xRecent Runner Communications

May 13:  Start Time emails
(being prepared)

May 13:  From the Tobacco Road Marathon Race Director

Dear 2021 Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon and Inside-Out Sports Half Marathon Runners,

On behalf of the all-volunteer TRM Board of Directors, I am honored to welcome all of you to the 11th running of the Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon in Cary, North Carolina.

As many of you know, the TRM Board of Directors had to cancel the 2020 race just three days before race day due to Covid-19. We know many of you were disappointed as were we. One year of preparations was for naught. Unfortunately, this year we had to cancel the March-14 event. The board wanted to have a 2021 race. We knew many runners were eager to participate in a distance race but the state’s restrictions made it difficult. The board worked to developed plans that would meet the requirements of the Town of Cary, the Wake County Health Department and the state Covid guidelines. Finally on April-15 we received permission to have the TRM race the weekend of May-15 and 16 as long as we followed the approved plan.

The TRM Board of Directors prides itself on putting on a first-class race, but this year we are in uncharted territory. We’ve had to implement many changes which we have been communicating to you over the past couple of weeks. There is no Expo or post-race celebration, we will have staggered start times, aid stations will be different and the half marathon course is different just to name a few.

We ask you to follow the guidelines for Covid-19 that we have been communicating with you. Please make sure you have a COVID-19 SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE with you before you get your bib at Packet Pickup. Also, if you are from OUT OF STATE, we need to see your Covid-19 TEST RESULT or VACCINE CARD at Packet Pickup. After you finish your race, please pick up a small bag at the Finish line with a few important items in it. There will be a couple of small snacks, a Purell hand sanitizing wipe and a mask. We ask that you put your mask on immediately and leave the race venue ASAP.

There will not be any award ceremony this year. Runners that place and have cash winnings will have a check mailed to them. There will be no age group awards this year, instead we will email winners a Certificate (suitable for framing) that you can print out, and we will make a donation in your names to one of our Charities.

Even though this year is different, the Board is excited about the event. We hope you have a great run and accomplish your goal whatever that may be. Listen to your body and if at any time you feel uncomfortable contact one of our EMS staff. Don’t forget, if you have a Boston Qualifying time, pick up your Boston Qualifier T-Shirt at the Finish Line!

The Tobacco Road Marathon will again this year make donations to our select charities. We are proud of this accomplishment but could not do this without the support of our sponsors and our runners, and we want to thank YOU.

I also want to thank our many dedicated volunteers, law enforcement and medical personnel and the TRM Board of Directors for making this a great event. Without their help this race would not happen.

Please accept my best wishes to all of you.

Kazem Yahyapour
TRM President and Race Director

Kazem Yahyapour

May 9:  Packet Pickup for 2021 Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon

You are registered for the May 15, 2021 Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon or May 16 2021 Inside-Out Sports Half Marathon! 

Name:  ...
Event:  ...
Gender:  ...
Age:  ...
T-shirt:  ...

Packet pickup will be available at Inside-Out Sports, 2002 Grisdale Lane, Cary, NC 27513 on:
     Monday-Thursday, May 10-13, 12:00pm to 6:00pm
     Friday, May 14, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
     Saturday, May 15, 10:00am to 6:00pm
Please show this email for fastest pickup.  If you are picking up another person's bib, please show a copy (a cell phone picture is OK) of their government-issued ID.

Here are a few important links:
- Link to the COVID-19 screenuestionnaire PDF to be completed at packet pickup.
- Link to our FAQs including pandemic precautions.  Note:  There are special requirements for out-of-staters including...
     a) COVID testing and/or vaccine
     b) Must pick-up your bib in person
- Link to 2021 and prior year results
For accurate timing, please be sure to wear your bib number on the front and outside of your shirt preferrably just above your waist line attached with safety pins.  Please do not cut, fold, or alter your bib and refrain from wearing on your shorts wrapped around your leg.

