Road Runners Club of America

Empowering Everyone to Run!

Risk Management Guidelines

All events insured by the RRCA are expected to follow the RRCA Guidelines for Safe Events (2010). Risk management is one of the primary responsibilities of a race director or club leadering and following the RRCA Guidelines will help ensure a safer event for participants.  Furthermore, the RRCA insurance program is a group policy and poor planning and decision making by one can affect the program for all. It is a shared responsibility of race directors to ensure they are doing everything possible to deliver a safe, well planned event for their participants.  The RRCA also expects all race directors to follow our Race Director Code of Ethics in the conduct of their events.

The collective risk management efforts by our members ensures the RRCA’s ability to obtain affordable insurance for our members. As noted in the General Liability Insurance section, there are two types of events that are excluded from the RRCA’s insurance coverage.  While activities including animals, adaptive devices (wheel chairs, push-chairs, etc.), and strollers are not excluded from the insurance policy, these types of events are strongly discourage unless additional event policies and procedures have been put in place to minimize the risks associated with the inclusion of such items. Bicycles may only be included in events for the purposes of using them as lead pace vehicles, on course medical and general course support, and as a back-of-the-pack vehicle to monitor final finishers.  Other participants beyond official race personnel on bicycles or scoots at a events is prohibited.

Special note about the use of headphones,  strollers, and dogs

The RRCA has a written guideline against the use of personal music devices in running events and group training runs. We feel this is a safety precaution and a risk management responsibility for race directors and group run leaders. As such, race directors and group run leaders are encouraged to ban or strongly discourage the use of headphones, strollers and dogs in races and group runs.

The RRCA understands that enforcement of a ban on these activities can be a challenge for race directors, especially for races that exceed several thousand runners. Because of this, the use of headphones, strollers and dogs in events and group runs is not excluded from the RRCA insurance policy. This means that if a race director bans the use of headphones or strollers during a race, and a participant uses headphones or a stroller anyway, and is involved in an accident, the insurance policy will cover the cost of litigation defense and any potential settlement arising from a claim.

While the insurance policy does not exclude headphones, and the RRCA does not have an outright ban on their use during races, RRCA members taking advantage of the group general liability and Directors & Officers insurance benefit may not actively promote that headphones are welcome at RRCA insured events. RRCA club and event members, who engage in marketing campaigns that invite participants to participate in a race or group run while wearing headphones will be removed from the RRCA group insurance coverage.

As part of the annual renewal process, RRCA members are ​required to review the RRCA’s Guidelines for Safe Event Management, Guidelines for Leading a Group Run, Race Director Code of Ethics, and Music Licensing Information and attest to having ​read this information. As part of the insurance program, ALL RRCA member clubs are required to obtain waivers from their members, event participants, and club guests​.

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