Press - 26th May 2021

parkrunners set to unite for Thank You Day celebrations


Today parkrun has announced a special “Thank You parkrun” on the weekend of the 3-4 July to tie in with National Thank You Day (subject to events returning across England as planned on Saturday 26 June).


At events across the country, following the normal 9am parkrun, participants will be encouraged to come together to hold a post event Thank You brunch/picnic to thank all those who have helped each other through the last eighteen months. There will be a special focus on local event organisers for helping to keep the community together, as well as all of the landowners and staff who have kept our parks and open spaces available during the pandemic.


Virgin Radio Breakfast Show host Vassos Alexander said:

“Like a lot of people, I’ve missed parkrun and the social connection, the sense of community and common purpose it provides. I can’t wait for the special Thank You parkrun in July to get back together and to say thank you to everyone who has helped us get through the last year.”  


Nick Pearson, parkrun Global CEO said:

We are delighted to team up with Thank You Day to say a huge thank you to everyone who has looked after us and kept our communities together, and everyone that has supported parkrun throughout the pandemic. Parks and open spaces were a lifeline for many during the past year or so – we know how important the great outdoors is for our health and wellbeing. I know the parkrun community is looking forward to getting back together again, and the Thank You Day celebrations provide a great opportunity to celebrate the very best of our communities once again.”


Katherine Grainger, UK Sport, Chair said:

“While sports across the UK haven’t been meeting, exercise and training have continued in homes, gardens, and parks across the UK. Thank You Day and parkrun is a fantastic opportunity to get together and say thank you to trainers, team mates, and friends who have kept us active and to everyone who have kept our green spaces open. “


Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England, CEO said

parkrun is established as an important part of both physical activity and social connection in our communities across the nation, and is a significant partner of Sport England. Over the past 18 months the absence of organised sport and physical activity has shown more than ever how vital it is too for our mental health and wellbeing. We are working hard to support parkrun to reopen in the coming weeks and help us celebrate the role sport and physical activity plays in bringing us together on Thank You Day.”


Jamie Blackshaw, Physical Activity and Healthy Weight lead at PHE, said:

“We know just how important it is for our health that we all move more and keep physically active. It can go a long way to reducing the risk of many illnesses and has wider wellbeing benefits, such as improving our mood – what’s good for the heart is good for the head. The return of events like parkrun offers people of all ages and abilities the chance to enjoy the benefits of keeping active. Being outdoors, the risk from COVID is very low and we will all welcome being able to see old friends and be sociable in a safe way again, but it’s important we remember that we still need to be cautious.”


Following the event participants will be encouraged to invite family, friends, park rangers, volunteers, park staff, council workers and anyone else they want to thank to a special brunch. Bringing together everyone who has helped keep their environment open and got them through the last year.


Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and active lifestyles, said: 

“Many of the challenges that we have faced as individuals and a city over the past year due to coronavirus have been truly unprecedented. We remain very proud that our parks and greenspaces have been somewhere that have provided a real boost to the health and wellbeing of so many people. With that in mind, and having assessed all the coronavirus guidance very closely, we are really pleased that following positive discussions with parkrun UK organisers, events will once again be able to take place in council managed parks and green spaces across the city.”


Since parkrun launched nearly 17 years ago, more than two million participants, young and old, and of all abilities, have enjoyed the opportunity to be physically active and embraced the sense of community that being part of parkrun brings.


We will contact event teams in advance of 3 July with further information, but please note that there will be no requirements of event teams in relation to this separate event, and promoting it is entirely optional.


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