Organized Racing Events

COVID19 Prevention Checklist Industry Guidance

Last updated: Apr 5, 2021

The State of Maine has adopted a multi-layered approach to COVID-19 guidance—supported by science, public health expertise, and industry collaboration—to help Maine businesses and community organizations operate safely. As we enter the second year of the pandemic, these updated guidelines highlight the importance of employing multi-layered mitigation strategies to keep Maine businesses, employees, and residents as safe as possible from COVID-19 transmission. Public health guidance will continue to evolve as we learn which mitigation strategies most effectively reduce transmission risk.

No single measure or action will completely prevent transmission of COVID-19. Use of multiple strategies—sometimes called layered mitigation—provides greater protection than implementing a single strategy alone. When multiple mitigation strategies—including masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and ventilation—are consistently and correctly used, risk of transmission is decreased.

Please make sure you pair this guidance with the general guidance available at

For the latest information on travel policies and Executive Orders related to COVID-19 visit the Office of the Governor’s COVID-19 Response website:

This checklist is for outdoor organized races (e.g., running races, fun runs/walks, triathlons, bicycle races/ride, and charity walks).

Organized Racing Events

General Guidance

  1. Require individuals to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from individuals who are not part of their household group/travel party whenever possible.
  2. Require individuals to wear a mask, per CDC recommendations and pertinent Executive Orders from the Office of the Governor.
    1. Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection. Information about proper use of masks is available from the US CDC (see: Considerations for Wearing Masks).
    2. Gaiters/buffs are acceptable masks if they are double thickness or folded to make two or more layers of fabric.
    3. Change your mask if it becomes wet or soiled.
  3. Group size is limited per Executive Order. Gatherings are subject to the following limits:
    1. For all indoor gatherings:
      1. Effective March 26, 2021 through May 23, 2021: 50% of permitted occupancy or 50 persons (or 5 people per 1,000 square feet for retail establishments), whichever is greater.
      2. Effective May 24, 2021 and thereafter: 75% of permitted occupancy or 50 persons, (or 5 people per 1,000 square feet for retail establishments), whichever is greater.
    2. For any outdoor gathering taking place at a facility or event that is subject to a permitted occupancy limit is subject to the following limits:
      1. Effective March 26, 2021 through May 23, 2021: 75% of permitted occupancy.
      2. Effective May 24, 2021 and thereafter: 100% of permitted occupancy.
    3. Individuals in a shared space must be able to maintain 6 feet of physical distance. If a space cannot accommodate individuals maintaining 6 feet of physical distance, further restrict the number of individuals allowed in that space beyond the limits established by Executive Order.

Registration and Check-in

  1. Requiring advance registration is highly recommended. Registration should occur prior to race day through online or other contactless methods.
    1. If organizers make race day registration available, leave online registration open if possible, and encourage participants to register on their own devices.
    2. If on-site registration is available for those who are not able to register on their own devices, configure registration stations to allow for physical distancing. This may include demarcating 6 foot distances on the ground or with signage in any areas where lines may form.
  2. Mailing any race equipment, promotional products, bibs, etc. to participants prior to race day is highly recommended.
    1. If in-person packet pickup occurs, extend packet pickup times to discourage crowding and configure pickup areas to allow for physical distancing. This may include demarcating 6 foot distances on the ground or with signage in any areas where lines may form.
    2. Consider having participants sign up for their pickup “slot” (i.e., the day and time range that they intend to come).

Staff, Volunteers, and Participants

  1. International staff, volunteers, and participants must follow U.S. CDC and Maine travel guidelines.
  2. Out-of-state staff, volunteers, and participants must follow the testing and quarantine requirements of the Moving Maine Forward plan.
    1. Effective January 26, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​.
    2. Maine International Travel Guidance requires 7 days of quarantine and a negative COVID-19 test within 3-5 days of arrival.
  3. Race organizers should remind staff, volunteers, and participants that anyone who feels sick or has any COVID-19-like symptoms must stay home and not attend the event. Signage reminding individuals of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is recommended.
  4. Require staff, volunteers, and participants to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms on race day using either of the following approaches:
    1. Use an electronic or app-based self-screening form, such as the Coronavirus Self-Checker available on the US CDC’s website (see: Coronavirus Self-Checker).
    2.  Self-screen using the following questions:
      • Do you feel ill or have you been caring for someone who is ill?
      • In the past two weeks, have you been exposed to anyone who tested positive for COVID-19?
  5. For contact tracing purposes, event organizers must maintain a record of staff, volunteers, and participants, including name and contact information. Organizers must maintain these records for at least 21 days.
  6. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. For the most up to date information on this topic, see US CDC guidance on conditions that place individuals at increased risk of severe illness (see: People with Certain Medical Conditions). Volunteers, staff, and participants should consider their health and safety before attending.


