11th Annual Oak Barrel Half Marathon
October 24, 2020
The information below of the modifications that we have planned for the 2020 Oak Barrel to help accommodate social distancing and keep all of our runners and volunteers safe.
This is the major change to the race.
We plan to start the race in a time trial format with participants starting over an hour and a half. This will allow us to put 1 to 3 seconds between each participant as they start the race. This will help to reduce the crowding at the start of the race. It will also reduce the crowds on the course, at packet pickup, and at the finish line.
We plan for the first runners to start at 7:30am with the last runners going off at 9:00am. We would like for all of the registered participants to select their desired start time. The times are arranged in 5 minute increments over the hour and a half. Each time slot will have a limited number of slots available and once those are full that time slot will not be available for selection.
Things that you may want to consider before selecting your time slot.
– If you are traveling or riding with friends or family, you may want to coordinate your start times
– The course will close at noon. You will want to consider your start time if you are a slower runner to ensure that you have enough time to make that noon cut off.
– The later start times may provide a bit of extra time on race morning for travel/parking/packet pickup.
If there is interest – we plan an elite male and elite female race start. Those starts would be a group start (not time trial). We will allow runners to place themselves in those start divisions. We will limit those groups to 20 or possibly 25 people. the elite wave would include males that can run a 1:35:00 half marathon or a females that can run a 1:50:00 half marathon. Our plan is to start the elite men at 7:30AM with the elite women starting about 7:32AM. We expect that the overall top 3 men and women will come from this group.
If you are one of our faster runners and would like to start with the elite wave, please select Elite wave when you select your race start time.
Course Time Limit
The course will close at noon. So your on course time will be limited – depending on your selected start time.
Packet pickup both Friday (noon – 7PM) and Saturday (6AM- 8:45) will be in Wiseman Park at the Moorehead pavilion this year. This is the location for packet pickup normally on Saturday morning. The change is for Friday packet pickup. This location gives us a large outside pavilion. It will provide lots more space to spread out on Friday than our normal Friday packet pickup location.
Our county EMS personnel will be checking temperatures of all participants before they may enter the start corral. If you are running a fever, you will not be allowed entry into the race start area or to participate in the race.
The water stations on the race course will be self serve. Our volunteers will place a few cups on the tables. The cups will be positioned such that the runners can grab a cup as they pass the table. The water station volunteers will periodically resupply the cups and clean the table. There also may be bottled water at the water stations.
We do not plan to have an award ceremony. We will have a location on the square after the race that you can pickup your award. One thing to keep in mind is with the start of the race spread out over an hour and a half – the position within the age groups will change over the course of the race.
Example – If the second fastest person in an age group starts at 7:35 and the fastest person within that same age group starts at 9:00. Upon an initial check of the results, the person starting at 7:35 would appear to be 1st in the age group. It could be almost 1.5 hours later when the fastest person in the age group would finish.
If you are not able to pickup your award on the square on race day, we will make arrangements to get your award to you.
If you are sick on race morning
If you are sick on race morning please stay home
What will not change
We plan to have the normal food and post race activities on the square after the race. Because of the protracted start to the race, we expect that the crowd on the square after the race will be a bit smaller than normal. There should be plenty of room on the square to appropriately social distance on the square after the race.
Update as of 3/13/2020
After consulting with our local officials (mayor, Sheriff, and EMS), we have decided that is in the best interest of our runners and community to postpone the 2020 Oak Barrel Half. I understand how very frustrating this is for our runners that have been planning and training for months to join us in Lynchburg – and I apologize for that.
We learned yesterday that the ‘public side’ of Jack Daniel’s (visitor center (distillery tours), Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant, Jack Daniel’s Hardware Store (gift shop)) will all be closed as of Monday (3/15/20). We are not certain how long those closures will last. In addition to the concern about gathering 1700 people on the square in Lynchburg amidst the concerns for the COVID-19 virus situation, the weekend would not be quite the same without Jack Daniel’s involved and open to welcome all the runners.
Mach Tenn Running Club looks forward to the week of Oak Barrel all year long. We love getting the opportunity to see so many of our repeat runners that first weekend in April. And it is always so exciting to be able to share a small section of the world with our new Oak Barrel runners. We are a running club and so it is all about the run and the event. The great thing about Oak Barrel week is that as a club we all get to be together with both running and volunteering. It is one of the few times during the year that our small club is all together getting to do what we love doing. Unfortunately, we will not get the opportunity to host Oak Barrel on April 4th this year but do plan to reschedule for October 24, 2020.
We have tentative approvals from the county for the date change for the race. The formal approval for the race date change will have to come from our Metro Moore County Council at their next monthly meeting. Fortunately, that meeting is scheduled for this coming Monday (3/16) and we have been added to the agenda for that meeting. So, we hope to have the formal approval by Monday evening for the date change.
Once we have that formal approval – We will conform that date with all of you.
We know that the alternate date will not work for some of you – and certainly understand that.
Our plan for our participants is that you will have one of three options:
- Leave your registration in place and join us in Lynchburg on 10/24.
- Run Oak Barrel 2020 as a virtual race. In this case you would run the 13.1 miles on your own and then we would ship you the ‘swag’.
- If the 10/24 date does not work for you – you can request a refund of your registration fee.
The exact logistics we will work out in the next week and get that information to you via email. Please keep in mind that we are an all-volunteer running club. We appreciate your support and patience while we do our best deal with this difficult decision and to bring you the 2020 Oak Barrel Half Marathon.
The 2019 Race Guide