Why parkruns in Armley and Bramley must wait to re-start after lockdown

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Bramley parkrunners are still awaiting a restart date Photo: Simon Cullingworth

The return of popular parkrun events in Armley and Bramley has been delayed by national organisation parkrun UK.

The 5k runs, which are held in Armley Park and Bramley Park respectively, were due to return on Saturday 5 June after Leeds City Council gave the go-ahead for all parkruns to re-start after lockdown.

Although more than 250 events across the country have landowner permission to return, national organisers say this falls far short of the critical mass needed to prevent overwhelming those that have been given the go ahead.

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.

parkrun UK will now target Saturday 26 June to resume all 5k events across England. A decision will be made regarding the go ahead for this new date on Friday 11 June.

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 26 June.”

The three-week delay comes as many permission requests got caught up in unnecessary red tape and lengthy internal bureaucracy at a local level, despite widespread support nationally from the UK government, MPs on both sides of Parliament, DCMS and Sport England.

Permissions must increase significantly between now and the new targeted restart. parkrun has had legal permission to return from March, as part of Step 1 of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown.

Operating under a government approved COVID-19 Framework, and with significant success restarting the junior 2k event series, as well as the vital need for people to be active and social outdoors, the time is now right for the return of Saturday morning 5k events.


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