Following a recent announcement by the British Prime Minister of a ‘roadmap’ to easing COVID-19 restrictions in the country, parkrun has announced an intention to start up events again in England.
With the vaccine rollout progressing swiftly in the country, the roadmap has given parkrun UK the opportunity to look ahead and make plans for how and when parkrun can return in England.
As other ‘home nations’ in the UK – Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – are responsible for their own COVID-19 restrictions, for the time being this just applies to England, although parkrun HQ are working closely with the relevant authorities in each country to explore opportunities to bring back parkrun right across the UK.
First to return will be junior parkrun – 2km events on Sunday mornings. These are scheduled to return on Sunday April 11th, where to begin with children aged between 4 and 10 will be able to take part. There’s usually over 10,000 children taking part on an average Sunday morning, so our return will make a great impact for children who have been hugely affected by the closure of schools for long periods over the past year.
Then on June 5th, it will be the turn of the 5km events to return. Two weeks before this, larger sports events and public gatherings will be permitted in England, so parkrun fits neatly into this timetable.
There’s clearly plenty of work to do in preparation – obtaining permission from landowners and to make sure that event teams have everything ready for their first parkrun back. And the whole timetable is of course dependent on the continuing positive trends for the vaccine rollout and the declining impact of COVID-19 in the country.
But with a date in the diary, there’s now a light in the tunnel for parkrunners in the UK. As other countries across Europe start to consider how to ease COVID-19 restrictions, we hope that other parkrun territories will also soon be able to plan dates for when they can return.
You can listen to more detail about this decision to bring parkrun back in the UK in the most recent Free Weekly Timed podcast with parkrun’s Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams.
It was fantastic to see 48 junior parkrun events return in England on Sunday, with over 4,000 children crossing the finish line, of which over 1,000 were attending for the very first time. We’re immensely proud of all those event teams who successfully delivered the first parkrun events in England for 13 months, and have…
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