Fit Friday Five: In-Person Races (during the Pandemic)

I am in Florida right now and preparing for my third in-person race of the Pandemic.

Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon

So that’s my FFF topic for today.

Here are 5 Things to Consider if You are

1.Does the Race follow the CDC Guidelines?

They should be posted on the race website and in addition to following federal rules, you have to feel comfortable with the restrictions.

Here’s an example from the 5k that I ran in NYC:

  • You may not attend the event if you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive in the fourteen (14) days prior to the event.
  • You must wear a face covering throughout this event other than when running.
  • When running, you may remove the covering only when you can maintain social distance and the covering must remain around your head in some fashion so it can easily be reapplied. The covering must be worn for the first 500 and last 500 feet of the race (it should be on when you reach the mile 3 marker.)
  • No guests are allowed at the race site
  • Upon entry to the race site, a medical professional will take and record your temperature.
  • To avoid crowding, you must show up on time for your designated wave and leave immediately after completing your race.
  • Running in a group of two or more is not permitted.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 within the fourteen days following the event, you must email so that we may notify staff and participants as necessary.

And I did feel safe before, during and after that race.

2.Do you have a gaiter or mask that you can run in?

Most races now are requiring that you wear a mask when you start and finish the race and during the race, if you are closer than 6 feet to another runner. I have worn a gaiter both times that I ran a race because it was cold and it was easier to pull up and down when wearing a beanie.

That being said, if it were warm, I would probably opt for a mask.

3.How will you hydrate?

Many races are eliminating water stations or asking that you bring your own bottle to be filled instead of providing cups touched by the volunteers.

I didn’t worry about it during my frigid 5k but during a longer race, I would need water.  I hate to carry a water bottle or wear a hydration vest.  But those are both good options if they work for you.

During my half marathon, I just carried a folded paper cup in my pocket and at all the water stations, I had it filled.  The cup was only touched by me and I re-used it.  Many racers commented that it was “pure genius.”  I would suggest having 2 just in case, one rips or leaks.

4. Why are you running this race?

Of course, during these scary times, you don’t HAVE to race.  So you need to figure out your WHY.

Do you race because you need that motivation or do you crave competition or do you enjoy the social interaction?   Maybe maybe emotionally or mentally, it will just make you feel GOOD.

Once you make that decision, you can’t worry about the what ifs.

Carpe Diem.

Enjoy that race.

5.Forget about time or PR goals. Can you do that for a race?

I am as competitive as the next person. At times, even more.

But I did not wear a watch for either of these races.  It really helped me.

With staggered starts, mask wearing, avoiding other runners, you don’t need to worry about a PR or age group award.

Just run.

Happy Running! Have you run any in-person races? Do you plan to?  Any advice to add? Please share.


Welcome to Fit Friday Five! Please join the hosts Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida

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27 thoughts on “Fit Friday Five: In-Person Races (during the Pandemic)

  1. I love the folded paper cup idea! I haven’t raced in person since Bermuda and I have no plans to. I just don’t care that much and there’s almost nothing going on in the Chicago area. Have so much fun at your race!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The hubs and I have an in-person race next month, and I’m probably more excited than he is LOL It’s the Leprechaun Chase, where the gals (usually) start a few minutes ahead of the guys…not sure how they’re going to stagger than set-up. Having not raced since July 4th, and then the stress fracture, I’m just grateful to be running again…PR’s are not a priority.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve done three in person races since the pandemic and each one had good guidelines in place for keeping people safe. In Florida we are not required to wear the mask while running, but we are required to have it before and after the race. Most races have disposable masks at the finish line so everyone can follow the guidelines immediately after finishing.

    I race because I love competition and I can’t do the kind of running I want on my own…obstacle racing. That’s my true passion, so as long as they are putting races on I will be at them! I feel like I’m safer outdoors than inside a restaurant anyway, and I’m not high risk so it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t done an in-person races but this is good info to know. I think I would feel safe if it was a really small race so I’d know everyone could spread out. I didn’t realize you had to put your mask on before the finish but that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you have so much fun this weekend, and that your half is everything you hoped for.

    We are having more and more in-person races and there are some that seem very safe and others that are not so much. We just have to do our best to make wise choices and keep ourselves as safe as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As much as I miss racing I’m not if I’m ready yet to actually participate. My next race is Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego in June. I have a feeling it will be postponed but even if not, the size alone of the race concerns me. I would love to do a smaller race though. Soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck on your Florida race, Darlene. I just did a trail race 2 weeks ago and felt safe. We wore masks the entire time. I have more very small trail races on my schedule this spring. It is great to get back to racing again.

    Liked by 1 person

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