Parkrun to return on June 26

·1-min read
The free 5km events are expected to reopen on June 26 subject to government guidelines (PA Wire)
The free 5km events are expected to reopen on June 26 subject to government guidelines (PA Wire)

Parkrun will return to more than 500 locations on June 26 following approval from a large number of local authorities.

The free 5km events were due to resume on June 5 but were delayed after only about 250 of the 589 venues which had previously hosted the weekly run had given permission for the event to return.

Parkrun’s chief operating officer Tom Williams said: “The prime minister’s announcement may have a material impact on our ability to reopen on June 26.

"However, we are celebrating today, as we now know that Parkrun will return in England before too long."

Organisers required a significant number of landowners to allow the weekly runs to return to avoid overcrowding at the mass participation event if only limited venues were available.

They said that 250 locations in England had permitted them to return last month, but that this fell "far short" of the number needed to prevent overcrowding at the areas given the go-ahead.

Cabinet ministers Robert Jenrick and Oliver Dowden, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and World Athletics president Lord Coe all backed the return of the event, which was suspended in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to local authorities last month, ministers called for the popular weekly 5km runs to be allowed to resume.

In their letter, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said such events could now legally go ahead.

“In the interest of public health they should now restart,” they said.

While Mr Williams hopes the event will return on June 26, the official restart date is subject to the UK government‘s coronavirus roadmap announcement on June 14.

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