Correct bib placement

We are excited to offer you this opportunity to return to in-person racing.  Best wishes in your final preparations!  If you have any questions, please contact info@tobaccoroadmarathon.com.

Jason Biggs
FS Series - Something for Everyone~Charity, Fitness, Fun

May 6:  Select Your Full Start Time

You are registered for the Tobacco Road Marathon.

Select your Start Time for the SATURDAY, May 15, 2021 Tobacco Road FULL Marathon starting at (approximately) 10:00pm tonight, Thursday, May 6, 2021.  This form will be open until midnight on Sunday, May 9.

Please use this link:  https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/fullstart

(Note that this time and form is unique to the Full Marathon.  For the Half Marathon, the form opens at 10:30pm and the link is different.)

If we have any technical problems with the selection process, we will post an announcement on Facebook.

- The Tobacco Road Marathon Board of Directors and Race Committee

May 6:  Select Your Half Start Time

You are registered for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon.

Select your Start Time for the Sunday, May 16, 2021 Tobacco Road HALF Marathon starting at (approximately) 10:30pm tonight, Thursday, May 6, 2021.  This form will be open until midnight on Sunday, May 9.

Please use this link:  https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/halfstart

(Note that this time and form is unique to the Half Marathon.  For the Full Marathon, the form opens at 10:00pm and the link is different.)

If we have any technical problems with the selection process, we will post an announcement on Facebook.

- The Tobacco Road Marathon Board of Directors and Race Committee

May 4:  Clarification about Selecting Your Start Time

As we have had numerous questions on this, we need to clarify when you can sign up for a start time/corral...

The link to the form to sign up will be available by end of day on Thursday, May 6, and the deadline for signing up will be end of day on Sunday, May 9.  This will give you Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to select a start time...and today through Thursday to talk to friends about signing up for the same corral.

The quickFAQs at https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/quickFAQ were clearer on the timing to select a start time, but our email to you yesterday was unclear.

Start times will be from 6:00am to 8:00am for the Full and from 6:00am to 10:00am for the Half.  Course cloures (cut-off) times are 2:00pm for the Full and 1:00pm for the Half.

...and remember to check https://www.facebook.com/TobaccoRoadMarathon after 7:00pm tonight to see a sample of our finisher's medal.

- The Tobacco Road Marathon Board of Directors and Race Committee

May 3:  Tobacco Road FAQs

Hopefully you had a successful last long run over the weekend and are now tapering for the {EventCategory} less than two weeks away....

Full Marathon: Saturday, May 15, 2021
Half Marathon: Sunday, May 16, 2021

We promised you some additional details which you can now review on https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/quickfaq.  If you have additional questions, please send us an email at info@tobaccoroadmarathon.com .

Important:  While you will receive several emails over the next two weeks, please do not mark these as spam as they will include important information about your race.  Key dates coming up are:

- Medal Reveal:  7pm on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, on Facebook
- Sign-up for start time:  By end of day Thursday, May 6, 2021, via link sent to you in email and on Facebook
- T-shirt reveal:  Coming soon!

- The Tobacco Road Marathon Board of Directors and Race Committee

April 30:  Last Chance to Defer

Are you excited?  You are registered for the IN-PERSON 2021 Tobacco Road Full Marathon or Half Marathon, just two weeks away....

