We love to see families running together at Torbay Velopark parkrun, in fact we actively encourage it What a brilliant way to spend Saturday morning.
parkrun doesn't have many rules but the ones we do have are there for good reason. In particular, the under 11s rule. Every Saturday during the pre run briefing and new runners briefing, we remind all parents/guardians that under 11s must be accompanied by a responsible adult (age 18 or over) during their run and throughout their time at parkrun. By accompanied we mean 'within arms reach'. Waiting for them at the finish or running 5 minutes before or behind isn't acceptable.
During recent weeks we have become aware that there are a number of under 11s running unaccompanied on a regular basis despite our reminders. Please note that if we see a child under 11 running alone we have the authority to remove their results.
There are many obvious reasons why parkrun has this rule, primarily to safeguard the child but it's also a requirement of the UKA.
While the official guidance from UK Athletics (UKA) does not permit children under 11 to race the 5k distance they are content to sanction the participation of children under the age of 11 in parkrun UK events as long as their participation is primarily for fun, being free from undue pressure from parents, other adults or their peers and in the full understanding they are participating in a timed run rather than a race.