2021 – Racing During COVID

This is the ninth blog in a recollection of the past 10 years. Read about the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 races. As of posting, there are a very few spots remainign for the 10th Annual race on March 5, 2022. Register Today 


The 9th annual Florence Forth, held on March 6, 2021, was the first road race in Durham after the outbreak of COVID. This made Florence Forth the last road race before COVID shut down the city and the first road race as we all began to figure out how to live in a COVID world.

To put on the 2021 event, we developed a detailed COVID plan with the City that required pre-race masking, temperature checks and small starting waves of race participants. In addition to the COVID required changes, our usual start/finish area on Ninth Street was under construction. The pictures are a stark reminder of some of these COVID protocols and the social distancing.


So we created a new course that utilized the Bull City Running Co downtown store and the Ellerbee Creek Greenway. We are using this course again for the 2022 Florence Forth. We had 277 in-person runners with 20 people in each of 14 starting waves spread 5 minutes apart. It was a logistical challenge with on deck corrals, starting corrals and trying to limit the number of people standing around. An additional 270 people from around the USA and around the world ran the virtual option. 

As part of our COVID protocols last year, we agreed with the City to not have any congregating crowds. So we had to push people away from the finish area quickly as everyone was seeing friends in person for the first time in a year. But this year, we can’t wait to have all of you back at Florence Forth and the finish line celebration. Stay as long as you want and even plan to hit brunch at Plum as they will open at 10am!