Tag Archives: Running

Restarting parkrun in England: 5 June 2021!

Restarting parkrun in England 5 June 2021

Following the publication of the Government’s roadmap for exiting lockdown, Parkrun are excited to share our plans to restart both junior and 5k parkrun events across England.

In line with the latest guidance on the lifting of restrictions across England, and operating within parkrun already approved COVID-19 framework, we currently expect that:

  • junior parkrun events across England will be able to return from Sunday 11 April 2021.
  • all 5k parkrun events across England will return on Saturday 5 June 2021.

It’s important to note that the roadmap presented on Monday applies to England only and whilst we are excited to begin working towards returning events over the coming months, we are not forgetting about our other UK communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. As things stand we are unable to pinpoint a date for returning either junior or 5k parkrun across these three devolved nations, but we continue to work closely with relevant authorities and stakeholders to understand when it may be appropriate.

In the following update we’ve tried to be open and transparent; to provide event teams, landowners and participants with as much of the detail and rationale as possible that sits behind the decisions we are now able to communicate. There will undoubtedly be questions that we haven’t answered here. But over the coming weeks and as we work towards reopening, we will be providing numerous opportunities for people to get in touch, to ask questions, and to guide our communities through the process of restarting parkrun events in England.

As a registered charity, with legally-binding objects, we have an obligation to support the reopening of our events as soon as it is appropriate to do so. However, there are significant differences between our junior and 5k series.

Junior parkrun

We are particularly pleased to see the prioritisation of children’s sport and activity in the roadmap, and due to the smaller number of participants and relative lack of tourism, we are comfortable supporting a phased return of junior events, helping teams to reopen when they are ready to do so.

The published roadmap for England states that, “from 29 March, formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can restart and will not be subject to gathering limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.

With 4 April being Easter Sunday it would seem sensible to delay a further week to the 11th.

Our expectation therefore is that junior parkrun events across England will be able to return, from Sunday 11 April.

This provides six clear weeks between an announcement this Friday and first events returning, and so from Monday next week we will be working through the same reopening process that we started in December last year.

As communicated last year, in the absence of our 5k events, we will be reopening our junior parkrun series for children aged 4-10 only. We have thought long and hard about this temporary restriction over the last six months, and for the following reasons believe that it is the only appropriate way to reopen junior parkrun at this time:

  • In the absence of 5k parkrun events, the number of registered children eligible for junior parkrun (aged 4-14) would effectively double, from roughly 300,000 to 600,000.
  • By temporarily limiting our age categories to 4-10-year-olds only, we would be reducing the number of registered and eligible parkrunners by around 50%, bringing it back to a figure (around 300,000) similar to those previously registered to junior parkrun.
  • Whilst we know that not all older children would attend a junior parkrun event, it is likely that a significant number would, with a high proportion of older, faster, and more competitive children coming over from our 5k events, likely to negatively impact the youngest participants.
  • In the absence of being able to limit or cap event participation in any other way, this change allows us to mitigate the risks associated with junior parkrun events doubling in attendance ‘overnight’.
  • From the conversations and discussions we have had so far with third parties, we also believe that local stakeholders will be significantly more comfortable giving permission for events targeted at primary-school-age children.

Importantly, we are committed to this change being temporary, and as soon as 5k events return, 11-14 year olds will be welcomed back to junior parkrun. In the interim period, we will strongly encourage parkrunners aged 11-14 to volunteer, spectate, or accompany younger siblings as they take their first parkrun steps.


5k parkrun 

Excitingly, for the first time in six months, we now see a realistic timeframe for the return of 5k events in England.

Unlike junior parkrun, which can return in phases, our 5k events need to all come back at the same time, with the definition of ‘all’ probably being something north of 90%. This is due to the relatively large attendances, and significant opportunity for tourism, meaning that if only a subset of 5k events opened they would very likely be overwhelmed with unmanageable levels of attendance.

Based on the published guidance, our 5k events could technically return from Saturday 4 April. However, due to the other national restrictions in place, the expected level of infection at that time, and a number of our 5k events regularly exceeding 1,000 participants, we do not believe it would be appropriate for them to return this early.

Our experience from the autumn also demonstrated that in the absence of other, similar, events taking place, it is difficult to generate the level of support and permissions required to return. We therefore don’t think it would be fair or appropriate to attempt to return too early.

With all the available information, we have determined that Step 3 presents the most realistic time for our 5k events to reopen, particularly when consideration is made to the significant number of external stakeholders whose support we also need. At this stage, and with the return of other large gatherings at both indoor and outdoor events, we expect there will be a much greater confidence in, and support for 5k parkrun events returning.

Our expectation therefore is that all 5k parkrun events across England will return on Saturday 5 June.

What next?

Event teams: For the moment, please don’t do anything. We will be in touch shortly regarding the processes for reopening, and will aim to prioritise junior events in the short term.

Landowners: We know it’s been challenging for everyone over the last 12 months, and so please be reassured that we will not just assume our events can simply turn up on 5 June. Over the coming weeks we will be in touch with all of you with the aim of renewing permissions prior to reopening.

Everyone else: Whilst we’re pretty experienced in starting and supporting the delivery of free, weekly, timed, 5k and 2k events around the world, this project entails reopening almost 900 different events, impacting over three-million registered parkrunners. We’ve never done that in 14 weeks before, and will be learning as we go, so please do be patient.

