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Organisers have confirmed plans to restart the Parkrun in Lichfield next month have been scrapped.

The Park Run event in Lichfield

The running event, which takes place in Beacon Park, has not taken place since the coronavirus crisis began.

Participants had been holding a virtual event with their times posted online, but there had been hopes that the in-person run would return in October.

But Nick Pearson, global chief executive officer for Parkrun, said the new restrictions announced this week meant the plans had been shelved for now.

“Sadly, after significant consultation and discussion, circumstances outside of our control have dictated that Parkrun cannot return in England by the end of October, as we had hoped.

“We know that many people will be disappointed to hear this news, and that it is likely to add further to existing anxieties and frustrations.

“Please do know that we will continue doing everything we can to support our parkrun family, and we remain committed to reopening parkrun events as soon as circumstances allow and local stakeholders are comfortable.”

Nick Pearson

Mr Pearson said that while Parkrun events across there country were exempt from the rule of six, concerns from local public health leaders about groups gathering meant it would be “insensitive” to bring events back in the current climate.

“While we reluctantly accept this reality, Parkrun’s absence will come at a cost.

“As we head into winter and face the many associated seasonal health issues, we believe Parkrun has an incredibly important role to play in supporting public health.

“We also strongly believe that, as existing and emerging evidence suggests, and contrary to popular opinion, that there is little or nominal risk of COVID-19 transmission at outdoor physical activity events such as Parkrun.

“Increasingly, we are seeing outbreaks traced to indoor work and social environments, yet to date there is little if any evidence of outbreaks directly resulting from participation in outdoor physical activity events.

“The health of our nation is facing its greatest challenge in decades, inequalities are increasing, and disadvantaged communities are suffering disproportionately.

“It is absolutely critical therefore that decisions to restrict activities, particularly where there is a demonstrable public health benefit, are based on robust evidence.”

Nick Pearson

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