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Triathletes share their experiences racing at events with new safety protocols

By Callie Mauser | Aug. 17, 2020, 12:02 p.m. (ET)

Athletes around the country are returning to racing, and although events looks different than what we’re accustomed to, the pride of finishing the race is the same.  

 

These two age group athletes recently competed in local triathlons that incorporated COVID-19 safety protocols, including time trial starts, alterations to the race course and encouragement of physical distancing and mask wearing. Both athletes said they felt safe and had fun competing.

 

Read their stories below, and if you have returned to racing and want to share your experience, you can email us your story at communications@usatriathlon.org.

 

 

 

Brittany Bevis, Tallahassee, Florida

Freedom Springs Triathlon

 

 

Return to Racing

“The reason we all felt comfortable participating is due to several safety protocols that were put into place. First, masks were required while setting up in transition and when not racing. The swim was changed from a mass start to a time trial start off a dock at the crystal clear Blue Springs where a race volunteer gave a five second countdown between participants. Of course, there is no drafting allowed on the bike, so that section of the race was pretty typical. On the 5K run, there was one aid station with water that could be picked up by athletes, but nothing was handed out by volunteers. At the finish line, water and medals were available for pick up within containers by finishers and athletes removed their own timing chips. Other health procedures put into place included self body marking, signing of a waiver, a virtual race option, and an award ceremony that was announced over a loudspeaker. 

 

Overall, it was a fantastic event, and we were thrilled to get back to doing what we love, while staying safe.”

Image by Ethan Bass

 

 

Martin Spierings, Scotts Valley, California

Huntington Lake Triathlon

 

 

It was immediately obvious they'd gone to pains to put on a safe race. They encouraged everyone to wear masks and distance (while not racing) which everyone did. There are lots of rules to keep track of in triathlon already so triathletes are well equipped to add a couple more without fuss.”

 

“All-in-all the race went off perfectly, was professionally run, and at no time did I feel I was in a position to get (infected). It was a much needed moral boost to compete again for the first time since last November. … Hopefully a few more race directors will be inspired to put one on before the end of the year and help more of us who are comfortable to compete again get a taste of normal, with modifications.”

 

 

Becky DiSorbo, Henderson, Nev.

Findley Lake Triathlon

 

"New York State race director, Mark Wilson of Wilson Endurance Sports, provided a detailed race packet highlighting all COVID procedures, starting from race pickup, to transition area set up, racing, water breaks, post race nutrition, and awards.   

 

Aside from wearing a mask, the transition area for the race felt normal.  Six feet of space would have made for longer transitions so I was fine with the normal amount of space for my bike and gear.

 

The swim entrance for the in-water start was staggered to maintain social distance, and I liked starting in one group with the guys and dragging off someone's feet to start."

 

"The lakeside run course included self-serve water bottles and trash bins. One enthusiastic volunteer with gloves even handed me a water bottle, and I appreciated the spectators who cheered us on from their lakeside cabins and homes."

 

"I left the race having tried a new Hammer Nutrition drink (from the self serve cooler in the recovery area), feeling excited to keep training and with a new appreciation for smaller races, which are less hectic, and easier to maintain social distance on the racecourse and at the venue."

 

 

 

 

Amy Landry, Portland, Maine

Portland Kids Duathlon

 

The Portland Kids Duathlon had 92 participants and raised $8,000 for charity. Watch the video below for event highlights. 

 

 

 

Click here to read USA Triathlon’s Safe Return to Multisport guidelines.