Whitstable parkrun is cancelled on 19 September 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Covid update

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Dear all,

As we progress our plans around a return to parkrun, we have been working with various organisations and stakeholders around the world. While the restart of parkrun events in New Zealand was relatively straightforward due to the virus being largely eradicated there, it is clear that this is not likely to be the case in the rest of the world. Therefore any plan to return requires a series of mitigations.

Particularly across Europe, we continue to see the return of outdoor sporting and physical activity events, reflecting the reduced risk of outdoor activities.

We are pleased to be able to announce therefore that we have developed a comprehensive ‘return to parkrun’ planning document and risk assessment. This is the first stage in being able to schedule a return of parkrun events in countries where there remains an underlying level of infection but where public health guidelines would allow outdoor events to take place.

In the UK specifically, where we support over 1,000 events and four-million parkrunners, the Government recently released guidance for the return of mass participation and running events. This was a significant step forward in facilitating our return, and our planning documents and risk assessments have now been sent to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Whilst our proposals to DCMS acknowledge that some alterations will need to be made to parkrun events, we have been careful to ensure that they remain volunteer-friendly and scalable. And, whilst safety will always be our priority, we are committed to maintaining the low barrier event delivery model and the positive element of human interaction at parkrun events.

Once our COVID-19 operating plan is reviewed by DCMS, we will be able to move towards planning a date of return, although this of course still comes with a number of complexities and challenges that also need to be managed, such as ensuring that stakeholders, including landowners, are supportive and able to facilitate events on their properties.

So whilst a lot of work has been done, there is a significant amount ahead of us.

Finally, whilst our preference is still to return to all UK nations at the same time, as devolved guidance in those countries remains unaligned it is increasingly possible that we may see staggered return dates across the home nations.

We will of course be working closely with our wonderful volunteer teams ahead of any planned return to ensure that all the necessary support is in place.

As always, we appreciate your patience and support.

We are getting through this together,


Return to parkrun in England​ update

Return to parkrun in England​

Dear parkrun UK and junior parkrun UK event teams,

Reflecting on a significant week for the parkrun family, we understand there are a range of views and feelings about where we are and what to do next. Whilst we know that many people are really excited to see their events up and running once more, we also know that many teams are concerned about the possible implications of reopening on the health of their communities.

Throughout this challenge, we have taken the decision to publish as much information as possible, as soon as possible. We feel that by sharing our decisions, the reasoning behind them, and our likely next actions, at the earliest possible moments, we have been able to stimulate valuable discussion and follow the most appropriate path forward. Maintaining momentum, without committing to actions we are unable to take.

Weekly surveys to our parkrun community have shown an increasing intent to return expressed by walkers, runners, and volunteers. Unfortunately, despite the continued low prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, we have, over the last week or so, seen increases in positive tests and subsequent amendments to restrictions. We recognise this can be unsettling and cause anxiety and confusion. We understand that.

We would like to reassure you all that we continue to work closely with Sport England, the Government, and Public Health, such that parkrun can reopen safely and at the right time, in order to achieve the significant public health benefits parkrun events provide, and that are so desperately needed by many right now.

With 6-7 weeks until the end of October, there is still plenty of time for us to develop things further and respond to changing situations as appropriate. We are here to support all our teams over the coming weeks and months and remain committed to regular communication and discussion.

As part of that commitment, starting next Friday, we will be updating the parkrun UK volunteer community every week with the latest UK-specific information we have, our most up-to-date situation, and providing an opportunity for questions to be asked.

In the meantime, please don’t feel the need to take any specific action. ​If you have any concerns please do reach out to us via the parkrun website, or your usual channels of communication.

