Parkrun set to return but what will be different?

Runners at the Norwich parkrun at Eaton Park. Picture: Nick Richards

Runners at the Norwich parkrun at Eaton Park. Picture: Nick Richards - Credit: Archant

Norfolk runners will be able to get their 5K fix each Saturday morning after parkrun revealed plans to resume events in England by the end of October.

Parkrun should still be able to return in late October despite the recent restrictions. Picture: Arc

Parkrun should still be able to return in late October despite the recent restrictions. Picture: Archant - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Norfolk runners will be able to get their 5K fix each Saturday morning after parkrun revealed plans to resume events in England by the end of October.

Parkrun events were suspended worldwide in March because of the global coronavirus pandemic. However, plans are afoot for their return in England with events operating within parkrun’s government approved Covid-19 framework, though there have been “minimal changes” to its operating model.

An exact date for the return of the events in England has not been arranged, but October 24 and October 31 look most likely.

No individual event has had detailed instructions from parkrun head office but it is understood that the changes proposed will see event briefings being shorter than in the past with organisers reluctant for participants to gather on the start line for a long period of time. Traditional announcements such as parkrun tourists and significant milestones will be made at another time or just online.

Action from Lowestoft parkun. Picture: Archant

Action from Lowestoft parkun. Picture: Archant - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


You may also want to watch:


Briefings will be kept to health and safety necessities and at the finish there will be more volunteers to process times whilst a change in technology should mean the amount of time spent queuing at the finish will be reduced.

Marshals will now be using the parkrun app to record runners’ times instead of the normal stopwatch and scanners to eradicate the need for multiple handling of equipment. Results will also now be processed at one individual’s home rather than at the event as many have done in the past.

Most Read

Runners will also be discouraged from gathering in the park afterwards. Some courses may also increase in size to make the start and finish areas bigger so some events may be longer than 5K but never shorter.

Parkruns organisers at Colney Lane, Sloughbottom, Catton and Eaton Park have scheduled a meeting at the end of September to further discuss the return of the events and share best practice.

Event director at Sloughbottom, Miranda Ellis, hopes it gives the running community something to look forward to.

“I think people have missed the social element to parkrun more than anything,” she said. “It’s a fantastic thing for people’s physical and mental health. It’s a great way of starting the weekend and we are so looking forward to seeing people return.

“We understand people might feel nervous about it and perhaps numbers might be down to start with but the runners will be welcome back any time.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus