Following a successful race in the United States — Jacksonville, more specifically — Spartan hosted its first European event since suspending its season for nearly three months. Spartan implemented aggressive operating procedures to maximize the safety of racers, staff, and volunteers. The two-day race — featuring Beast and Sprint Distances — was held this past weekend in Orfu, Hungary.
“Following the successful execution of our new event protocol in Florida, we were ready to safely bring the race to our Spartan community in Europe,” said Spartan Vice President of Production Mike Morris. “While Hungary has a low number of COVID-19 cases and very few guidelines for events of this type, we followed our new safety standards. These new standards were the result of meticulous efforts to create a safe race environment, in which we consulted medical and safety experts and government officials to reimagine the entire experience — from parking and registration to the start line, finish line, and every touchpoint in-between.
"Implementing these new aggressive safety measures — which emphasize the importance of social distancing, cleaning, and sanitization to prevent the spread of illness — is another step forward in bringing back Spartan and endurance events across the world. Our racers were excited to get back on the course and had a lot of fun while respecting our rules.”
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50 Racers Every 5 Minutes
Spartan’s safety protocol required the intentional reduction of the event capacity by more than 60 percent of a once-typical European Spartan event, as racers per hour dropped from the usual 1,000 to 600 or less. While the total number of racers reached 4,000 adults throughout the two-day event, heat sizes were drastically reduced to 50 racers departing every five minutes to allow for ample social distancing. In addition, nearly 50 percent of the course was expanded to 10 feet wide in areas with more concurrent racers.
No On-Site Registration, Temperature Checks, and Face Coverings
On-site registration was eliminated to minimize customer touchpoints, and before entering, participants received contactless temperature checks. No racers registered 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which would have prevented them from entering the event.
Throughout the venue, all event staff and volunteers wore face coverings throughout the entirety of the event. Racers were respectful throughout the weekend, honoring Spartan’s request to do the same off the course and in the presence of others. Racers were not permitted to enter the venue more than 45 minutes prior to their start time, and had to exit within 30 minutes of their finish, to reduce lingering and the number of people on-site.
Additional cleaning and sanitization of customer touchpoints took place throughout the race course and event areas.
'There Is a Safe Way for Endurance Sports to Return'
“We’re proud of our team and partners in Central Europe for their tireless efforts in making much needed progress for Spartan and the world’s endurance sports industry,” said Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena. “Our community stepped up to take on the race with these new strict rules and guidelines, and we’re thankful for their understanding and support. It’s clear that there is a safe way for endurance sports to return.”