COVID Race Policies

Water/HEED Issues During COVID-19 Times

New for 2020


Due to the COVID-19 virus, the races you have known for the past decades will be different in 2020 and perhaps beyond.  Below are the changes to how fluids and fuel will be made available to you on race day.

 For this event to occur and to keep racers, volunteers, authorities and the public safe, we are required to abide by the procedural changes formulated by RRCA, USAT, WTC, WHO, CDC, IDPH, IDNR and the Governor of Illinois.

The most prominent changes are the push to Racer Self Reliance, the reduction of volunteers, the elimination of pre-poured cups of water, revised access to fuel/food and the reduction of overall contact between persons.

These changes will make this year’s races different from previous year’s in regards to your race times, your efforts and your experience.

Please take a moment to appreciate the incredible efforts that have taken place by your Race Team leading up to Race day and especially on race day to make this event happen for you in 2020.

For these additional efforts, we ask you to practice being Self Reliant, Be Patient with everyone as they do their best to make this an exceptional experience for each of you and Do Not Litter on course.  Be aware that littering includes dropping any piece of refuse anywhere on course.

Littering has always been a time penalty under RRCA rules, yet many racers continue to drop bottles & wrappers on the course.  Being good stewards of our race venues, the race teams picked it up.  However, this can no longer occur; with current COVID concerns, no one should be responsible to pick up a racer’s trash except the racer.

We will now aggressively enforce this No Littering rule. All volunteers and race officials will be observing participants and Bib numbers will be recorded when racers are seen littering.  A 2-minute time penalty is given out for a 1st offense and this time will be added to the offender’s Overall time.  A 2nd offense will result in Disqualification.

This is necessary – not punitive; would you willingly pick up anybody else’s (bodily fluid-laden) trash in these times?  Please don’t expect a volunteer to do this for you.

Providing your own water bottle(s) will support efforts to reduce trash and also limit your contact with water stops & volunteers.

Orange Coolers of Water will be available at the Start to Fill Your Water Bottles on race day.

Green Coolers full of Hammer HEED, an electrolyte drink, will also be at Start to Fill Your Water Bottles.

Hammer single serve electrolyte FIZZ tabs for dropping in your water will be available in racer packets and throughout the venue pre-race – please look for them.


The water stops on the Run reflect the biggest changes from previous years.

Per RRCA/USAT/WTC there will NO pre-poured cups of water.

In the past, a 9 oz. cup with approx. 5 oz. of water per cup would be offered.  Racers would take it, drink it and/or pour it over themselves and drop the cup in a trashcan near the station.

New guidelines state we cannot offer pre-poured cups of water.  Therefore, we will have chilled 16 oz. bottles at the stops.  This is 3X more water than you would normally grab – please plan for this by continuing to carry the bottle in hand (or with a camelback or hand held strapped carrier) and enjoy this extra water for drinking and cooling relief – please DO NOT SIP and DROP.  300 racers doing that at each stop wastes the water in the bottle, creates way too much plastic trash and causes trip hazards.  Most importantly, this practice exposes others to your bodily fluids directly or indirectly.

My Friends, you’ll need to get used to carrying your own liquid fuel while racing.  Per RRCA/USAT/WTC, this is the way of the future – to carry all your own fuel, whether liquid or solid.  The governing bodies have suggested that NO volunteers be available at the water stops.

We do not agree with the “no volunteers at water stops” for safety reasons, but DO agree with the fluids and fuel guidelines for racers to be as self-sufficient as possible for their race distance.

As mentioned, new for 2020 is the set up at the water stops.

Our Sponsor, Hammer Nutrition, does not offer single serve HEED bottles, but does offer HEED Jugs for the water stops.  Therefore, HEED will be the only liquid offered in pre-poured cups.  These will all be pre-poured by 1 volunteer per stop dedicated specifically to pour/provide fuel/gels and ice, only.

This 1 dedicated volunteer per stop will also fill small cups with chips, pretzels and bananas for the Half racers. Again, do not expect or require a Volunteer to pick up your used water bottles, caps or fuel litter – discard trash in trashcans located on the course.



Please understand that we are following CDC, WHO, RRCA and Local guidelines and doing our best under these most demanding circumstances to offer this incredible Trail Running Experience to you. We cannot keep everyone safe without your help and Self Reliance. That said, it will be a different experience than previous years. 

 With over 10 years as a Certified RRCA Race Director and hosting running events, there was never a contingency plan or discussion presented that covered How to Run in a Pandemic.  Be patient with us and know that EVERY decision made is to keep ALL parties safe while providing not just a Run but an Experience in 2020. We are trying Harder and Smarter in order to make this Run available to you.

After you’ve raced, if you have suggestions or knowledge of ways to make this event run smoother given the current pandemic conditions, we would gladly welcome you to join the Tri Smarter race team that is making this event possible.