  • Full Marathon: Saturday, May 15, 2021
  • Half Marathon: Sunday, May 16, 2021
We are finalizing some additional Q&As to be available by Monday, but here are the top things to know now:
  • TODAY is the last day to defer to 2022.  Use the link at https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/changes.
  • The courses have been finalized and are available at https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/maps.
  • Parking at the start/finish for the full marathon on Saturday, May 15, should not be a problem.
  • Parking at the start/finish for the half marathon on Sunday, May 16, could be a problem.  We are asking runners to try to carpool, be dropped off, use ride-hailing (e.g. Uber or Lyft) services, or run/walk/bicycle to the site.  When we ask you for your start time next week, we will also ask you to provide your parking needs so we can better know what adjustments to make.
  • Next week, you will be sent a link to use to request your starting time/corral.
  • While there has been some reduction in COVID-19-related restrictions, we are still required to have socially-distanced wave starts, have runners wear masks at the start and finish, and not allow spectators at the race (start/finish) venue.
  • Other COVID-19-related restrictions include--ONLY for people registered with an OUT-OF-STATE address--the requirement to show us evidence that you are fully vaccinated (according to the CDC definition of "fully vaccinated") OR the results of a negative COVID-19 test. You will show this at bib pick-up.
  • Average high for mid-May in Cary, NC, is 80°F.  Please plan accordingly and, if possible, do some heat-adaptation training in advance.  Your body can make significant adaptations to heat in just two weeks:  https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20825873/training-in-the-heat-0/
  • Whie we certainly hope for the best, if weather conditions are determined to be unsafe to hold or continue the race, the Tobacco Road Race Director reserves the right to cancel or suspend the race.  For temperature-related conditions, we will use the heat index chart at http://www.marathonguide.com/training/coachmindy/heat.cfm as a guide for any decisions.
  • Bib and T-shirt pick-up will be Monday, May 10, 2021, through Saturday, May 15, 2021 at Inside-Out Sports, 2002 Grisdale Lane, Cary, NC 27513.  If you live more than two hours away and cannot pick up your bib by 7:00pm on Friday (for the Full) or by 5:00pm on Saturday (for the Half), please complete this form, and we will give you additional information about when and where to pick up your bib:  https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/lateppu

Here are details about your registration:

(Custom info)

If any of these details are incorrect, please send us an email at info@tobaccoroadmarathon.com.

Best wishes in your final two weeks of training!

- The Tobacco Road Marathon Board of Directors and Race Committee

April 26:  Facebook Page Post

A few Q&As related to COVID-19 testing and vaccines:

Q: Do North Carolina residents have to get a test or show proof of vaccine?
A: No.

Q: Do North Carolina residents have to show proof of residency?
A: No. The address you registered with will be used to determine this requirement. (Note: You DO have to show some sort of ID to pick up your bib, like always. It will be checked for a name match, not for an address match.)

Q: If I registered with an address in another state but now live in NC, can I just show proof of my NC residency?
A: No. Instead, please send us an email with your new address before May 1.

Q: If I am a permanent resident in another state and used that to register but work or go to school in NC, do I need a test or the vaccine?
A: No, if you will be residing in the state for at least 14 days prior to the race, send info@tobaccoroadmarathon.com your current NC address.

Q: What is the exact timing required for the vaccine?
A: We are using the CDC's advice for "When you are fully vaccinated" at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/second-shot.html.

Q: What date do I need to be "fully vaccinated" by?
A: Your race day.

Q: What if I'm one day short of being fully vaccinated.
A: Get a test. (Sorry, but we have to draw a line somewhere, so we are using the CDC's guidance.)

Q: What is considered evidence of having received the vaccine?
A: A vaccination card.

Q: Which COVID-19 tests will be accepted?
A: We are following the CDC's guidance for viral tests for current infections. ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html ). Note: A "PCR" test is a type of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) and will be accepted. A rapid test is typically a type of antigen test which will be accepted. However, "antibody" tests do not show current infections, so they are not accepted.

Q: What is considered evidence of having received a negative COVID-19 test?
A: This depends on how your testing site informs you. Many simply send you a text message. Show us that message on your cell phone.

Q: Can I not just send you a copy / screenshot of my test results when I get them vs. showing them in person?
A: No. We do not want to receive any electronically-sent information which could be considered health or medical data. Any such information will be promptly discarded and not used.

Q: Can someone else show my test results and pick up my bib?
A: No. You must be present and show your own evidence.

