Parkrun relaunch delayed again as organisers cannot get go ahead for enough events

Participants taking part in South Shields Parkrun.Participants taking part in South Shields Parkrun.
Participants taking part in South Shields Parkrun.
Parkrun UK has announced that it has been forced to delay the planned reopening of 5k events in England on Saturday, June 5.

Although more than 250 events do have landowner permission to return, parkrun says this falls far short of the critical mass needed to prevent overwhelming those that have been given the go-ahead.

There are only 12 of the events held in the North East which have got the go ahead to re-start so far, at South Shields, Hartlepool, Horden, Darlington, Shildon, Spennymoor, Wallsend, Whitley Bay, and Druridge Bay, Blyth, Tyne Green and Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland.

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But with more than three million registered parkrunners across England and around 300,000 people taking part on a typical weekend, opening a small subset of parkruns is not viable.

In ongoing discussions, where landowners were withholding permission, parkrun organisers sought clarification on whether permission would be granted for a later date.

Parkrun UK will now target Saturday, June 26, to resume all 5k events across England.

A decision will be made regarding the go ahead for this new date on Friday, June 11.

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A full list of events that currently have permission can be found here.

Nick Pearson, parkrun Global CEO said: “We will continue to work hard with landowners over the coming weeks to secure the permissions needed to return at the end of June.”We are incredibly grateful to all of the landowners who have granted events permission to return so far, and for the groundswell of support for parkrun over recent days.

Although it is disappointing not to be able to return on 5 June, we are still optimistic that we can return parkrun events to nearly 600 communities across England very soon. We will do everything we can to ensure events restart on June 26.”

Organisers say the three-week delay comes as many permission requests got caught up in red tape, despite widespread support nationally from the UK government, MPs on both sides of Parliament, DCMS and Sport England.

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Parkrun has had legal permission to return from March, as part of Step 1 of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, and junior parkruns have already been relaunched on Sunday mornings.

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