Virtual Alsager 5 gets the 2021 season up and running
2021 programme virtual to begin with but will switch to real races when permitted
A well-supported Virtual Alsager 5 heralded the start of the 2021 series of races organised by North Staffordshire Road Runners Association (NSRRA). Over 650 runners took part in this first event in the NSRRA programme and neither the cold weather nor Covid-19 stopped them from getting out there and putting their best foot forward. This was a positive outlook from all concerned...
In pre-2020 BC (Before Covid), more than 1,000 runners would take part in the Alsager 5, going hard and fast on the flat course and picking up a PB as a reward. The pandemic meant a change of plan and a move to a virtual format that enabled last year’s programme to continue. It’s more of the same for 2021 with the first 6 races as virtual events and the fervent hope that live races will be able to go ahead after then.
The Virtual VeloRunner Alsager 5 was held from Friday 5 February to Tuesday 9 February and participants from local running clubs and further afield including Canada completed the distance on a course of their own choosing. Whilst remembering to follow current guidelines regarding outdoor exercise as part of lockdown 3.0. There was the option to walk as well as run and a few people chose this as they were nursing an injury, e.g. broken wrist or were on the comeback trail, for example, after knee surgery.
In first place was Jim Hickinbottom of Shrewsbury AC who posted 26:36. The fastest lady was Kelly Butler of Birchfield Harriers in 27:16. There were 656 finishers.
For some people this was their first ever NSRRA race, for others, they were starting the season with a virtual Alsager 5 instead of the live race that they usually enter each year. But whatever the reason, everyone was glad to be outside and doing something they enjoy despite the current situation and appreciated the hard work and efforts of Ken Rushton and his team to keep the race series going.
Next up is the Virtual Potters 10 (19 to 23 February). For more information and to enter, visit the NSRRA website.
Image courtesy of NSRRA