Spartan Race is hosting the first major outdoor endurance race since the Covid 19 outbreak began. The event will take place June 13-14 at the WW MotorCross Park in Jacksonville, Florida.
The endurance sports industry has been losing an enormous amount money since race organizers began cancelling events in mid March. The race providers and their vendors have been losing tens of millions, and according to the recently formed Endurance Sports Coalition, have nearly 3 Billion in economic impact. Companies that make up the Coalition, including Spartan, Tough Mudder, Iron Man, and Rock N Roll Marathon, have had no clear answers when races might return.
Back in April, Spartan CEO picked July 1 as the date his events may return. As states such as Missouri, Florida, and Georgia began to announce the removal of Stay At Home Orders, Spartan Race began looking at venues in those states as possible choices.
This afternoon, Spartan announced a return to racing, along with a new set of standards and operating procedures that will begin with this Florida event next month. You can read the new SOP below.
We reached out directly to Joe Desena about some of the questions he will face in the coming days and weeks. He told us “We are expecting 4,000 Spartans per day for this event”. Having never been afraid of hyperbole, he went on to say “If you’re too afraid to live a Spartan life due to a virus then you’re already dead. We have procedures in place to make a Spartan event safer than going grocery shopping, going to Starbucks, or going in an elevator.”
Interested patrons can register for the Spartan Race here.
At Spartan, getting you safely back on course and overcoming obstacles is the highest priority for us. Over the previous months, a dedicated Spartan team has worked judiciously to create a robust relaunch plan for events worldwide. This plan has been designed to keep all racers, volunteers, and staff safe, meet strict government requirements, and bring Spartan events back to as many people as safely possible.
Spartan formed a task force to design multiple blueprints that meet various guidelines and legislative requirements. These blueprints determine the types of event modifications and transmission mitigation protocols, and are deployed based on government and expert guidance, local rules and regulations, existing industry best practices, and customer feedback.
What Spartan is Doing:
In addition to implementing actions and best practices mandated by governing authorities and local health and safety experts, Spartan has taken the following steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone attending a Spartan event. These guidelines are subject to change with the evolving situation.
- Cleaning and Sanitization
- Reduced customer touch points to minimize physical interaction between racers, and racers and event staff.
- Additional cleaning and sanitization of customer touch-points throughout the festival area, including check-in areas, toilets, medal and shirt collection, results, payment collection points, and at aid stations and obstacles.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for use throughout events, including around high traffic areas, after every obstacle, in and around portable toilets. These will be refreshed by staff throughout the day.
- The use of sealed, bottled water at aid stations instead of cups and spigots.
- Increased safety and hygiene procedures for staff and volunteers including regular hand sanitization.
- Personal Protective Equipment
- All event staff and volunteers will wear face coverings at all times. In addition to social distancing measures, racers are requested to wear a face covering in the festival area while not on course. Reusable face masks and gloves will also be available for purchase on site.
- Transparent plastic shields will be installed at key interaction points, such as racer check-in, to create separation between both racers and staff.
- Social Distancing
- To manage the volume of racers onsite, each racer will be given a specific arrival and departure time for entry and exit from the event to ensure total participant numbers at any one time are kept under strict control.
- Customer throughput will be monitored to ensure the number of people within the event space is kept to acceptable levels at all times.
- Heat sizes will be reduced, and courses themselves will be widened from previous standards to ensure safe spacing while running/walking and at obstacles.
- Dedicated lanes, along with designated waiting spots, will be provided at areas where racers tend to congregate, such as at check-in and at obstacles. Where lines are formed, distancing markers will be used to ensure safe distancing.
- Screening (Racers, Staff, Volunteers)
- Contactless temperature checks will be conducted for everyone entering the event space. A person with a body temperature reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) will not be permitted to enter.
- Each customer shall be required to complete a declaration when checking in at the event that they are not currently infected by COVID-19 and have not had, or knowingly been in contact with, someone experiencing any of the following COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
There will be adjustments to the following broad event components as necessary, on a race by race basis:
- There is no on-site registration for this event. Registration and payment must be made online prior to race day.
- The temporary removal of all water-based obstacles including Dunk Wall. Removal of the Sandbag Carry obstacle, and crawl obstacles will be modified to facilitate greater spacing between racers.
- Cold wash and changing tents will be unavailable..
- “No spectators” will be permitted, unless a participating minor is being accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- No awards ceremony will be held after the race to prevent gathering and ensure social distancing measures are adhered to.
- Shade tents will not be provided to facilitate social distancing.
- Food and beverage offerings will be pre-packaged, and these zones will not have seating, along with distancing guides placed for people waiting in line.
At Risk Persons
Anyone who falls under or lives with someone in these categories is encouraged not to participate in Spartan events at this time:
- People over 65 years of age
- People who have chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, or severe heart disease;
- People who are immunocompromised: those who have undergone or are undergoing cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation; anyone with immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, or had prolonged use of corticosteroids; and smokers;
- People of any age with class III or severe obesity; or
- Anyone diagnosed with the following underlying conditions: diabetes, liver disease, and persons with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis.
- Per executive order from Governor DeSantis, all individuals traveling from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Louisiana must isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Florida. Travel from other domestic locations is at the discretion of the individual.
The information in this document is subject to change at Spartan’s discretion.
Watch Complete Interview with Spartan Race CEO, Joe Desena