Can I run a road race?

If you are a runner, you might be wondering when races are going to start again. Many larger races are still being canceled because crowds--even outside--put people at risk for catching COVID. But some smaller races are still being held. You may be feeling competitive from all of your quarantine running and itching to test yourself in a race.

The safest way to race is in a virtual race. Many in person events have been converted to virtual events. If you or a member of your household are at high risk of getting very sick with COVID, then it’s probably best to stick to virtual races and skip in person racing for now.

Remember that person to person contact and droplet spread is the primary way that COVID-19 spreads.  If you decide to join an in person event, it’s helpful to minimize your contact with people to stay safe.

Here are some tips:. 

 

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Wear a cloth face covering at the race start and finish if you have to be within 6 feet of other runners. Bring a face covering with you in case you need to run near someone for a period of time.

 

    • Choose races with wave starts to avoid waiting with a large group of runners for the race to begint.
    • Register for the race online.

 

  • Pick up your race bib before race day to reduce gatherings of runners on the day of the race.

 

  • Wait in your car until the race starts to avoid crowding at the start line.
  • Do not run directly behind someone. If you need to pass, then approach diagonally and make a wide arc when passing.
  • Bring your own water and fuel. Most races will not be providing any on course hydration so plan to be self sufficient.
  • Head back to your vehicle when the race is over. This will help organizers to reduce crowd size at the finish area.
  • Choose prepackaged food and beverages if snacks are provided at the race finish.
  • Use hand sanitizer or wash hands after using public bathrooms or portable toilets.
  • Avoid contact such as high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, or hugging.

Virtual racing is a fun way to keep you and your family safe and healthy. But if you decide to run an in person race, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Happy running!

Last update:  July 7, 2020 7:00 pm
Science review: GSN, JAB