Over the coming weeks we plan to hold a number of Q&A sessions through our social channels, and we will continue to provide updates via our blog and weekly newsletters.

If you have any questions please do get in touch with parkrun here.

parkrun Global

You can listen to a further discussion regarding parkrun’s return in England, with our Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams, on the Free Weekly Timed podcast here.

original article: https://blog.parkrun.com

Parkrun – London List


Metro Blind Sports Links & Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn



Study on VI Running Outdoors During COVID-19

University Study on VI Running Outdoors During COVID-19

Are you visually impaired and usually run outdoors for exercise?


Are you visually impaired and have taken up outdoor running during social distancing?

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire and Solent University are investigating the impact of the coronavirus lockdown upon visually impaired (VI) runners. This study will explore VI peoples’ experiences of outdoor running and evaluate the impact of government measures –including two metre distancing – upon their participation. Data will be collected using online, semi-structured interviews in which participants will be invited to share their experiences.
You may take part in this research if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are a resident in the UK
  • Are aged 18 years or older
  • Have a visual impairment
  • Regularly participate in outdoor running as exercise OR have taken up outdoor running as exercise since social distancing guidelines were published on 23rd March 2020.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact either Dr Jess Macbeth by email at jlmacbeth@uclan.ac.uk or via twitter @Macbeth_Jess  or Dr Ben Powis by email at ben.powis@solent.ac.uk or via twitter @DrBenPowis




Instructional Fitness Skills Videos from the NWABA

Fitness Skills Videos for Blind and Partially Sighted from the NWABA

The purpose of the video resource library from the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes is to support athletes, teachers, families and community members in implementing instructional strategies when working with individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Fitness Skills Videos

Helping educators build the foundational knowledge needed to teach individuals who are blind and visually impaired in fitness skills, including, full push-up,  modified push-up, running, sit-up, jumping jack, jumping rope.

Fitness Skill: Full Push-up


Fitness: Modified Push-up


Fitness Skill: Jumping Jack


Fitness Skill: Jumping Rope


Fitness Skill: Sit-Up

Fitness Skill: Running

Supporting Documents: Link Here

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes Website: https://nwaba.org/

US Based Info

If you are US based you can find out more about NWABA’s adapted equipment lending library, the full video resource library and their PE consultation support in the video below.

NWABA Resources: Sports Adaptations Program Introduction

If you need documents in another format, more advanced instructional strategies, equipment, or consultation support, please contact Kirsten French, kfrench@nwaba.org, 360.859.3116.



Achilles Group Run: Hyde Park!

Achilles Run Now Thurday Nights
Hyde Park - road running. Meet   Marble Arch tube station 18.00 and 18.15
18.15 pm for a 18.30 pm start -
17th April 2019

 Achilles International United Kingdom Group Run

Everyone welcome from walkers through to speedy runners.  No previous running experience required.  Sighted Guides to be provided to match pace and distance.

Date:  Wednesday 17 April  Time:  18.15 pm for a 18.30 pm start

Meet & Greet:  Marble Arch tube station at the exit barriers between 18.00 and 18.15.

Location of run:  Hyde Park – road running.

Cost: free of charge.

All runners are kindly requested to notify me if they will attend in order that we have enough guides available on the evening who can meet your running needs.

Any queries please contact

Email: chrisblackabee@hotmail.com   or Call 07703741127

VI runners and guides / helpers welcome to join us from Metro.

Please circulate this to any other walkers – runners who may not have access to this notification.

We are hoping this will be a regular Wednesday evening run but people should check our Facebook Page to confirm. blindsport.uk/AchillesRun



Andrew Jones Running the 10K!

Andrew Jones Running the 10K with Ben Roback

Andrew Jones Running the 10K with his Guide Runner Ben Roback!

I started running regularly in 2003 when a friend started up a local running group whilst training another friend to run the London Marathon. I initially ran without a guide but as my sight deteriorated I discovered that I did not fall behind and was safer running holding onto a friends arm.

I ran my first race in 2005  and in 2006 I ran my first and last race without a guide when I did not manage to meet up with my guide at the start of the race. I bought a good treadmill in 2009  as I decided that I either learnt to run on one of these scary machines or I would have to stop running. I have kept up with my running but it is difficult to remain motivated to run on your own on a machine without training for a goal or a race.

Andrew Jones, Guide Dog Bobby and Guide Runner Ben Roback
From the left, Andrew’s son waving from behind Andrew Jones, Guide Dog Bobby in the middle with Guide Runner Ben Roback to the right

I joined Metro a year ago and have found my running spirit again.  When I am running I am winning because it should not be possible for me to run due to my eyesight. It allows me to compete against my failing vision.

I joined Metro to regain the social aspects of running. I competed in the Metro games in the summer, and I have started running regularly at Park Run.  I met Ben at the Metro Games where he offered to run as my guide.

We have now run several times together despite living over an hour apart. and last week, I ran my first 10k race with him. I had not managed to run for over three weeks due to a back injury and had also not run on hard surfaces for several years.

We talked our way around the first 8k and then the race was on as Ben had suggested picking up the pace at each of the last markers and making sure I had a sprint finish. Well, sprint finish was duly provided but the aspect of running which I am realising is most important is showing up and taking part. Thanks to Ben and to Metro.

My suggestion for anyone thinking of taking up running or joining Metro would be to give Metro a go and don’t look back!

article by Andrew Jones