A RACE DIRECTOR’S GUIDE FOR

COMMUNITY BUILDING &
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

SAMPLE POLICIES

The policies below address controversial subject matter. More frequently, we see race directors choosing to address these topics by implementing an official race policy. To aid race directors wanting to do this, we compiled some examples that can be used as the foundation of a race specific policy language. It is intended that race directors will choose the policies that apply to their event, and tailor the language accordingly. No policy below should be understood as the policy of Runners for Public Lands or the Council for Responsible Sport, and these organizations do not imply that all events should implement all of the policies below. Policy making should be pursued with the utmost care and relevant counsel.

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Inclusivity Statement

Example 1:

One of the things we strive for is to create inclusion and equality in the running community. As much as we want to say that all you need to run is a pair of shoes, we know the reality is much more complex. To create intentional space for people, the Yetis want to make it clear that our races are for everyone. – Yeti Trail Runners

Challenges of Results Involving Transgender Athletes

Example 1:

The race has adopted this policy and the ability to challenge results out of a desire for inclusion and fairness. As such we expect all parties to behave in a manner that is honest, compassionate, and respectful. We will not tolerate hateful or discriminatory behavior by any of our runners, or those associated with the race, regardless of the cause.

Challenges may be made to results, which are directly related to a runner’s self-declared gender, only when a top 5 position is at stake. A challenge must be made in writing or email to the Race Director within 10 days of race completion and must be submitted privately and with the utmost discretion and respect for all parties involved.

Neither party may publicly post or discuss the challenge until a decision has been reached by the race. Challenges not related to a runner’s gender status, such as course cutting or other rule violations, will be handled in the normal process.

In the event of a challenge, or as deemed necessary, the race may request supporting documentation from a medical professional. All information about the runner’s gender identity and medical information, including any information provided pursuant to this policy, will be kept strictly confidential. The Race Director, with input from the Medical Director(s), will review the relevant facts and make a final decision.

If the runner is not in compliance with this policy, they will forfeit any place positions but will retain their official finish. Any announcements made by the race will simply state whether a runner was or was not in compliance with our policy and the associated action taken by the race. We will not disclose, unless requested or allowed by the transgender runner, any medical information related to the decision. – The Rut Mountain Runs, https://runtherut.com/transgenderpolicy/

Example 2:

Policy Enforcement:

A runner’s self-declared gender at registration will be accepted at face value. The sole reason for this policy is to ensure fairness regarding competition for awards and records. Therefore, there shall be no basis for, or tolerance of, any challenge to a runner’s self-declared gender unless a top 10 finish or age group award is at stake.

WSER shall have the sole authority to review any challenge regarding the gender status of a top 10 finisher or age group winner. Any such challenge must be made in person or writing to the Race Director with the utmost discretion and respect for the privacy of all parties involved. WSER in its sole discretion will determine whether there is a legitimate basis for the challenge.

Gender Status Review:

In the event of a challenge, WSER may ask the runner for documentation from a medical doctor or healthcare provider or other qualified professional certifying that the entrant has undergone continuous, medically supervised hormone treatment for gender transition for at least one year prior to the race. (See WSER Medical Clearance.) Transgender entrants, at their option, may provide the medical documentation related to their gender transition to the Race Director prior to the race. All information about the runner’s gender identity and medical information, including any information provided pursuant to this policy, shall be kept strictly confidential.

The final decision regarding the entrant’s gender status for registration purposes shall be within the sole discretion of WSER. If it is determined that the runner is not in compliance with WSER’s rules for transgender entrants, the runner will be allowed to keep their WSER finisher’s buckle but any top 10 finisher or age group awards shall be returned to WSER. WSER will attempt to protect the runner’s privacy interests to the maximum extent possible. – Western State 100 Mile Endurance Run, https://www.wser.org/transgender-entrant-policy/

Non-Binary Registration

Example 1: 

People whose gender is not male or female; including but not limited to: genderqueer, agender, bigender. We want to acknowledge, respect, and provide opportunities in the registration process to express their desired pronouns. Please email ally@cussingrunner.com after registration and we will amend our records as Ultrasignup does not currently have that option. – CUSS Running, https://cussingrunner.com/common-running-questions/

Example 2:

Some people feel that their gender identity cannot be simply defined by the expected binary terms of ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Instead, they experience their gender in another way. Typically, we refer to this group of people as being ‘non-binary’. The term non-binary refers to a person:

Identifying as either having a gender which is in-between or beyond the two categories ‘man’ and ‘woman’, as fluctuating between ‘man’ and ‘woman’, or as having no gender, either permanently or some of the time.

