COVID-19 Preparations

Updated June 29

Let's face it – things are going to be different for a while

We have been diligently watching for updates from BC public health officials, and talking with local stakeholders in Kimberley. The resort wants us there, and we've spoken with key figures in the community who are encouraging us to find ways to host Black Spur while complying with public health orders. We have been trying to reinvent the race so that we can do just that - more on that below.

It is more promising that things will work out, with modifications, now that BC is moving into Stage 3 of its pandemic response. It is highly unlikely that we will enter Stage 4 (full reopening, including events) in 2020. Our commitment is to but on fun, safe events, and both of those elements are critical to our planning. We are still working on some details but this should give you a good idea of where we are heading.

We understand that some registered racers may not like the changes that we are proposing. If you have reconsidered your participation, please log in here to review your options.

Plan A

This is our preferred method, but will be subject to authorization from the Province of British Columbia based on restrictions at the time of the event. BC Interior Health has stated that because there is still a gathering area, they are not in favour of this plan, however, it may change in the next three months.

  1. Wave Starts:
    • Number in each start group will be based on the provincial guidelines 
  2. Gathering points, like the central staging area and checkpoints, will be more limited in scope:
    • We will not have the normal variety of foods available - individually packaged foods only - no standing around or eating and no picking up foods from a buffet
    • The staging area may be moved in order to accommodate a greater amount of space required for individual staging
    • No post-race meal - competitors will be given meal coupons for a local restaurant and/or an outdoor BBQ set up by Kimberley Alpine Resort to use at their leisure
    • Both the pre-race meeting and post-race awards would be done either outdoors or over live video
    • Competitors would be responsible for physical distancing in all staging areas, as per government requirements
  3. Emergency response to be conducted as usual
  4. Timing and flagging to be conducted as usual
  5. We are still considering the following:
    • Crew area - we are responsible to help enforce physical distancing for our competitors, so the layout of the site is under review in order to ensure everyone has enough space
    • Best practices and PPE requirements, for competitors, volunteers, and crew, are under review
    • Volunteers – we are reaching out to our volunteers but we recognize it may be more difficult to get volunteers at this time - if so, this will affect our ability to have staffed aid stations


Plan B

We must be prepared for these measures to become a reality if distancing measures are not relaxed. In our discussions with BC Interior Health, they have indicated that this would meet their satisfaction so it is a realistic backup.

  1. There is no formal gathering as you would normally see at a race:
    • We have a course outlined and our competitors show up and run on their own schedule within the timeframe of a few days.
    • The competitors follow the predefined route without a set start time - this allows us to spread everything over several days with no gathering
    • Individual competitors would have to follow the personal rules for physical distancing
    • Competitors would still be required to check-in so that we know they are on site
    • We will not have pre-race or post-race functions – competitors will be given meal coupons for a local restaurant and/or an outdoor BBQ set up by Kimberley Alpine Resort to use at their leisure
    • The post-race awards would be done over live video
    • By conducting the race over an extended period, we can separate all competitors by time 
  2. Gathering points, like the central staging area, would not be set up:
    • We will have a kiosk set up at the resort to hand out racer bags and pre-made snack bags (candy/cookies/non-perishable) for several hours each day, and over the duration of a few days - just a grab-and-go arrangement - no standing around or eating and no picking up foods from a buffet - just bags
    • We would have a start/finish arch set up each day as the known start/finish point, but it may not be maintained continuously 
    • Racers would likely put out a blanket and chair somewhere in the area so that they could sit in-between laps, but we would work with the resort to ensure physical distancing - there would be NO formal staging area
    • We will not be able to have aid stations on the course, although we may have a lockbox with emergency materials and timing station (pending)
  3. Emergency response will be conducted by a combination of sweepers, contracted EMS, and municipal EMS:
    • The SSI crew will sweep the route twice a day, looking for stragglers
    • We have also contracted an EMS company in Kimberley to provide standby services and they would be available
    • We will also work with local SAR and EMS to ensure competitors are able to access help if needed
  4. We are still considering the following:
    • Crew area. Even though there would be no formal staging area, we are still responsible to maintain order. What will this look like and how do we ensure physical distancing?
    • Timing. Initially, we thought the competitors would be self-timed, but we are reaching out to our timing company to see what is feasible. The extended period of time makes it a challenge, both from a timing and a gathering standpoint. We do have to secure the equipment and ensure it is running, but we can't have people out there for several days, just sitting looking at a box. By having the timing station, it also becomes less of a self-directed challenge and more of an "event". 
    • Swag – we would look at enhancing the swag to make up for the reduced aid on course.
    • Flagging. We may not be allowed to have flagging out for an extended period of time due to our permits, so competitors may have to bring a GPS that can follow the route. We may be able to put signs at important junctions but this is pending. 
    • Volunteers – with the more self-directed nature, volunteer involvement may be minimal.


HydraPak Kimberley Alpine Resort

Sinister Sports Inc.
Box 460 Bellevue, AB, T0K 0C0
P: 1-403-563-6420


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