While campaigning has been incredibly successful, councils in some major cities have still not given permission for their events to return
Let’s start with the good news: after weeks of campaigning, discussions and interventions from the likes of Sadiq Khan and Sea Coe, around three-quarters of park run’s events have gotten the go ahead to restart. The sad news is that this might not quite be enough to get parkrun back on its feet for the new return date of 26th June.
The problem lies in getting permission for parkruns to return in a few major cities: only half the parkruns in London and Manchester have been given a thumbs up from their local council, while Newcastle and Middlesbrough are not allowing any events at all. The fact that these events are all in concentrated areas means that organisers cannot bring back the others around the country, for fear of overcrowding.
While the local councils involved may change their mind at the last minute, organisers are worried that this situation will continue indefinitely. They have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask for help to find a way through the bureaucracy of the local councils. “We are deemed both safe and legal to return yet cannot do so because of uncoordinated and often unwarranted blockages by a number of local authorities who do not understand nor recognise the national framework,” they said in their letter. “We are a small charity, and as a board, we are fearful of our future.”
The final decision will be made on Friday – we will keep you updated with any news as we hear it, and hope we will be running with you all at parkrun again soon.