Star jumps, weightlifting and spinning classes were launched as the tough new fitness regime at Northampton Town Football Club – but just for one star in the squad.
The club announced their official mascot Clarence the Dragon has signed to make his race debut next weekend at a new running event in town.
Leading UK mass-participation running events and endurance sports organiser RunThrough will host a Northampton 10k race next Sunday (June 6), starting and finishing at the club’s ground, the Sixfields Stadium.
Northampton Town Football Club CEO James Whiting said: “It has been great to see supporters returning to football stadiums up and down the country in the last few weeks and as we step up our own preparations to welcome fans back from the start of next season, the Northampton 10K will be the first public event to be held at Sixfields since restrictions began to ease.
“We wish all of those taking part in the Northampton 10K well. This is the first of what we hope will become a regular community event in the Northampton calendar and we are delighted that the start and finish will be at Sixfields.
“A lot of those running the course will be Cobblers supporters and we hope the start and finish being at the stadium will act as an inspiration to them and help them through the 10K. And we also wish Clarence good luck!”
Matt Wood, Co-Founder of RunThrough who are hosting the Northampton 10k, said: “Everyone is welcome at our races and it’s great Clarence can help us make our debut in Northampton.”
The route of the run will take the expected up to 1,000 runners out of the stadium and onto the closed-road circuit around town. Finishers will receive a unique-themed medal.
Organisers RunThrough are applying strict Covid Safety regulations supporting racers and event staff. Here are 20 measures that will be in operation:
Before race day
1. To reduce contact, race packs are sent to runners early so participants arrive ‘ready-to-race’
Before the start
2. Runners are greeted by marshals, some wearing full-face visors and all wearing PPE
3. As well as face shields, staff also wear gloves to reduce the risk of germ transmission
4. Sanitiser stations are erected on site with hand gels for runners to ensure they regularly wash their hands
5. There is currently no official Baggage Drop area at the event in order to limit runners gathering and queuing
6. Runners are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to eliminate the need for water stations
7. Group pre-race warmup exercises are conducted at a socially safe distance to keep runners apart
8. Stewards are briefed to maintain distance from runners while keeping the same friendly relationship
9. Queues for the toilet cabin facilities are distanced and cubicle hygiene is regularly maintained
10. Signs remind runners that, before and after their event, a 2-metre social distance must be maintained
11. Other signs are erected on site to encourage hygienic behaviour, like signs indicating “No spitting”
12. At support desks, waist-high plastic sheeting protects stewards and runners from getting too close
At the start
13. At the start, coloured cones are laid out at distances on the ground so runners line up spaced apart
14. When the race begins, starts are staggered so runners are only allowed to head off at intervals
15. As they line up spaced apart, runners are guided to set off in waves of 4 to 6 in order to ease congestion
16. Runners are lined up at the start in predicted finish order to minimise overtaking during the run
17. Fast runners are asked to give slower participants space when overtaking, of around 2 metres
At the end
18. Marshals direct runners to collect their own medals, rather than be handed one by on-site crew
19. To reduce congestion, runners completing the course are asked to keep moving past the finish line
20. Runners are asked to promptly leave the event village after their race to avoid groups congregating
For more details. please see northampton10k.com