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SOMMER SPORTS RETURN TO RACING

SOMMER SPORTS RETURN TO RACING 

The journey continues as we, and other events in Florida, begin to take place. As we move forward during these unprecedented times, the same creativity, ingenuity, and passion that has shaped Sommer Sports events in the past, will help shape our events in the future. Because the health, safety and well-being of the community, athletes, staff, and volunteers, is central to everything we stand for, we take racing during COVID-19 very seriously. We are taking every precaution we can to provide a safe environment for you to race in. We would not do it if we did not think we could pull it off effectively.

We are aware that the COVID-19 situation is continuing to evolve. Should guidance change and the live event not be allowed to take place as planned, we are ready to make necessary changes to abide by the revised guidelines, including rescheduling or cancelling the impacted event if needed. All our live events will be conducted within guidelines established by City of Clermont, Lake County, State of Florida, CDC, USA Triathlon, and USAT Track & Field.

As we return to racing, your race day may look a little different than in the past. Here are key things you need to know about returning to racing, and what we are doing to keep you safe. 

1) Expect Changes

While we would love to jump right back in and produce events the way they were run pre COVID-19, we need to be honest with ourselves, that is not going to happen for quite some time.   With the goal of eliminating as many touch points as possible, and maintaining social distancing throughout the event, here are a few of the changes you will notice:
•    Staff & volunteers will wear face masks whenever possible
•    No mass starts, triathlons will use a time trial start within each swim wave, with one athlete starting every 3-5 seconds. The 5K run will have corral starts of 25 runners or less every two minutes
•    Extended hours for packet pick-up with separate locations on race day for the 5K run and the triathlon-duathlon
•    The race venue plan has been redesigned to maximize spacing
•    No sponsor/vendor/club tents while we are still in phase 2 of the reopening
•    No onsite registration or changes. All new registrations and change requests must be completed online by midnight Thursday, June 25
•    Most touch points have been minimized
o    No body marking, however, athletes may body mark themselves
o    Only 3 bikes per rack versus 6-8
o    Food tent and beer garden have been eliminated. Athletes will receive a snack bag after finishing and will receive a coupon for a free beer from our partner, Suncreek Brewery.
o    No posted or displayed results onsite, however athletes can easily access live results via their phone
o    No onsite awards ceremony, awards can be claimed following the race from 10:30am – 12:30pm at Suncreek Brewery. Our awards banner and podium will be set-up for photo ops
o    Support stations will be mostly self-serve with water in sealed bottles
o    Multisport athletes will remove their own timing chip unassisted by volunteers
•    Additional hand cleaning stations at key locations
•    Free face masks available to all at our Safety Tent near the finish line.

Please review the Athlete Guide for more detailed information on race day logistics.

2) Not Everyone Should Race Live

We are encouraging anyone who is in a high-risk category to please, please stay home and complete the race virtually. That means if you:
•    Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
•    Have serious heart conditions.
•    Are immunocompromised.
•    Have severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
•    Have diabetes
•    Are a medical professional who has been in contact with COVID-19 patients
•    Traveled internationally or outside of state in the last 14 days
•    Have had close contact in the last 14 days with someone with a diagnosis of COVID-19
•    Have flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever (100.0F or greater), shortness of breath, recent loss of smell, etc.)

You should not tempt fate and we encourage you to stay home and switch to the virtual race option.

3) This Is Not the ‘New Normal’

We do not expect things to stay this way forever and over time we will return to racing as you have known it. Going forward changes will be made based on our experiences from previous races, feedback garnered, and local requirements. As the state reopens and we move into phase 3, we should be able to gradually reintroduce many of the event amenities that were sidelined due to COVID-19.  

4) The Race is Open

As of this writing on Thursday, June 18, everything is on track for a live event on June 27.  As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are in constant communications with city and county officials to make sure we are kept abreast of any changes that could be forthcoming to impact our event. Nothing is 100% certain in this COVID environment, and we are ready to make changes should guidance or conditions change, including rescheduling or cancelling the impacted event if needed.

 5) Your Safety Is—Always Has Been, Always Will Be—Our #1 Priority

Your health and safety have always come first for us, and that will never change. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we are staying on top of health protocols and following all established guidelines for gatherings.  We are continuously reviewing our plans and revising them when necessary. We will spare no precaution to make racing a Sommer Sports event safe and fun! 

As with any challenging time, this situation will eventually end! We are all in this together, and together we are strong!

We will continue to keep you updated as race day approaches.

Fred Sommer,
Race Director

…Along with the entire Sommer Sports Team


 

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