Town of Frisco to host Run the Rockies trail race Saturday with staggered starts |

Town of Frisco to host Run the Rockies trail race Saturday with staggered starts

A runner takes part in a previous edition of the Run the Rockies trail 10K and half-marathon in Frisco.
Photo from town of Frisco

FRISCO — For the first time since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, an officially sanctioned endurance-sport event will take place Saturday in Summit County without a virtual format.

The town of Frisco announced Tuesday, Aug. 4, that the annual Run the Rockies trail 10K and half-marathon will take place using staggered start times. For the 150 runners taking part in the sold-out event, a group of 10 will depart every 10 minutes from the start line at the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area. Per race rules approved by the Summit County Public Health Department, racers will be allowed into the start area no more than 10 minutes prior to their assigned start time, and athletes will be asked to distance themselves.

Family and friends will not be able to gather at the start and finish area or aid stations, racers will be asked to leave the finish area upon completing the race, and there will not be an awards ceremony.

In previous years, the town of Frisco has used mass starts for the Run the Rockies events. Thus far this summer, endurance sports events across the county, including the town of Frisco’s Solo Running Series, have used the popular Strava GPS-software application to rank the times of participants who run a pre-marked course on their own time.

“I personally have run in two races during COVID, and to see other race directors put on a race in what I viewed as a safe, responsible manner gave me confidence to know other people are doing this,” said Linsey Joyce, the town of Frisco’s recreation programs manager. 

Saturday’s course has been altered from previous years to eliminate two-way traffic on the Frisco Perimeter Trail, and racers will be required to wear a face covering at the start and finish lines as well as when they pass through aid stations. Racers also are being asked to carry their own hydration systems as there will be limited water on the racecourse. Aid station food will be prepackaged or pre-filled in single-use cups by race staff and volunteers.

Hand sanitizer will be available for racers to use at each aid station, and staff and volunteers will be cleaning and sanitizing high-touch surfaces frequently.

Participants lucky enough to get a spot this year — the event normally includes upward of 400 runners — are encouraged to pick up their race bib from the Frisco Nordic Center parking lot from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7.

Joyce said despite the format for Saturday’s event, the town of Frisco’s final Solo Running Series event of the summer Aug. 12 will remain with a virtual format. How Saturday’s race goes will influence whether other town races this summer or fall, namely the Run the Rockies Road Race on Sept. 19, can take place with a staggered-start format, she said.

“If everybody comes out of this event feeling we did a good job, and the permitting committees think we did a good job following protocol, keeping everyone safe, I’m hopeful we can host the Run the Rockies Road Race in September,” Joyce said. “For now, I’m happy to have one race. And if we can do a second one this fall with proper approval, I’m happy to do so.”

Other Virtual Races
  • Summit Mountain Challenge: In order for the community mountain bike race series to pivot from a Strava format to a staggered-start format, local COVID-19 regulations would need to permit group gatherings of 50 people, event director Jeff Westcott said.
  • Breckenridge Recreation Trail Running Series: Special Events Coordinator Vincent Hutton said the plan remains to host the Sept. 24-27 Oktoberfest 5K trail run in a virtual Strava format.

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