Run in covid times? it’s better than before!

On November 1, 2020 from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm an drill was held on the application of prevention measures to the spread of covid19 in the context of a sporting event such as La Corsa della Bora

The purpose of the drill was as follows:

  • Assessment of the risks associated with the formation of gatherings near refreshment points
  • Assessment of the risks associated with the formation of gatherings in the vicinity of start lines
  • Assessment of the risks associated with the setting up of refreshment points
  • Assessment of risks related to lack of practical experience in the application of protocols by competitors
  • Assessment of risks related to lack of practical experience in the application of protocols by staff
  • Assessment of risks related to non-compliance by competitors

You can! – You can play sports safely – You can follow the prescriptions without losing the spirit of the trail We’re…

Published by S1 Trail – La Corsa della Bora – ASD Sentierouno on Sunday, November 1, 2020

The principle on which all our work has been based is that, especially in the recreational field, it is utopian to impose restrictions that appear unnatural or useless. This is because even the most attentive sportsman, under strain and focused on performance, acts by automatism and therefore can never be an attentive user.

Another principle on which this work is based is that the emergency will probably last a long time, and in any case, once the acute phase is over, we will probably have to go through a medium-long alert period. It, therefore, makes sense to invest in the study of correct behavior, given and considering the fact that the reorganization of habits is inevitable.

Finally, these encaustic events suggest adopting habits that can be better than health, safety, and quality of experience, even in an outdated pandemic.

The solution is therefore not to force people to do something, but to create conditions so that doing that particular thing is the only viable solution, even better if it brings a benefit compared to the usual routines.

This approach, therefore, guarantees not only the natural observance of the prescriptions but also the creation of a new pattern of behavior that over time wants to become a new behavior routine.

How refreshment points are managed


The Competitor

  • Wear the mask
  • He has sanitizedhands, outer water bottle and sticks
  • Does not stop to talk or consume when receiving the solid &/o liquids
  • Use only his container
  • Receives solid in bags provided by the organization
  • If you want the encore, follow the complete refreshment route, without going back down the lane
  • Respect distances in the lane

The staff at the refreshments

  • Wears the mask
  • Sanitize the hands regularly
  • Touch food only with special gloves or pliers
  • The liquid dispenser is operated by the race personnel, while the competitor holds the container or with the container resting.
  • Does not touch competitors’ containers
  • Doesn’t touch the competitors
  • Does not touch competitors’ equipment
  • It does not provide containers other than those provided: solid bags and bowls for soup

Race Rules in covid times… and maybe even later!

From this tragic situation, we can take inspiration to lose bad habits, insists on the runner as in all those who play outdoor sports. The first is to spit and blow your nose without a handkerchief. Before it was rude to do so, now it is an unacceptable disrespect.

  • The obligation of handkerchief always up your sleeve, if you run with long sleeve or handkerchief, neck warmer or other on the wrist with the same purpose of use
  • Disqualification in case of spitting or whiffing of the nose along the path without handkerchief or handkerchief if facing other competitors
  • Obligation to wear the control bracelet issued by the organization no earlier than 18 hours after the race under the following conditions
    • Negative quick swab
    • And/or self-certification under the law
    • And temperature below 37.5°
  • Obligation to always have with you
    • Handkerchiefs
    • Wipes or sanitifying gel
    • Neck warmer or mask always at the neck or at immediate range
    • Neck warmer or spare mask

Refreshment management


Solid foods

  • Banana
  • Orange
  • Chocolate
  • Dried fruits
  • Cheese
  • Bread
  • Cookies
  • Gluten-free option

Liquid foods

  • Natural water
  • Sparkling water
  • Coke
  • Warm tea
  • Electrolytes

A portion with a caloric intake suitable to support an adult male for the following race section is given to all competitors There is no quantity limitation but you need to follow the lane and enter the refreshment again, going out and returning to have other portions. This is for three simple reasons:
  • eliminate waste
  • prevent queues
  • prevent people from stopping to eat in front of the table

The reactions of the participants

The feedback of the test group who participated (79 runners) left a positive feedback not only from the point of view of safety and prevention to the spread of COVID 19, but could be a starting point for the overall improvement of operating procedures at refreshments, as the methodology applied has been positively matched by the majority of the sample being investigated with peaks of approval from the

15 to 37% who call it “better than non-covid”

All participants considered the sense of security offered to be “good” or “better than non-covid”, on a scale of values defined as follows: “unacceptable”, “acceptable”, “good”, “better than non-covid”.

