How to Build Participant Confidence for In-Person Events After COVID


It’s nearly April and endurance racing events are already happening around the country. The data shows a strong desire to return to racing, even with some concern around safety at events. 

MultiSport Research’s January study had some encouraging metrics about the state of racing in 2021.

83% of respondents expect to race this year and 68% of those plan to race by spring/summer. As the weather warms and spring approaches, how can you build participant confidence for in-person events this season?

In this blog, we’re going to focus on 3 major pillars of opportunity to build participant confidence in the safety of your in-person event: communication, safety, and organization.


With rules and regulations surrounding individual safety in public places changing regularly, open and frequent communication is invaluable. Use your website, social media channels, and any other means of communication available to share how your event is planning to meet and exceed all the CDC recommendations and local regulations for COVID-19 safety. Also send regular updates about any changes that may occur to your event plans before race day.

Staying on top of communicating with your participants regularly will ensure racers feel confident their safety is a top priority and you’re also less likely to get questions which allows you more time to focus on event planning and promotion.


Safety is a huge priority and if an event cannot be done safely and economically, it is better to cancel, postpone, or pivot to a virtual experience if possible. All local COVID regulations should be understood and followed for any event. Last year we spoke to a local race director about how COVID-19 affected his events and he provided this great outline of what a safe event may look like:

  • Advance packet pickups – strongly encouraged to minimize any congregation at the actual event. 
  • No event day registration 
  • Events are capped (depending upon what the mandates/regulations are for that venue/municipality) 
  • Starts are done in assigned waves or start times in a time trial fashion. There are no mass starts.  
  • Start chutes are set with markers to have participants stand 6 feet apart at all times and once the start happens, they move up to the next spot until they get to the start line and then are directed when to go.
  • Masks are required at all times, except when running/walking in the event.
  • There are few, if any, aid stations (if any are, they are no-touch)
  • Finish areas may have some swag/goodies, but all of it is set up to ensure no to little touchpoints.
  • Awards are being mailed out and done in live-streamed ceremonies (zoom for example) at a later time or date.

Read the full interview here.


With all the regulations that need to be followed, a well-organized event is going to be a huge advantage and help put your participants’ minds at ease. A well-equipped running number provider can help your event stay organized and function optimally so participants are confident that they’re staying safe on race day.

Here are a few of the ways Boulder Bibs can help:

  • Print variable data directly on the race bib. We can help differentiate participants on race day with something as obvious as bib color or a more subtle printed wave letter or start time. Beyond race-specific variables, we can also print additional information such as emergency contacts. 
  • Eliminate on-site and advance packet pickups with direct-to-participant mailings. Not only are we professionals in the endurance event space, but we also have extensive mailing experience. We can send race bibs directly to individuals and we’ll even household groups to save on postage! 
  • Send a printable race bib to your virtual participants. Boulder Bibs can support your hybrid and full virtual events with digital bib files so no one misses out on part of the event experience.

Whether your event is hosting in-person, virtual, or hybrid races this spring, we're just happy to see the community out running again!

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