Safety Guidelines

These guidelines have been drafted following a comprehensive club risk assessment. The guidelines are designed to cover all club running events and will be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary.


The club exists to promote running and to enable members to enjoy their running. Our commitment is that you feel, and are, as safe as is reasonably possible when participating in club events. Please note the guidance below and wherever possible and reasonable follow the advice.

General Advice

  • Think about your intended route, the distance and duration, and take appropriate precautions in terms of food and drink and the possible absence of toilet facilities.
  • If attending a running event organised by another club or organisation, check in advance all the arrangements. 
  • If you are likely to be running in extreme conditions or extreme distances, plan carefully!
  • Make arrangements to secure valuables (keys, phones and etc.) during your run.
  • Take a charged phone with you

Safety when running in groups

Running in a group should help you run more safely than when alone but note:

  • Watch out for each other! And remain alert when talking and running!
  • Stay together in your group, e.g. by waiting for each other at certain points or by ‘sheep dogging’
  • Select a group appropriate to your ability and approximate distance/duration of the run
  • Agree the length of run and, if possible, the route before the run starts.
  • It is advisable to run with a charged mobile phone, or make sure one runner in your group has a phone
  • Avoid running in a group of less than 3 when running in case one runner needs to run to get assistance/no mobile phone reception.
  • When at the front of the group be aware of hazards and obstacles (e.g. tree roots, potholes, kerbs etc), approaching bikes & vehicles and try to shout a warning to fellow runners.

The avoidance of accidents/injury

  • Avoid injury and muscle pulls by warming up effectively before a run and doing a cool down after the run
  • Avoid excessive increases in your daily/weekly mileage and speed.
  • Check your footwear and tie laces securely (and wear comfortable footwear!)
  • Take care when crossing roads
  • Stay on pavements as far as possible. If forced to run on the road stay to the right (facing traffic).
  • When running in the dark wear hi-visibility clothing &/or head or chest torches in low light or night runs.
  • On winter evenings try to follow well-lit road routes and/or safer (more even) surfaces.

Precautions for extreme weather conditions

  • If there is a risk of lightning, strong wind blowing down trees, or icy conditions, err on the side of caution.
  • In extreme weather conditions, club events may be cancelled by the lead organiser of the event who again should err on the side of caution.
  • In hot weather take sufficient water with you, especially in hot weather, or plan in advance where you might be able to obtain water.
  • Wear kit appropriate to conditions.
  • In extreme cold look out for patches of ice

Runners at more risk

  • If you need a ‘buddy’  to run with try to organise a buddy who has experience of guiding
  • Any special arrangements that are required should be organised before the event
  • Walk if conditions are particularly difficult.

Taking care of your health

  • If you have a medical condition that could be exacerbated by running please follow your doctor’s advice.
  •  If you have asthma please carry an inhaler and consider alerting those with whom you are running.[1]
  • If you do not feel well the general advice is not to run if you have symptoms affecting the throat downwards to the chest.

In the event of an accident, or when there is a need for medical attention

  • In case of an emergency – always ring 999 if required.
  • Members should be prepared to run to telephone for assistance – leaving someone with the injured runner.
  • If minor first aid is required this should be self-administered by the injured party where possible.
  • If immediate help is required then limit the amount of close contact and touching to a minimum.
  • Ensure the other group members continue to observe social distancing.
  • If there is any chance of taking someone in your car who is not an immediate family member then it is advisable to have two clean masks available for use if necessary. Bear in mind that in the event of an accident you might want to be helpful and give someone a lift to a pharmacy or hospital so having masks in your car would enable you to help your fellow runner.

Keeping under 18s safe:

  • At club events, parents should keep children under 16 in their sight at all times unless they have specifically asked another member to look after their children for them (at the event)
  • 16 and 17 year olds can run independently at club events
  • Members should avoid being alone with any member of the club who is under 18 years old. 

If you are under 18: 

  • Do not respond if someone seeks private information unrelated to athletics such as personal information, home life information
  • Never accept lifts in cars or invitations into homes on your own without the prior knowledge and consent of your parent/carer
  • Use safe transport or travel arrangements
  • Report any accidental injury, distress, or suspected misconduct to your parents/carers as soon as possible after the relevant incident

Advice on reducing the risk of infection where such measures are recommended by government, England Athletics or the club  

  • Before you attend any club event you must self-assess for symptoms of an infectious health condition. You should not leave home to participate in a club or coached activity if you, or someone you live with, have any of the following:
    • A high temperature
    • A continuous cough
    • A loss of or change to sense of smell or taste
  • If you, or a member of your household,  have such symptoms, please follow NHS and Public Health England guidance on self-isolation  and please do not come to a club event.
  • If you develop symptoms after taking part in a club activity you must follow any official government , England Athletics,  or club guidance that is in place.
  • When arriving for an event please maintain an appropriate distance from others. Arrive already warmed up, ready to run.
  • If meeting at the Trevor Bailey Sports club please minimise the use of the indoor facilities.

And please:

  • Consider taking some hand sanitiser with you
  • When running side by side with someone try to keep at least one metre distance.  If running in single file or behind other runners you should keep a  longer distance behind the person in front of you.  We suggest at least 4-5 metres
  • When passing members of the public please do not run past their shoulder but give at least 1-2 metres’ distance. If necessary, and if safe, move into the road to avoid being too close or stop to give more room to the person you are passing. If you can reach out and touch the person when passing them, you are running too close.
  • Please remain alert when running and plan ahead so that you can maintain the necessary distances from other.
  • When running on the track try to keep a two lane gap especially when overtaking

Event management

  • When planning events or coaching sessions put measure in place to reduce the chances of infection through lack of social distancing, for example staggered starts, using different lanes, putting participants in separate waves.
  • Plan how people will arrive/gather for the event and how registration will take place and introduce measures as necessary to facilitate social distancing and avoid unnecessary touching or equipment or stationery
  • Give participants advance notice of the arrangements and facilities available.
  • Give consideration to whether you need to provide, or give advice on, water.
  • Consider and implement where necessary any special measures required to make sure children are safe
  • It is your responsibility to decide whether the event goes ahead in extreme weather conditions. Err on the side of caution.
  • Coached should obtain disclaimers from participants prior to start of any coaching programme


[1] Asthmatics will know they should not run if they are suffering badly or if they fear an asthma attack is imminent. The decision whether to run or not is left to the discretion of the individual – but they must accept that they run at their own risk.