Race Protocols for 2020

As we all know, COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the running community.  It put a halt on almost all competitive events. There hasn’t been a certified 5K hosted in the Columbia area since March….. but that is about to change!  The Justin Pepper 5K:  Walk, Run, Ruck! is on!!


We have been working diligently behind the scene to develop a plan and get approvals to host a safe in-person 5K race.  The Justin Pepper 5K: Walk, Run, Ruck! will be held on Saturday, September 5, at Palmetto Bone and Joint in Chapin with staggered starts beginning at 7 AM.  


To help us provide a safe race, temperature checks, face masks, and social distancing are required except while walking, running, or rucking.




Temperature Checks and Masks are required for this event.  


Race participants may remove their mask while walking, running, or rucking, but are required to wear it until they are positioned at the start.  


We respectfully request that you put your mask on after the completion of your walk/run/ruck once you have cooled down to normal breathing.  Also, please adhere to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) social distancing guidelines and remain 6 feet apart (at a minimum) from other participants you pass on the route and while you are in the cool down area. 


What to expect on race day


When you arrive, you will be greeted by staff from Drayer Physical Therapy to have your temperature checked.  If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or above, you will not be allowed to participate.  Your registration may be converted to our virtual option.  Once we assess your temperature, you will receive a sticker to move on to the next step.  If you have previously picked up your race materials, you may proceed to the staging area. 


         Packet Pick Up Locations:


Wednesday, September 2, 11 AM to 2 PM:  

              Drayer Physical Therapy (Irmo location, behind Lizzard Thicket)


Thursday, September 3, 4 PM to 7 PM:

                  Strictly Running, Devine Street in Columbia


Friday, September 4, 4 PM to 8 PM:

                  Palmetto Bone & Joint, Chapin



If you have not previously picked up your race materials, please go to the check-in station, located at the left side of the Palmetto Bone & Joint building, to retrieve your race materials. Then move on to the staging area. 


The participant staging area will be marked according to run times.  Yellow:  Under 8 minute/mile, Orange: 8–12 minute/mile, White: 12 and Up minute/mile, Final Stage:  walkers, ruckers, those with dogs/strollers/wheelchairs.  


Race personnel will signal when you need to move from the staging area to the assembly area behind the start line.  In the assembly area a race volunteer will direct 5 participants at a time to approach the cone-marked start positions.  Once in your start position, you may remove your mask. Participants will begin their walk/run/ruck in groups of 5 starting approximately every minute.  


A dual chip system is being used by Strictly Running to time the event.  


Please note: The start mat may pick up your chip as you approach the start line, but no worries….. your official time will start once you cross the mat for the final time.  Your time is determined from the time you cross the start mat (final time) until you cross the finish mat (first time).  


All participants are asked to be mindful of others around you along the course and try to stay at a safe distance.  The course has wide lanes, with the exception of the Mile 2 turn around, so staying distanced should be very easy.  


There will be water stops at Mile 1 (hosted by Sonic) and Mile 2 (hosted by B106).  Water stops will have a cooler filled with water bottles. Self Service. At Mile 3 (hosted by Profile) you may pick up a snack.  Self Service.


There will not be a refreshment table this year at the end of the race, but we will have bottled water and Gatorade available.


There will be port-a-potty stations at the start of the race and at Mile 2.  A handwashing station will be provided near the station at the start of the race (sponsored by Palmetto, Bone & Joint).  The port-a-potty unit at Mile 2 will have a sink inside.  Hand Sanitizer will be provided at both port-a-potty locations as well.  


Due to the coronavirus we will not be able to host vendors or have a DJ which would encourage participants to linger after the event.  We respectfully request that you consider this a ‘run and done’ event.  Once you have completed your run/walk/ruck, we ask that you please leave the event.  


Live Race Results will be presented at 11 AM on our Facebook Page and linked to our YouTube channel once completed.  You may pick up your medals/awards as noted below, or they will be mailed to you. 


Medals/Awards Distribution: 


RACE DAY at PB&J (DRIVE THRU) from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM


Monday (Labor Day) at PB&J (DRIVE THRU) from 11 AM to Noon 


Tuesday (Sept 8) from 4-6 at Strictly Running in Columbia


All medals and awards not distributed will be mailed. 


We hope you will feel safe and secure in attending the Justin Pepper 5K: Walk, Run, Ruck! this year.  If you do not wish to attend in person, we are also offering a virtual option this year. 


If you choose to participate in the virtual event, you may walk, run, or ruck wherever you want between August 28 and Labor Day (September 7). We have contracted with RaceJoy to provide you with an app that will track your measurement and time and post your results.  We encourage you to post a selfie and tag the race using the hashtag #JP5KVirtual. 


Please note:  The Virtual event is a separate event and is mostly for fun.  You will receive a shirt, a participation medal, and may download and print a digital bib.  Your times, although recorded through the RaceJoy app (should you choose), are not included in the tally for race medals and awards at the competitive in-person event on Saturday, September 5th.  


Above all, we want to provide our participants with a safe and enjoyable experience.  We appreciate the support we have received from Strictly Running, Palmetto Bone & Joint, the town of Chapin, Lexington County, Chapin High School, our sponsors, and especially our race participants.  


Should you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@justinpepper5k.org.


PO Box 598

Chapin, SC  29036


Office: (803) 932-2222

Mobile: (803) 727-5871 (text friendly)


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