08 September 2020

Parkrun events to resume in England by end of October following six month absence

Parkrun events in England are set to resume by the end of October after a six month hiatus. 

The weekly mass participation events were suspended worldwide in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The government has now approved parkrun’s plan to return in England as runners or walkers can take part in the 5km events on Saturday mornings and the 2km junior events on Sunday mornings.

New guidelines include no high fives, a ban on spitting and a longer course to improve space at the start and finish lines.

Parkrun's chief executive Nick Pearson said: "Briefings will be limited to health and safety necessities and not the colourful individualism that you historically find at your briefing.

“At the finish more scanners and a change in technology will mean the amount of time people spend queuing in those areas is reduced from where it was before. And we will discourage people from gathering in the park but outside of that it will be very much the same.”

He added that they ‘are not able to commit to the same timeline across the other Home Nations’ due to different restriction measures. 

Pearson said: "However, we are aware of the implications of only opening in England and are continuing our work to overcome the challenges that this presents.

"Everything in life comes with a risk, and we know and accept that we cannot remove all risks from the Parkrun environment. 

"However, it is also important to balance the public health benefits of reopening our events, against the associated public health risks.

“We now believe, having spent considerable time gathering and understanding the evidence, that the benefits to reopening Parkrun far outweigh the risks.”

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