We are delighted to announce that more than 500 events have full landowner permission to return, which means we now have enough permissions to confirm a restart date for 5k parkrun in England on Saturday 26 June.
This is subject to the Government communication on Monday 14 June, after which we will make a further statement confirming our position.
There is now a strong consensus from landowners and public health officials, right across the country, that the return of parkrun – a free-to-access public health initiative – is vital as we look to improve our physical and mental health in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We would like to place on record our thanks to the hundreds of landowners, directors of public health, the UK Government, parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, the Local Government Association, Sport England, mayors, press and media, public figures, parkrun volunteers, and the wider parkrun community for their incredible efforts during what has undoubtedly been a difficult time.
It has always been hard to define the absolute level of permission required in order for parkrun to resume, or even a target percentage that would get us there. Therefore, in order to make our decision as to whether or not we could reopen parkrun across England, without excessive pressure being placed on individual events, we took into account many different factors, such as size of events, proximity of events to others, ease of travel between events, the number of participants registered to events, and average and maximum attendances.
It did, of course, come down to the wire. For example, as recently as yesterday morning, out of 160,000 parkrunners in the North East, 100,000 were registered to an event without permission. Thanks to some incredible work by a number of individuals and organisations, by this morning that number had dropped to 8,000 people, with 94% of North East parkrunners now registered to an event with landowner permission.
Following a careful review of the information available, we now have a high degree of confidence that, when events do return, they will be safe, enjoyable, and accessible for all those who wish to take part in social, outdoor, physical activity, with their local community.
For the remainder of events where we don’t yet have permission in place, we remain committed to doing everything we can to work with local event teams and landowners to see if we can secure the permission needed for their return.
We know that, on Monday, the Prime Minister will be confirming the details and timing of Step 4, and that his announcement may have a material impact on our ability to reopen on 26 June. However, we are celebrating today, as we now know that parkrun will return in England before too long, and we cannot wait to see the magic of parkrun enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of participants every week, very soon.
Chief Operating Officer
You can see a list of all events that currently have permission to return here.
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