Atlanta Track Club Reviews Event Policies at Town Hall Meeting

ATLANTA – January 12, 2017 – Atlanta Track Club reviewed event policies and procedures during a town hall meeting at the Club’s headquarters Tuesday evening. The town hall, which was open to all members and participants, addressed a wide array of Atlanta Track Club’s rules surrounding wheeled conveyances, course time limits, age requirements, prohibited and discouraged items, bib transfers and grounds for disqualification.Wheeled ConveyancesQuestions surrounding wheeled conveyances sparked the scheduling of the town hall as Atlanta Track Club announced this year that the baby jogger division was being eliminated from the Atlanta Women’s 5K. The Club’s policy has always stated that wheeled conveyances of any kind (including but not limited to strollers, bicycles and roller skates) are prohibited from all events in order to ensure the safety of all participants. However, in the past the Atlanta Women’s 5K has been an exception with the baby jogger wave, which started after the final wave of runners and walkers.“Our number one goal is always safety,” explained Rich Kenah. Several past participants of the baby jogger division expressed disappointment over the decision, but Kenah explained that the growth of the race made it impossible to continue holding the baby jogger division in a way the Club considers safe for all participants.Approximately 130 women took part in the division in 2016. “The roads around Chastain Park are not completely closed during the Atlanta Women’s 5K,” Kenah said. “Having women baby joggers attempting to maneuver around runners and walkers and vice versa increases the potential that someone will go outside the cone-marked course and into an open lane of traffic,” he said. Atlanta Track Club agreed to look into new ways to incorporate baby joggers into other events and reiterated its commitment to family fitness.Jan2017_TallHall4Course Time LimitsThe next topic on the agenda was course time limits. Atlanta Track Club’s time limits for each distance are listed below.
DistanceCourse Time Limit Pace Per Mile
5K1hr 15mins25:00
4 Mile1hr  20mins20:00
8K1hr 30mins18:00
5M1hr 30mins18:00
10K1hr 45mins17:00
15K2hrs 30mins16:00
10M2hrs 30mins15:00
Half Marathon3hrs 30mins16:00
Marathon6hrs 30mins15:00
Course limits are set based on permits obtained by Atlanta Track Club from the jurisdictions in which the events are held. The course time limit clock begins once the last runner crosses the starting line. Once the course limit expires, the roads are no longer closed to traffic and race services cannot be guaranteed. Participants will be asked to move onto the sidewalk or offered transportation back to the start/finish area if applicable.Age LimitsAge limits at Atlanta Track Club events are based on the best practice recommendations of USA Track & Field, the sanctioning body of running and field events in the United States. They are as follows:
Race DistanceAge Range
Half Marathon14+
Prohibited ItemsThe following items are prohibited at Atlanta Track Club events:
  • Glass containers
  • Containers holding more than one liter of liquid
  • Backpacks
  • Camelbaks
  • Rolling bags and other luggage
  • Masks and costumers that are not form fitting
  • Weight vests
  • Military equipment
  • Firefighter equipment
Members attending the town hall questioned the ban on Camelbaks. Kenah explained that the ban was instituted at the direction of law enforcement following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. He pointed out that it is difficult to identify a hydration backpack from a regular backpack when scanning large crowds of people. It is also not possible to see their contents.“Fuel belts are still permitted,” Kenah reminded attendees. “We also have hydration stations consistently placed along our courses with water and Powerade for all participants.” Still, some attendees voiced their desire to carry their own fluids explaining that they train for events carrying Camelbaks and want to replicate that familiar experience on race day. They urged Atlanta Track Club to come up with a solution that satisfies all parties. The Club has promised to explore its options.Discouraged ItemsDiscouraged items at Atlanta Track Club events include the following:
  • Headphones
  • Firearms
Participants wearing headphones on the race course are unable to hear race instructions and both foot and vehicle traffic putting their safety and the safety of surrounding participants at risk. If a participant chooses to wear headphones despite the discouragement from Atlanta Track Club, they are asked to only wear them in/on one ear.In the state of Georgia, permitted gun owners have the right to openly carry their licensed weapons on public streets that are not controlled by Atlanta Track Club’s own security team. Legally, Atlanta Track Club cannot deny this right. However, the Club believes weapons on race courses are a safety risk and politely asks participants to refrain from bringing them to Club events.Race NumbersOfficial race numbers can only be transferred for the AJC Peachtree Road Race via the official race transfer system. During this process, transferees are officially entered into the race registration platform and their contact information is provided to Atlanta Track Club.  Race number transfers are not offered at any other Atlanta Track Club event.“If a runner is injured or falls ill on the course, it is imperative we are able to identify them and, if necessary, reach out to their emergency contact,” said Kenah. If Atlanta Track Club identifies an unapproved transfer, the runner will be disqualified and removed from the results.At events in which there are multiple distances, participants are allowed to switch races. However, this must be done by emailing [email protected] or by visiting “Race Solutions” at race number pick-up if applicable. Those who switch races without alerting Atlanta Track Club will be disqualified.One other ground for disqualification is by missing timing checkpoints on the course. Depending on the distance, there are various checkpoints on the course where a participant’s timing chip is recorded. If a participant’s chip misses checkpoints, they will be disqualified and removed from the results. If a participant feels this decision has been made in error, they can contact Atlanta Track Club.No RefundsAtlanta Track Club does not offer refunds. This policy is clearly stated during race registration. This is due to the fact that operations costs for Atlanta Track Club events are incurred well before the event takes place. In-Training participants are eligible for refunds if they become sick or injured before the training program starts. Participants will need to provide a note from a doctor and request the refund before the close of online registration for that training program.BanditsBandits are strictly prohibited at Atlanta Track Club events. A bandit is anyone who participates in the event without registering and without a race number. This is not only a safety issue as race officials are unable to identify bandits in the case of an emergency, but also a drain on course resources for paying participants. If caught, bandits will be asked to leave the race course immediately.