LOGAN – Organizers of the Logan City – Top of Utah Marathon scheduled for September 19, 2020, have added new health and safety guidelines to keep participants safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Logan Downtown Alliance planned the event using the newest Utah public health and safety guidelines they hope will ease safety concerns.
“We are using the State Health Department rules to organize the marathon this year,” said Gary Saxton, the director of the Logan Downtown Alliance. ”As the marathon gets closer, someone from our committee will be meeting with someone at the Bear River Health Department looking for their guidance.”
Organizers have designed a new method for starting the race to ensure proper spacing. Participants will be staged and organized into three physically spaced running chutes, starting groups of three runners every 5 seconds. Each runner’s time or clock will begin when his or her group clock will begin when his or her group starts.
Support and hydration stations will also take on a new look, with single serving hydration and nutrition packets. Restrooms will be sanitized after each use and medical assistance provided by Logan Regional Hospital-trained staff.
“We have 160 that have already registered for this year’s Top of Utah Marathon,” Saxton said. ”The marathon will be limited to 200 runners this year, but we will also have the 20K, 10K, and 5K limited to 100 runners respectively to better manage the health and safety of runners and spectators.”
The Downtown Alliance hopes this new racing format will catch on and they can use it for years to come.
“Originally, there was going to be a festival with food vendors and music, but it had to be scaled down this year due to the pandemic,” Saxton explained. ”We won’t have live music this year and the food vendors will have to distribute their food in prepackaged containers.”
He said they are working on a list of vendors and are also trying to a get a good collection of products for participants and distribute them in a safe and organized manner.
“Outdoor recreation is still a viable option for people in the community and we want to have an event that will get people outside,” he said. “We will try this new format and we believe the runners and residents will find it enjoyable.”
The Top of Utah Marathon was sold to the Logan Downtown Alliance in 2019, is one of the Beehive State’s oldest marathons, and in 2019 a new course was introduced, which didn’t require participants to be transported to the starting line by bus. It allows runners to arrive and park near the start/finish line in Historic Downtown Logan.