Walkers, joggers and sprinters braved high temperatures and humidity to participate in the first session of the Oswegoland Park District's summer weekly Monday Miles program at Prairie Point Park in Oswego Monday evening, July 6.
Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, start times were staggered and participants were encourged to social distance by staying six feet apart.
Recreation Supervisor for Events Zack Donati said that the park district offered the program again this year because it was easy to adapt to health and safety restrictions amid the pandemic.
"This was a program that we felt we could modify to kind of control, that's why we implemented a rolling start," Donati said. After adopting a similar strategy for a trail run sponsored by the park district, officials felt the rolling start "really let people spread out," he added.
In previous years, Donati said, participants have occasionally started on their own, separate from the group, so the rolling start was officially incorporated into the program.
"We felt like this would be a good chance to get people out and moving," he said.
Unlike in previous years when the combined weekly mileage from Oswego participants was measured against miles logged by competitors in Glen Ellyn, the focus this year is on personal improvements.
At the last Monday Miles of the season, participants will have the chance to record a bib time and measure their times during the season.
"It's all about our personal best right now, and getting out and moving in a group atmosphere," Donati said.
After each race, runners receive a colored bracelet signifying the number of miles they completed to hang on a chain-link fence surrounding the Prairie Point splash pad.
Monday Miles are held at Prairie Point Park, with start times between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.