FFF: New Normal for Races

It’s been over a year and some races are being scheduled again.

If you have participated in any, you know that they are not the same as before the pandemic.

Here are FIVE ways racing has changed:

1.Course Changes – No Point to Point Routes.

So most courses are now loops or maybe several loops due to eliminating shuttles to the start from the finish or vice versa.

As result, the course may not not be as scenic as before or even monotonous.

2. Little Crowd Support

People congregating is discouraged so as result you won’t see many people cheering along a race route.

3. Mask Mandates

All the races that I have run have required that masks be worn at the start, finish and at any time where runners are less than 6 feet from each other.

4. Lack of Post-Race Food and Water Stops

Some races ask that you carry your own water.  Some races have even eliminated post-race food totally.

I have gotten bag or box lunches at some local races

5. Limited Capacity, Staggered Starts and Minimal Post-race Gathering

Races have limited the numbers of runners that can register for the race.  The race starts are organized so that groups of runners start separately and standing 6 feet from the runner in front, behind and next to one another.  And after the race, there are usually no indoor facilities or tables to sit together.

Obviously having races with the above limitations is better than having NO races.

Hopefully at some point, races will gradually become more “normal.”

the good old days

Happy Running! Have you run races during the Pandemic? Did you find any of the above or other limitations?  Which ones bothered you the most? Please share.


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33 thoughts on “FFF: New Normal for Races

  1. I have not done a live race yet and I am not sure I feel comfortable yet in big crowds. I think it’s great that races are finding ways to come back safely. I don’t think I will mind the no food and drinks as I did not really care for much of them anyway. I am happy to grab something afterward myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If races are expensive and a long distance, I do want refreshments and entertainment after. Compared to NYC races, this was comparably a small crowd. And I am glad that I have the opportunity to race.


  2. Its great that race organizations have been able to figure out how to hold races safely! I haven’t done any yet but am hoping that this summer there may be some to do.


  3. I haven’t raced, but the limitations are one of the reasons I haven’t raced. They just don’t appeal to me.

    Everyone is different, though, and I’m glad that races can be held safely for those that want them.


    • I agree everyone is different.

      I don’t think any of the restrictions affect the race itself. There were 1000 happy runners at the ARE half. But since you haven’t run any yet, you may think they do and maybe they would for you.

      Either way, racing is not important for every runner.

      I’m glad that people are racing so that these organizations such as ARE stay in business. Otherwise, we will not have races once the Pandemic is over.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I did a 10 mile race last weekend that had 50 person start waves with similar precautions that you mentioned. I carried my water. I was pleasantly surprised with the “race feel” within the 10 miles. Other that water stations with small bottles, this race felt pretty “normal.” It was the usual course so that helped. I’m not sure I want to do a marathon like this but the 10 miler was great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Yes. It totally agree, After the start of the race, it felt like a real race.

      As for a marathon, I would want crowd support. water stops and all the extras.


  5. The limited spectators is definitely something I’ll have to consider with my race this weekend! I’m hoping that I can zone out in the scenery and will probably rely on my music to carry me through! I’m just glad that races are making the adjustments needed!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So many changes to a race which I totally understand. I do wonder how it will be with the bigger races. The Chicago Marathon is to take place in October. I wonder what they will do about the crowds that want to cheer along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha ha… reading your post made races sound pretty bleak, but I know that you and a lot of other people have been enjoying them in spite of everything. Any racing is better than no racing, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great summary of the changes. The marathon I’m doing is point-to-point, but the buses are 1/2 capacity, masks, and very spaced out (my husband’s bus is a full hour earlier than mine.) I’m sure it’s a hassle for the organizers, but I’m glad for the things to keep us safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely miss the crowd support and and post-race celebrations. We will get those back, in time, but it definitely changes the tenor of things. That being said, I’m just grateful to be able to race.


  10. I have encountered most of the same changes as you did for the races I have run this year. I am still thrilled to be able to run live, in-person races again. I have felt safe at the races we have run. I would not want to be a race director right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I hadn’t even thought about your point about point-to-point courses (no pun intended). It makes sense of course though. I’ve signed up for my first in-person race in June so I’ll see how it goes then. I’ve been carrying my own hydration during races for several years so at least I won’t have to adapt to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am very curious to see what the Mini and Pride are going to look like mask wise. I haven’t been running with a mask as much lately and those are going to be pretty miserable if it’s hot. The other things don’t really faze me as NYC races are always different to other ones in that respect. One change that I like is all the different distances. Pride is a 6K this year–automagic PR (and yes, I’m behind in comments)


    • In the races I’ve done, you mask until you start running and then you mask after you are done.

      Now that I’m vaccinated, I’m not too worried and just do what is required.


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