Parkrun organisers say delay is disappointing but inevitable

The start date for Shropshire's parkruns has been pushed back a month after the Government postponed the lifting of pandemic restrictions, organisers say.

Volunteers across the county say they are disappointed but that the postponement had been inevitable.

The free, five kilometre Saturday morning runs are hugely popular across the UK and hundreds of runners had been taking part every week at six venues across Shropshire.

They all stopped in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 lockdown with some due to start up again on June 26.

But after the prime minister announced on Monday that the last lockdown restrictions were continuing for up to a further four weeks, parkrun UK issued a statement.

It said it would now be targeting a new reopening date of July 24.

Ellen Harrison, one of the organisers of the Henley Wood parkrun in Oswestry, said they had been gearing up for a return on June 26.

"We had all worked hard to get the permission of the council to restart.

"We, both runners and the volunteers are all disappointed but we have to abide by the decision of parkrun UK, we have to go with the flow," she said.

The Shrewsbury Park Run Darwin Run

"The new date is now July 24 and we are all ready and looking forward to seeing everyone again."

Like some others the Oswestry group has organised a massively successful virtual parkrun every Saturday, with participants running their 5k from their homes and logging their results on the Henley Wood social media. Ellen is among half a dozen people to have done every virtual parkrun since lockdown began.

"We have had some lovely comments from people telling us how much motivation it has given them. It will be great to see them face-to-face, when we can."

Parkruns are also held at Telford Town Park, Shrewsbury Quarry Park, Severn Valley Country Park in Bridgnorth, Mortimer Forest at Ludlow and Alderford Lake, Whitchurch.

Kelly Lowe from Alderford said the parkrun organisers at Alderford were still waiting to be given the go-ahead from the national body to re-start.

"We are all looking forward to having parkrun back at Alderford," she said.

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