As we move through the reopening process for parkrun and junior parkrun, we are publishing a UK-specific update every Friday to keep ambassadors, event teams, parkrun communities, and landowners informed on our progress.
5k in England
We continue to work hard with landowners for 5k events in England, steadily receiving the permissions necessary to reopen events on 5 June. At the time of writing we have received full or partial permission from landowners representing 179 events, and are working with around another 250 landowners at various stages of the process. Meanwhile we’re waiting to hear from landowners representing 117 events.
We are incredibly grateful to all those landowners who have responded so far, and granted permission for the return of events. However, in order to provide some certainty for local communities, and to give enough time for event teams to prepare, we will be making an announcement on Friday 21 May to confirm whether or not events are able to return on 5 June as planned.
5k in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland
In positive news we are seeing a further relaxation of restrictions across Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and an indication of the first opportunities for our 5k events to return.
The Scottish government announced earlier this week that they would be moving into their Level 0 from the 28th of June, potentially allowing our 5k events to return from the following Saturday. We are working to understand what, if any, gathering restrictions may be in place then, and as soon as we have clarity on that we will look to confirm a return date.
In Northern Ireland it has been announced that by the end of this month outdoor sporting events can allow 500 participants, with further relaxation from 21 June. As always, the detail is important, particularly around social distancing requirements, however it is clear that Northern Ireland is also on a positive trajectory toward a position where our events can return.
Despite Wales having the lowest infection levels of the four home nations, and the highest vaccination rates, our interpretation of the guidance is that there is not yet a clear opportunity for our 5k events to return. Things are moving quickly though, and thanks partly to our great friendship with Welsh Athletics, we are doing all we can to not only understand the situation better, but campaign for the return of outdoor events such as parkrun.
Meanwhile, the return of junior parkrun across England and Wales continues to be a source of great success and immense positivity for everyone involved.
Last weekend saw almost 150 junior events take place, with just under 11,000 finishers, including 1,250 first timers, all supported by 3,300 volunteers, of which 147 were volunteering for the very first time.
A further 14 junior events will restart this weekend, taking us up to 163 junior parkrun events in operation across the UK.
In Northern Ireland, we will be beginning a phased return of junior events from Sunday 23 May. And, we can now also confirm that, in Scotland, we are targeting Sunday 20 June for junior events to reopen, and have written to all our event teams with further information.
Thanks so much for your continued support.
Chief Operating Officer
We took another big step forward last Saturday as 5k events returned in Denmark, the ninth country to see events restart post-COVID, plus we welcomed back junior parkrun events in Scotland. In total nearly 60,000 people took part in 775 events around the world last weekend, including nearly 2,500 for the very first time….
As we move through the reopening process for parkrun and junior parkrun, we are publishing a UK-specific update every Friday to keep ambassadors, event teams, parkrun communities, and landowners informed on our progress. 5k in England On Monday evening, following the announcement by the government of the delay to Step 4, we confirmed…