On-Site Walk & 5K Run

ON-SITE Every Step Counts Autism Walk & 5K Run

October 3, 2020 from 8am-Noon
Centennial Park, Ellicott City, MD

Every Step Counts Autism Walk & 5K Run has traditionally featured a timed 5K run and a 4K walk around Centennial Lake in Ellicott City, MD. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will look different this year. Here is a guide to the new protocols, which are subject to change. We appreciate your flexibility as we finalize these plans. And we greatly appreciate your willingness to walk or run with us in support of individuals and their families who are navigating the autism journey. #EveryStepCounts  #AutismStrongMD

OVERVIEW of the ON-SITE Every Step Counts Autism Walk & 5K Run
  • The walk & 5K run will be a hybrid event, with on-site (at Centennial Park on Oct. 3) and virtual (anywhere, anytime) event options. [Click here to learn about the Virtual Walk & 5K Run]
  • Participants may transfer between events at any time, converting an on-site registration to a virtual registration and vice versa, by logging in to their RunSignUp account.
  • Event coordinators will be on-site at the Start/Finish line for check-in, start-wave logistics, and sending off runners and walkers.
  • The Start and Finish lines will be at different locations. [See Course Map]
  • Runners and walkers will be grouped into start waves of 20-25 people at 20-minute intervals between 8am and noon.
  • The 5K run at Centennial Lake will not be a timed event with chips. Participants are encouraged to record their times and/or distance with running apps (Strava, MapMyRun) and report them on the event website. [Walk & 5K Run Results]
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Additional guests and visitors are discouraged from attending the on-site event. 
  • Participants will select a start time when they register for the event. [Register HERE]
  • Team captains can request a start time for their team to walk or run together.
  • Join us for our Event Kick-off on August 30 [Packet Pick-up and Car Parade]
  • All packets must be picked up prior to October 3rd at one of our three scheduled Packet Pick-Up events. On-site registration and packet pick-up will not be available.  [Event Calendar]  
  • Pick up your packet on Thursday, October 1 outside Road Runner Sports at 6630-C Marie Curie Drive, Elkridge, MD
  • Team captains can arrange to pick up their team members’ packets at any of the packet pick-up locations.
  • You will receive additional instructions a week prior to the event with information on parking, your start-time muster station assignment, and contact info for HCAS staff/volunteers.
  • If you'd like to preview the event route, check out the Every Step Counts Virtual Course Video.
ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3 at Centennial Park

To ensure the health and safety of all participants and volunteers, runners and walkers are required to do the following:

  • Arrive at Centennial Park at least 15 minutes prior to your start time.
  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet while you are in the event area (Check-In Desk, muster stations, and Start and Finish lines).
  • Wear a face mask while you are in the event area (Check-In Desk, muster stations, and Start and Finish lines). Don’t have a face mask? We’ll have extras.
  • Use our hand sanitizer – liberally!
Instructions for runners and walkers


  • Upon arrival, report to the COVID-19 Screening Station at the end of the parking lot near Pavilion A in the South Area of the park. [See Course Map]
  • Your safety is our top priority. Anyone entering the Check-In Area at Centennial Park will be required to complete a very brief (1-2 minute) ONLINE COVID-19 screening survey the morning of the event. You will receive the survey link by email the day before the event. DO NOT complete the survey before arriving at the event. You will show the confirmation email on your mobile device at the COVID-19 Screening Station that morning.
  • Your temperature will be taken at the COVID-19 Screening Station. Please note that event staff may refuse entry to any persons who refuse to comply with or do not meet temperature screening protocols set forth by the Howard County Autism Society.
  • WEAR A MASK at all times while in the event area at Centennial Park.
  • To maximize social distancing at the park, you have been assigned a WAVE or start time. You selected a preferred start time when you registered. This start time will be confirmed in an email to you a few days before the event.
  • Arrive at the Check-In Area at Centennial Park 15 minutes prior to your WAVE or start time. After checking in, you will be directed to a muster station to wait for your start wave. Remain at your muster station until you are escorted to the Start line.
  • Snap some photos at the event banner to post to your fundraising or team page and/or social media.
  • Participate in our Facebook Live! event every hour on the hour. [Every Step Counts LIVE!]
  • Wait for the Race Manager to release your wave at the Start line.
  • If you're a runner, use a GPS-based app such as Strava or MapMyRun to record your time.

    ONCE YOU COMPLETE YOUR RUN OR WALK, we invite you to:
  • Pick up a Grab 'n Go bag with water and a snack in the Finish Area.
  • If you're a runner, upload your finishing time to the Results page of the RunSignUp website.
  • Exit the Finish Area and return to your car. Please do not return to the Check-in Area, muster stations, or Start line before leaving the event area.

We ask all registrants that if you are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, sore throat, diarrhea, recent loss of taste or smell), or if someone you live with has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, please stay home and do not enter the event area

Thank you for supporting the autism community!  

Contact the event coordinators at 410-290-3466 or info@howard-autism.org for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: These event protocols are subject to change as CDC, state, and local guidelines are released.  To ensure the health and safety of all participants, HCAS reserves the right to convert, at any time, the Every Step Counts Autism Walk & 5K Run into an all-virtual event. 

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