Volunteers get to work to bring parkrun back to Wigan beauty-spot next month

Preparations are being made for the return of parkruns across the borough, after organisers announced they hope to resume them within weeks.
Runners at Haigh Woodland parkrunRunners at Haigh Woodland parkrun
Runners at Haigh Woodland parkrun

The free 5km events, which are usually held in parks and green spaces across the country every Saturday morning, have been on hold since March due to the coronavirus pandemic and ban on mass gatherings

But organisers have now announced they intend to restart events towards the end of October.

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The announcement has been welcomed by Sarah Edwards, a member of the core team involved in organising Haigh Woodland parkrun.

She said: “It’s excellent news. We understand people are going to be apprehensive about it being potentially a lot of numbers, but out in the fresh air, hopefully it will help people to maybe lose some of those lockdown pounds. Certainly for people’s mental health, there is nothing better that being outside and conversing at a social distance with other people. Sometimes it’s the best therapy for people.”

She said discussions were taking place with Haigh Hall and the park manager and details of how the event will be coronavirus-secure will be submitted to the council for approval.

Organisers are looking at measures they can take to reduce the spread of Covid-19, with high-vis jackets worn by volunteers being washed, hand sanitiser made available and other possible changes. They will also be looking at the route, which can sometimes become congested at the start.

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There are four parkrun events in the borough - Haigh Woodland parkrun, Pennington Flash parkrun, Leigh junior parkrun and a closed event at HMP Hindley named Bickershaw parkrun.

Participants register for free online, go along to run or walk and are then sent their finishing time by email or text message.

The events, which are managed by volunteers, have become hugely popular in recent years, with hundreds of people taking part.

For details or to sign up, go to www.parkrun.org.uk.