The North Downs Way is a 100-mile race on 8-9th August. There will be about 250 participants. As any 100-mile runner will tell you, they are in for an immersive journey. It is a point to point race with an organiser, Centurion Running, that offers a full duty of care to all of its participants, including the 70 or so entrants who will not make it to the finish.
This event is a total labour of love and a true test of determination on behalf of the organisers to get an event which is challenging enough to organise in any year up and away this summer.
How are they doing this? Well, if you want a full overview go here. The thinking is very detailed, the strategy meticulous, the evident care for all stakeholders fully apparent.
The event blends in some tech, some regulations, some compromise and stacks of common sense and responsibility. Participants who are taking part and those who have chosen not to have been equally embraced and equally met with approval.
Here’s an overview of the highlights of their event safety process:
- Detailed pre-event instructions for crew, supporters and conduct
- Pre-Event briefing video – no event brief on the day
- Numbers mailed out with timing chips
- Self-nominated start times, socially distanced with faster runners encouraged to arrive for earlier starts (lessening overtaking) with cut off times also individualised.
- Careful analysis of start area data to ensure adequate distancing provision
- Self-service aid stations
- Temperature check, masks, PPE and glove requirements clearly specified for where and when they are needed, without making it seem complicated
- Clear medical treatment policy
- Socially distanced seating on the ‘sweeper’ coach. Extra provision of transport where it may be required.
- Collect your own award or medal system
- Single serve packed food provision.
- 7-day post event symptom report requirement
What can other events learn from this?
Though all events and the challenges that they face are different, the clarity of what is being offered here is second to none. After this announcement there were really no questions to ask. The vast majority of participants seem extremely pleased with the communications about the event.
Certainly, Centurion seem very aware of their responsibility as a standard bearer for this type of low attendance event. Their events sell out with increasing rapidity based on the participant’s confidence that the team behind the event put the quality of the experience front and centre of their plans.