Tomorrow morning, the pitter patter of little feet will once again be heard in Fitz Park.
The last time Keswick junior parkrun was held was March 15, 2020, but it returns this weekend after more than a year’s absence, with a 9am start.
Event director Nic Wiseman said: “When we closed the doors of the cricket pavilion stores to put away our kit on that Sunday, little did we think it would be 56 weeks before the park would once again be filled with the sound of excited children, running twice round Lower Fitz Park to complete the weekly two-kilometre junior parkrun.”
The free-to-enter junior version of Keswick’s senior parkrun was first staged in November 2017, and had been run 117 times until COVID-19 ended organised sports.
Although the senior event will not return until June 5, Nic said the return of the Keswick junior parkrun was a sign of light at the end of the tunnel.
The event has seen 937 children aged four to 14 complete the course.
The average attendance was 33 and the biggest event saw 81 children finish in April 2019.
There have been 227 volunteers help put the event on and the average finish time is 12 minutes and 27 seconds.
The course record is held by Charlie Neece with six minutes and 50 seconds in July 2019.
That is unlikely to be beaten tomorrow as runners are restricted initially to the four-10 years age group.
Older children are asked to come to the event to support, volunteer or run with their younger siblings. Children in the older age range will be welcomed back after Keswick’s Saturday 5km parkrun for adults resumes.
Nic added: “Many things have changed since we last saw the joy on our children’s faces as they ran around the park. Many will have passed the age criteria for the event and many will have reached the age of being able to take part for the first time.
“Most things will be familiar but a few things will be a little different. Hand sanitisers will be available at the start area and social distancing will be practised as much as possible.
“Behind the scenes, all volunteer vests and finish tokens will be washed each week to minimise transmission of COVID particles.
“We also have new signage showing the way. So we look forward to welcoming everyone back by the entrance to Café West for a tradition we have well and truly missed.”