Announcement from Tuffli Events AG, organizers of the Swissalpine trail races in Davos, Switzerland. As of June 5, 2020 there were 30,936 coronavirus cases and 1,921 deaths in Switzerland among a population of 8.57 million.
The Swissalpine, which takes place annually over the last weekend in July, can also be carried out this year, albeit with restrictions, in compliance with COVID-19 measures.
The Swissalpine, Graubünden’s largest summer mountain running event, will take place on 25 / 26th July 2020 in Davos in compliance with the required COVID-19 protection measures – consequently, over two days with staggered starting times, and with restriction as to categories (distances). After much clarification, conceptual work and tests, the Organisation Committee decided on Tuesday evening to continue carrying out the traditional and popular Swissalpine this year despite COVID-19 restrictions.
“With creative approach, courage, flexibility, but also the necessary caution, we want to offer a unique and memorable running experience despite the situation-related restrictions. We are aware that we will all experience a special Swissalpine and that we will have to do without many things that are otherwise taken for granted and often also attribute to an event. Moreover, we would like to offer athletes the opportunity to grade themselves on the Swissalpine trails and to return to normal. Since the COVID-19 guidelines and relaxation of restrictions are still being adjusted, we have to keep flexible about the other distances and make clarifications for the next few weeks.” explains Organisation Committee head, Andrea Tuffli.
The COVID-19 protection concept is salient
The federal council’s basic requirement for the Swissalpine is a protection concept to comply with the hygiene and distance rules. Swiss Runners – the association of the largest running events in Switzerland in collaboration with Swiss Athletics – has developed one for running events. The concept is based on the alignment of the COVID-19 protection goals, the tracking of possible infection chains, as well as the solidarity and personal responsibility of all participants. Logically, it has various effects on the 35th edition of the Swissalpine.
Block Starts over two days
The competition is reduced in size and spread over two days. The 68 km race will take place on Saturday, 25th July and the 43 km race on Sunday, 26th July. The other categories (23 km and 10 km) are still being clarified. In order to grant the officially-prescribed maximum number of people in the Davos sports stadium, the Start takes place in several blocks. When registering, each participant must note their approximate expected duration so that the starting blocks can be divided into strength classes. The Organisation Committee assumes that the national borders within the entire Schengen area will be open again by the time the Swissalpine is held, and runners from all these nations can start in Davos.
Swissalpine – pioneer work after running event cancellations
“Switzerland, Graubünden and Davos have been doing pioneering work in the fight against COVID-19 for the past few weeks. The Swissalpine stands for a new start and departure for the running events,” says Tuffli. Because the Swissalpine will probably be the first significant mountain run this year at the end of July, there will be a great demand for starting places (details on the homepage: www.swissalpine.ch) and media interest. The 68 km race, the new prestige run of the Swissalpine, is likely to become famous from the beginning. It heads over four passes, the panorama trail and through eight valleys with Start and Finish in Davos. On the 67.6 kilometers, there are 2606 vertical metres of altitude to overcome.
Editor’s Note: Be safe as we continue to navigate the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to follow the recommendations and updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including proper hygiene practices. Also consider reading iRunFar’s COVID-19: A Trail Running and Ultrarunning Community Guide.