Ilkeston RC getting firmly back on track after pandemic

The number of members at Ilkeston Running Club has increased – and it’s all thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 10:00 am
Ilkeston RC members pictured not long before the pandemic at a race in Derby. The club has since grown in numbers despite the enforced break.

With people everywhere forced to take matters into their own hands when it’s come to exercise, some have caught the running bug to the extent they’re now seeking out clubs to join that will help them maintain their new-found fitness levels.

It’s a common theme across the country, not least at the Rutland Sports Park-based Ilkeston RC who have been welcoming new faces since restrictions were eased in recent weeks.

And club press officer Simon Kirk says it’s a welcome boost after a tough year.

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He said: “Obviously we had to re-think how we did things when the pandemic started but we were able to come up with numerous ideas, including a joint venture of seeing how far members could collectively run around the world in a certain time frame. We got as far as San Francisco!

"We did other things to keep people interested and embraced the online/virtual side too, all of which spurred people on and maintained their confidence.”

When restrictions were initially eased last summer, Ilkeston RC were able to arrange group sessions once again whilst adhering to the ‘rule of six’ guidelines, something Simon believes was beneficial to lots of runners.

He said: “We had to break groups down into maximums of six, which was a bit more intimate and brought people together more – there was flexibility in when and where groups would meet which helped fit in around work schedules and so on.

"In the end, we haven’t lost members and in fact have had lots of applications since lockdown ended so it’s good people remain interested.”

Simon now hopes the club will continue to thrive, with competitive running getting back on the calendar already.

He said: “We host our own ‘Double or Quits’ race in September, have competitive races all the time and a group are due to race in Copenhagen later in the year.

"Add to that our track nights, online sessions and the return of park runs soon as well, and things look really positive.”

Find out more about Ilkeston RC, as well as its feeder club Ilkeston Joggers which caters for beginners, via their respective Facebook pages.