Cowtown Marathon Preparing for Safe In-Person Races in May – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
The Cowtown says they have a plan to safely host personal races during a one-day event this year.
In light of the COVID-19 mitigation, Cowtown staff and board of directors reached an agreement on Tuesday with the City of Fort Worth and the Will Rogers Memorial Center on a plan that will allow them to hold their event on May 8th.
The Cowtown offers virtual options for running Kids 5K, Adults 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Healthy Hig Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Ultra Marathon.
There are no personal races for the Kids 5K, Marathon and Ultra Marathon.
Proceeds from The Cowtown will go directly to the CALF program.
The CALF (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) program was launched in 2009 to help children in the area string and cross countless finish lines.
This year they are offering virtual training to hundreds of schools in North Texas using social distance protocols.
The courses consist of teaching proper running technique, monitoring heart rate, the importance of hydration, proper diet, and leading an active lifestyle.
Through the CALF program, they have made a 5K race for 42,000 children a reality over the past 11 years.
“We may be one of the first major races to have a personal event in 2021,” said Heidi Swartz, Executive Director of Cowtown.
Swartz is confident that if they follow COVID-19’s safety protocols, they can deliver the same marathon experience.
“We will demonstrate best practices to offer our traditional experience with a flair for social distancing and crowd control. We are just confident and organized in our approach with the input of all of our partners. We are grateful for the enthusiasm and support from runners, sponsors, and others Citizens alike. “
This is a big change for Run 43 of Cowtown. Instead of traditionally taking place on the last weekend in February, it is now postponed to May 8th on Saturday.
This year’s presentation sponsor is Baylor Scott and the White All Saints Medical Center.
The COVID-19 protocols, which must be strictly enforced, are listed below.
Limitation of participant size:
- Half marathon: Maximum 3,500 runners – A rolling start at 6:30 a.m.
- Healthy HIG Half Marathon Relay: 500 teams (maximum 2,000 participants) – A rolling start at 6:30 a.m.
- 10 km: maximum 1,500 runners – a rolling start at 8 a.m.
- 5 km: maximum 1,500 runners – a rolling start at 8:30 a.m.
You will also greatly minimize the amount of physical interaction and contact between everyone:
- Drive-thru package pickup: runners cycle through a series of tents without leaving their car and receive packaged goods, bibs, etc.
- No personal expo: Virtual goodie bags and stands are provided via web and email.
- Self-reporting symptom checks: All runners will be checked by email 10 days and three days prior to the event. Virtual options are offered to anyone who is instructed to stay home due to symptoms or contact with a positive person.
- Designated start times: The start line is open for 2.5 to 3 hours. 200 athletes at scheduled start times are spaced by cones 6 feet apart. The staging extends to parking spaces.
- Masks Required: Masks are required for all runners to cross the start and finish lines. Anyone who does not wear a mask at critical points will be disqualified.
- Drinking Planning: Runners need to carry their own hydration. Water stations are available, but open water stops / disposable cups will not be offered on the 2021 course.
- Pre-packed, sealed food: All food at the finish line will be sealed / pre-packed and given to the runners in a “Go” bag along with their finisher medal. There won’t be an after-party on Burnett-Tandy.
- No nutrition (GU) distributed on the course: The half marathon participants receive a GU when they pick up their parcel in each runner’s box.
- No Spectators: No spectators are allowed to gather in Will Rogers or at the start or finish line.
- No reunion area: attendees need to plan to hold their parties in their parking lot.
- No hotel or relay shuttle service: Participants can park at UNTHSC or Will Rogers.
- No gait test; Runners need to plan that this is not available.
- Temperature Tests: The tests are conducted daily for volunteers on setup and race day. No volunteer is allowed on site if you have a fever.
- Masks: Volunteers must wear masks for the duration.
- Face protection and gloves: These are provided and required for various volunteer work.