COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Last updated May 12, 2021

This plan is subject to change as the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve.

USA Triathlon has developed the following plan to execute a safe and successful Duathlon National Championships on May 21-23 in Tuscaloosa, factoring in significant precautions and adjustments to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. For the safety and enjoyment of all involved, USA Triathlon asks all athletes, spectators, staff, volunteers, contractors and vendors for their cooperation in abiding by this plan. USA Triathlon fully expects Duathlon Nationals to occur as scheduled and everybody will play a role in conducting a safe, fair and memorable event.

Some of the largest adjustments to the event include:

  • All persons entering the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater must wear a face covering at all times, except for athletes while actively racing.
  • Increased signage throughout venue reminding participants to practice increased hygiene and physical distancing.
  • Implementation of venue access points to conduct COVID-19 symptom screening.
  • The race schedule has been adjusted to reduce the number of people in all areas at certain times including packet pickup, transition area, expo, run start, bike and run courses, and the finish line.
  • Ancillary events except for the awards ceremonies have been canceled or changed to a virtual format.
  • There will be no open fluids or food provided to athletes, and all fluids and food will be prepackaged and sealed.

Non-compliance with this event's required safety measures will result in disqualification without refund and removal from the race venue. USA Triathlon thanks you for your compliance and willingness to contribute to the safety of our community.

Detailed plan

Venue Access

Spectators and other members of the public will NOT be restricted from entering the venue. However, all persons entering the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater will be required to have their temperature taken upon entering the facility Friday, May 21 through Sunday, May 23. Inside of the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, spectators are restricted to the seating area, expo and restrooms. Spectators are not permitted inside the finish line area, medical tent, transition area, stage or other restricted zones. Outside of the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, including along the race courses, there is no restriction on where spectators may view the event. Spectators are asked to be aware of their surroundings, including athletes currently racing, and not enter the bike or run courses while the race is in progress.

  • A wristband will be provided to ALL PERSONS upon a successful temperature check and symptom screening. The wristband will be a different color each day. Regardless of whether or not participants and spectators are fully vaccinated, they will receive a wristband each day indicating that they feel well and are showing no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • USA Triathlon strongly encourages all to receive the vaccine and supports vaccination efforts. However, being vaccinated IS NOT a requirement for this event and you are not required to tell us your status.

Face Coverings Required

All persons entering the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater must wear a face covering (mask) at all times, except for athletes while actively racing. On race days, athletes must wear a face covering when arriving to and moving throughout the venue before racing, setting up in transition area, and after racing when departing the venue. Face coverings will be made available for anybody who needs one. Athletes may remove their face coverings when they approach the start line prior to beginning the race. A specific area at the start line will be designated as a 'mask drop zone’ for athletes to discard their masks at the start line. Athletes are encouraged to bring a disposable mask to the start line if they do not wish to discard a cloth mask. Upon finishing the event, athletes will be required to wear a face covering before leaving the finish line area.

Event Schedule

Click here to view the latest event schedule. The event schedule has been adjusted to promote physical distancing and reduce the number of people entering the venue at the same time. It has also been adjusted to mitigate some passing on the course, although passing by different age groups is ultimately inevitable. Wave starts will be limited to approximately 50 - 75 athletes per wave. Each race is a chip start – your time will not start until you cross the start line.

COVID-19 Symptom Screening

Pre-event: USA Triathlon will send a brief survey in the week prior to the event via email that everybody will be asked to complete. The survey will ask brief questions about symptoms and recent COVID-19 exposures. This survey is for USA Triathlon’s informational purposes only and will not disqualify somebody from participating. However, anybody who has experienced a recent exposure, had a positive test in the last 10-14 days, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend. Click here to view the CDC's recommendations on being around other people after having recently been exposed or testing positive.

Event Days: ALL persons entering the venue MUST be screened each day prior to entering the event venue. There are no exceptions.

Symptom Screening Locations: Expo entrance (gate 7) and transition area bike in/out. Appropriate signage noting symptoms of COVID-19 will be placed at each location.

Screening Process:

  • Screening will consist of a temperature check for fever. If the person has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, OR if they are exhibiting other known symptoms to the screener, they will be required to have further screening in a screening tent. Click here to view symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC.
  • If a person screens positive for symptoms, they will be directed to a nearby tent for further examination by a medical professional. The medical professional will make the final determination if they can remain part of the event via a questionnaire. If it is determined that an athlete cannot participate, they will be asked to leave the venue and not permitted to return.

Sanitizer and Face Covering Distribution

  • Hand sanitizer bottles and stations will be placed at key areas throughout the venue, including screening stations, start line, transition area, aid stations, packet pickup, finish line, medical tent, post-race food, outside of all restrooms and other areas as appropriate.
  • Ample face coverings will be made available for anybody who needs one at screening stations, transition area, packet pickup, finish line, medical tent, aid stations and other areas as appropriate.

Enhanced Cleaning Measures from ByoPlanet

Pre-Race Briefings

  • The pre-race briefing will be conducted live on USA Triathlon's Facebook page on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET. Attendees will be able to ask questions of the race director and head officials. The briefing will be recorded for all to view on-demand afterward. There will not be any in-person rules briefings.

