Coronavirus pandemic and Redway Runners

Background

Global pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), spread to the United Kingdom in January 2020. Transmission within the UK was confirmed in February, leading to an epidemic with a rapid increase in cases in March in the UK.

For runners it started with international events being affected that Redway Runners were taking part in, like the club trip to Malta not getting event tees and runners from some countries not being allowed to take part, then runners taking part in other events having them cancelled like Malaga half, and Cyprus, with some of our runners, finding return flights cancelled

Then in the UK races started to be cancelled or postponed, including, London Marathon, the new Twin Lakes 20 mile race in MK, the MK Marathon, the Milton Keynes Festival of Running was one of the last races to take place locally.

parkruns got cancelled around the world and the last UK event and indeed around the world was on 14 March 2020

Virus spreads

Oksana Koryak Queueing up to do the Tesco shopping at 6am

As the virus started to take hold in the UK, Redway Runners introduced on the 14 March 2020 (see more click here), changes to club runs to reduce contact and move runs to meeting outside and stop passing of equipment. With Tim Miles, our Medical lead we held a Facebook Live update and Q&A session (click here) this has been watched by over 3,900 people, Tim also later gave advice on club Podcasts.

On Monday, 16 March the UK Government announced mass gatherings should not take place and people should avoid contact, that lead to England Athletics (EA) issuing a statement (click here) that all face to face activity should cease in running clubs till end of April 2020 (extended then to 31 May 2020) Redway Runners immediately cancelled all runs and Face to Face meeting, (click here) on Tuesday 17 March 2020 with the last run in the club the Tuesday morning run.

The following week on Monday 23 March, restriction were put in place for people to stay at home and social distance (keep a distance of 2 metres) throughout this period except for essential purchases, essential work travel (if remote work is not possible), medical needs, one exercise per-day (alone or with members of their household), and providing care for others.

Social Distancing

Even the Redway Runners logo took part in Social Distancing, for 1 April 2020 (April Fools Day)

Redway Runners under lockdown

Chrissie West Setting up activities on the playground at work. School is so quiet. I’m used to having over 200 kids running around

Although not officially described as ‘Lockdown’  this became a common description, Redway Runners had to adapt to this new life and developed a range of activities to keep the club active, the club weekly mail continued and the new weekly news Podcast carried on, although collecting interviews created new challenges, with most by telephone interviews

But new opportunities soon arose:

Daily Challenges

Every day the club put up a daily challenge, many with selfies, showing maybe life in the new method or a jolly image

Virtual runs

We produced a number of Podcast runs for people to follow, for example from the Giffard park pub, following the Art and Artefacts Trail along the Grand Union at Campbell Park, Willen. Then Newport Pagnell History/quiz run, the secret and hidden MK parkrun, plus a Lathbury run.

Ian Wheeler empty roads in CMK

Core with the Yabsley Brothers

For three weeks Alfie and Archie Yabsley produced a core session that we released on our Facebook page and club You tube channel

Pub Quiz and Games

We started on Saturday 28 March 2020 doing a weekly Facebook live pub quiz produce in a rota with Martin, Kevin S and Glenn) you can view click here or results click here     Glenn Quiz 11 April click here  18 April with the Lawrence family click here   then on a rota with Tracy and Annie joining hosting in May 2020.

Redway Runners Got Talent

On Good Friday evening we held ‘Redway Runners Got Talent’ with 16 different performances from club members from singing, music, juggling, dancing and other unique talents, more click here

Nader-Zarei-Attempting-to-work-from-home-while-entertaining-a 2 year old

Virtual Race events

At the weekends we held Virtual races with the following:

  • 29 March 2020 – Social Distance 5K, each person submitted a run distance of 5K or more with the time and then that was worked out to the time for a male aged 23 – 27 years, each runner could make their own medal
  • 5 April 2020 – Isolation Marathon, runners submitted a run over 2miles and this was worked out to a female runner aged 23-27 years
  • 13 April – The Easter Padlock Down

Interval sessions

Annette,  Katie T and Sheryl all produced Interval sessions for the club see them   click here

Virtual Challenge with Results Base

We held a Virtual Challenge with Results Base, for Redway Runner to run 1 mile, 5K or 10K over a two week period

Virtual session with FitMK

On 21 April 2020 FitMK held a virtual session for Redway Runners members

MK Running Map

Between 26 April and 3 May we captured some of the club members runs to create a map of our activity. Stats and images can be found using the storymap link below (best on a pc or a tablet, but can work on a phone although it may crash from time to time!).

