Parkruns in Norfolk set to return on June 5 - and junior runs even earlier

Eaton Park Parkrun in Norwich.

Eaton Park Parkrun in Norwich. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Parkruns across Norfolk could return on June 5 - after national organisers of the global weekly timed run announced a date when it would restart in England.

The free 5km Saturday morning runs are popular nationwide, with events being held in areas across Norfolk including hundreds meeting at Eaton Park, Colney Lane, Sloughbottom and Catton in Norwich.

Eaton Park Parkrun in Norwich.

Eaton Park Parkrun in Norwich. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Parkruns, which were first launched nationally a decade ago, have also become popular regular activities at The Walk in King's Lynn, Swaffham, Sheringham Park and on Hunstanton Promenade.

They have also sprung up in Mulbarton, Brundall, Lingwood, Blickling, on the North Beach at Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and in Lowestoft. 

The pandemic has meant none of the group have been able to host their runs since the Covid-19 crisis broke in March 2020.

Gorleston Parkrun taking in the cliffs.

Gorleston Parkrun taking in the cliffs. - Credit: Richard Knibb

However the organisation has announced that Junior Parkrun events will return from Sunday, April 11 with all adult 5k Parkrun events across England pencilled in to return on Saturday, June 5.

Nick Pearson, chief executive officer, said: “Excitingly, for the first time in six months, we now see a realistic timeframe for the return of 5k events in England.

“Unlike Junior Parkrun, which can return in phases, our 5k events need to all come back at the same time, with the definition of ‘all’ probably being something north of 90pc. 

Sheringham Parkrun.

Sheringham Parkrun. - Credit: Janet Acott

“This is due to the relatively large attendances meaning that if only a subset of 5k events opened they would very likely be overwhelmed with unmanageable levels of attendance.”

He added: “Bringing back Parkrun events is a huge step for so many of us toward the return of normal life

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“Of course nothing is guaranteed and there is still, understandably, some uncertainty and trepidation within the community. But working towards these dates gives us all hope.”

Thetford Parkrun organiser Melanie Sturman. 

Thetford Parkrun organiser Melanie Sturman. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Melanie Sturman, event director at Thetford Parkrun, which started in 2013, said: “Everything is still tentative but this is a guideline we can all work towards. 

“Everyone is wanting it back as soon as it is safe to do so for their wellbeing and getting fit again and the social side. 

“Obviously over the next few weeks we will be working jointly with the national office to do all we can to ensure it is safe and, guided by the government, hopefully we will all be back.”

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