This week marks exactly one year since we closed all parkrun events globally in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The announcement we made on 18 March 2020 was the start of what would become a weekly update: a commitment to provide regular news and insight, to offer transparency in our decision making and to keep the global parkrun community informed of the evolving situation.
Back then, I don’t think any of us anticipated we would be in this situation for an entire year. And whilst we have since celebrated returning in hundreds of locations around the world, the reality is that the vast majority of the parkrun community have been without a parkrun event to go to for 12 months.
In many places, unfortunately, that looks set to continue for a while longer. Whilst there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel now, we are not in a position to confirm restart dates in the majority of countries in which we operate right now.
But things are changing all the time. We hope to hear positive news in Scotland and Wales in the very near future as the vaccine rollout continues apace across the UK and the overall picture continues to improve.
And with the advances being made in medical treatments, a better understanding of the virus, and more vaccines coming online, we are confident that we are much closer to the end of this pandemic than the beginning.
It was great to see all events in New Zealand return last Saturday, and once again it was heartening to see that 472 events did take place across five countries, with just over 56,000 participants taking part in positive, community-focused outdoor activity.
Whilst it has undoubtedly been frustrating and disappointing that parkrun has had to remain closed in more than 1,500 locations, we are optimistic that a return to more normal ways is not too far off.
I’ve never been more proud of the way the parkrun community has continued to support each other, in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances.
We are getting through this, together.
Chief Operating Officer
Martin Smyth is a parkrunner at both Malahide and Poppintree parkrun, Co. Dublin. At 86 years old, Martin has incredibly completed over 200 parkruns! He first got involved with parkrun after reading about it in the Irish Runner Magazine in 2013 and decided to give it a go. For Martin, parkrun is a great incentive to…
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