In a major milestone for New York City, NYCRUNS hosted the first in-person road race since the city shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Lousy T-Shirt Race” took place on August 28 in Prospect Park, and used a new health and safety model to prevent virus transmission.
The race totaled 3.3 miles, starting and finishing adjacent to Bartel-Pritchard Square.
The event was the culmination of months of planning by NYCRUNS, including research and the development of COVID-19 protocols that reflected the best information currently available in order to produce events safely and responsibly.
Specifically, NYCRUNS developed the DASH To The Start protocol. DASH, an acronym for Density Reduction, Athlete Communication, Self-Reliance, and Hygiene, was a simple framework of safety steps taken by NYCRUNS – as well as its employees, vendors, and athletes – in conjunction with city partners to safely complete the race together.
DASH measures included separating and “corralling” runners into staggered groups scheduled at intervals within a 90-minute window, requiring runners to wear masks or face coverings throughout the event (including while running), and employing medical professionals to take and record temperatures before runners’ entry to the race site. NYCRUNS also barred guests and onlookers from the event.
“Finally runners were once again able to join together safely to enjoy a race in New York City,” said NYCRUNS Founder and Race Director Steve Lastoe. “We are proud to have hosted the city’s first road race since the pandemic began — and that we were able to develop protocols that allowed runners to participate safely.
“Hopefully events like this help lift New York and make New Yorkers feel a little more normal during this difficult time,” he continued.
The race was named the “Lousy T-Shirt Race” to reflect NYCRUNS’ no-frills, bare-bones approach that reduced the chance of virus transmission. “All you get is to enjoy running in a race and a ‘lousy t-shirt’!” NYRUNS wrote.