Allegheny Trailrunners COVID-19 MITIGATION PLAN

Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, Allegheny Trailrunners will implement the following additional safety protocols during all events. In addition, we shall follow PA Dept. of Health, Centers of Disease Control and World Health Organization Guidelines and restrictions for the number of people involved depending upon the yellow or green status of the appropriate county (Blair and Bedford County). Currently, large gatherings of more than 250 are prohibited.


  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). 
  • Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time. 
  • Prolonged period refers to a time period of 15 or more minutes, which aligns with the time period used in the guidance for community exposures and contact tracing.

The following is the guidance we are following for Rock ‘N The Knob Trail Challenge. Items that we ask for from our participants are in red italics.


  • Capping the registration numbers on participants, staff and volunteers to under 250 per PA Dept. of Health Guidance
  • We have included a special COVID-19 guidance to our waiver asking participants to abide by the CDC and PA Dept. of Health recommendation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also agree to abide by any COVID-19 distancing and other safety guidelines issued by the state, the community or by this race for participation in the race.
  • Informing organization members, participants, hosts, volunteers and all parties associated with the race with the current CDC and PA Dept. of Health guidance including:
    • Practice social distancing and maintain a distance of 6 feet
    • Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth in public settings like like bib pickup, porta potty line, etc. 
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
    • All activities from check-in, event, post-race, etc. are entirely outdoors 
    • Volunteers and staff will be required to read and sign that they have read and understand the guidance we are implementing for the race. 
  • We are requesting self-policing by participants and volunteers. You should NOT attend the event if:
    • have a fever of ≥100F on the day of the event
    • have had any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Such as a new continuous cough, fever, change/loss of taste/smell.
    • have been in contact with anyone who is sick (symptomatic) in the past 14 days.
    • have travelled within the past 14 days to any location with widespread ongoing local COVID-19 transmission.
  • All event staff and volunteers must attend a training session/briefing on the new COVID-19 protocol and how this impacts the event generally, and how it changes their specific role at the event.

Furthermore, the following precautions specific to our event will be observed:


  • Participants will practice social distancing and wear an appropriate face coverings
  • Three events will be staggered at least 1 hour apart to minimize the number of participants checking-in (and finishing the events) at one time
  • Increasing check-in times to prevent crowding and streamlining the process to require less staff. Past data shows that participants are naturally spread out over those hours. That would give an average of 33 people per 30 minutes during this time. Participants will follow the designated one way entry and exit to the bib pick up location. They will be advised to maintain the 6 feet of physical distancing
  • Screen participants at check-in. (i.e. “Are you sick or have been exposed by someone who is?” etc.)
  • Portalet numbers increased (doubled), positioned at least 6 feet apart and away from other facilities. Distancing in portalet and bathroom queue, hand sanitizer for each portalet and bathroom. Checking each one for supplies and sanitizing with disinfectant frequently


  • The start line area has more than 12,500 sq ft of standing area. Maintaining a distance of 6 sq ft per person means the area has the capacity to hold 2000 persons while maintaining proper physical distancing measures.
  • Participants will be allowed to congregate at the starting line 5 minutes prior to the starting time. This will allow us to stay below the CDC recommended prolonged period of time.
  • Participants must carry a face covering with them the entire race. 
  • Participants maintain social distancing while active. Keep at least a distance of 6 feet from other participants during the progress of the event
  • Spectators required to remain at least 20 feet away from aid stations and 6 feet away from other spectators. Past races, there have been fewer than a half dozen spectators throughout the event


Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.
  • Aid stations operated with fewer staff and volunteers. Volunteers will wear a face coverings, gloves while in aid station area. Participants advised to wear a face covering at aid stations. 
  • Spread out all support stations within the aid station (including water and food points, medical station, and radio communications). Control flow with tape, signage, and assigned traffic controllers
  • No communal food, volunteers instructed to assure safe handling of food and provide a portable drinking cup for participants. Food will be served using single-use disposable food containers and utensils, so that multiple people are not handling items. Water will be dispensed by designated aid station volunteers using water pitchers to keep from participants cross contaminating the water coolers. Trash bags will be contact free receptacles.



  • Past data shows finishers are spread out over more than six hours starting at 10:50am. The average finishing rate is 30 participants per hour. Noon to 1pm is the heaviest finishing rate averaging 100 persons for the hour.
  • Expanding the post-event area to encourage social distancing. The finish line area has almost 80,000 sq ft of standing area. Maintaining a distance of 6 sq ft per person means the area has the capacity to hold 13,000 persons while maintaining proper physical distancing measures.
  • Requiring of face covering for participants when social distancing can not be maintained. 
  • No celebratory gestures like handshaking, hugging, etc. by officials, staff and volunteers toward participants
  • Finish line food and drinks will be served and handled by licensed catering staff and be required to wear masks and gloves while preparing food and serving. Participants should wear a face covering in line for food and drink. As in the past, food will be served using single-use disposable food containers, utensils, condiments so that multiple people are not handling the items. Trash bags will be contact free receptacles.
  • Medical responders (EMTs, paramedics, etc.) will be present in case of injuries, exhaustion, illness, etc. 

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