Runners take flight around Lake Ginninderra.

Runners take flight around Lake Ginninderra.

16 March 2021

When COVID-19 hit Canberra, community events ground to a halt, including the much-loved Ginninderra parkrun.

What would follow was six months of a parkrun-less existence in Canberra, cancelling several weekly events that attract thousands of runners, walkers and puppies across our city in the name of exercise and social connection.

When parkrun did return in October last year, it was a changed event. But only in terms of its COVID safety.

Event Ambassador, Russ Crane, said as well as being the first, the Ginninderra parkrun was also one of the largest parkruns in Canberra.

“The participants of Ginninderra parkrun turn up in their hundreds every week, sometimes as many as 350 locals coming together as a community,” Russ said.

“With spectacular lake views, the course around Lake Ginninderra is beautiful and peaceful, and after a difficult 2020 where we had to cancel parkrun due to bushfire smoke and then COVID restrictions, we are so pleased to be offering our event again in a way that keeps all of our thousands of participants safe.”

While there are many parkrun events around Canberra, each of them unique in their own way, Ginninderra parkrun really does have a special claim to fame. It was the first parkrun established in Canberra, and only the sixth parkrun initiated within Australia.

The parkrun COVID-19 framework approved by ACT Health has become somewhat of a bible for parkrun and other events and businesses around our city, and indeed, around the country.

Participants are reminded to stay home if unwell. Everything is sanitised, especially anything that is shared. Finish tokens are handled at a minimum and are dropped into a bucket where they are all sanitised before being used again. Participant times are logged on personal devices.

Pre-run briefings are kept to a very strict time limit. The area at the start line, where all participants come together before a race, is measured and marked to ensure appropriate distancing between congregated runners. Participants register their attendance through the Check in CBR app as they arrive on the day. They can also check in online through the event Facebook page at any time during the day.

Once on the course, participants naturally spread themselves out as they run or walk the 5km and when they cross the finish line, post-event socialisation is conducted in line with social distancing requirements.

The parkrun community welcomes participants of all ages and abilities. Ginninderra parkrun pioneered the involvement of Achilles Running Club in parkrun across Australia. Achilles provides opportunities to people with disabilities to enjoy the health benefits of running or walking, and the club has become an integral part of the Ginninderra parkrun community.

If you’re interested in joining the parkrun community, register your attendance online at parkrun.com.au

Belconnen

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