Announcement from USA Track & Field (USATF). Our executive director Nancy Hobbs is chair of the USATF Mountain/Ultra/Trail (MUT) Council.
[Editor’s Note: the USATF Event Hosting Guidelines will apply to mountain, ultra or trail running races that have USATF sanctions including the USATF 50 km Trail Championships (Ragged 50K), USATF Mountain Running Championships (Gnar Gnar), USATF Half Marathon Trail Championships (Birkie Trail Running Festival), USATF Trail Marathon Championships (Moab Trail Marathon) and USATF 100 Mile Trail Championships (Brazos Bend 100).]
USATF’s Working Group of medical, scientific, and industry experts created the Guidance based on regular updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and other U.S. professional sports leagues. The information includes guidance and recommendations from the Working Group on health, wellness, and safety matters, and information from USATF staff and sport leadership on competitive logistical matters. The health, safety and welfare of all USATF athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff leads all decision-making.
This Guidance sets as primary consideration the rules and regulations set forth by public health authorities and state and local governments, which are different across the country. The secondary consideration should be the specific recommendations set forth in these documents. In either case (State/Local or USATF), whichever regulations are more restrictive should be the guidance that is followed. This also does not prevent associations, local clubs, and events from adopting even more strict or more conservative approaches than those mandated by local public health authorities or recommended by the USATF Guidance.
Set in five phases, both the return to practice and event hosting guidance range from shelter-in-place guidelines to recommendations for when a vaccine or cure is found for COVID-19. In all phases, USATF stresses personal hygiene and social distancing. Until a vaccine is developed, long-term immunity can be confirmed, or a cure is found, there is no way of completely eliminating the risk of fatal infection. This should always be in the forefront when considering return to training or event hosting decisions.
As more information is discovered about COVID-19, the guidance will be amended accordingly. Athletes and coaches are encouraged to visit usatf.org/covid19 regularly for updates.