Penrith-based Eden Runners are looking forward to getting back out in small groups from March 29, when the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown allows organised outdoor sport to resume.
However the club, which is affiliated to England Athletics, will still be following all its COVID guidelines.
“Within the club we have a COVID officer and we have done risk assessments,” said club chairman Stuart Lowthian. “There’s no stopping for a natter at the end of the run — we just go home. We also have to use track and trace as we need to know who is coming, people can’t just turn up.
“We have been using the Teams app since last summer, which lets us know who is coming and their details.
“We got the idea from Elvet Striders running club in Durham and it has been a real godsend to us.
“We also have a schedule of runs on the app. On Mondays we have a group of fell runners who go out; Tuesdays are for faster running; Wednesdays are different road and trail group runs; Thursdays are for juniors — we plan to get juniors back after the Easter holidays; on Fridays we have a destress run from Pernith Rugby Club car park to somewhere like Brougham, Yanwath or Lowther caravan park; and on Sundays we will have a social run.
“When we return at the end of March we will be staying very local.
Stuart stressed that groups out running will have one run leader to 12 runners and he or she will be identifiable by a hi-vis vest saying “run leader”.
He said: “We are conscious that when we run past people they might wonder why there are than six people. We are allowed to do that and that is what we will be returning to.
“England Athletics, through its club support fund, paid for the vests, which were supplied by Peter Bland Sports and printed by Sam Scott’s in Penrith.”
The club is also grateful for funding it received from the Pride in Penrith lottery, which gave it £750 which was used to buy a large storage container based at Penrith Rugby Club, which contains items such as kit, posts, bollards and more.
For anyone still wanting to run alone, the club is posting virtual challenges on its app.
These are only for club members, but a guest link can be provided for people who wish to try it out before joining. Anybody interested should contact membership secretary Alan Marshall, whose details can be found on the club website.
Meanwhile, England Athletics set up a virtual road race relay event during lockdown, whereby participants ran five miles, timed themselves, and the eight best times from each club taking part were submitted.
Thirty-nine Eden runners took part and, when the top eight ties were pit together, they found themselves in the final as one of the top 50 clubs in the country.
That meant they had to do it all again and finished an impressive 29th overall, with seven club members in the top 10 for their age groups nationally. The event was co-ordinated by Derek Hurton.
- The Eden Runners-organised Blencathra fell race — part of this year’s English championship — is scheduled for Saturday, July 3, instead of the usual midweek evening. “We are working to see how we can put it on,” said Stuart. “Dave Sargent, chairman of the organising committee, is leading a a group on it talking with landowners and the parish council.”