Q: I'm flying / driving in and may have trouble with the packet pickup times. Can you mail me my bib?
A: No. However, please submit your hardship/challenge case to us using the form at https://app.racereach.com/form/42126 . We will make provisions for the first 50 runners with an expressed challenge.

Q: Will Tobacco Road Marathon pay for my COVID-19 test?
A: No, but if you get it in our county, it is free.

Q: Will Tobacco Road Marathon do any health screening checks on race morning?
A: At this time, we are asking runners to self-assess their health and take their temperature before coming to the race venue. Of course, if they have any symptoms, they should stay away and follow a process we will document to report their condition and get a free deferral to 2022. We do not anticipate asking for any written or verbal confirmation...or any temperature checks...on race morning, but that could change.

Q: What if I'm concerned about too much or too little (in my opinion) in the way of precautions?
A: You can request a deferral to 2022 on https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/changes through April 30, 2021.

April 15:  Great news!  The 2021 Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon has been approved!

The Full Marathon will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2021, and the Half Marathon will be held on Sunday, May 16, 2021.

Now that we've gotten the race approved, we are shifting our focus to working through all the details in order to provide a safe race for you, our runners.  Most importantly, we want you to know the requirements that we have worked out with local governments to minimize risks.  Here are the key requirements:

  • All runners must wear a mask before and after the race.  You will not be required to wear a mask while running, but you must carry one and will need to put it on if you pause running (e.g. stopping at aid stations or using a porta-potty).
  • Runners will pre-register for a start corral time, and we will allow groups of up to 100 runners into the start corral.  The runners will be socially-distanced, 6-feet apart, in two lines within the corral, and they will start one person per line at a time, several seconds between each runner.
  • If you are registered with an out-of-state address, you will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (as defined by the CDC on https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/second-shot.html ) OR show negative COVID-19 results taken no more than 72 hours before your arrival in North Carolina. (Note: You will need to show evidence and pick up your bib by 5pm the day before your race.)
  • In-state runners will NOT be asked for this evidence, but we strongly encourage it for all runners.
  • Please take your temperature and self-assess your health on race morning.  If you show symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to the race venue.  We will provide a way for you to report any last-minute-illness to get a deferral.

Other changes as a direct or indirect result of the requirement for social distancing include:

  • There is no Expo for packet pickup.  Packet pickup will be held the week prior to the race, Monday-Saturday (May 10-15) at Inside-Out Sports, in Cary, NC.
  • The full marathon will be the normal, USATF-certified course.
  • The half marathon will be a new, somewhat more hilly loop course.  It will not be certified.
  • Unfortunately, no spectators will be allowed at the start/finish.  We will publish maps with recommended spectator locations along the course.
  • We will not be able to provide shuttles or remote parking.  On-site parking details are being worked on.  (Half marathoners should make plans now to carpool.)
  • There will be no pre-race or post-race activities on-site.  You should plan to arrive just before your start time and leave immediately after finishing.
  • On-course aid stations will have only water, provided in individual 8-oz bottles.
  • The medal and finisher's food will be provided in a bag handed to you after you cross the finish line as you achieve your first or, perhaps, yet another Tobacco Road running success!

If you choose not to run the race because of these limitations or for any other reason, you may defer to run March 20, 2022, instead--for no cost now through Wednesday, April 21, using the form at https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/changes . This form can also be used to change your race distance for 2021 (full-to-half or half-to-full).

We are targeting May 1 to have many of the details figured out, so please wait to ask your questions until May on topics like the exact half course, selecting your start corral/time, parking, nutrition, and packet pickup.

This won't be quite your normal Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon, but it will be running in-person races again.  We are eager to see you!

April 1:  Just over 6 weeks away and getting ready

Temperature is Rising

The Tobacco Road Marathon team recently proposed details for our May 15-16, 2021, races to local governments and organizations. They will soon be getting back to us, likely with a few requested modifications and, hopefully, with their approval.

We expect to be able to let you know by April 15, 2021, if we are approved.

