NSW Government – Community Sport

On the 10 June, the NSW Government announced that Community Sport for people of all ages would be allowed to recommence on and from 1 July, subject to certain requirements and guidelines. The guideline sets out the requirements that event organisers must comply with for the return to racing and events. This is in accordance with the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020. Event organisers must comply with any applicable laws, council regulations and Public Health Orders.

The Mount Panorama Punish has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan, intended to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 amongst participants, officials, volunteers, visitors, families, support crew and the broader community. The Plan provides the framework to govern the general operation of the Punish and includes the monitoring and reporting of the health of attendees at the Event.

As from 1 July 2020, participants are training and racing under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020 (As amended on 16 July 2020 and 23 July 2020).

NSW COVID-19 Safety Recommendations

On the 17 August 2020, the NSW Government announced tightened restrictions relating to COVID-19 and sporting events and competitions across NSW; the Punish falls into this category.

The Chief Health Officer, NSW Health, made the following recommendations to the NSW Office of Sport to be implemented by Wednesday 19 August 2020. These changes are in place for six weeks, at this stage, ending on 30 September 2020. Although the Punish is being held 25 days after the end of this recommendation, the Punish organisers needed to make a decision on how the Punish would work for this year. It’s not yet known whether restrictions would continue beyond this date, so we have decided to err on the side of caution for all people involved.

The recommendations detailed in the letter include the request for community sport organisations to:

  • Cease activities that result in the mixing of participants and staff from different regions, for example by ceasing zone, regional or state championships or competitions*.
  • Cease face-to-face social activities relating to community sports (e.g. award ceremonies, end-of-season social gatherings, post-training group dinners)
  • Avoid carpools or bus travel with people from different household groups where possible; and
  • For local activities, limit spectators to one parent only, where the child requires parental supervision during the sporting activity.

Regional Boundaries – who can attend?

Residents of the following Local Government areas may attend:

  • Bathurst Regional Council
  • Blayney Shire Council
  • Orange City Council
  • Cabonne Council
  • Cowra Shire Council
  • Lithgow City Council, and
  • Oberon Council

If you are outside the boundaries of the LGAs listed, you will not be able to attend the Punish this year and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.

COVID-19 Safety Plan – the details

Limit event numbers

Restrictions on the size of community sporting activities must ensure that a gathering for the activity involves no more than 500 participants. Participants in this instance, does not include spectators and volunteers.


The number of registered runners will be limited to 500.

All participants must be off the course and completed by 9.10am. Runners will be requested to ‘run and leave’ at the completion of their event and not linger at the race hub.

Support Crew / Spectators

Spectators will be discouraged from attending and those that are in attendance will be requested to not linger at the start/finish area and to be safe, respectful and courteous to allow others access without crowding. The organisers acknowledge that one parent may attend as a spectator for their children who are running.

The spectator area will be mainly contained within in the large Harris Park area, including the grassy hill either side of the start/finish line. 


  • The event will be scheduled in such a way as to minimise intermingling of participants
  • Spectators will be restricted to authorised area as specified by race organisers, and not the finish chute where runners will be completing their course.
  • Maintain a ‘no contact’ form of celebration and congratulations.
  • There will be no presentation ceremony for placegetters. Finisher medals will be given to all finishers as they pass through the exit of the track back to the spectator area.


No persons, including participants, volunteers and spectators, are to attend the event if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, or a confirmed case of COVID-19, or have been generally unwell including runny nose, cold or flu symptoms. 

Persons must not attend if in the 14 days prior to the event they have been unwell or had close contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19 (cough, sore throat, fever or shortness of breath), or have been in a known hotspot in NSW or Qld, or have been in Victoria.  NSW residents should check the website:  https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates#latest-covid-19-case-locations-in-nsw and will not be permitted to attend if their town or suburb is listed as a hotspot.

Persons should leave if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 during the event.


The event organisers recommend that participants, volunteers, spectators and other attendees download and activate the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe App before attending the event.

Briefings for participants

Runner Race Briefing Notes – online/electronic for 2020

To try and minimise contact with and between all runners at the race briefing, we will introduce an online race briefing for 2020.

There will be race briefing notes for all races, emailed to all registered 2020 participants, posted to the Mount Panorama Punish Facebook page, and available on the website the week before. This will have all the up-to-date information for the race starts on the day and to answer any questions people have about how COVID-19 will be addressed at the event. All measures will be taken to protect volunteers and runners in this time and stop people mass gathering. 

