OLYMPIAN Steve Moneghetti set out for a long run by himself on Sunday morning, knowing it was the first steps to getting back in a mass pack later this year.
Moneghetti said, for all the efforts in virtual challenges and iso runs last year, there had been an overwhelming lack of motivation to move more from many people - all ages and fitness levels.
This reinforced to Moneghetti the importance of having exercise goals.
"It hit home to me how significant goal events are, just having any goal at your own level," Moneghetti said. "I really noticed people dropping off during COVID. Now there's the anticipation of events.
"There's still some uncertainty but people are gradually coming back to crowds and sporting events. There seems to be a lot more smaller groups of runners and hopefully that will all grow by the end of August."
People have also missed running for a cause. It really gives you an emotional attachment to support a cause.- Steve Moneghetti
Run For the Kids is promoting a return to Melbourne by the end of August but event organisers are this week challenging people to move for 90 minutes by Friday to support the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
Monegetti, as race director, completed a 15-kilometre run with some walking in his 90 minutes to help kick-start virtual efforts . He looked forward to then get back in Run for the Kids later this year.
Other major runs to kick off before Run for the Kids include the Great Ocean Road Running Festival and Run Melbourne as well as the return of weekly, free community parkruns.
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"Hopefully there will be some momentum as people have more goal events to train up for but the other thing most people have missed is just being around people," Moneghetti said.
"For some runners, the start in the crowds was always a big hard but now people are changing their attitudes and don't seem to mind as much in the mass participation events.
"People have also missed running for a cause. It really gives you an emotional attachment to support a cause like the Good Friday Appeal."
Run for the Kids has raised more than $19 million for the appeal since 2006 and Moneghetti said he loved the idea that this amount was built on many people, not just a couple of major donations.
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