Many details are yet to be worked out because we first need to confirm the limitations. However, the following key items were in our proposal:

  • The full marathon (of about 1200 runners) will be on Saturday, May 15, and the half marathon (of about 2400 runners) will be on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
  • Starts will be in small waves beginning at 6:00am with social distancing prior to the start.
  • The Full Marathon will likely be our normal, BQ-certified course.
  • The Half Marathon will likely be a new loop course with a portion on the American Tobacco Trail but more time on roads than our normal course.

You will NOT have to wear a mask while running. You will be required to wear a mask before and after and to answer COVID-19 screening questions about your health.

Once we get final approval, we will work out details for:

  • Exactly how you will request a start wave (so you can run near friends).
  • Packet-pickup. (Race day packet pickup will be severely limited and only for out-of-towners.)
  • Parking. (We know we have to figure this out; you can help by planning to carpool, especially for the half marathon.)
  • Spectators. (Likely not permitted at finish, sadly.)
  • Post-race nutrition.
  • Aid stations.
  • Volunteers needed.

Note: We will not be able to answer questions on these topics until after April 15. Other questions may be sent to info@tobaccoroadmarathon.com

March 22: 8 Weeks Away - Questions about the 2021 Tobacco Road Marathon
Temperature is Rising

North Carolina Governor Cooper's current restrictions are in place until this Friday, March 26. We need those to be adjusted from the current limits on outdoor gatherings of 50 people, and we fully expect a change--but we too are wondering what the new restrictions may be.

We have been evaluating numerous options to allow for social distancing, but we really proceed with more precise plans until we have a better understanding of what the restrictions may be in place in May.

Understandably, many of you have been asking questions about packet pickup, race start times, parking, aid stations, wearing masks, volunteering, and even if the race will really happen. We continue to proceed optimistically and appreciate your understanding and patience.

To help alleviate your wondering and concerns, we will send weekly emails to keep you informed of the progress. You can ask questions to info@tobaccoroadmarathon.com, but unless your question applies to your specific situation, we will answer those questions in the email to all participants rather than individually.

Here are answers to some of the most recent questions, based on the best planning possible at this time. It is possible that some of these statements could change.

  • The full marathon will be on Saturday, May 15, and the half marathon will be on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
  • We are NOT planning a virtual race but, instead, putting all our energy into an in-person race.
  • We want to avoid having participants running in the heat of the day as much as possible which, combined with social distancing, is why we had to cut off additional registrations.
  • Starts will be in small waves beginning at 6:00am with social distancing prior to the start. We still have to figure out a process to assign or let you select start times. Note: The earliest waves will be for the fastest runners and may require submitting a prior race time.
  • We expect we will need to revise the course some. The Full Marathon will, however, still be certified as a BQ race.
  • You will NOT have to wear a mask while running. You will be required to wear a mask before and after.
  • Parking will likely be a problem. We do not expect to be able to provide shuttles from remote parking. As stated previously, please be working on plans to carpool or be dropped off/picked up.
  • There are currently no parking passes available. If you purchased a parking pass for 2020, we are planning for you to use it in May.
  • Please do not plan on parking in the nearby neighborhoods. Let's be sure to show Cary how considerate runners are.
  • Race-day packet pick-up will be severely limited--likely only for people who live outside the Triangle area. However, we will make some sort of provision, potentially with a small cost, understanding that many people do not plan on an overnight stay in our area.
  • IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about the risk of being near other runners or are unhappy with the limits we will have to place on runners, volunteers, and spectators, PLEASE DEFER to 2022. You can do so for no cost using the button below.
  • Transfers, unless already requested, are not permitted at this time. Please defer to 2022 instead.
  • We really don't know if we will be able to accept anyone from the wait list; it will depend on the as-yet-unknown changes to restrictions and how many people defer to 2022.
  • AND, no, we have not yet finalized on the medal or t-shirt-colors
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