Popular 5km series has not been staged in UK since mid-March due to coronavirus but is planning its comeback at the end of next October
After a six-month enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic, parkrun will make a welcome return at the end of next month, initially in England only.
Guidelines in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland mean it will not return in those countries quite so soon partly due to limits on numbers but if the English events get off the ground successfully then it could open the floodgates for parkrun to resume in the other home countries, not to mention more road and trail running events potentially.
An exact date for the return of the events in England has not been arranged, but October 24 and October 31 look most likely. These also represent about 40% of all parkrun events in the UK.
Here is what was put out by parkrun last night:
parkrun Global Chief Executive Officer Nick Pearson announces intent to resume parkrun events in England toward the end of October.
Ever since parkrun events closed in the UK and across the world, we’ve been focused on understanding how and when we would be able to resume in a safe and appropriate way.
Throughout, we have sought to understand the evidence, to be a part of discussions with government and public health bodies, to listen to the parkrun community, and to communicate regularly, transparently and honestly.
Following detailed conversations with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Sport England, and Public Health England, I am delighted to announce that we intend to reopen parkrun and junior parkrun events in England toward the end of October this year.
Unfortunately, as things stand, and due to current restrictions across Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, we are not able to commit to the same timeline across the other Home Nations. However, we are aware of the implications of only opening in England and are continuing our work to overcome the challenges that this presents. We are also as committed as ever to opening our events outside of England as soon as possible.
Over the years, we’ve come to understand the significant health benefits of being physically active, together, in the great outdoors. It boosts our self-esteem and mood, increases sleep quality and energy, builds immunity, reduces the risk of developing many diseases, and promotes quality of life.
Whilst the public health benefits of parkrun events have been clear for many years, the last six months have increased inequalities around health and wellbeing, with many people more isolated and less active than ever in their life. Across many communities our events provide the most accessible and inclusive opportunities for people, of all abilities and backgrounds, to come together and be active. Disadvantaged communities have been hit the hardest and likely have the most challenging journeys ahead of them, and with every passing week, and with winter approaching, those challenges become greater.