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  • Becky Gale

It Can Be Done!

Updated: Aug 11

The Iowa State Triathlon Championship on July 26, 2020 used a new software solution to screen volunteers and athletes for symptoms of COVID-19.  It took an Olympic athlete, the owner of True Timing Systems and RunSignUp to execute an effective and efficient COVID-19 Action Plan. Like air travel boarding passes, the Self Report Pass sends out an email with a link to take a symptom survey and once completed successfully, issues a QR Code.  When the athletes arrive at the race, they present their QR Code, are identified on the race official's smartphone and receive a second temperature scan.


In the midst of a global pandemic everyone’s experience was nearly the same,

“It felt good to go fast.” and

“Thank you for not cancelling and figuring out how to keep us as safe as possible.”

We can all agree, exercise is an essential activity to relieve us from the stress of the pandemic and race goals are key to consistent exercise. 


1996 Olympic, 1500m runner and youth track coach Paul McMullen, knows first hand how the pandemic has impacted normal life and was determined to bring a solution to the market that could help the endurance racing industry. Paul has six years of sales engineering experience in enterprise security systems and his team developed an award-winning app called TruthLocker in 2013.  He partnered with Alex Syhlman of True Time Racing Services in Des Moines, IA and RunSignUp’s Business Developer Jordan Desilets to understand the requirements and social responsibilities of gathering and racing again.


Here is the flow for an individual participant on race day:

The Must Knows


First of all it's not just an app, you could think of this as a tool similar to the email from the airlines inviting passengers to check-in 24 hours prior to the flight. Passengers answer vital questions about themselves and are issued a boarding pass that is scanned at TSA and then the gate agent. 


It does not violate our HIPPA Privacy rights because a medical record is only created when a patient and licensed health care professional save information from that visit.  


Race volunteers do not handle or touch participants' phones. It takes just a moment to scan a QR Code between two phones that are approximately three feet apart. If both participant and race officials extend their arms, a six foot distance is respected. 


After a successful scan that confirms a participant took the survey, this information is merged with the race data, to ensure the appropriate authority, can see compliance from that participant has been achieved. Apart from the first and last name and the compliance of the participant, no other data is shared or saved after official race results are posted.


The Self Report Pass exceeds the standard guidelines by taking two body temperatures prior to competing. The first is taken while at home, within 24hrs, to prevent someone with a high temperature from coming to the race and the second is taken upon arrival before they are admitted into the competition area. 


For $1.50 per athlete this one time use tool, processes athletes very quickly on race day to establish a controlled competition area for either staggered time interval starts or a mass start depending on the permitting authority's regulations.

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