Eldoret City marathon banner on Thursday 6, May 2021. The Marathon will take place on 6th June 2021. [Christopher Kipsang, The Standard]

With ten days to go, organisers of the third edition of the Eldoret City Marathon have released over 40 COVID-19 guidelines for the race.

The guidelines issued by the Uasin Gishu County’s health department will be followed during preparations and the day of the June 6 event.

Uasin Gishu County is the event’s main sponsor and The Standard Group PLC is a media partner.

Among the rules issued by the county’s executive in charge of health, Evelyne Rotich, are the prohibition of handshakes and hugs to celebrate victories during and after the marathon.

Officials, media personnel and staff working at the finish line and along the course during the event will take COVID-19 tests, according to the proposed containment measures.

The county said there will be no exchange and sharing of uniforms among participants and race officials.

Rotich said event organisers should gather teams in one place prior to and until the end of the race.

“The organizers will keep records and contact information of all the athletes, athlete support personnel and any other person for ease of contact tracing,” the guidelines read in part.

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) was asked to ensure that any suspected cases of COVID-19 be processed in line with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The guidelines also indicate that athlete support personnel with pre-existing conditions should not be allowed into the event.

“All venue operators should ensure safe environments, carry out regular cleaning and disinfection of venues, associated fixtures and equipment,” the regulations say.

“No press conference will be allowed except flash interviews for athletes. Such interviews will be conducted respecting the social distance of 1.5 meters and more.”

Uasin Gishu County Executive Committee for Health Evelyn Rotich receives COVID-19 vaccination during the launch of the vaccine in Eldoret in March 2021. [Peter Ochieng, The Standard]

Body temperature checks, the rules say, will be conducted on all persons at the time of entry to the venue and anyone with a body temperature reading above 37.5 Degrees Celsius will not be allowed into the race finish line.

Further, the guidelines recommend the prohibition of award ceremonies, which usually take place immediately after races.

“In case awards should be presented, the relevant ceremonies are conducted with full respect to the social distancing rules, avoiding any unnecessary contact and with the presence of the absolute minimum number of persons,” the health department proposed.

After the race, athletes who have finished the marathon and have rested for at least three minutes (to bring their heart rates back to normal), should be given face masks.

“Changing rooms’ accessibility is restricted to promote social distancing. During the Race, athletes are advised to keep as much distance as possible,” the rules say.

Athletes compete in 42KM women race during the 2nd edition of the Eldoret City Marathon in Uasin Ngishu County on April 21, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

UTILITY

Other selected Covid-19 guidelines

  1. Booking should be done in advance, online or over the phone.
  2. Availability of handwashing facilities, alcohol-based sanitizers and thermoguns
  3. Isolation and medical rooms to be availed
  4. Signage at every entrance and strategic locations to remind all persons of COVID-19 measures
  5. Signage about COVID-19 should be clearly displayed at the venue and water designation collection points, junctions
  6. Designated places for PWDs and other vulnerable groups must be clearly set
  7. COVID-19 testing will not be required for athletes.
  8. Social distancing to be enforced at the start line
  9. Participants to wear masks up until the moment they start the race

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