Wednesday evening run club returns — here’s what you need to know

UPDATE: As of June 23 the run club is now meeting at the park at the corner of Eastlake Avenue and 11th Street East beside Nutana Collegiate. Meeting locations are subject to change. Check the Saskatoon Road Runners Association Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

With COVID-19 restrictions relaxing across Saskatchewan, Wednesday evening run club is returning as of June 9. But things will not look the same as they did before the pandemic. The runs will be led by the Saskatoon Road Runners Association and runners will meet outside at Gabriel Dumont Park Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Here’s what you need to know about the return to run club.

Q: Where and when do we meet?

Effective June 9, the Saskatoon Road Runners Association will be hosting Wednesday evening run clubs at 6 p.m. at Gabriel Dumont Park parking lot. Runners may eventually meet at Rotary Park or the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan site, which are presently restricted because of construction. Updates on meeting location can be found on the Saskatoon Road Runners Association Facebook page.

Q: What do we need to do to stay COVID-19 safe?

All participants must wear a mask and keep two metres from other participants until the group breaks off into smaller running groups.

“Social distancing will be important and we will have multiple groups of about five or six runners each,” says SRRA past president Peter Goode. “As we have no idea how many will show we are not certain on the actual number of running pods we will have.”

Q: Will the groups have leaders?

Yes. SRRA members and Brainsport run club members who have helped lead in the past will lead groups.

Q: Why isn’t Brainsport hosting Wednesday run club?

Brainsport has undergone significant changes since the onset of the pandemic, including converting its community room into an online shopping processing centre. There is nowhere in the store for large groups of people to safely gather while maintaining distance.

On top of that, Brainsport staff members’ jobs have changed drastically in the last 15 months. Store owner Brian Michasiw recalls getting a call recently from a mother whose son had become paralyzed and needed accessible footwear. Michasiw delivered the shoes to her in the hospital.

“There are only a couple places in Canada that could have helped her. And so that’s where I’m spending my time: It’s serving customers in an unusual way where I’m phoning them on a weekend or late at night or in the morning. The rules have changed. Normally I wouldn’t be giving my cell number to customers, but now I do that all the time because that’s what I need to do to survive. And people need the products we carry to live a healthy lifestyle,” Michasiw says. “Other people can host a run club.”

Q: Will Brainsport take over the Wednesday run club in the future?

No decision has yet been made on this.

Q: Will the SRRA also take over Brainsport’s other run clubs (including the run clubs that met on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays)?

No decision has yet been made on this.

Q: What else do runners need to know?

Michasiw is asking runners to show up to the running club with an open mind and be adaptable as needed.

“The reason it won’t be like it was before is because life isn’t like it was before,” he says. “Life has changed. Brainsport operates completely different than it did before and run club is no exception.”

For more information on tonight’s run club, see the Saskatoon Road Runners Association’s Return to Run Club Facebook event