Following the government’s announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions, Harrogate Parkrun will be able to return to the Stray on Saturday 5th June.
Organisers have revealed plans to resume all 5km Parkruns across the UK on the same date, whilst different plans will be in place for the earlier return of the Junior Parkrun.
The announcement of a return date will come as a relief to runners across the country following a 6-month absence, with Parkrun operating in 77 locations and attracting more than 6,000,000 members across the UK.
And in a statement via their website, Chief Executive Officer of Parkrun Nick Pearson revealed why the Junior event is able to return on the sooner date of Sunday 11th April 2021:
“As a registered charity, with legally-binding objects, we have an obligation to support the reopening of our events as soon as it is appropriate to do so. However, there are significant differences between our junior and 5k series.
“We are particularly pleased to see the prioritisation of children’s sport and activity in the roadmap, and due to the smaller number of participants and relative lack of tourism, we are comfortable supporting a phased return of junior events, helping teams to reopen when they are ready to do so.”
Based on government guidance, Parkrun could technically return from Saturday 4th April, however organisers have said they don’t believe it would be “appropriate” for events to return so early given the expected Covid rate of infection at that time.
CEO Nick Pearson added:
“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 90%.
“This is due to the relatively large attendances, and significant opportunity for tourism, meaning that if only a subset of 5k events opened they would very likely be overwhelmed with unmanageable levels of attendance.”
Harrogate Parkrun is just one of the locations in the local area, with Conyngham Hall (2.2m), Wetherby (7m), Fountains Abbey (8.5m), Chevin Forest (9m) and Roundhay (10.7m) also hosting their own events. Find out more about Parkrun and the return for its events here.