Sense of security at the refreshment


An extremely important fact as it not only leaves room for the maintenance of some measures even in the post-covid era (such as the sanitization of incoming hands), but by a sense of positive perception of the safety device.

A clear fact in recent months has been that many have not followed the prescriptions aimed at preventing the spread of the epidemic due to a lack of confidence in them or because they believed them or still believed them useless. The creation and application of a model that is perceived and communicated as useful therefore have an educational value that goes far beyond the individual event and has repercussions and beneficial effects also on those who assist and on the user even outside the event itself.

The Corsa della Bora therefore wants to present itself as an occasion of study and promotion of good habitsin terms of health prevention.

Sustainability of refreshment: for the competitor and the organizer

For a system to be successfully applied, it must be sustainable. The application study of the “Protocol s1” was articulated not only on compliance with the health indications deriving from EPS and federal protocols, drawn up in compliance with the special pandemic laws, but was weighted with the organizational needs of the event and the use of competitors in the race.

Here, too, the result was striking: one third of respondents preferred this system to that in pre-Covid times.

Also from an organizational point of view, by adapting the way of working you can obtain optimizations of consumption with appreciable savings, which compensates for the additional costs that derive from the current health management. In addition, there is less waste of resources and greater efficiency in the management of refreshment points.

However, there is a need for more training of the staff involved, which is often at odds with the fact that volunteers with no specific training or experience are used for sporting events. The training aspect thus becomes a key element of the correct management of the process.

In this sense, we will immediately start the drafting of a manual and a training action on the “Protocol s1”

Practicality of use


Another fundamental aspect is the satisfaction of those who participate: this aspect also contributes to the correct and spontaneous application of the protocols: if something of perceptible benefit is done naturally, otherwise it is difficult to accept.

The huge shortage of sporting events organized during this period is the almost total absence of liquid and solid food at refreshments, on the one hand, because it is not known how to handle it, on the other hand, because some organizers have decided to reduce costs on this item of expenditure to compensate for the lower revenues and the higher costs of general management.

The field test shows us that while reducing the waste and variety offered, it is possible to guarantee satisfaction and quality to those who run.

Service speed


But is the choice enough for the runner?


The point that has found the least liking is the choice of solid salted foods: in general, more choice is required but the result, in absolute value, the feedback remains positive, with no insufficiency.

The lowest judgments result from the request for food that was present but that was not seen or provided promptly. Such as hot tea. It follows that the pre-race communication of what will be available at refreshments must be strengthened and, on the refreshment point, on the table instead of food, indications of what is available will have to be posted.

This context is not incompatible with “zero kilometers” refreshments or “typical products”. It is possible to insert a taste, a characteristic element for the refreshment of the typical products in order to keep alive also the tourist and food and wine enhancement aspect of the territory.

In concrete addition to the standard choice, refreshments can have a “jolly” element that distinguishes them such as for one point the mini sandwich with cooked ham and Horse raddish, supplied ready in the bag or a typical dessert for another.

To this are added single hot portions for refreshments that affect races with prolonged transit.

Preparations are continuing, with so much confidence in the future. We hope to see each other in January, to date there are the conditions to be able to actually think about it and spend a beautiful day in complete safety!

Thanks to all the Volunteers S1 and Trieste Atletica, the participants, the Motoclub Polizia di Stato and Franco Flinko Bike Rent, Dana Sport, and New Balance for having contributed to this study and for the enthusiasm and trust, and great will to continue to play sports safely

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