  1. Consider providing virtual spectating options such as interactive live tracking or streaming.
  2. Consider restricting or prohibiting spectators from attending the event.
  3. Organizers must take steps to discourage and limit spectator gatherings in high traffic areas such as starting and finishing areas (e.g., posting signage, monitoring and spectator areas, having the race announcer make announcements periodically to remind spectators about guidelines, etc.).
  4. If the race is held in a defined outdoor venue (for example, at a stadium), spectators are permitted, but the venue must follow the occupancy limits and all other requirements outlined in the ticketed gatherings checklist.
  5. Spectators must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from individuals outside of their household group/travel party.
  6. There should be no physical contact between participants and spectators (i.e. no high-fives).


  1. Consider providing a virtual race option in place of or in addition to an in-person event for those who do not want to participate in person.
  2. Events with more people increase the likelihood of being exposed to COVID-19. Consider limiting the number of race participants and restricting non-essential individuals from attending the event (i.e., spectators, vendors).
  3. Indoor events, especially in places with poor ventilation, pose more risk than outdoor events. Consider holding as much of your event outside as possible (i.e., registration, packet pickup).
  4. The free airflow of outdoor spaces lowers the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Closing a tent removes that benefit. For that reason, events that use tents should keep at least two sides open and unimpeded to maintain air exchange and flow, even if there is inclement weather. All physical distancing and occupancy guidelines apply to tented spaces.
  5. Provide hand washing or hand sanitizing stations for staff, volunteers, and participants.
  6. Place signage throughout the venue (particularly high traffic areas) alerting individuals to physical distancing requirements, mask policies, and symptoms of COVID-19.
  7. Inform individuals of your COVID-19 policies and procedures in advance, if possible, via website, newsletters, social media channels, registration site, etc.
  8. Chip timing is strongly recommended. Grouping athletes in chutes, giving finish sticks or cards, etc. at the finish line is discouraged. 
  9. To minimize crowds at the finish line, post results online rather than at the race site.
  10. Virtual award ceremonies are encouraged. If award ceremonies are held in person, ensure that physical distancing is maintained by all participants.
  11. Avoid busing participants between the start and finish, if possible. Participants are strongly encouraged to provide their own transportation. If shared transportation is used, follow the guidelines in the Transportation checklist.
  12. Modify your course to avoid bottlenecks that may cause crowding of participants, (e.g., entry to single-track from wider paths within a mile of the start, two-way traffic sections, narrow “lanes” at aid stations).
  13. Courses should try to maintain a minimum width of 12 feet throughout to allow participants to maintain physical distance while passing. Race organizers should consider the width of the course and the ability level of the participants to determine the competitor density that the course can safely accommodate. This should be used to determine the maximum field size and timing of start waves.
  14. If races incorporate obstacles, redesign obstacles to allow for physical distancing and remove obstacles that include frequently touched points of contact.

Start and Finish Areas

  1. Consider requiring participants to stay in their cars until the start of the race to limit crowding at the starting area.
  2. Configure the starting line and organize starting procedures to allow participants to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from each other. Race directors should consider the width of the start line, how quickly the course narrows after the start, and other relevant factors to determine how many participants can start safely at one time.
  3. Staggered starts, with small groups of participants starting in timed waves, are strongly encouraged over “mass starts”.
    1. Start participants fastest to slowest based on data collected at registration.
    2. Consider giving participants staggered arrival times, based on their staggered start time, to avoid congregation at the starting line.
  4. Markers such as tape, traffic cones, or stickers should be placed on the ground in the starting area to aid participants in maintaining physical distancing in starting areas.
  5. Participants must immediately leave the course after finishing the race, and staff and volunteers must ensure that participants do not loiter or gather in groups at the finish area.

On Course

  1. Participants must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing from other participants, volunteers, and staff through the entire event, including at the starting line, throughout the race, and at the finish line.
  2. Spitting and blowing your nose into the air are strongly discouraged.
  3. Consider encouraging participants to bring and carry their own water or nutrition via bottle, hydration belt, or hydration pack.
  4. If water stations are used, they should be self-service (i.e., all water and other items must be on a table to be picked up by the participant; workers should not hand a cup of water to a participants).
    1. Place tables in water station areas far enough apart to allow for physical distancing between participants/discourage crowding. Space water or other items widely enough apart that participants can grab them without touching additional items.
    2. Provide hand sanitizer and encourage hand hygiene for workers at water stations.
    3. Provide trash receptacles at water station locations.
    4. Provide staff and volunteers grabbers and gloves for post-race cleaning of water station areas.

Post-Race Areas and Activities

  1. Post-event food and drink should be pre-packaged and made available as a “grab and go” option.
  2. Encourage participants to disperse throughout post-race areas.

Portable Toilets

  1. Lower the ratio of runners per portable toilet to minimize the creation of lines.
  2. If possible, increase the space between portable toilets to maximum physical distancing between lines.
  3. Demarcate 6 foot distances on the ground or with signage in any areas where lines may form.
  4. Ensure that each portable toilet is stocked with hand sanitizer and/or that hand washing stations are available.
  5. Keeping a volunteer(s) on-site to monitor and restock supplies and monitor lines is recommended.