Unsurprisingly, the long and relatively flat Railway Walk in north Milton Keynes was the most popular place to run. Thanks to the 50-plus members who sent in run data.

History Lessons with Mike

With schools mainly closed, home schooling was common, Mike King from the club started to produce history lessons, the club hosted the material so parents could access click here

Message from the Mayor

The Mayor of Milton Keynes, Sam Crooks recorded a message for the club, to watch click here

Virtual Club run

On Friday 24 Alistair arranged the first Redway Runners Virtual Green pub evening

Running tops Quiz

James Dwight from the club produced a running quiz based on event tops

It is at:
https://qz.app.do/the-running-shirt-quiz/gzafgJ5P

Big Green Litter Pick

For the first week in June 2020 we held a Big Green Litter pick with the help from MK Parks Trust and ARC (for insurance)

Weekly cover photos

We needed cover photos for the club Facebook page and for the weekly mail – members voted the one below the first one

Club business, not as usual

Pubs closed

Events

The Redway Runners Furzton relay for 2020 was cancelled, to come back in 2021

MK24 planned for June also had to be postponed to 2021

Beat the Barge, Old Money run and Santa Saunter are planned to go ahead

Peter Clark empty city centre

Renewals

The club had already started collecting renewal fees, part way through, EA rather unhelpfully, reduced the EA fee by £1, which would result in much additional work to refund, therefore committee agreed to keep the fee the same and donate it to the club charity of the year for 2020/2021 and refund if requested, also we gave members additional time to renew (up till at least one month after activities resume

Beginners Graduation

Our beginners were due to graduate at the parkrun at MK on Saturday 21 March but with the event cancelled that had to be put on hold till the club was back up and running and parkrun was operating again

New Beginners groups

The club had planned to start 11 beginners groups on the 18 April 2020, these had to be put on hold

AGM and end of club year

The lockdown fell over the end of the club year, annual accounts still had to be finished and auditted and AGM reports writen, but the AGM was put on hold for lockdown to finish.

With the continuing situation we decided to hold the AGM as a Zoom meeting on 29 June 2020

Business delays

Progress for Need for Speed, planning for Redway Runners 10th birthday celebrations, committee meetings all had to be delayed amongst others

Hope

Hopefully though light at the end of the tunnel, but for Archie, it is behind you!!

Getting Up and Running again

When getting started again we will be able to start planning when we have date and restrictions that we are likely to have to operate under.

Our priority will be to get the run in the ‘normal’ club weekly runs up running and decide how to complete the beginners groups that stopped just before graduation

Next we will look to see if we can run some return to running groups, start our courses (Need for Speen and next beginners groups in September) etc

We started to prepare to get started again in mid May and formed a small working group, to develop plans which we initially presented to the  run leads, we also put out this message to the club, click here

June 2020

In June 2020 England Athletics issued new guidance that allowed clubs to start again, but with maximum of a total of 6 runners, plus social distance and hygene issues addressed

The club re-started on the 4 June 2020 with members only able to book club runs via Love Admin and agreeing to additional guidance, plus the run lead agreeing to extra restrictions to make sure the club complied with the new rules, click here

At the end of July we increased numbers on runs to 12 and then started under 18s and completed the Move Up to Marathon group

September 2020

In September we managed to hold a Covid secure Daytona 500 with over 180 Redway runners taking part

November 2020

November 2020 saw a second National lockdown, so club runs had to stop from the 5 November to the 2 December 2020