California issues guidelines for community walks, 5Ks, marathons

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Community walks, 5Ks, marathons and more will likely be popping up again across California.

New guidelines will allow the events to return as soon as Saturday.

It was a little too late for the 5th annual Run with the Heroes event organized by Valley Children's Hospital.

"Because of the pandemic we couldn't gather safely, but we didn't want another year to go by without being together and without connecting," said Charge Nurse Shelly Reyes, the organizer of the event.

Packet pick-up for the event is drive-up only.



The race benefits Valley Children's George's Pass program which aims to make a positive impact on the hospital surgical experience for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Typically, there would be sensory activities for participants, but this year, everyone will complete the race on their own.

"It's a great organization to help these families -- not just my family, but all of the families in the valley, so anything we can do to support them," said Alina Chacon who signed up for the race.

The California Department of Public Health announced Friday it is allowing organized community runs, walks, marathons and triathlons to resume May 1, 2021.

Some of the specific guidelines include:

  • Staggering arrival times
  • Minimized staffing
  • Screening participants for symptoms
  • Collecting information for participants and staff to ensure contact tracing
  • Requiring masks

"We literally went over that list and went 'check, check, check, check, check'. I mean, we've done everything all along, it didn't really take them to tell us what we needed to do." said Andrew Arzate, the assitant director & timer for California Classic Events.

California Classic Events has been able to host several races with approval from the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Organizers were loading up Friday as they prepare for the Urban Run on Sunday in downtown Fresno.

Organizers say it has cost them thousands of dollars in added safety measures to be able to put on races, but it's worth it until they can host races the way they used to again.

"We're ready for people to be back, we're ready for crowds to be back and in a socially distant way as long as it needs to be." said Arzate.

Guidelines are specific, based on which tier a county is in and county health departments do have the power to require stricter guidelines than the California Department of Public Health.

You can see the full list of guidelines from the CDPH here.
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