Park life as we know it is on hold again
National parkrun barcode day is now Saturday 24 July
You could almost hear the groans and feel the palpable disappointment and frustration of thousands of parkrunners when the return of the weekly 5K series in England was postponed to Saturday 24 July, after the latest announcement from the Government on Monday 14 June.
Following the Prime Minister's statement confirming that Stage 4 of the Government's 'roadmap out of lockdown' was to be delayed by a month to 'no sooner than Monday 19 July' – dubbed 'Freedom Day' by the media – parkrun UK issued this response:
“Following the announcement this evening from the Prime Minister, confirming a delay to Step 4 of the Roadmap until Monday 19 July 2021, it is now our intention that 5K events in England will restart on Saturday 24 July. A huge amount of work has been done in recent weeks to ensure we have permission to return from the large majority of landowners”.
“Whilst this delay is disappointing, we respect the fact that a significant number of these permissions were contingent on the country moving into Step 4 and we will therefore target a new reopening date of Saturday 24 July”.
The shifting sands regarding lifting the remaining pandemic restrictions, coupled with delays in replies from landowners, had resulted in missed dates for parkrun to resume on 5 June and 26 June. It was always going to be necessary to get most parkruns open simultaneously to avoid any individual events being literally overrun.
In a tweet on 2 June, Tom Williams, the Global Chief Operating Officer of parkrun, had stated: “Since July 2020, the parkrun COVID-19 Framework has enabled 13,514 parkrun events globally, across 808 locations. In those events, over 250,000 different people have walked, run, or volunteered, 1.5 million times. With no reported cases of COVID-19 transmission”.
So it's back to the kitchen drawer for your parkrun barcode for another month. Perhaps nip out for a (not)parkrun to keep ticking over, or brush up your volunteering skills ready for the safe return of the free, weekly 5K runs we all love, miss dearly, and need so desperately until Saturday 24 July...unless...?
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Image: Bushy parkrun via Wikimedia Commons