'The news we didn't want to hear' - dismay in Sheffield as return of parkruns is delayed
The eagerly anticipated return of parkrun’s 5k events in the UK has been delayed, sparking dismay in Sheffield.
It was hoped that the runs could finally resume from Saturday, June 5, with Sheffield Council giving the go-ahead earlier this week for them to take place from that date at parks across the city, including Endcliffe, Graves, Millhouses, Manor Fields and Hillsborough.
But parkrun UK today announced that it had been forced to delay the resumption nationally as too few landowners had given their permission.
It now hopes that they can return from Saturday, June 26, with a decision to be made on June 11.
Although more than 250 events did have permission from the landowners to return, organisers said this fell ‘far short of the critical mass needed to prevent overwhelming those that have been given the go ahead’.
There are more than three million registered parkrunners across England, and around 300,000 people take part in the events on a typical weekend.
Nick Pearson, parkrun Global CEO said: “Although it is disappointing not to be able to return on 5 June, we are still optimistic that we can return parkrun events to nearly 600 communities across England very soon. We will do everything we can to ensure events restart on 26 June.”
parkruns had been allowed to resume from March, as part of step one of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, and the junior 2k events have already returned.
But organisers said that despite widespread support nationally, many requests for permission had ‘got caught up in unnecessary red tape and lengthy internal bureaucracy at a local level’.
Responding to the news this morning, the organisers of Endcliffe parkrun said: “The news we didn’t want to hear.
“Unfortunately, the day to restart parkrun is being delayed. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes for all parkruns and this news is disappointing but everything is moving in the right direction and we have a new date set for the return.
“We hope that you are all out running, meeting your parkrun buddies and we hope to see you all back together soon.”