Return of parkruns to Wigan beauty spots is delayed by three weeks

Runners and walkers in Wigan and Leigh will have to wait a few more weeks for the return of parkrun events.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 8:23 am
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 8:24 am

Organisers at parkrun UK had hoped the free, weekly 5km events would be able to return to green spaces around the country from Saturday, June 5.

Permission had been granted by Wigan Council for Haigh Woodland parkrun and Pennington Flash parkrun to go ahead from that date.

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Nick Pearson, parkrun Global CEO, said: “We will continue to work hard with landowners over the coming weeks to secure the permissions needed to return at the end of June. We are incredibly grateful to all of the landowners who have granted events permission to return so far, and for the groundswell of support for parkrun over recent days.

"Although it is disappointing not to be able to return on June 5, we are still optimistic that we can return parkrun events to nearly 600 communities across England very soon. We will do everything we can to ensure events restart on June 26.”

More than 250 events do have permission to return, but parkrun says this "falls short of the critical mass needed" to prevent them being overwhelmed by participants who would usually run or walk at events not taking place.

There are more than three million registered parkrunners across England and around 300,000 people take part on a typical weekend.

Haigh Woodland parkrun

According to parkrun, many of the requests for events to resume "got caught up in unnecessary red tape and lengthy internal bureaucracy at a local level".

Representatives from the organisation have been outspoken recently in their desire to see parkrun events return and have had support from politicans and athletes, including Olympic gold medallist and now president of World Athletics Lord Sebastian Coe.

The 5km events, which have not been held since the coronavirus pandemic began in March last year, usually take place at 9am on Saturdays in parks and green spaces nationwide.

They are open to people of all abilities and are free to take part, with a team of volunteers organising each event.

Some of its 2km events for children have already resumed, including Leigh junior parkrun, which is held at Leigh Sports Village at 9am on Sundays.

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