Canberra Parkrunners will have to adhere to a COVID-safe plan when the event makes its comeback on Saturday, with participants starting in order of speed and needing to download an app to ensure it goes ahead.
Runners will need to check in with the CBR App, line up in order of the speed they expect to run, and distance themselves from other runners during the race.
ACT Parkrun ambassador Russ Crane said that while the event will look different this weekend, the changes are necessary to ensure everyone's safety.
"We'll have hand sanitiser all around the briefing areas, the morning briefing will be much shorter, and we're asking everyone to line up in order of when they expect to finish so we don't have crowding when we have the final send off," Mr Crane said.
The 5km runs will resume at Lake Burley Griffin, Ginninderra, Queanbeyan, Lake Tuggeranong, Mount Ainslie and Gungahlin at 8am on Saturday, October 31.
Those arriving at the race will need to scan themselves in using the QR codes displayed at the parkrun to help with ACT government contact tracing.
Mr Crane said that Canberrans who have been missing out on their weekly runs are thrilled the event is starting up again.
"I'm very excited and everyone around me is excited. It's been great to know we can re-start,' Mr Crane said.
"The biggest thing people have missed is connecting with the community. This is an opportunity to re-connect and see all the smiles, laughter and friendly faces that we have before, during and after the run."
For the last seven months, Mr Crane said that many runners have been organising their own informal meet ups in the absence of Parkrun.
This is in line with Sport Australia's new survey, which shows that Aussies turned to running, riding and yoga to stay connected while community sports were cancelled.
Sport Australia acting chief executive Rob Dalton said that people who stayed active during the shutdown reported feeling more optimistic and connected.
"Those who found it easier during the sports shutdown to remain active and engaged in physical activity reported feeling a greater sense of wellbeing, optimism and connection, which serves to demonstrate the crucial role that sports can play in the national recovery from the pandemic," Mr Dalton said.
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Sport Australia's survey also showed that the lockdown affected children more than adults.
Only 17 per cent of children were still able to take part in organised physical activities outside of school, compared to 73 per cent of adults.
The most popular sport for children was online dancing, some of which could be done online, followed by tennis and football.
Mr Dalton said it was crucial to reboot children's sports to get their physical activity back up to pre-COVID-19 levels.
"We need to get kids moving again and meeting the recommended one hour of physical activity a day," Mr Dalton said.
Minister for Youth and Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck said it was a priority of the Australian Government to continue supporting sport as the nation navigates the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.
"The report clearly illustrates the impact the pandemic has had on the nation's sports participation and physical activity," Mr Colbeck said.
"There is no doubt sport will play a prominent role in leading our recovery," Mr Colbeck said.
- Before you arrive, you need to download the 'Check-In CBR' App on your phone. This is an ACT government requirement for contact tracing.
- Upon arrival, all parkrunners, volunteers and spectators must use the app to scan the barcode that will be displayed prominently at the parkrun.
- Children or people who do not have their phone with them can be included in their parents or friends "scan".
- The parkrun brief will only last for two minutes and physical distancing must be maintained.
- To maintain physical distancing during the run, there will be markers representing 4-minute time blocks. Runners should seed themselves in the time they expect to run.
- Milestone runners will be recognised on the parkrun Facebook page after the race instead of during the briefing.