Parkrun Jersey, which is governed by Parkrun UK, has been encouraging runners to keep active with solo outings, as an alternative to their weekly mass event at Les Quennevais.
The 5km Parkrun, which historically took place every Saturday at 9am, attracted hundreds of runners to the Frank Machon Circuit and Railway Walk each week. However, organised runs have not been staged since 7 March 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions and will remain off-limits for the foreseeable future.
Sam Horsfall, event director of Parkrun Jersey, said the online initiative, coined ‘(not) Parkrun’, has proved an invaluable outlet for many regulars.
‘We have all had tough days throughout the pandemic and a lot of the time all we need is a bit of fresh air and to get out for a walk or run to clear our heads,’ she said. ‘The online event encourages people to get moving and provides a little bit of friendly competition that anyone can get involved in.
‘Throughout Christmas we had people doing their own advent challenges and running 5km each day of the month – people have been getting really creative and finding fun ways to stay active and motivated.’
Horsfall said that she does not know when the normal parkrun event will return – but admitted she does not expect it to restart anytime soon.
‘The problem is that we can have up to 400 people turn up on a Saturday morning,’ she explained. ‘I think we are going to have to wait until everything gets back to normal, because there is no way gathering restrictions will allow 400 people running around the track at once.
‘As long as people are staying active and we are playing our part in support their wellbeing, then we are doing a good job.’
Anyone wishing to join the initiative can do so by registering at www.parkrun.org.uk.