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Kempton Park Racecourse

Here are the runners for the Kempton Park 5K

London Marathon Events' Reunion 5K heralds the return of mass participation events in the UK

An important step towards the safe return of mass participation events will be taken at Kempton Park Racecourse tomorrow (Saturday 15 May) when London Marathon Events (LME) Reunion 5K will be held as the only running event in the government’s Events Research Programme. 

Original plans to have three races with 3,000 runners in each have been pared back and there will now be two races with up to 1,000 competitors and 1,000 spectators at each event. The races will be configured slightly differently so the maximum scientific data may be obtained. 

Reunion 5K Race A starts at 09:00am with runners starting at intervals over a 30-minute window and a range of social distancing measures in place for runners and spectators. Race B starts at 11:45am and there will be NO social distancing requirements. Entrants were given the choice of which format they preferred and there is a lower age limit of 16 years for both runners and supporters, as under-16s cannot legally consent to research studies.

Kempton Park Racecourse has been selected as a spacious, safe venue for outdoor activities and participants are being advised to walk, cycle or travel safely by car to the venue, rather than use public transport. Everyone must pass a Covid-19 lateral flow test the day before and are requested to provide PCR test results on the day of the event and five days post-event to help inform the research. 

All tests are being provided free of any additional charges. The £15 entry fee goes towards the cost of staging the event and includes full chip-timed results service and possibly the most important medal you will ever be awarded.     

LME has worked enthusiastically with the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS); Public Health England, Surrey County Council, and other key stakeholders to promote this event safely, with further support from the Mass Participation Sports Organisers, the collective of UK’s leading mass participation event organisers.

The aim of the Reunion 5K is to provide scientific data from participants, spectators and staff which can be used to inform DCMS in planning the safe return of mass participation sport and events as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown. 

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “It has been interesting to see how cautious people are about entering an event which enables them to run in close proximity to each other for the first time in 15 months. With hindsight, this is entirely understandable when social distancing has been our way of life since lockdown began. 

"Research is now showing that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is extremely low and we all know how important exercise and these mass events are to mental and physical health and to inspiring people to change their behaviour and adopt a healthier lifestyle. 

"We need to get mass participating running events back all over the UK for everyone - whether it is a parkrun, the Great North Run, or the London Marathon - whatever its size, its location or its charitable purpose so that, in the words of our founders, we can have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone said: "The Reunion 5k is a vital part of the Events Research Programme which will provide essential data on the safe return of mass participation events. It’s fantastic to see so many runners and spectators getting involved in this event which will feed into policy decisions ahead of step 4 of the roadmap and hopefully see things like the great London Marathon return with crowds.”

Further race information and results will be available at runABC South race listing

Image: Courtesy Kempton Park Racecourse on facebook

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