Hi All,

Brian (Pop Up Races) here, I just wanted to give you all a quick update on some plans that we are working on behind the scenes. We want to gather some information through a test event with a view to ultimately getting races going again in a safe manner later in the summer.

I think it’s fair to say that recreational running as we know it is gone in the short to medium term, but for me, that shouldn’t mean that racing needs to stop…it just needs to be modified.

With that in mind, Pop Up Races will be running a controlled test event on the evening of June 9th, 2020, close to our HQ in Clane, Co. Kildare. I wanted to write this just to outline what we are doing and why we are doing it.


The Event

  • It will be a 5km race, limited to 32 invited athletes
  • The 32 athletes are all people I know, from within my training group
  • It is a free event, and the purpose of it is to gather feedback, essentially for the run to be a focus group where we get feedback from a sample of competitive runners on how the new format worked and what could be done to enhance it further
  • The start will be staggered based on the athletes expected finish time
  • Athletes will run in groups of 4
  • Race numbers will be picked up by athletes at the start line
  • Athlete will be allocated a start time and will be expected to report to the starter no later than 2 minutes before your allocated start time
  • Results will be based on CHIP time
  • The fastest 4 runners will go first, the next 4 fastest second and so on
  • The stagger will be between 30s and 90s, with the aim to be that athletes only pass or get overtaken by those within their own start group throughout the race.
  • Pop Up Races will provide water at the finish line
  • The course is a point to point course
  • Social distancing will be expected up to the start of the race, and again at the finish
  • Athletes will be asked to use common sense and stay away if they or any of their close contacts have been unwell in the build up to the race
  • Athletes will be advised of government guidelines around travel restrictions prior to the event
  • Athletes will be contacted via email at various stages on the run up to the event, and also afterwards to complete a post race survey
  • Data will be held to help with contact tracing should the need arise
  • Athletes will be asked to read the Athletics Ireland guidelines around returning to training, as we see this as a glorified training session
  • The event is being put on by Pop Up Races. We are happy to share our findings with other organisations and race directors after the event


I believe that there is an appetite among runners to race, and that the participants have enough sense to continue with handwashing and social distancing and keep any potential risk to a minimum. We do, of course, have a plan in place should there be a confirmed covid case at the event, but we hope not to have to use it.

Depending on the success or not of this event, we have some other locations lined up to open small races like these up to the general public later in June.

My own email address is bconroy@popupraces.ie, and if there are any questions or any concerns about this, please do not hesitate to contact me directly,

We will keep you posted.

Stay safe,