Almost 1000 Canberrans raced the rain on Saturday morning to get in their first parkrun in more than six months.
The five-kilometre running events resumed at Mount Ainslie, Tuggeranong, Gungahlin, Ginnindera, Wagi Bridge and Lake Burley Griffin, following an extended hiatus due to the pandemic.
Dark clouds rolling in over the Australian War Memorial weren't enough to deter more than 120 runners from lining up - socially-distanced - on the muddy trails at Mount Ainslie at 8am.
Paramedic Scott Trim was among the spectators waiting at the finish line, alongside some of the 13 volunteers directing foot traffic and keeping time.
Coffee in hand, a sleepy Mr Trim stopped in on his way home from night shift, to cheer on wife Siobhan as she completed her first parkrun.
With a roadtrip up to Brisbane planned this Christmas, the "social runners" plan to attend parkruns at different locations en route, hopefully with children Declan and Amelia in tow.
Event director Rebecca Brown said while the wet weather prediction may have deterred a few, there was relief and excitement for the event to be back.
A runner herself, Ms Brown said hitting the trails took on a more important meaning over lockdown.
"It's a way to relax, when you're out there you kind of forget about what's going on," she said.
"It's like everything is normal."
Ms Brown said negotiations to get the event back up had been underway between local governments and parkrun Australia since July.
The events return an important milestone and a necessity for everyone's mental health.
"It's not just running, it's community," she said.
First over the line at Ainslie was Lachlan Dow with a time of 18.41, while Jonathan Fearn was the fastest of all with a personal best of 16.46 out at Lake Burley Griffin.
After starting in Armidale, Ms Klinkhamer has clocked up more than 200 parkruns at courses around Canberra.
"It's almost like meditation, I love the trails so I love to get out in the bush and see the birds and the kangaroos and sometimes the sun rising," she said.
"You get to spend some time in nature before everyone else is up, it's a beautiful start to the day."
Ms Hill got into parkrun for the milkshakes - a bribe from her partner too good to refuse as a broke university student - she stayed to socialise.
"I come here every weekend not just to have a good run but to catch up with everyone, I was missing that running by myself," she said.
The most attended parkrun in Canberra on Saturday was Tuggeranong, with 285 registered runners making their way around the lake.
Coombs parkrun was cancelled this week after the ACT Equestrian Association raised safety concerns with ACT government over horse riders sharing the Bicentennial Trail with runners.