All participants must read the specifics regarding their event/race, including:

  • Runners will be required to review race briefing notes before the event/race.
  • All runners must agree to follow all race policies.
  • Runners are responsible for communicating all race policies to their crew and/or any spectators.
  • Runners are restricted to any authorised area as directed by race management.
  • Runners must follow guidelines for pre-race briefing at the start, arrival times, start times, collection of race bibs and medal giving processes.
  • A reminder not to attend if feeling unwell, or if they have been in contact with a COVID-19 patient, been in Victoria or in a NSW Government identified COVID-19 hotspot, had a cold in the last 14 days or returning from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • A reminder of any hygiene practices that will be in place (e.g. hand washing, sanitising, sneezing and coughing, spitting).
  • A recommendation for all participants (runners, volunteers and spectators) to wear a face mask or doubled-up buff over mouth/nose.  Runners will be permitted to remove their mask once their race has commenced, and to place it back onto their face at completion of the race.
  • Physical distancing throughout the race is required, even out on course and at checkpoints, and especially when passing others, including volunteers, spectators and any members of the public.
  • A reminder that runners should arrive self-sufficient, ready to race. There will be NO DRINK STATION across the top of McPhillamy Park. One sealed water bottle will be available to participants at the exit of the finish area as they proceed into the Harris Park spectator area.
  • A reminder of the ‘this is not like normal years, you must physically distance when racing and before and after the event.
  • What facilities will and will not be available.
  • Whether spectators will or will not be allowed to attend; and
  • A recommendation to download the COVIDSafe App.

Runner Briefing – On the day

There will be a short race briefing on the day 10 minutes before the race to cover any last minute information. This will have all the up-to-date information for each race on the day, and a reminder of the COVID-19 measures in place at the event.


Race check-in and bib collection will occur over three time periods to reduce in-person interactions.

  • COVID-19 Safety Form: All registered participants will need to read, answer questions and sign a COVID-19 questionnaire/waiver before being permitted to race. This will be available online and available for completion 3 days prior to the event. This is the preferred option for completion. Participants can also complete the waiver at the bib collection on Saturday afternoon only. No waiver will be available to sign on Sunday.
  • Race Bibs: Race bibs need to be collected in person on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, or Saturday afternoon. THERE WILL BE NO RACE BIB COLLECTION ON SUNDAY MORNING BEFORE THE RACE.
  • Chip Timing: The Punish is using single-use RFID chip timing for this event. These form part of the race bib.


Passing on the course

Beyond the first corner, participants will be required to keep moving position yourself to safely keep a distance of 1.5m from other participants.

Hygiene… surely we don’t need to say it..

Don’t spit. It’s disgusting. COVID-19 or not. Sort yourself out with a buff or handkerchief if you have to, but just don’t spit.

Finish Line

  • Finish area: The race hub is a large area located at Harris Park, at the base of Mount Panorama. At the finish, announcers will remind participants to proceed through the exit of the track and disperse into the open area and maintain a 1.5m distance from other runners and spectators.
  • Finisher Medals:  Runners will need to use physical distancing measures as they collect their medal from volunteers as they pass through the exit of the track. Please feel free let the volunteer know if you’d prefer not to receive a medal.
  • Timing: Participants who anticipate running 26 minutes or less may notify race organisers up to 18th October if they wish to have a priority start, racing on “gun time”. All other participants will be invited to commence the race utilising a rolling start to maintain physical distance from other runners and will be timed on “net time”, meaning the time starts and stops as they step over the timing mat.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided at the race hub.
  • Bag Drop:  There will be no drop bag facility provided.  Participants can leave their gear in cars.
  • Nutrition/Food:  No food is provided by the event organisers.
  • Physical Distancing: Runners to continue physical distance and following race direction while they celebrate their finish.
  • Presentation:  No official presentation will occur for this year’s event. 
  • Departure:  Participants and spectators will be asked to depart the event hub as soon as is practicable and not to ‘hang around’ and after the event. “Get in, race, get out” is the idea.

Keeping records

Event organisers will collect and keep records of each participant, volunteer and spectator, to facilitate contact tracing, should it be required by NSW Government Health officials. 

The Punish will use the GuestTrack online facility whereby attendees (not registered participants) will scan a QR code and record their details.  Registered runners will have their details recorded when they register for the event online prior to the event.  If an attendee does not have a smart phone, a manual form will be available for people to sign.  Pens will be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

The records will include the date of the event, each attendee’s name and a contact email address or phone number. The records will be kept for at least 28 days and stored confidentially and securely.

The event organiser will cooperate with NSW Health if contacted in relation to a positive case of COVID-19 at the event.