Rimi Riga Marathon on August 28th and 29th: Epidemiologically Safe
This year’s Rimi Riga Marathon will take place at the end of the summer on August 28th and 29th, and the priority of the event will be epidemiological safety. On Saturday, August 28th, the youngest participants will run in the Kids’ Day races, while Sunday, August 29th will see marathon, half-marathon, 10 km and 5.5 km runners start from the Freedom Monument.
The event organization has been adapted for the epidemiological situation, with fewer participants and a three-level start. The Green Start will be a joint start for those who have been vaccinated or who have recently recovered, and who have a valid EU digital certificate. The Yellow Start will be staggered, and runners with a negative COVID-19 test will have individual start times. Meanwhile, the Virtual Start is for those who do not want to run in person or take a test. If the 14-day cumulative infection rate increases to 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the Yellow Start may be cancelled.
The 2021 event will host significantly fewer runners, and safety measures also include limiting audiences and entertainment opportunities, but organizers will nevertheless ensure that the running festival will be as inspiring as usual given the circumstances.
“Our priority this year is the participants’ safety, so the event will be different: no large mass start or entertainment, with a focus on running and with fewer people, but just as real and inspiring,” confirms Director of the Rimi Riga Marathon Aigars Nords.
“In planning the 2021 Rimi Riga Marathon, we have taken into account the recommendations of our partners—the experts and specialists at the Ministry of Health, government and local institutions—as well as our own international marathon experience, to ensure that the marathon will run as safely as possible. The marathon season promises to be saturated in the second half of this year, as organizers attempt to create the most suitable event management models for the pandemic. Like in many other leading marathons, Riga’s Green Start participants will feel the most comfortable, as they will be the only ones to enjoy a mass start with minimal restrictions, and they will be less dependent on infection figures,” adds Nords.
Green, Yellow and Virtual Start
The Green Start will be a joint start on August 29th for those who have been vaccinated against or recently recovered from Covid, and who have a valid EU digital certificate. The Green Start will be a joint start in accordance with marathon traditions, and these participants will be able to linger in the finish zone.
The Yellow Start, staggered with individual start times, will be for runners with a negative Covid test who can show a valid digital testing certificate (a PCR no older than 48 hr or RAT - 6 hr). Yellow Start runners will wear a mask in the start zone, adhere to a 2 meter distance, and will start in organized “waves” with intervals of five to ten seconds. Arriving for the time written on the runner’s race number will be compulsory and of critical importance to ensure a fluid, safe event. These runners will have to wear a mask in the finish zone, must adhere to distancing, and should not linger. Bear in mind that, if the 14-day cumulative infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants reaches 120, the Yellow Start may be cancelled. The number of Yellow Start participants is limited, and registration is open until the limit has been reached or until August 5th.
Participants who do not wish to take a test or run in person will be offered a Virtual Start, and can run their race on the day of the marathon anywhere in the world, recording their time in the Virtual Running Club using their smart device.
Entry to the start zone with wristbands only
To enter the start zone, participants will need a special green or yellow Rimi Riga Marathon wristband. Participants will be able to pick up a green wristband and take part in the joint start by showing a valid COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate, passport/ID card and race number from Thursday, August 26th. Participants will be able to pick up a yellow wristband by showing a certificate confirming the results of a negative COVID-19 laboratory test, passport/ID card and race number before their race time at specified locations in Riga. Organizers will publish exact details nearer the race.
Organizers ask participants to be understanding and strictly adhere to the start time (Green Start) or individual starting intervals (Amber Start) written on each participant’s race number. To avoid unnecessary crowds, audience members and fans are asked to avoid visiting the start (Freedom Monument) and finish (11 November Embankment) zones, instead choosing a different location along our new route and strictly adhering to a 2 meter distance.
Runners of all distances will finally be able to try out our new routes on August 29th, which were approved last year by Riga City Council and the Department of Traffic. The routes are a return to the historic starting line at the Freedom Monument. The new route will take marathon runners early in the morning through the Mežaparks Song Festival Stage, as well as visiting the Āgenskalns and Pārdaugava neighbourhoods. All the races will cross the Vanšu and Akmens bridges, allowing runners to enjoy a full panorama of Riga.
For the Rimi Riga Marathon Kids’ Day Races on August 28th, all participants will have to adhere to distancing in the race territory, and parents will have to wear face masks (except for on the courses). Kids’ Day participants will need a green or yellow Rimi Riga Marathon wristband, with the exception of children younger than 12.
This year, organizers ask relatives not to come and watch the kids’ races, as only those accompanying children should come to Kids’ Day. The Happy Babies, 200 m and 400 m races will be open on August 28th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Freedom Monument. The final event of Kids’ Day is the Family Run, with families starting the 4.2 km race from 3 p.m. with a staggered start (and personal start times).
Register by August 5th
Bearing in mind that the EXPO will not be taking place this year for safety reasons, participants will be able to receive their race numbers from DPD, the marathon’s official courier. Organizers invite everyone who wants to run this year to register without delay by August 5th, and to make any changes—changing the distance, participant name, postponing until 2022, changing from virtual to in-person or vice-versa—by emailing email@example.com.
Medals by Jānis Šneiders
“Too long have we sat, stood, stayed in one place.” It is time to get moving by running and inviting our friends and everyone around us to regain the joy in moving they gain every May in the Rimi Riga Marathon. Young artist Jānis Šneiders has put this idea into his medals, which ripple the water like a pebble thrown into the sea:
“The medal is a symbolic representation of movement. It is a disturbed surface, concentric rings of golden waves caused by a splash, a crater in the middle, in the centre of which is the runner with a medal around their neck: a body thrown into gold!”