Three 5K runs are part of pilot mass events to try to move out of lockdown

The races will be held at Kempton Park with a total of 3,000 participants and up to 3,000 spectators at each one.

Runners' feet
Runners' feet

A set of 5K runs will be among the tests aimed at building plans for the safe return of mass participation sport and events.

Scientific data will be drawn from participants, spectators and staff taking part in the three-race Reunion 5K at Kempton Park, Surrey, on May 15.

Organiser Hugh Brasher, the event director of London Marathon Events (LME), said everyone is “doing everything we can to assist the Government with this project” which is part of the roadmap out of lockdown from June 21.

A total of 3,000 participants and up to 3,000 spectators are planned for each of the three races.

Everyone who attends will have to provide a negative Covid-19 lateral flow test ahead beforehand.

They will also be asked to undertake a PCR test both before and after the event.

Anyone who tests positive before the event will not be able to attend and runners will have their £15 entry fee refunded.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Public Health England, Surrey County Council, Spelthorne Borough Council and Kempton Park have all been involved in the plans for the races which are part of the government’s Event Research Programme (ERP).

Pilot events being run under the programme in April and May are aimed at feeding information into talks about the safe removal of social distancing.

Surrey’s director of public health Ruth Hutchinson said: “We are pleased to be involved in supporting these test events that will provide important data about the impact of different types of sporting gatherings as we come out of Covid restrictions.”

She added: “It’s encouraging that we’re looking forward to doing the things we love, but getting all the evidence to do it as safely as possible.

“And of course, we all need to remember that hands, face, space and fresh air are all still essential to keep Surrey safe.”

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