Since restarting after our COVID pause, we have had three weeks of parkruns. In the first week we welcomed back ten events, followed by another seven the week after. This last Saturday was a notable because not only did we welcome have 21 events in total, but it was our ninth anniversary in the USA. Future developments are never guaranteed, but it is good to take stock and appreciate what we have been able to collectively have accomplished in the past few months which have cumulated in the successes of the past three weeks.
Robert Gryskiewicz jumping for joy at Rec Plex North parkrun
We always knew that restarting parkrun would be far more complex that putting it on pause. I remember the day when it all seemed to come to a head and it became clear that closing the country for the remainder of March 2020 was the only choice available to us. Looking back it’s easy to see how the clues were there and how it was inevitably going to happen but at the time it all seemed to come really quickly.
All smiles at Charleston WV parkrun!
The disappointment of closing was immeasurable but it was easily countered a few months ago when we identified opportunities to parkrun in the US back, even if only in part. In our return process we wanted to ensure that we could prove that we had permission, and it was legal and appropriate to hold events. Each team as part of the process presented new landowner permission and evidence that their event can be held in line with local guidelines. With the benefits that we all know that come with parkrun and together our global COVID strategy and framework we were able to present a compelling case to landowners. We’re happy to see so many events returning in a short space of time, but acknowledge there’s more work to do to get the remaining events back up and operating.
Feedback from teams have largely been positive with the extra arrangements in place being worth it to see so many happy and smiling faces, like this parkrunner at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun:
We didn’t plan for the return to happen in time for parkrun USA’s ninth birthday, but it is a nice bonus. Our blog from this time last year marked the occasion, and it is really nice for us to be able to follow up the sentiment of being able to celebrate in person.
Livonia parkrun, the first in the US, aren’t the only ones celebrating at the weekend. Here is a moment from Deep Run parkrun who celebrated their 4th anniversary:
The number of events returning continue to increase every week. Do check with your local event’s news page and social media to check if they are running, and be patient if the event requires some more time to be ready.
North America Territory Manager
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….
We have some great snippets from parkrun’s across the USA since we restarted. You have been posting lots and lots on social media and we love seeing them! Here’s a great selection that came through: A brand new parkrun! We’ll have a profile of Utah’s first event in a couple of weeks, but a big…