Document provides information on the running of events in England, while parkrun also releases an update

Run Britain licensing for events in England is set to resume from August 1, with new guidance released for the return of road and multi-terrain races.

Following the track and field competition guidance published by England Athletics on Friday, UK Athletics, together with England Athletics and the Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO) group, has produced a document in collaboration with Sport England to help event organisers consider what measures need to be implemented at off-track events to fulfil their duty of care in providing a safe environment for participants to take part.

READ MORE: Races capped at socially-distanced 1500m under new England Athletics guidance

The full document can be downloaded from the Run Britain website, with guidelines including:

– allowing social distancing to be maintained, with crowd flow modelling tools to be used where appropriate,

– effective pre-event communication to avoid on the day briefings. Organisers will not need to screen runners before the event but must remind participants not to attend if they have been unwell in the last 14 days,

– only having competition-essential materials inside the race pack, ideally featuring disposable chips or bib timing systems,

– giving consideration to which facilities, such as baggage drop and customer information, are necessary at the event,

– reducing the use of feed and drinks stations by participants, encouraging them to bring their own hydration and nutrition to the event,

– withdrawing event features that may lead to congregating on the route, such as pacers and entertainment,

– removing “unnecessary touch points” such as the handing out of medals at the finish areas,

– issuing a participant code of conduct and a spectator code of conduct, so any friends or family of runners also understand the protocols.

The guidance also recommends that organisers model “the start ‘release’ time”, with the document adding: “This would include lengthening the release time to allow social distancing to be maintained throughout the course and have a buffer built in to reduce the flow rate and compensate for compression on the course due to emergency access, pedestrian crossings, incidents etc.”

It continues: “Ideally experienced crowd flow dynamics experts should be employed where appropriate (such as on multiple-lap courses or where there are pinch points) or in races where in excess of 5000 participants are taking part.”

READ MORE: 15-min contact window could allow mid-distance race return in England

Organisers should also assess whether it is possible for the public to maintain social distancing when travelling to and from the event.

When it comes to elite athletes travelling from abroad, organisers should consider creating a “bio-secure environment” for arrival, competition, presentation and departure of athletes as well as “bio-secure areas” for accommodation, training, transit and pre-race preparation.

The full guidance document, which applies to small local races through to large mass-participation events, can be found here.

Tuesday (July 21) also saw the release of an update from parkrun, with chief operating officer Tom Williams stating, in part: “Over the last week particularly, we’ve seen a number of announcements as governments updated their guidance, and numerous sporting and physical activity groups responded accordingly. In some countries we have seen the return of small-scale elite and community sports events, with various additional protocols in place.

“Importantly, as an independent charity with a global remit, we do not sit under any governing bodies and are therefore responsible for creating our own guidelines to return and, where required, achieving sign-off from relevant public health authorities. This work continues behind the scenes and we’ll share developments publicly as soon as it is appropriate to do so.”

Click here for the full parkrun update.

» This post was updated on July 22 to include comment from parkrun

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