COVID Self Report Pass

Guest blog from Paul McMullen – Creator of the COVID Self Report Pass

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”

“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.

The Stats

  • 249 total athletes registered for the event.
  • 193 Individuals, 7 teams, 4 Aquabikes, 11 Duathletes for a total of 215 finishers as posted in the results available at
  • 208 of the 215 participants that appeared in the official results provided SelfReportPass a survey electronically 24 hours prior.  
  • 203 people were successfully scanned in by the Self Report Pass App (approximately 40% printed their pass on paper and 60% presented it electronically) and 5 people completed a paper survey because they didn’t get an email or failed to take the survey prior to arriving. 
  • 1 device completed all the scans. YES! One phone!
  • 21 people were scanned in a span of 1min 43 seconds or 4.9 sec/participant
  • 2 participants filled out the survey and received instructions NOT to attend, but still showed up.  When they presented their QR Code it was RED and they were instructed to go to a secondary screening provided by the Pigman Triathlon race officials. 

The Must Knows

It feels familiar to participants; in fact it’s just like the email from the airlines inviting passengers to check-in 24 hours prior to a flight. Participants click a link and answer the CDC’s COVID symptom questions.   Based on their answers they are issued a QR Code, RED “Stay Home” and Green “Report to the Race.”  On race day they present their code, get scanned by race officials and enter the Athletes ONLY competition area. 

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

Race officials 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 permit authority can see all participants complied. Apart from their name, email, time-stamp of scan, no other participant data is saved.  This minimal data is kept for 14 days for contract tracing purposes and then deleted.

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.

For further information please contact Paul McMullen at

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