On the Grand Canyon Path Half Marathon on Nov. 7, one of many few longer occasions scheduled to happen this fall in-person, individuals will obtain a neck gaiter as a part of their race packets, says Randy Accetta, the race director. They have to put on it or one other facial masking in the beginning, and every time they move different runners en route.

(A current, unpublished examine of masks and gaiters concluded that three-ply fabric masks and gaiters block near 60 p.c of expelled aerosols throughout coughing, if the gaiter is folded right into a double layer.)

Racers ought to plan, too, to hold a handkerchief and maintain their mucus and spittle contained, says Bert Blocken, a professor of civil engineering at Eindhoven College of Know-how within the Netherlands and KU Leuven in Belgium, who research airflow, together with throughout biking and working occasions. In such races, he says, “it’s well-known that saliva and snot flies round.”

Since these fluids may include viral particles if the racer releasing them is contaminated, runners mustn’t spit or blow their noses into the air, he says, and keep away from any racers who don’t comply.

In reality, distance and isolation are fascinating all through these races, he says. If you happen to move different runners, attempt to swing no less than six toes vast, and ideally 15 toes or extra, since respiratory particles are unlikely to drift that far, he says. And keep away from drafting behind different racers; their expired air congregates within the shoulder-wide slipstream behind them.

After all, even with precautions in place, in-person racing can’t be risk-free. If in case you have considerations, contemplate contacting the race director and asking about race protocols, says Johanna Goode, the advertising and marketing director at RunSignUp, an organization that handles registrations and different providers for races across the nation. Or “see if the race has a digital choice that may can help you resolve easy methods to take part nearer to the race date,” she says.

Some runners additionally might really feel disheartened by the bounds of at present’s races. “We’ve had runners inform us they miss head-to-head racing,” Mr. Henderlong says. They mourn the lack of group sprints to the end, “and having household cheering them on, high-fives, all of that.”