About Jizerská 50 without viewers
Our team goes to Liberec region every winter. More specifically to the little town Bedrichov where the famous cross-country ski race Jizerská 50 takes place every February.
This year, shortly after the race itself, we had an opportunity to speak with the Race leader Mr. Ondřej Brouček from RAUL! Mr. Brouček has been working in sports events for 15 years. At Jizerská 50 he enjoys the diversity of the event and non-standard conditions in the event's preparation. Let's see what he had to say about this year's event.
"How many people raced last year? For me, it was the last live event I attended before the first lockdown. "
"8141 runners were registered, which was the most historically. At that time, we didn't deal with COVID-19. It was something far away in China. "
"When did you start planning the Jizerska 50 for this year?"
"We prepare the race Jizerská 50 all year round. After the event itself, we finalize invoices and resolve the remaining accountabilities. We start organizing the run "Běhej Lesy Jizerská," which is held at the turn of August and September. Immediately after that, we put our focus on the cross-country ski race. "
"Restrictions and rules for organizing mass events have changed a lot. How did you cope with that?"
"The organizational level was much more difficult this year. We got inspired abroad, where they dealt with this type of sports events under such circumstances. The worst part was the adaptation to the ever-changing conditions in the Czech Republic. In December, when thousands of people registered for the race and the situation got worse, we decided to stop the registration for the category Hobby racers. This group of hobby races particularly inspired us to extend the entire Jizerská 50 to 9 days. The race was meant to be for 9000 runners who would start their race individually according to time slots. It was the safest option to come up with. The Ministry of Health rejected the proposal for a hobby race. We only received an exception for the Elite Race, which is done within the Visa Ski Classics. "
" Which of the last changes took place just two weeks before the event? "
"For the Elite Race, we dealt intensively with the changing conditions in terms of travel. One of the most significant organizational difficulties was for foreign teams to arrive in the Czech Republic. On the last Sunday before the race, travelling to the Czech Republic was not allowed from many countries. It was impossible to get here without a five-day quarantine and a negative PCR test. These everyday changing rules led to consequences. Instead of 190 professional competitors, only 100 ran.
All technical matters were thoroughly preplanned. For hobby races, 1hour slots, each after 40 seconds. Registration system and LED screens had been ordered for the entire area. Unfortunately, we were unable to run the race under these conditions either.
"I had the opportunity to see this year and compare with last year's race. It was so sad. Jizerská 50 has its core group of fans. How did they react to the fact that the race was cancelled for them?"
"We have seen a lot of reactions on social media. It was such a mixture of great sadness. I was also surprised by the misunderstanding of some people. They truly misunderstood why the race was cancelled. Primarily, it was a disappointment, which was perfectly understandable. Jizerská 50 is also run in the memory of the Peru expedition. We have the motto "My personal race" directly under the name. Each racer has his own goal. Someone wants to beat a friend, and someone wants to win. Others want to secure a place in the club of champions Jizerská 50, which means participation in at least 30 races of 50 km track Jizerská 50. For the nine-day version of Jizerská, we received rather negative feedback. Mainly because the atmosphere of the group start would be missing. "
"What did you have to follow in terms of "no-covid" rules to enable Jizerská 50 run, at least for professional racers?"
"We created a list of strict rules. Our main goal was to create a social bubble within the Jizerska 50. The area was completely fenced off with a single entrance. We introduced the rule of frequent testing, and we also had a backup team ready. Before the race, everyone who entered the complex had to have a negative PCR test, whether it was a racer or catering provider. The European Championship in Judo inspired us, and we also had our COVID manager at the event present and accountable at all times. We had a rented parking lot in the center of Bedřichov, where we built a mobile office facility for registration and testing. People received a wrist band upon a negative PCR test. Their temperature was measured when entering the premises. They had to fill in their self-reports to a hygienic station. Everything was prepared in detail. If someone tested positive, an ambulance was at hand. It would take the person directly to quarantine. Fortunately, we didn't have to use it.
On Sunday, during the race, we guarded Bedřichov as well as track passages with the police's cooperation. That's why we decided to organize the race early in the morning and minimize potential gatherings with fever people around the course. In the morning, police quads rode along the route, asking nearby standing fans to leave."
"David Kramer has been taking care of Jizerská 50 on behalf of our team for more than ten years. How would you evaluate this collaboration in the past ten years?"
"I have known David for several years, and the cooperation is very professional. He always solved any problem or difficult situation very promptly. The container had already encountered problems several times. An excavator or snowcat had to come to pull the sunken truck back in its original direction. I'm thankful for your cooperation with Livebros. We are finally making full use of the potential of the large display area that we have every year, thanks to the container.
We recently agreed, this year was the saddest Jizerská 50 in the history of the race.
"I'm looking forward to next year. Where people from 30 countries will be racing again in one place, and the virtual race will be just a side program."
Thank you for the interview Ondřej, and we look forward to working with you again!
oneAVteam has been technically supporting Jizerská 50 for seven years. This year, we delivered our BDF LED container to the Bedřichov stadium, which served as an information area for competitors and the organizing team during the races. Apart from the race, a large display area of the container served digital signage and media promotion. We provided custom-built racks of complete signal flow, distribution, and digital switching boards and sources to ensure flawless production workflow.