COVID-19 Guidelines

2020 COVID19 Walking Tall Race Guidelines.

The Spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting COVID19 pandemic has caused us to implement a plan so that everyone visiting for the race, everyone helping at the race, and everyone in McNairy County, TN is protected. The health of everyone involved is the reason we are developing these guidelines.

We politely but strongly ask that every runner and crew follow these guidelines exactly.  We all as an ultrarunning community have an opportunity to show the world that we can participate in our passion while protecting ourselves and others. These guidelines will cover all State of Tennessee guidelines and additional ones from us. (Walking Tall RD’s).

We ask anyone not willing to follow the guidelines to not come.

Additional guidelines and/or protocols may be added before race day.  We will communicate these via email and on our Facebook page.



Pre and Post Race – Tennessee Public Appearances

  • All visitors (visitors = runners, crew, runner family, volunteers, and friends) wear face coverings in public places in McNairy County, TN.

Packet Pickup

  • All visitors will have temperatures checked (runners with fever, will not be able to run. All with fevers will be encouraged to travel home).

  • All visitors wear face coverings at the pre-race meeting.

  • At packet pickup runners will not be allowed to pick up packets for other runners (Note this is a change in policy because of the temperature checks)

  • At packet pickup you will have an additional form to sign saying you are willing to abide by these rules.

Start Line

  • All visitors wear face covering at the start lines. (WT will provide face buffs in your packet)

  • Race will be divided into 50k and 25K starts that are 1 hour apart to allow for social distancing on the trail.

  • The starting line is a large area, please social distance while waiting for the gun to go off.

  • We ask the 25K runners to stay in their car as much as possible until the 50K runners have started the race.

Drop Bags

  • Drop bags for the 50K runners will placed in a box at the start line and transported to the halfway point without being touched.

  • In the past aid station workers have delivered drop bags to the runners as they came into the halfway aid station.  This year each runner will be responsible for handling his or her own bag.

On the Trail

  • All runners wear face coverings from the start until enough social distancing is established.

  • Runners should communicate when interacting on the trail. While runners are passing each other on the trail, they should communicate to maintain social distancing (step off trail) or can put on face coverings.

  • Put your face buff/covering on as you climb the tower.

Aid Stations

  • Runners that are filling bottles and eating food must sanitize hands before entering each AS. Hand sanitizer will be supplied.

  • Runners that do not need to fill bottles, eat food, or perform any other stop in the AS can just run through without having to sanitize hands. 

  • If you need to stop and take real time to fix problems you can do this before or after the AS boundaries.

  • All runners wear face covering in AS’s.

  • Aid station volunteers will be temperature checked the morning of the event.

  • Aid station volunteers will not touch your bottles, hydration packs, trash. Runners are not allowed to touch water/precision hydration dispensers.  A volunteer will dispense the liquid as you place the container below the spigot.

  • All AS food will be placed on the food table in self-serve paper containers.  Take the ones you want. Dispose of the container in the trash bag located at the edge of the AS. All paper containers will be recycled.

  • All volunteers will be adhering to special guidelines to protect themselves and runners (e.g. regular disinfecting of surfaces, social distancing, face coverings, etc.).

  • Aid Stations will be manned by already established social teams. North Mississippi Endurance, Journeymen, MIM, LHRL and the like.

Finish Line

  • All runners wear face covering after crossing the finish line so you can receive your finishing award(s).

  • All visitors to maintain social distancing. If you cannot, wear face coverings (the food line, when communicating with race personnel, etc.)  We will have tables spread out around the area, but if you can bring your canopy you can have your own private space to relax.  There is lots of space and the park has additional picnic tables behind the restrooms. Also, bring your camp chairs.

Notes on face coverings:

From the CDC: “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations.”   Click here for the CDC information on cloth face coverings.

Research studies have found that the primary method of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is most efficiently via mouth droplets.

Please bring a supply of face coverings. NOTE ON FACE COVERINGS:  buff/neck gaiter-like coverings would be ideal for runners during the race because when not being used, they can hang around necks or around wrists for easy access!  These do not need to be medical type coverings; cloth ones are recommended (like the buff types we all have many of and love!).

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