Relaunch - a September update
A great many of you have been asking for an update on how / when / where / and yes why regarding the October relaunch of parkrun in England, and here is an attempt to bring everyone up to where we as an Event Team have got to.
Firstly, when - parkrun HQ have declared an intention to relaunch parkrun in England in "late October 2020". We are not able to give you anything more concrete than that. When we have an understanding of what the actual date is, we'll let you know via the usual social media channels.
Secondly, where - perhaps the easiest one to answer at the moment, no plans to change from the Memorial Ground, Woodford Park.
Thirdly, how - well now...your caring Event Team have spent countless hours working out how to fit our event into parkrun's Covid Secure Framework. There will be changes. The pre-run briefing will be short, sharp and to the point. The start will remain where it is but we will attempt to make it broader, and you will be asked to seed yourselves with faster runners taking a more central position. We have no plans to change the course, apart from the finish. The current plan for the finish is to make it on the other side of the skatepark, and to funnel finishers out onto the Memorial Ground (ie towards the War Memorial) for scanning instead of towards the pond. We will need many many scanners - you may be used to three or four scanning people, and a bit of a queue. We will need at least six nominated scanners before each run, and we will encourage as many as possible to scan after they have run. Socialising at the event both before and after the run will not be encouraged, and we will not be looking to host any social or takeover events until social distancing restrictions are lifted. We're asking you to forego cake-making for a bit. We are not encouraging spectating. We will need many more volunteers, and events will be cancelled if volunteer spaces are not filled prior to the event. As we get closer towards relaunch day, we will be asking for volunteers to join our Core Teams, in order to ease the volunteer burden, and because volunteering at parkrun is actually a lot of fun!
Finally - why is parkrun coming back now? The answer is that parkrun HQ are keen to get us moving and also getting us socially active again, with the clear and demonstrable physical and mental benefits that this will bring. At this present point in time, parkrun HQ believes that with a few tweaks, events can fit into the current social distancing environment within which we find ourselves.
OK - very clearly, all of this is subject to change.
The caveat to everything written above is that parkrun is in the very early stages of a set of dialogues with different landowners across the country, any of whom may yet present requirements which will require changes to what has been written here, as of course may the UK government, and similarly parkrun HQ may bring us a change to the framework within which we are trying to relaunch. Nothing is certain. What we are trying to do today is give you an understanding of what Woodley parkrun might look like on its resumption based on what we know today, and an assurance that we're going to try and make our event as risk averse as we can.
Thankyou for reading, and yes, I managed to get to the end without referencing wearing banana costumes whilst running.