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    IT’S BACK: Archie, left, and Andrew Sostheim put up parkrun flags ahead of the imminent return of the popular event on Saturday. Also pictured preparing for the event are, from left, Josie, Deacon and Clayton Pallot, Tom Sostheim, Jackie Exell and Stella Sostheim. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Organisers ready to parkrun after COVID-19 all-clear

Parkrun will return to the picturesque Wimmera River course on Saturday following a 10-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organiser Andrew Sostheim said there was plenty of excitement surrounding the re-establishment of the popular five-kilometre timed event in Horsham.

“Our last one was in March before the lockdowns started. At that stage we were averaging 150 people a week – people had made parkrun part of their regular routine,” he said.

“Victoria is the last state in Australia to reinstate parkruns. We’ve waited a little longer than everyone else to get back into it and we are excited to open the event up again on Saturday.

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“We’ve also had a lot of support after putting out a call for volunteers for the first few weeks while we get up and going again.”

Mr Sostheim said organisers would present the event in line with protocols determined by the State Government and parkrun headquarters.

“Participants will need to check in via a QR code before they come and we will also have physical-distancing guidelines in place to make sure we can keep everybody safe,” he said.

Wimmera River parkrun is at Sawyer Park on Saturdays at 8am.

Parkruns are free, weekly, community events throughout the world designed to offer a positive and inclusive experience. 

There is no time limit and nobody finishes last, thanks to a volunteer ‘tail walker’.

Some Wimmera residents and visitors might use the Horsham event to advance their new-year fitness goals, while others might prefer the social aspect of a morning walk or run alongside family or friends.

Regardless of their motivation, Mr Sostheim said everyone was welcome. 

“Parkrun is for people of all ability – they can run, walk, jog, ride in a pram – it is open to everyone,” he said.

Mr Sostheim said participants needed to register once online at

“They will get a barcode to print out and bring down to the event,” he said.

Parkrun participants can join in more than 400 events throughout Australia. 

People can visit the website for a list of locations or more information about parkrun. 

People also can follow ‘Wimmera River parkrun, Horsham’ on Facebook for updates.

An Ararat parkrun event is also starting back on Saturday.

– Sarah Matthews 

The entire January 13, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!