News - 9th December 2020
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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Reopening update

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As 2020 winds down to the summer holidays we are reminded of the challenges the year has given us and how we have changed the way we do things.

 

I never imagined that my parkrun at the beautiful Kei Mouth route, on 14 March would be the last for the rest of the year. When lockdown came a week or so later, I am sure I was not alone in believing it would not be long until we were parkrunning again. But that was not to be. In the meantime, parkrun created some wonderful ways of keeping us all engaged, active, motivated, and part of the parkrun family with activities and challenges such as the parkrun quiz, (not)parkrun and parktoberfest.

 

At long last, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I am thrilled to announce that in early 2021 parkrun will return. There has been an enormous amount of hard work, debate, and research into this decision. The exciting news is that we will be reopening some parkruns soon.

 

We have decided on an initial, phased return of our smaller more remote parkruns towards the end of January. About 20 selected parkruns will be the pioneers of this comeback. Based on the successful outcome of this first phase we will then start a second tranche of parkruns in February and finally a further group later in February. These parkruns will be specially selected because they have a small number of participants and are sufficiently distant from the large metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London that they remain well under 500 participants.

 

It is important for us to ensure our parkruns do not transgress current government legislation and as such we do not want to risk any of our parkruns exceeding the 500 limit stipulated in the regulations.  In addition, we have a strict parkrun protocol on how to manage parkrun under our COVID-19 Framework.

 

Many of you will be disappointed that your home parkrun will not be opening in this initial phase. While we understand your frustrations, we hope that you will support our decisions and remain patient until legislation allows us to open your parkrun.

 

Hopefully, this start will lead eventually to the return of all our parkruns and that soon the year 2020 will be just a distant bad dream.

 

We are aware that the situation could change at any moment and we are prepared for that eventuality.

 

If you have any questions you can get in touch with us at reopeningSA@parkrun.com. In the meantime, I would like to thank all of you for your support and I would like to wish every parkrunner a happy festive season and a truly memorable New Year.

 

Bruce Fordyce     

President 

parkrun Southern Africa

 

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