We will provide an opportunity in the registration process for transgender and non-binary runners to express their desired pronouns. Please note there will be no awarding in the nonbinary category. If you identify as non-binary but would like to compete for place awards we ask that you sign up for your birth gender pool.

We plan to periodically review this policy to be sure it is up to date and equitable. – The Rut Mountain Runs, https://runtherut.com/transgenderpolicy/

Equal Podium Spots and Awards for all Genders

We offer equal podium spots and awards between men, women and non-binary runners in each division. – Mount Laguna Trail Marathon

Starting Line Opportunity

Races will create a designated area for women on the starting line or make multiple announcements welcoming them on the starting line.  – Trail Sisters, https://calendar.trailsisters.net/trail-sisters-approved/

Pregnancy Deferral

Women who have been selected for entry into the race and who are or become pregnant prior to race day may defer their race entry for up to three years after the initial race deferral. – Western States Endurance Run, https://www.wser.org/entry-process/pregnancy-deferrals/

Athletes with Disabilities Policies

Example 1:

We welcome Visually Impaired and Mobility Impaired athletes to participate in the Vermont 100. Full details of the rules and accommodations are listed at https://vermont100.com/faqs/, under ‘Athletes with Disabilities’. – The Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, Runners Handbook 

Example 2:

Athletes with Disabilities Policy:

  • AWDs must be able to run the course.
  • Tethers may be used for athletes with a visual impairment.
  • Leg prosthetics may be used for amputees.
  • Crutches, braces, or poles may be used if indicated/necessary, with approval from the RD.
  • AWDs must be able to finish within the cutoff

– CUSS Running, https://cussingrunner.com/common-running-questions/

Example 3: 

Blind and Visually Impaired Runners Policy

Following the guidelines of United in Stride, we added a Visually Impaired Division to the Chuckanut 50k in 2019. This is to encourage and let runners know we will do our best to involve anyone that is interested and prepared to run our race course. – Chuckanut 50k, https://chuckanut50krace.com/goodtoknow

Volunteer Service Requirement Policy

Example 1:

Runners must complete at least _ hours of volunteer service to the greater running community, within X months preceding the race. Crewing and pacing does not count toward the volunteer requirement. 

Examples of eligible volunteer service include::

  • Volunteering at a trail, ultra, or road running events
  • Volunteering for an adaptive sports program
  • Completing maintenance on a running or community trail
  • If volunteering is a hardship, you may buyout of the volunteer requirement

– Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, https://vermont100.com/race-entry/#requirements

Example 2:

This race has an _hour service requirement. This can either be done in service of another ultra-marathon or for an environmental group doing work that impacts the trail running community. Note that generic trail work is not acceptable – it must be a trail on which an ultra is run, and must be coordinated with the race director of that ultra. Pacing another runner at an ultra does not count. The environmental work must be dedicated to a specific project or issue, just filling out surveys or other forms of clicktivism do not count. – Scout Mountain Ultras, https://scoutmountainultras.com/

Cupless Race

Example 1: Runners must carry their own water bottles, bladders, or reusable cups to get fluids on the course. – The Rut Mountain Runs, https://runtherut.com/cupless/

Example 2: This is a cupless race. Cups will not be provided at Aid Stations or the Start/Finish line. Please bring your own reusable cup and/or bottle/hydration pack. – Mount Laguna Trail Marathon

Single Use Plastic Prohibited

Example 1:

No single-use plastic vessels will be allowed at the event. There will be free water filling stations and canned products available for purchase. There will not be any beverages available for purchase in single-use plastic bottles. Additionally, you will not be able to bring any single-use plastic bottles (including but not limited to water, sports and energy drinks, juice, tea and coffee drinks, etc.) to the event. – XTERRA USA Championship and the Town of Avon, Colorado, https://www.xterraplanet.com/usachampionship#Sustainability

Example 2:

Event organizers and their providers shall eliminate single-use plastic and polystyrene items in all possible ways and scenarios. We respectfully request that providers, vendors, attendees and spectators eliminate their use of single-use plastic and polystyrene products and packaging. – Recommended from the Council for Responsible Sport,  

Leave No Trace

The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors and are easily adapted by event organizers, runners, crews, and volunteers. – Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run, https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/

Littering

Runners are disqualified if found littering. Chuckanut 50k, https://chuckanut50krace.com/

Social and Environmental Purchasing Policy

Seek bids/quotes from at least [X] businesses/providers for any new purchase beyond [$X]. At least one bid/quote shall be from a minority or women-owned business. –  Recommended from the Council for Responsible Sport