Seb Coe hails "immense" response to his rallying cry as parkrun gets green light

Mirror   11/06/2021 22:57

Sebastian Coe told of his relief at parkrun being saved after the nation responded at the 11th hour to his rallying cry.

As late as Thursday organisers feared having to postpone the return of the nationwide network of free 5km-timed runs for a second time.

It led Lord Coe, the president of World Athletics, to warn that unless England rallied behind the initiative, it risked being lost forever.

Last night came news that that had happened, with the number of venue permissions having more than doubled from just 250 last month.

Coe said: “The response to the return of parkrun, one of the greatest public health initiatives of the 21st century, has been immense.

“It’s return across England is good for the charity, for millions of parkrunners and for the whole country as we look to recover and improve our mental and physical health in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

parkrun is set to return across England on Saturday June 26

The deciding factor was local authorities and land owners in major cities such as Manchester and London stepping up.

Three weeks ago so few permissions had been granted that the whole project was shelved for fear of the few that were prepared to restart being overrun.

In the North East for example, all but 60,000 of the 160,000 parkrunners were register to an event without permission.

That number has now dropped to 8,000, giving the green light to a restart subject to the Government on Monday not changing the route on their roadmap out of lockdown.

Parkrun COO Tom Williams said: “There is now a strong consensus from landowners and public health officials, right across the country, that the return of parkrun is vital as we look to improve our physical and mental health in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

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