The 2021 Thames Path 100 is scheduled to take place on 8th-9th May 2021.
Covid-Secure protocols will need to be in place for this event, 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, including the TP100. 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:
We must accept that for the time being, racing in the traditional sense with a mass start and regular aid stations is not going to be possible. Whilst mass starts are permissable under England Athletics guidelines during the roadmap out of lockdown, because of the nature of our aid stations we need to maintain the rolling start/ time trial format for the time being. A mass start would result in a huge queue at the early check points because runners take time to sanitise, fill their own bottles/ bladders, take food/ sanitise and then move on. That is opposed to say a 10km event where a visit to an aid station would be unncessary or even a marathon where a runner would simply be grabbing a gel or pre packaged drink.
The 2021 protocols are identical to 2020 with the exception of the collection of tracker on the day.
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, crew, pacer, 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.
All runners and volunteers should make provision to test themselves at home the day before the event and the day afterwards. Free home test kits are available via the NHS from this link.
All Staff will test for Covid immediately before and after each event.
Runners will be limited to a maximum of 2 crew people and/or 2 vehicles at any one time on course (children do not count towards this total). Eg. Runner may have two members from their household/ bubble in one vehicle, or two separate crew people each driving one vehicle each. Only one crew vehicle may attend anyone one crew location, so in effect crews can leap frog one another but not both attend the same location.
Runners will be asked to provide in advance of race day the name, email address and phone number of any person who is crewing during the event - such that if an infection is reported post race, we can hear from them or contact them immediately depending on circumstances.
Spectators are asked not to attend the race anywhere on course, at any time. This is a condition of our race permit, please do not break this rule.
Runners must adhere to the government guidelines around accommodation. Only Self-Catered or contained Accommodation must be used by runners pre and post race.
RACE REGISTRATION PROTOCOLS
Runners will 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.
Runners will have their bib numbers sent out to them in the post, prior to race day. Runners should check that their postal address is correct on the entry system by logging into race director by clicking here and clicking on their race entry.
All runners will collect a tracker on race day from the Old Town Hall at Richmond, adjacent to the start.
Spectators and crew may not be permitted to attend the start.
There will be no ‘in person’ Race Briefing, The briefing will be recorded via video and the link shared 72 hours prior to the start.
Start: There will be a rolling start. If that is required, then runners will be asked to start any time between 0700 and 0930.
Rrunners will be asked to aim for the following approximate starting windows:
Runners will 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.
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 entire 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 will be asked to wear a mask. 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 will not be permitted in any indoor location without a mask on, unless they have a mask exemption.
Staff/ Volunteers will be mandated to wear PPE at all times indoors and/ or when performing duties in or outdoors.
Check Point etiquette: Each checkpoint will 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 will 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 will 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 will 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 will 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 will 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 will be asked to take immediate onward transport with crew, family, friends or taxi to self-catered accommodation/ home.
Changing or showers will not be available. Toilets are available and will be cleaned hourly.
POST RACE PROTOCOLS
Any runner, crew 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.