Many thanks for your continued support, patience, and love for parkrun,


Update on a restart date

Morning everyone.
I'm sure many of you will have seen on social media yesterday/this morning the very strong roomer that parkrun in England will restart on the 24th or 31st of October. There is a post on the official parkrun twitter page stating this. As Event director I had a prewarning from our ambassador that parkrun was going to make an official announcement yesterday evening.
As yet nothing else to report, basically you know what I know, Lets assume for the moment that the information is correct, There is nothing parkrunners need to do at this point, Over the next few weeks it would be a good idea to brush up on parkrun protocol, Children must be with a responsible adult, only one dog per runner, dogs to be on a short lead and start at back, all that sort of stuff. NO BAR CODE NO TIME. Over the next few weeks key volunteers will workout all the safety measures we need to put in place to make Whitstable parkrun safe, for Runners, volunteers and the general public alike.
Just to put a spanner in the works, The infection rate has been going up sharply for the last couple of days, and very possibly may continue to do so, especially with the return of the schools and Universities, So don't be surprised if there is some back pedalling from pr.
I will keep you informed of any developments as soon as I get them, I will give you the safe return plan in plenty of time before any restart date.
We all want to get back to parkrun as soon as possible, but I want to make sure I have done everything humanly possible to make it safe for everyone before that day.
Pass it on
Thank you all


August update from HQ

Hi there,

Welcome to the parkrun Volunteer Update for August 2020.

With all parkrun events around the world currently closed, things may seem rather quiet right now. However, situations are changing on a daily basis and we hope to see the return of some events in the coming months.

For updates specific to you please do follow the blog updates on your parkrun country’s website, and we also recommend following the social media channels for not only your local events but your parkrun country.

In the meantime, we continue to recommend that parkrunners familiarise themselves with the Volunteer Hub and specifically the COVID-19 Framework published there.

Finally, we are very aware that the current situation is impacting people in vastly differing ways and that whilst a return to parkrun will be welcomed by many, it may also cause anxiety in others. We’re working hard to understand how best to support the entire parkrun community over the coming weeks, months, and years, as we get back into our parks and open spaces again.

Thanks for your continued support

The parkrun Volunteer Hub contains everything you need to know about delivering parkrun events, and is available via volunteer.parkrun.com

The parkrun Safeguarding Hub contains everything you need to know about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults at parkrun events, and is available via safeguarding.parkrun.com


COVID-19 Framework

Hi there,

Earlier this week we announced we had completed our COVID-19 Framework, describing how events will operate in countries where an underlying level of community infection still remains.

We’d also like to stress that as part of our strategy to return we took the decision to separate defining the way events should be reopened, from deciding the date when that process would be considered safe.

Today we are announcing the process not the date, and as such there is no immediate obligation or impact on any parkrun community. However, by publishing our COVID-19 Framework we are better able to progress conversations around when and where our events may be able to return safely.

At the front of our minds has been the importance of not over-burdening volunteers, not presenting significant barriers to participation, not creating precedents we cannot maintain, and not setting unrealistic expectations. Our vision for parkrun events as they reopen is also that, whilst proximity and interaction will be significantly reduced, the essence of parkrun is very much there. Because of this, it may take longer for our events to return in some places, however we have always believed in being patient and protecting the parkrun ethos.

We also wish to clarify that whilst we consider this Framework to be complete, it is very much provisional and as such we welcome feedback from both within and outside of the parkrun community. Aspects or details may still change, and we will continue to provide weekly updates through each parkrun country’s blog page.

We understand that this is a significant moment for parkrun, with longer-term implications for many millions of parkrunners. We are also mindful of the responsibility we have in guiding the parkrun family through these challenging times.

We therefore remain committed to transparency around the decisions we make and why we make them. As such, we are publishing our Framework alongside an in-depth discussion on the Free Weekly Timed podcast that will explain the rationale of the framework in detail. We will also be creating a number of opportunities for members of the parkrun community to ask questions and challenge decisions, starting next week with a further question and answer session on the Free Weekly Timed podcast.

Please do listen to our COVID-19 Framework discussion, available now in this week’s episode of Free Weekly Timed.

And you can find our COVID-19 Framework in the Volunteer Hub.

Many thanks for your continued patience, understanding, and support.

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