US Trail Running Conference Debut Webinar A Success

The first webinar in a nine-webinar series introduced by the US Trail Running Conference was hosted on Thursday January 21. The content focused on and explored the future of safe trail races during the COVID pandemic. Active at Altitude, organizers of the US Trail Running Conference and the webinar series, reported that participation for the first webinar exceeded expectations.

Nearly 70 participants registered, with a live attendance rate of 72 percent. Race Directors, organizers and trail runners from 25 states, as well as Canada, Peru, Macedonia, and The Azores were represented among the attendees. Race Directors attending represented 128,000 trail running event participants.

Speakers during the first webinar included Tracy Høeg, MD, PhD (pictured below), a Sports Medicine physician, with a PhD in Epidemiology, and Associate Researcher at UC Davis, and Andy Pasternak, Western States 100 medical team, MD, MPH. Høeg covered the exposure and risks outdoors for races, the efficacy of masks, what other races have been doing during the pandemic, the implications of a Belgian-Dutch study, protocols, benefits, guidelines, and her personal research. Pasternak covered updates on the current status of vaccine rollout in the US, a comparison of available vaccines, vaccine distribution, and criteria for returning to racing.


The webinar was completed by information on an innovative new format for safe trail races, Open Course racing, delivered by Greg Lanctot from ATRA member Pacific Coast Trail Runs, and Adam Stepanovic from PWRLab.

Each webinar is presented by industry leaders in their respective fields, and offers information that can boost a race director’s knowledge and afford insight into innovative practices to implement at their events. Every participant receives a toolkit document after each webinar that details key actionable items, while there will be an opportunity to follow up on deliverables through an online forum, and in-person or remotely at the 2021 US Trail Running Conference to be held October 27-30, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Here’s what participants have been saying about the first webinar:

Brilliant! So much good, relevant, useful information. Great to be connected. Keeps the hungry minds at the conference happy and moving forward with fantastic input and resources. So much gratitude, well done! – Susan Kendrick, Birkie Trail Run Festival

I just wanted to say thank you for hosting Thursday’s webinar about races and COVID safety. I really appreciated it, and think this is probably the most important topic in trail running right now. I’m really happy to see the race director community come together to discuss COVID and our industry, as this discussion has been a little lacking it seems, or perhaps just fragmented. I also appreciate having a way to view the webinar again, as I had to leave for work before it was over. – Kristy Falcon, Run Through Time

Really nice job today – the content was really good. – Andy Pasternak, Speaker

The second in the webinar series is scheduled for February 25, at 11.00 am MST, presented by ATRA member Salomon Running and the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC), and is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion with a spotlight on Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). Details on speakers for this session will be released soon. Race directors, event organizers and anyone interested in attending can register for the session as a stand-alone, or for the complete series at a discounted rate. The recording of the first webinar session will also be available for anyone that registers for the complete series.

For details on the webinar series and to register, go to

Contact Event Director, Terry Chiplin for further information,

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