Parkrun participants ‘excited’ as free weekly events return

Parkrun participants have spoken of their delight and excitement at the return of the weekly free running club.

Saturday, 24th July 2021, 4:55 am

As part of lockdown loosening in England on Monday July 19, outdoor running events such as the London Marathon, the Great North Run and the Brighton Marathon are allowed to return.

Parkrun, the weekly community event which takes place each Saturday morning in parks across Britain, starts again on Saturday in England.

Runs are also taking place in Preston, Blackpool and Wigan this weekend.

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Parkrun participants have spoken of their delight and excitement at the return of the weekly free running club.

Stuart Wright, 43, an HR consultant who lives in Lancashire, will be taking part in the Pendle Parkrun.

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Mr Wright said he spent the past months running on his own while Parkrun was suspended.

“For me, it’s the inclusion aspect of it that I love,” he said. “At some organised 5ks or 10ks you have to be a certain time or be part of a club but Parkrun is open to everyone.

“I go with my son, who’s 10, and my mother in law, who’s in her 60s. At Pendle we’ve got a bit of a steep course that we have to go up twice, so that’s always a challenge.

“So I can run with her, I can run with my son and we have friends that we regularly see there.”

During lockdown, runners held virtual Parkruns on Facebook where people undertook challenges or posted selfies to keep the community spirit alive during lockdown.

The chairman of the Local Government Association’s Culture Tourism and Sport Board, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: “The LGA is delighted to see the return of Parkrun today.

“These popular events are incredibly valuable for many people in supporting both their physical and mental health and wellbeing. We’re thankful to both Parkrun and councils for their patience and hard work in supporting the safe return of these events.”

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