 0800.
If a rolling start is implemented, then runners may be asked to aim for the following approximate starting windows:
Runners may have their temperature checked at the start from a socially distanced volunteer or staff in full PPE/ face shield - via a temperature gun. Runners exhibiting temps above 37.8C will not be permitted to start.
If a rolling start is implemented, then runners can start with or run with other runners in the event, but only in groups up to 6 maximum and must maintain social distancing at all times. Marshals will ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the start area. Solo runners can begin within intervals of 20 seconds of one another. Pairs or Groups will need to leave 30 seconds after the previous runner/ runners. The trail is wide from the start with plenty of room for groups to pass one another and other trail users whilst maintaining social distance if overtaking.
Runners are asked please keep group sizes to a minimum out on the trail to make as much space as possible for other trail users.
IN RACE PROTOCOLS
Masks/ PPE: Any indoor location you visit, you may be asked to wear a mask. If so, then we will have disposable masks available at the entrance to all indoor checkpoints but of course runners should bring their own if they are required. Runners may not be permitted in any indoor location without a mask on.
Staff/ Volunteers may be mandated to wear PPE at all times indoors and/ or when performing duties in or outdoors.
Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint may be split into two or three mini check points with access to liquid in up to six places to speed up the process. Arriving at the checkpoint, runners may just run past, or head into the tent/ hall. A staked funnel with social distancing imposed will be laid out for runners coming to use the aid. All runners must use sanitiser as they enter a checkpoint. If any of 3 mini checkpoints are empty, then a runner can come straight in. The checkpoints will be 3 tables set out length ways, with one volunteer managing each table. Runners will top up their bottles from the drinks provided and take any food that they need. One volunteer will marshal the entry process into the checkpoint/ sanitiser use and ensure no gathering in the check point area. Runners will take fluid and nutrition, then sanitise their hands again before moving out of the checkpoint on down the course.
Runners may be asked to serve themselves drinks, including refilling bottles and bladders. The normal three fluid options will be provided: Water, Tailwind and Coke/ Pepsi. All food may be served in single serve packets only (once again hands are to be sanitised on the way in and out of every check point).
Hot Drinks: The check points providing hot water will be unchanged.
Minibus: The sweeper minibus will operate as normal, our regular 17 seater bus. The maximum capacity of that bus may be reduced to 8 people including the driver to ensure social distancing and windows will be open as far as practical. The bus will be wiped down and sanitised after each use. Runners using the sweeper bus should wear a mask whilst on board. The driver will wear a mask whilst driving the vehicle.
Cut offs: Are as per normal - but are not fixed times if we enact a rolling start. Any runner that misses a cut off will be informed at that check point or at worst, the following checkpoint if they are missed initially. Runners must stay within the relative cut offs for each check point.
The medical team may operate a “Non” Standby at Aid Stations policy, but will attend when called in. Ambulance Crews will be attending every incident in a minimum of Level 2 PPE (Gloves, Mask, Apron, Eye Protection) and reserves the right to pull anyone suspected of exhibiting Covid-19 Symptoms from the race with immediate effect. Where a runner, volunteer or crew exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms on race day, they are to be isolated from all other participants. They will then need to be returned to “Home” to self isolate and arrange a swab test.
General Public/ Other trail users: As always, runners should give way to other trail users and be especially courteous when passing walkers, bikers and riders. To make sure to maintain social distancing when passing any other user and particularly through pinch points on narrow trail or through gates and stiles to stand well back where appropriate and allow others to pass safely and at distance.
Runners may be asked to move immediately on from the finish line, unless medical attention is required. A static medical team will work the finish as usual.
Award collection: Awards may be laid out on tables for collection by each runner
Provision of hand sanitiser will be available at all stages, the finish, the food and the drop bag collection areas.
Photographer will operate as normal
Food and Drink may be in single serve packs: Hot drinks, hot water, basic single serve supplies. Takeaway hot dog or veggie dog will be provided, pre wrapped and prepared.
Runners may be asked to take immediate onward transport with family, friends or taxi to hotel/ home.
Changing or showers may not be available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly.
The shuttle bus will operate as normal but face masks and social distancing may be required on board.
POST RACE PROTOCOLS
Any runner, staff or volunteer must contact us if they show any Covid-19 symptoms within 7 days of the race.
If there is any reported transmission or risk of transmission post race then all parties with any possible risk will be contacted.