Parkrun set to return in England at the end of October

The mass-participation event plans to resume its parkrun events in England towards the end of October after receiving the green light from government. 

The decision is the culmination of months of hard work, liaising directly with the UK government, Public Health England and government agencies, who agree that the public health benefit of parkrun returning outweighs the very low risk of increased Coronavirus transmission.

Launched in 2004, parkun runs recreational 5km events in parks and open spaces, which are free to all members of the public to join whether they want to walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate.

Parkrun published its Covid-19 Framework in August, which details how parkrun events will be delivered where there remains an underlying level of Covid-19 in the community.

“This Framework represents what we feel is the safest we can make parkrun events, whilst, at the same time, respecting the principles that allows parkrun to positively impact the health and happiness of those they engage,” say parkrun global chief executive officer Nick Pearson.

Since then, parkrun has sought feedback and suggestions from the global parkrun community, across 22 countries, as well as from public health bodies and governments around the world.

In an effort to understand the evidence surrounding Covid-19 transmission in outdoor settings, it commissioned a rapid review of the evidence by Canterbury Christ Church University, led by Professor Mike Weed.

The review concluded that, with appropriate evidence-based mitigations in place, it is possible to deliver outdoor events and activities across a range of sectors, and of varying sizes and formats, in a way that does not significantly increase risk of Covid-19 transmission.

“Everything in life comes with a risk, and we know and accept that we cannot remove all risks from the parkrun environment. However, it is also important to balance the public health benefits of reopening our events, against the associated public health risks. We now believe, having spent considerable time gathering and understanding the evidence, that the benefits to reopening parkrun far outweigh the risks,” said Pearson.

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