Parkrun: October return scrapped due to coronavirus measures

Parkrun resumed in New Zealand in July but its UK return has been delayed
Parkrun resumed in New Zealand in July but its UK return has been delayed

Plans to resume weekly mass participation Parkrun events in October have been scrapped due to stricter coronavirus rules.

The events, which take place in over 700 parks across the UK, were suspended in March because of the pandemic.

Parkrun is exempt from the government rules on social distancing as it is an organised outdoor sporting activity.external-link

But Parkrun chief executive Nick Pearson said it "would be insensitive to push forward with reopening".

"Whilst we reluctantly accept this reality, Parkrun's absence will come at a cost," added Pearson.

"As we head into winter and face the many associated seasonal health issues (both in terms of Covid-19 and other mental and physical illnesses), we believe Parkrun has an incredibly important role to play in supporting public health."

Pearson added that Parkrun believes there is "little or nominal risk of Covid-19 transmission at outdoor physical activity events such as Parkrun".

The Parkrun movement was founded in Bushy Park, London in 2002 by Paul Sinton-Hewitt and is now in 22 countries.

Runners or walkers can take part in 5km events on Saturday mornings while 2km junior events take place on Sunday mornings. Events are free and are run by volunteers.

There are 729 different locations across the UK staging the weekly events and more than two million runners have taken part.