Yo! Things change fast! As of midnight Monday 17 August, Level 2 of the Lockdown Regulations kick in and it looks like we will be able to enjoy our awesome trail events once again! You guys are currently entered for Runtheberg 2020, still scheduled for 19/20 September (5 weeks!!!). We are super-excited to be staging the first major trail race in the post-Lockdown era. We are also humbled at the prospect of being one the first major events to be setting the standard for our new normal for the foreseeable future.
We have been working hard at establishing new race procedures and COVID-19 compliant protocols, and as always have committed to runner safety as our absolute first priority. We are also adjusting to working with a greatly restricted budget and have necessarily had to drop some of the luxuries that we used to like to spoil you guys with in order to be able to make the event happen at all. What this means is that Runtheberg 2020 will necessarily look very different to what we are used to. Because of this we thought that it would be worthwhile to inform you of some of the most significant changes and give you a chance to give some feedback, remembering that we will still be rolling entries over to next year for anyone that would rather do that, or providing refunds should that be the preference.
Subject to the Regulations under Level 2 all gatherings are subject to a maximum of 50 people. As far as this affects us, it means that the Extreme event will be able to have a maximum of 50 runners and the Challenge event will be able to have a maximum of 50 runners.
We are working on a virtual registration system to eliminate the potential for queues and to minimise the contact with race staff, volunteers, and each other.
There will be no physical Race Briefing. All information will be provided by email in advance. For those of you that have gotten by without reading pre-race communications, that will have to change 😊
As always, the Extreme and the Challenge will have separate starts. Traditionally they have been an hour apart. Assessing the nature of the trails and our past experience this gap is probably optimal in terms of minimising congestion on the routes, but this will be subject to further study and confirmation.
As always we will have batched starts, but the number of runners per batch will be limited to 15-20, for obvious reasons not least of which is compliance with the 2sqm radius requirement of social distancing between participants. Batches will start 10 minutes apart.
We will keep the Water Tables and Checkpoints in their positions, BUT they will be water drops only, where runners can fill up with water. We will not be manning tables or providing nutrition support. As far as food on route goes, the race will essentially be self-supported.
Shirts and medals
Runtheberg medals and race shirts in particular are legendary! This tradition will continue. We expect the 2020 race garments to be wildly unique and guaranteed to become fantastic collector’s items that you’ll be proud to show off on trails around the country and the world for years to come!
This is probably one of the most significant differences to previous events, but we will be encouraging runners to spend minimal time hanging around the Finish. There will not be the usual post-run boerie rolls, and unfortunately we will also not be able to have that brilliant beer truck on hand to quench your mountain thirst. Obviously nobody will go hungry and there will be usual signature toasted sandwiches and gourmet coffee available at the All Out Adventures Coffee Shop.
Prize Giving and Prizes
We will not be providing prizes, and as such there will be no gathering for Prize Giving.
In terms of the Regulations spectators will unfortunately not be allowed to hang around the Race Village. However for the first time at Runtheberg we will be introducing a new Lite event of approximately 5km/day, which will allow less adventurous or fit partners to be Participants in their own event as opposed to merely spectators. Details of the Runtheberg Lite event will be sent out later.
Organisers, Race Staff, Volunteers and all Participants will be required to wear masks at the event. What this means to runners is that masks will be required at the Start and for approximately the first kilometre of the routes until the fields have spread, as well as at all time within the Race Village.
We are sure that we will still see some developments and changes between now and the Race Weekend, but to marry a quote of America’s top COVID expert Dr Anthony Fauci and some running jargon that we’re all used to, the virus sets the pace. One of the things we are usually most proud of as trail runners is our flexibility and our ability to adapt and keep going whatever is thrown at us. We are confident that Runtheberg 2020 will be responsible and safe, and also excited and proud to be pioneers in the post-Lockdown New World. This will be an event to remember!