Our COVID-19 Plan

We are excited to return to racing. For the past several months, High Five Events, the producer of the Austin Marathon, has been part of COVID-19 related task forces on the City, County, State, and national levels, reviewed and consulted on other event plans, and has been working to develop COVID-19 protocols for endurance events that best reflect the information currently available. 

The health, safety, and well-being of our team, participants, and volunteers is always our first priority and we take that responsibility very seriously. Our goal has always been to produce our events with the highest level of safety and we will continue to do that while also adhering to or even surpassing new City, State, and Federal COVID-19 guidelines. 

We know everyone has unique concerns and we have updated some of our policies and participation options so that you can make a personal decision as to what level of involvement best fits your needs. 

We understand the financial commitment that you are undertaking and therefore we have updated our policies and procedures for 2021.

  • Offering free deferral to participants to 2022, 2023, or 2024, if the event is canceled because of COVID-19
  • Launched virtual options for all distances.
  • Participants can choose to change their registration to virtual participation at any time with no additional fees.
  • Publish our COVID-19 Plan including possible event scenarios and safety protocols

We hope that this allows you to keep the Austin Marathon as part of your goals in 2021.  We need your support as low registration is another reason that the event could be canceled.

As we approach race day we will publish more on the specific safety steps and precautions that will be implemented. It is important to remember that this is an evolving situation and is subject to change as conditions and best practices evolve.

Thank you for understanding and supporting local events. 

Possible Event Scenarios

The following lists the possible scenarios in which the event might take place.  Regardless of the scenario, safety protocols will be implemented to operate within or exceed City, State, and Federal guidelines. See examples below under Safety Protocols. 

1. Event is held with no restrictions on its original date of February 14, 2021.

The COVID-19 outbreak in central Texas would be mostly contained in order for the event to be held as it has in years past. 

  • This includes a full field size, expo experience, and festival. 
  • Safety protocols will still be followed. 

2. Hold a modified version of the event on its originally scheduled date.

Two separate scenarios for a modified event are being planned to depend upon the Austin-Travis Risk Based Guidelines on the date of the event.

Stage 1-2

  • Reduced Expo exhibitors with no interactive displays
  • Extended packet pickup hours
  • Open start line with assigned corrals and start times
  • Modified aid station operations
  • Pre- packaged Finisher Items
  • Spectators will be allowed
  • Increased physical distancing, especially in confined areas
Stage 3-4

  • No Expo vendors
  • Extended packet pickup hours
  • Increased spacing for packet pick up with possible assigned times
  • Open start line with assigned corrals and start times
  • Modified aid station operations.
  • Modified Finish Line
  • Pre-packaged Finisher Items
  • Finish Line Festival is canceled 
  • Spectators are discouraged
  • Increased safety protocols across all aspects of the event

3. Hold a modified version of the event on a postponed date.

An alternative date for the 2021 event has been requested from the City of Austin.  

  • Possible shorting of distance as required by the City of Austin
  • Modified Packet Pick Up Venue/Schedule
  • The restrictions similar to stage scenarios above, pending the Austin-Travis Risk Based Guidelines on the date of the event.
  • See Transfer and Deferral Policy below. 

4. Cancel the 2021 event in its entirety.

No Austin Marathon event would be held in 2021. Transfer/Deferral Policy below. 

Safety Protocols

As large scale events start to open back up we are closely following what is working and what is not working. With time to plan we are focused on following the best practices that fit the situation at the time based on the event status discussed above. 

Personal responsibilities will be communicated to athletes, staff, volunteers, vendors, and sponsors prior to the event.

Athletes will receive exact COVID-19 protocols via email several times before each event. These protocols will also be published on event pages and social media. Staff and vendors will all be trained and provided documentation on these protocols. 

Our best practices will continue to evolve based on the knowledge available to us at the time.

  • Pre-Event screening of all staff, vendors, participants, and volunteers.
  • Reduced touchpoints to minimize physical interactions.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the event including packet pickup, higher traffic areas, and in and around portable toilets.
  • Increased safety and hygiene practices for staff and volunteers including the use of masks, gloves, and regular hand sanitization.
  • Event signage will promote safe social distancing practices including maintaining 6 feet of distance between others.
  • Athletes will be  required to wear a face-covering in designated mask zones at the event.
  • Dedicated lanes and waiting spots will be provided to aid in physical distancing in areas where athletes congregate such as packet pickup, start line, and restrooms.
  • Signage will be in place at events to reinforce our COVID-19 protocols.
  • Athletes will be encouraged via pre-race communication to ask questions prior to event day in order to decrease staff and volunteer interactions at the event.
  • Athletes will be encouraged to follow physical distancing throughout the race, especially when passing others, including the public.

Transfer & Deferral Policy

We understand the financial commitment that you are undertaking and therefore we have updated our policies for 2021. While we cannot offer refunds in the case that the event is canceled, we hope that the options below will help you keep the Austin Marathon as part of your goals in 2021. 

We are a small business and commit financially to all of the expenses related to a race well in advance of the actual race date. Thank you for understanding and supporting High Five Events and local events. 

Event Cancellation due to COVID-19

We are offering free deferral to participants if the Austin Marathon is canceled as a result of COVID-19. 

  • Entry fees & VIP tickets can be deferred to 2022, 2023, or 2024.
  • High Five Events merchandise sales (Medal Plates & Photos) will defer with registration.
  • Non-High Five Events merchandise sales (Spot insurance) will be refunded.
  • Charity Donations and Membership Sales (Dell Children’s, Marathon Kids, ARC Memberships) are final at the time of sale. No refunds and no deferrals.

If the event is moved to a new date in 2021 participants that are already registered will have the option to participate on the new event date or activate their free deferral options listed above. Read full transfer/deferral policy.

New Virtual Events  

We have introduced virtual events for all distances in 2021. Participants can choose to change their registration to virtual at any time with no additional fees. 

The price difference in registration will not be refunded once you switch to virtual. 

All virtual registrations made before February 1st will receive their packets before race day. Packets for virtuals that register/transfer after February 1st will be mailed 30 days following the event. 

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