COVID -19 Impacts & Procedures

Trails & No Ales: COVID – 19 Event Impacts and Procedures

As we navigate our ever-changing world, our mission to inspire you to live an active lifestyle remains. Now, more than ever, the Sports Backers team wants to keep you moving, but only in a way that keeps our participants, volunteers, staff and communities safe and healthy. Our team has been working hard to revise our event plans to meet the current social distancing requirements so that we can get back to celebrating your active lifestyles through our events in the safest way possible.

With individual’s safety and transmission mitigation in mind, we have been working on new event modifications and procedures that will allow us to safely operate Trails & No Ales. These policies and procedures are based on current recommendations for COVID-19 safety protocols and are subject to change at any time.


What Sports Backers staff will be doing:

  • All staff and volunteers will be required to wear a mask while on the event premise at all times
  • Cleaning and sanitizing high-traffic areas at the start/finish area and on the course at regular intervals.
  • Reducing communal surfaces that encourage group or repeat usage
  • Hand sanitizer available for usage throughout the event including at the start and finish area and at water stops.
  • Post-race food available will be pre-portioned and packaged for each participant


Trails & No Ales Event Changes:

  • Trails & No Ales will be held at Forest Hill Park: 4021 Forest Hill Avenue Richmond, VA 23225
  • The event will have a 500-participant limit and will be strictly enforced.
  • We will not be offering a beer festival at the finish line of 2020 Trails & No Ales.
  • Both the 5k and the 10k races will utilize the same start line. We will have a socially distance start corral set up to keep runners that are about to start separate from each other while waiting.
  • The 5k and 10k races will each have their own separate finish lines to minimize participant contact and mitigate large group gatherings.
  • The 10k race will start at 7:30am and the 5k race will start at 9am. For both races we will start small groups of 6 runners at 1-minute intervals, or at the discretion of the start line staff, until all runners have entered the course.
  • All participants are required to bring their own personal hydration system to use during the race. We will have touchless bottle filling stations at the start/finish area and minimal water stops along the course so that bottles can be refilled, but these will be self-served.
  • Water stops will be located on Belle Isle for the 10k distance and in Forest Hill Park for the 5k distance. You will be able to self-serve to refill your water bottle or hydration pack using a touchless cooler. These stops will be cup-less.
  • There will be no tents, tables or chairs at the finish line to reduce group congregation and staff will regularly be asking participants to head back to their cars upon finishing.
  • Post-race food will be pre-packaged together in the finish area and you can pick up your package after finishing the race.
  • Anywhere that lines could form, we will have distance markers to denote where participants should stand.
  • Due to the current number cap on persons gathering in one location, we are encouraging all spectators to spread out along the course rather than congregating at the start/finish area.
  • All spectators are required to wear a mask when at the start/finish are or when spread along the course.


Social Distancing Procedures at Trails & No Ales:

  • Participants will be required to wear a mask when not racing. Masks are required in the start area, in start corrals and again in the finish area. All runners are encouraged to wear their masks through the start line and take it off once you are clear of the star area. Participants are encouraged but not required to wear a mask while racing on the course.
  • We will offer race day packet pick up at Forest Hill Park. 10k packet pick up will be held from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. 5k packet pick up will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Start times will be organized and assigned based on your anticipated per mile trail pace that you enter when registering. We will organize small groups to start together based on similar anticipated paces.
  • Within each time block, we will be starting groups of 5 participants every 2 minutes.
  • We will have the start line and corral area set up in a socially distant manner with markings on the ground denoting where participants should stand.
  • Participants should remain in their cars away from the start/finish area until 15 minutes before your assigned start time block and remain socially distant when not in the start corral.
  • Once you arrive at the start corral, you will load into the corral and find an open marked space to stand and wait. You will be given instructions on when to move forward towards the start line.
  • Only those participants with the immediately upcoming assigned start time will be allowed in the corral.
  • All runners will be encouraged to carry a water bottle or wear a hydration pack during the race. We will have touchless bottle filling stations at the start and along the course, but these will be cup-less so if you would like to have hydration along the course, you will need to carry it with you.
  • If passing any participant on the course, please allow 6ft between you and the other participant or pedestrian. If 6ft is not available to you, please wait until you can pass safely.
  • At the finish area, participants who have already finished will not be permitted to stand near the finish line to wait for participants still on the course. If waiting for another runner at the finish area, please make sure to allow for 6ft between you anyone else that is waiting or consider waiting outside the finish area.
  • There will be a limited number of porta-johns available for use at the start/finish area and along the course. We encourage you to use the restroom prior to arriving onsite at the event. Hand sanitizer will be available for use before and after entering the restroom.

Please note:

Per CDC guidelines the following groups are considered to be at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. If any of these apply to you, we ask that you take the increased risk into consideration before registering:

Our policies and procedures will continue to be updated as we learn more about COVID-19 and how to keep our participants, volunteers, staff, and communities safe and healthy. These procedures are subject to change at any time and we appreciate your flexibility as we enter a new phase of social distancing races.