A beloved Wagga running event is back on the calendar after a coronavirus shutdown of nearly a year.
The Wagga parkrun was among hundreds around Australia to shut down in March 2020 as the virus hit the world, and was only able to resume on January 9 this year.
Originally a British invention, parkrun is a timed, five kilometre walk or run taking place at 8am every Saturday at events across the world, which in normal times draws about 120-130 people to Lake Albert each week.
Run director Alex Walker said it had been difficult for many regulars to lose the event for so long.
"It's affected a lot of the parkrun community and everyone that makes Saturday their habitual run but have missed out," he said.
Now the event has been given the all-clear, Mr Walker said it runs without much change post-COVID with Service NSW QR codes available for participants to sign in.
"We just encourage the runners if they're not feeling the best to not attend and the usual restrictions, but we had to go through a bit of red tape to get it all up and running and have a COVID safe plan," he said.
The first event back drew 66 registered participants, with 99 attending the run over the weekend.
Mr Walker said he was expecting crowds to return to normal as regular participants return from holidays and settle into the new year.
"I think it'll pick up as the word gets around and the numbers will get bigger," he said.
While serious runners and members of local running clubs are a common sight at the Wagga event, Mr Walker said there were just as many who come to walk the course, often with prams or pets in tow.
He said the start of the year was a great time for new people to sign up and give the event a go, and challenged serious runners to come try and break the 14.50 course record.
"We've had a lot of new faces turn up last weekend, definitely attracting that group that want to make a change," he said.
Mr Walker said the event was also always looking for new volunteers to assist with the run.
Wagga parkrun takes place 8am Saturdays at Lake Albert, and first-time participants can visit parkrun.com.au for information on how to sign up.