Running Events During Covid-19 - Episode 3: Maverick Race


On Saturday August 15th, Maverick Race restarted their 2020 season with their Adidas Terrex Original Event in Dorset, and we made the trip down to the Jurassic Coast to check it out. As organisers, Maverick are renowned for thriving race-day atmospheres and spectacular trails that show off the best of the British outdoors.

Despite the obvious changes and the extensive safety measures in place, Maverick succeeded in retaining their identity throughout the event and doing what they do best: offering some of the toughest, yet most exhilarating trail events in the country.

We spoke to Ben MacWilliam to find out more about Maverick’s return to racing.

Ben MacWilliam, Race Director


Q. What were your main concerns about hosting an event in the current global climate?

A:
"To be honest, the whole thing wasn’t too bad to organise - we had a fair amount of time before we knew we could return in which we took the opportunity to plan how we thought racing might look, once we were allowed to return.

Social distancing at the venue didn’t prove too much of a challenge, and the new venue layout with the start and finish in different locations actually worked quite well. I think the hardest part was always going to be once the runners left the venue and were out on the course - of course we have no sight of this!

On the whole, I don’t think there were too many issues and we didn’t have any reports of bottlenecks which could have posed a problem. In honesty, the nice thing is that runners made the day more successful by being so compliant to the measure we had put in place, which was a big help."

Q. What was the most complicated aspect of the race?

A: "
The most complicated aspect was actually just ensuring we retained our identity and the full Maverick experience, as it’s something which we’re really proud of consistently delivering.

The pre-race vibe definitely wasn’t quite there, but could never really be having switched out our 10am mass start for a 2 hour rolling start… The finish line was a little better, since we managed to get some of our regular partners in presence such as Trail Mix and Chulli Pizza… as well as Jimmy’s Iced Coffee.

That said, this is just the way it is at the moment, and I think enough people know what we normally do, so they were very understanding of the situation."

Q. How did your customers react to the race?

A: "
The response has been totally amazing! Really, since the start of lockdown our community has shown such loyalty to us and we’ve been really conscious that, although we couldn’t do any physical races, we wanted to support them as much as we could.

We’ve had a great time thinking of new ways to keep people engaged and ourselves busy, but we’re just so pleased to be back racing and hope it may continue!"

Q. Is there anything you’d change for next time?


A: "In all honesty, I don’t think there are any major changes we’d make at this point. Of course, as this was the first time there were a few things internally which we can slicken-up, but on the whole the processes worked well.

Our position on returning was always to be overly cautious so that we could always reign it in, but it felt about right at the weekend so we’re really happy."

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We had a great time at the race, and can’t wait to get back out on the trails with Maverick soon!

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