By Alyssa Schnugg
With the Double Decker Arts Festival canceled for 2021, the annual Spring run will continue in April but with a few tweaks, including a new name and a new route.
The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce will be holding the first annual Red and Blue Race to the Square on April 24 that will feature a 10K run, a 4-mile race and a Kids Fun Run.
The event is being sponsored by North East SPARC.
The races will begin at the Malco Commons Theater and runners will head toward the Square and then return to the theater.
“We wanted to host the event at a starting location with ample parking available for our runners,” said Pam Swain, Chamber senior vice president and race director. “We also wanted the location to be convenient to hotels, to encourage runners to come to Oxford for the weekend and enjoy other activities going on that weekend, such as the Grove Bowl, and the LSU/Ole Miss baseball series.”
The cost to register for the 10K race is $35 before April 15, $40 after April 14 and $50 on race day. The race begins at 7:30 a.m. With a 20-minute window to start.
View the route here.
The 4 Miler race is $30 to register before April 35, $35 before April 15 and $45 on race day. That race begins at 8 a.m. With a 20-minute window to start. View the route here.
The Kids Fun Run is $15 to register and will start at 9:30 a.m.
Everyone is encouraged to wear red and blue on race day.
Swain said the Chamber decided to move forward with the races after looking at ways to make it safe for the participants.
“We talked with other locations who had safely held races during the pandemic, and we also talked with our race management team to ensure they would implement the proper protocols for the safety of our community,” she said. “We feel like staying active is so important right now, so we wanted to create an event that brought our community back together after such a challenging year in 2020. It will be a great event where runners can participate within their small family or friends unit and still feel safe.”
To help provide a safe event there will several protocols in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- No in-person registration will be allowed. Participants will only have the ability to register online prior to arriving on the race site.
- Event capacity will be 1,000 registered participants.
- Starting “ windows” of 20 minutes for each race instead of one single shotgun start.
- All event staff/volunteers are required to wear masks.
- Spectators will be discouraged unless accompanying a minor.
- Each participant is required to wear a face mask at the venue area.
- Face masks will be provided by the management team to anyone not wearing a mask.
- Handshaking, fist bumps, and hugging are highly discouraged.
- All participants/staff/volunteers are reminded to use respiratory etiquette including covering up to cough and sneezing.
- Everyone in attendance is asked to maintain a 6-feet social distance at all times while at the event.
- Participants must wear a mask until they cross the start line.
- Participants will receive the COVID-19 symptom screening by email during race week.
- Once you have entered the start area you may begin your race at your leisure. Once you cross the start line your race has begun and you must continue to the finish line. You cannot start over.
- Event shirts will have an option to be mailed in an effort to eliminate touchpoints at the finish line.
- If you did not choose to receive your T-shirt in the mail, your T-shirt will be available in the finish area prior to exiting your vehicles.
- No gathering post-race.
- Food will be distributed in a bag with all snacks and refreshments included.
- Results will be emailed immediately upon crossing the finish line to all participants. There will not be any on-site results or awards presentation. Runners stop by the awards tent post-race to pick up awards if they qualify.
- Participants must bring their own water bottles. Traditional water stops will now be refill stations for runners to refill their own bottles. No cups will be provided.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. Anyone interested in investing in the race should contact Swain by March 30 at firstname.lastname@example.org. All sponsors must be active members of the Chamber to participate in investment levels.
To register for any of the races, click here.