Packet Pickup

  • Each athlete must pick up their own packet. Athletes cannot pickup for other athletes.
  • Advanced selection of a time slot will be required by ALL athletes to get their packet on Friday, May 21. Click here to choose a time slot. Up to 50 people per 15-minute time slot will be permitted. Time slots will be available from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday. Late packet pickup for the Draft-Legal Sprint will be available from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 22. No reservations are required on Saturday. Race morning packet pickup on either day is not encouraged, but USA Triathlon staff will accommodate special situations if asked by email before the event.

Transition Area

  • Transition area capacity has been reduced to promote physical distancing and is capped at just under 850 athletes per day at 8 bikes per rack.

Bike Check-In Race Mornings

  • Athletes MUST have retrieved their packet prior to entering transition area.
  • Athletes are required to check-in at specific times according to their age group. See schedule for details (subject to change).

Bike Check-Out

  • Bike check-out will occur as usual once the bike course has cleared for each race. For the draft-legal sprint, bike check-out will occur for all athletes after the course has cleared from the last female wave.

Rack numbering and spacing

  • There will be up to eight (8) total bikes per rack, four per side. Each aisle between racks is approximately 13 feet wide (rack-to-rack).
  • Racks will be numbered consecutively by bib number in a snake fashion.
  • On Saturday, racks will be renumbered for the draft-legal sprint race as soon as all bikes are cleared from the non-draft races.

Run Start 

  • This will be a time trial, chip start. Queue lines will be taped on the road and athletes will start about 8-10 at a time, every three seconds. Waves are still designated by age groups. Your time will not start until you cross the start line.
  • The run will start on Jack Warner Parkway (JWP), just to the west of the transition area bike in/out. Waves will be staggered and spread out on JWP west of the start line. Duct tape and wave signs will be placed on the ground to indicate where waves can line up in an orderly and physically-distanced fashion.
  • Since athletes are required to wear a mask at all times other than racing, trash cans will be placed at the start line to allow disposal of masks if athletes wish.
  • Porta-johns will also be placed on the bus loop near the start line. Ample hand sanitizer will be available.

Bike and run courses

  • The start times for each wave have been set to mitigate passing on the course. However, some passing is inevitable, especially on run 1.
  • High-fives, hugs and general close contact with others should be avoided at all times while racing, in transition area, and before and after the race.

Run Course Aid Stations

  • Aid stations will only have small, bottled water. Bottles will be self-serve and placed on tables for athletes to grab – volunteers will not hand to athletes.
  • Science in Sport nutritional gels will be placed on a separate table for athletes to grab – volunteers will not hand to athletes.
  • Athletes are encouraged to bring their own nutrition and hydration per their personal preferences.
  • Limited quantities of 20 oz Gatorade Endurance bottles will be available at aid stations. No open cups of Gatorade or water will be available.

Finish Line

  • Post-finish area will be expanded to have a wider finish zone and exit path.
  • Athletes must put a face covering over their mouth and nose after finishing and before exiting the finish zone. Masks will be available at the finish line for athletes that needs one.
  • Finishing athletes will be handed a bottled water from volunteers who will be wearing gloves.
  • Finisher medals will be placed on a medal rack between the finish line and post-race food.
  • Vocal volunteers will be present encouraging athletes to keep moving and exit the area quickly.
  • Athletes must remove their own chip and return it before leaving the finish zone. Volunteers will be present at the finish zone exit to watch for remaining chips. If athletes are not medically able to remove their chip, medical personnel will assist.
  • Athletes are not permitted to re-enter the finish zone once exiting.

Post-Race Food

  • Post-race food will be distributed in the post-race food tent/concession area in to-go boxes. There will be no open buffet lines for food as in past years. Athletes are encouraged to take their food to-go and not congregate at the venue.
  • Regular 20 oz Gatorade Endurance bottles will be placed at the exit/entrance (Gate 7) of the Amphitheater. This location is close to post-race food and where athletes will exit from the finish.


  • Results will be posted online only at Signs with QR codes will be posted around the finish area. Simply scan the QR code with your smart phone to view results.
  • Athletes and spectators are also encouraged to download the USA Triathlon Events App to view live results. Athlete progress through the racecourses can be tracked live during the event by anybody with the app.

Awards Ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday

  • The awards ceremony will happen at the Amphitheatre rain or shine. Attendees should space out throughout the Amphitheater seating area. Those attendees not traveling or rooming together should leave one or two seats between parties. Wearing a face covering is required.
  • Athletes who win an award and are unable to claim it in person may email within 60 days of the event to request their award be mailed to them. There is a $15 fee for shipping awards.
  • Team USA processing will occur via email with no option to claim a Team USA spot in-person. Emails will come from within a few days after the event.
  • The announcer will conduct the awards ceremony from the finish line announcers’ tents. In order to mitigate crowding, cut down on walking distance to claim awards, and keep the ceremony flowing in a timely fashion, several tables will be set up on the bowl of the Amphitheater between the announcers’ tents and the seating area. These tables will be where medals and other awards are staged. All awards will be laid out based on the order in which each age group is called by the announcer. As athletes are called out to claim their awards, they will approach the tables to claim their medal. A volunteer will point to the appropriate medal for each athlete to claim. As our usual award podiums often require the help of others to step on, we will not use the podiums. Instead, place signs will be positioned nearby for photo opportunities.
  • In the event of severe weather, the in-person awards ceremony will be canceled and will happen via Zoom the same day and be recorded. In the event of awards ceremony cancellation, awards will be mailed post-event.


If you have questions on this plan, please email Thank you for your cooperation in helping us execute a safe and fair event.