Parkrun says it plans to relaunch their weekly Saturday morning 5k runs this month after winning approval from more than 500 landowners to stage the events.
Bosses say they will restart on June 26 as long as The Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s expected announcement on Monday, June 14, on the final stage of the lockdown easing, gives the go-ahead.
Organisers of the popular event had been forced to delay the relaunch after previously failing to get backing from enough landowners, but are now delighted by the latest situation.
A statement on the Parkrun website states: “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.”
Parkrun says as of Thursday, June 10, out of 160,000 parkrunners in the North East, 100,000 were registered to an event without permission.
But thanks to ‘some incredible work by a number of individuals and organisations’, by the following day that number had dropped to 8,000 people, with 94% of North East parkrunners registered to an event with landowner permission.
They say following a careful review of the information available, they 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.
On Monday, June 14, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson 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 June 26.