Blog Post
Oct 3

Is Your Start/Finish Line Structure Safe?

Is the start/finish line structure for your race or walk safe? What happens if the weather changes? Is there a plan? 

At Event Tech, we use tools developed in conjunction with Clark Reder, the entertainment industry's premier engineers, to know how our structures will perform. There is no guesswork. We design conservatively with the safety of guests and staff as our main concern.

A popular choice for race and walk events is a truss goalpoast (aka truss arch). It looks like a soccer goal in its simplest form with two vertical truss sections extending up from the ground connected together with a horizontal truss running above people's heads.

The truss goalpost can have many uses:

  • start/finish line for a race or walk
  • ground supported LED walls
  • entrance gate at a festival
  • backdrop or banner support above or behind a stage
  • pedestrian walkways
  • support for step and repeat backdrops
  • DJ lighting support
  • signage towers

Anytime a temporary structure is built outside, the possibility of weather - specifically wind - must be considered. The biggest factor affecting truss goalposts is coverage from signs and backdrops - essentially sails that catch the wind and act to either lift the structure or flip it over. To counteract those forces we make the base of the structure wider and heavier using Block and Roll ballast blocks that allow a neat, clean look. Sometimes additional diagonal bracing is added to stabilize taller sections. 

Designs can be stock, from our library of proven examples, modified, or fully customized depending on the customer's requirements. CAD drawings are produced for every structure and being able to visualize the finished product helps align everyone's expectations and ensure a smooth event. Depending on the requirements of the local jurisdiction, we can also provide PE stamped drawings for any state in the US.

Every time we build a structure we know:

  • exactly what parts to use and how they should be configured
  • the maximum acceptable wind speed with coverage
  • the maximum acceptable wind speed with all coverage removed
  • the high wind action plan that lays out who is responsible and what to do for different conditions
  • the predicted local weather

Suspending anything above people's heads is serious business. It's easy to do wrong - it's usually the tempting, cheaper option. Many times people assume they know what it is safe but they have no way to verify their instincts. Unfortunately, we see it all the time.

Finish Line Example 1

Event Tech can help you achieve your vision and mitigate some of the risks involved with outdoor events. Structures we provide are safe up to established limits and when those limits are reached we have a plan for what to do next. 

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