WPS Half Marathon

2020 Race Director Message

Good morning fellow runners:

As the Race Director of the Foodfare-Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon over the last 15 years, I can tell you that we have made many good memories resulting from the challenges that we have faced. We had a massive blizzard, last minute road closures, race medals that almost didn't make it... and the list goes on.

We have overcome these challenges because we have taken a proactive approach to risk mitigation - with you and your safety always paramount.

In keeping with this, I wanted to reach out to let you know how we are proactively taking some really unique steps to ensure that our latest challenge - COVID-19 - does not present any surprises for our event.

Let me be clear, while we will adjust our plans based on the facts, we have NO intention of cancelling this race. The same typical steps we take to combat our traditional flu season remains the catalyst for combating the spread of COVID-19.

Health Canada currently ranks the health risk associated with COVID-19 in Canada as low. Your WPS-Half volunteer committee, when examining this issue, will be guided by the Government of Canada recommendations for Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID-19 global outbreak.

With almost 2 months until our May 3, 2020 event, we have started taking action to alleviate concerns in order to provide participants with as much choice as possible. Our goal is to give you comfort about committing to the event. Because this takes place place outdoors, the open air provides some basic level of protection compared to a compressed indoor environment. In addition, we have taken action in specific areas and developed contingency plans in other areas. For example:

  • We have increased the number of sanitizing stations on race day and kit pick up
  • We are prepared to modify the breakfast and post-race footprint to limit compression/cross contamination
  • We may revise how the aid stations and medal presentation areas are handled

We are also working with our timing staff to utilize technology for some creative options. This includes a plan to provide participants with the option of a self-initiated start for those not comfortable with a mass start. This will provide people with the space they would like to start in the minutes after the mass start.

We are committed to sharing as much information as we can. We only want to do this after we have all the facts. This way you can move forward knowing the options you can choose as your race day unfolds! That means providing every runner with the flexibility they need.

Health officials tell us that healthy people with no pre-disposition fair very well with this virus and that is the vast majority of our participants - but we want to also look out for those who are at risk. We want you to feel confident so you can plan with friends and family and join us on May 3, 2020.

So, stay tuned, secure your spot and start training and fundraising for what will be a Sweet 16th year. Remember registration fees go up later in March!

Thank you!

Nick Paulet
Race Director

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