FOR many runners in the region, Saturday morning’s 8am Parkrun is an unmissable ritual, COVID-19 pandemic or not.
Now if this sounds like scores of runners are willingly flaunting social-distancing rules, fear not.
Parkrun is now (Not) Parkrun.
For those who have never heard of Parkrun, it’s a free, five-kilometre Saturday morning run or walk organised by keen volunteers, and Parkrun groups have mushroomed all around the world.
It’s a non-competitive social event, however the quickest among the crowd will be out regularly to shave seconds off personal best times.
In Shepparton this year, Parkrun has gone virtual.
In order to disperse the normal Saturday morning crowd, which can reach 200, (Not) Parkrun encourages runners to complete the five-kilometre course any time during the week and upload their times online.
Shepparton Parkrun enthusiast and studio manager at The Adviser, Mathieu Ryan, said the loss of a social Parkrun was a hard to adjust to.
“We’re now all itching to run together, to share the joy of running that brings so many of the community together,” he said.
“With (Not) Parkrun, it’s the first step to re-engaging the parkrun community to share that they are still running.
“We may not be able to enjoy our regular parkrun, but we are still able to stay active.”
For more information, check out Shepparton Parkrun on Facebook.