Local runners are being given the chance to chase points, prizes and look after their well being thanks to the North Staffs Road Runners Association.
The popular athletics series has, like all other sports, been forced in to lock down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The NSRRA had completed two of their 12-race programme before sport was suspended – but the events are now returning.
But it will be solo missions from the competing athletes because gatherings of this nature remain off-limits under Government advice.
However, on Sunday, the St Thomas 10K – the third chapter of the season – will take place virtually.
NSSRA chairman Ken Rushton said: “We’ve been going since 1974. We put local runners in to groups and it’s a bit like football. You have your Manchester United and Liverpools in one section and then work down to the likes of Stafford Rangers.
“There’s promotion and relegation throughout the ladder. All of the races are staged by running clubs or individuals and we managed to get the first couple of races in.
“We had to take the decision to suspend the subsequent races, and we quickly realised that it was going to be long term, rather than short term.
“I think running races will be at the back of the queue when it comes to resuming – probably on the same level as crowds being allowed back to football.”
Participants are urged not to run this weekend’s intended course, but instead choose a route close to home which covers the distance.
They will then submit their times to organisers to pick up league points.
The virtual races, though, are not just open to NSRRA members – Rushton is keen to ensure that the health of the wider community is also catered for.
“You have to be a NSRRA member to get points, but anyone can enter. Membership is £10 for the year, but if people want to run individual races they can do so by registering on our website,” he explained.
“We thought if we could get 100 taking part on Sunday that would be good. But so far we’ve had 140 entries, so we’ll be looking at 150 or 160 people taking part by race day.
“Everyone will receive a race number and those who finish will also get a certificate and a bespoke medal.
“We’re also encouraging people to take end of race selfies and then they can send them to our photographer, Bryan Dale, who will produce pictures for them.”
Members will still see their best eight races count towards their final league position.
Races are currently set to be staged until November, and there is much more to the events than just the running itself.
Rushton says there are some key community aspects to support.
“Moving forward we have the Cheadle 4, which will be particularly poignant this year,” he added.
“One of our runners, Jenny Dalkins, tragically lost her son, Oakley, recently at the age of 15.
“It has been decided that 50 per cent of the money from the race will be donated to a fund in memory of Oakley.
“And Cheadle Running Club, who stage the event, are opening up the race to the entire community, so anyone can get involved.
“It’s the same with the Leek Half Marathon later in the year. Members will still run the race on the day, but if people want to do the event, they can run the 13.1-mile distance over eight days.
“It could be two miles one day, three the next. But as long as they complete the distance in that time, then they will qualify as being part of the event.
“All NSRRA members must run outside, but anyone else could take part in our races on a treadmill. It doesn’t matter.
“For us it is all about keeping spirits up.”
For more information about the NSRRA and to look at their schedule, please visit www.nsrra.org.uk