Socially distancing at the Big Flat Runway Racesed

Game faces on at the launch of the Big Flat Runway Races

The goal of this inaugural event was a return to racing in a safe and secure environment

Mission accomplished for the organisers of the inaugural Big Flat Runway Races on Sunday (4 October) after an inordinate amount of hard work and commitment to ensure it was a Covid-safe, enjoyable event for all. The vast expanse that is Elvington Airfield made it easy to socially distance and everyone turned up with their race number on ready to run. And ready to push themselves despite the headwind!

The fast, flat course was a PB chaser’s dream consisting of a 4.2km lap, run in a clockwise direction, that had been accurately measured. There were 5 races to choose from: 5K, 10K, 10 Miles, Half Marathon and Marathon and runners completed multiple laps to achieve their preferred distance.  

Runners gathered in the Assembly Zone before walking to the Start Zone where a marshal led them in groups of 8 to specially marked positions on a grid behind the start line. Using a time trial format they set off at 15 second intervals, remembering to keep right and count the laps as their legs turned over at this rare opportunity to be competitive. 

Results from these races can be found via the runABC North website. 

This event only took place thanks to the unstinting efforts shown by EvenSplits' Mark Hetherington, Lynn Taylor and Martin Browne along with their Race Day Crew and volunteers. 

Martin underlined this, saying: “The races on Sunday were the culmination of a phenomenal amount of work and York City Council lent their support as they too were keen for this to go ahead. We had to read and interpret a substantial number of guidelines to create a plan that felt like racing and a safe place to do so. The overwhelmingly positive feedback confirms this and shows that Covid-safe racing can be staged without losing too much of the race experience."

Image courtesy of Lindsay Trelford

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