After a hiatus of more than nine months, the Goulburn parkrun was back in action on Saturday at Marsden Weir Park.
Under the guidance of new event directors, Jamie and Rebecca Miles, the popular five kilometre running and walking event drew roughly 50 participants on its return.
"We had a really good turnout, and it was nice to see some of the old regulars come back," Jamie said.
"We had a bit of fun, it was a lovely day for it too."
With bright skies and warm weather, it was certainly the perfect day for a parkrun outing.
Having taken over from former event directors Allison Briggs and Jennifer Wallace, who stood down in late 2020 for personal reasons, Jamie said organising the event after a long break and with strict new procedures in place was like starting it anew.
"My wife and I are very keen runners so we decided to step up, and we've been parkrunning for several years and decided hey, why not put our names forward?" Jamie said.
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"It was a bit like setting it up again from scratch, because we had to get COVID approvals, make sure people don't gather before or after, and tweak the token systems."
But the new organisers left nothing to chance, with details about the COVID-driven changes posted to Facebook and a pre-event briefing on the day to ensure participants understood the new rules.
While stringent, these new procedures (which parkrun is enforcing across Australia) will also allow the event to continue in all but the worst cases.
"The good thing is, even if there is another shut down, we have the procedures to hold out to the nth degree, it would have to be a full shutdown," Jamie said. "We'd only can it if there was a total lockdown."
For now though, Jamie and Rebecca are looking to hold parkrun weekly, as was the case before COVID-19.
Due to the praise drawn by yesterday's event, the pair are confident that it will have the support to run as frequently as it did in the past.
"People were so keen and supportive and grateful that it was back, that shows they missed it in a big way," Jamie said.
The Goulburn parkrun takes place every Saturday, beginning from Marsden Weir Park from 8am. Entry is free and newcomers are welcome to attend.
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