How you can help save parkrun

Author: Holly Taylor

Read Time:   |  April 29, 2021

Paul Sinton-Hewitt, parkrun Founder, has written to supporters asking for their help to ensure the event returns on 5 June

It’s been over a year since the last parkrun was held in the UK on 14 March 2020, and it’s been sorely missed. The weekly 5K event took place in 730 locations across Britain on Saturday mornings – with over 2,364,710 finishers to date – until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown measures were introduced last year.

Despite hopes that parkrun would return in October 2020 as restrictions eased, the second wave of infections further delayed the event’s return.

In an email to parkrun supporters yesterday, event founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt laid out the details of a proposed return for local runs in England on 5 June 2021. He explained that there wasn’t enough clarity to make a statement on when events in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be back, but highlighted that it was essential that the vast majority of events in England return at the same time to avoid an over-saturation of participants.

The email went on to ask runners for help in securing permission from the landowners of all 589 5k events in England, requesting their permission to once again hold parkrun events on their land. To secure parkrun’s future we need to find our local event, email the landowner of the designated space that hosts it and ask them to give permission. You can find the original message to landowners that parkrun have sent round here, which may be useful to copy or take inspiration from.

Without permission from landowners, parkrun will not be able to return in England safely and the future of the event will remain uncertain.

To do your bit and make sure parkrun can continue to take place, find your local event and get involved here. If you want to volunteer to help out when events return, you can find more information here.

In Paul Sinton Hewitt’s words: “I have always thought that parkrun represents the best of humanity. The positivity and togetherness, the support, the warm encouragement. The opportunity to escape, to connect with nature, to find health and happiness through regular community physical activity. We need all of that right now. More than ever.”

Help save parkrun – find your local event here:

Written by

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor is the digital editor of Women’s Running and co-host of the Women’s Running podcast, where she shares her running journey as well as the inspiring stories of women runners all over the country. She’s never been the sporty type, but running is the first time she’s felt real joy in getting active. She loves talking about running with a community of inclusive and supportive runners, and Women's Running is the perfect space for this. She's currently aiming for a half marathon PB!

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