The debut of Whanganui's weekly parkrun series finally took place on Saturday, after a long delay because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organiser Judy Mellsop said 76 people took part, with 13 volunteers helping to run the event.

"We were really happy to get it up and running, and it'll take place every Saturday now," Mellsop said.

"We had people from Whanganui, Lower Hutt, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Cooks Beach in the Coromandel," Mellsop said.

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Mellsop said the 5km course started downstream from the Cobham Bridge, went to the Bearing silver ball sculpture near the PS Waimarie berth and back.

"The visitors were really happy with the course, and they were able to head off to the markets afterwards."

First female finisher Holly McKinlay (right) with her son William, and Tim Oliver with his daughter Chloe. Photo / Bevan Conley
First female finisher Holly McKinlay (right) with her son William, and Tim Oliver with his daughter Chloe. Photo / Bevan Conley

While the parkrun wasn't designed as a competitive event, Mellsop said entrants were given a finishing time and were able to see times of other people in their age group.

"Most people are just there to complete the course, be it running or walking, and get out and have some exercise."

The first man to finish was local GP Chris Jacques in a time of 18.38 minutes, while Holly McKinlay (with 2-year-old son William in a stroller) was the first woman home in 26.21min.

Mellsop said people could register for parkrun online, with a downloaded barcode allowing them to enter any parkrun event worldwide.

Enter for the Whanganui parkrun at www.parkrun.co.nz/whanganuiriverbank