Parkruns in Suffolk set to return on June 5
- Credit: RACHEL EDGE
Parkruns across Suffolk could return on June 5 - after national organisers of the global weekly timed run announced a date when it would restart in England.
The free 5km Saturday morning runs are popular nationwide, with events being held in areas including Ipswich, Kesgrave, Felixstowe, Sizewell and Lowestoft.
But with hundreds of people gathering at places like Sizewell beach and at Christchurch Park, the events have not run since the Covid-19 crisis broke in March 2020.
However parkrun global chief operating officer Tom Williams has said the event will return in England on Saturday, June 5.
While he said it could have returned sooner than the planned date, caution was being applied.
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"Clearly, I don't think many people would disagree, it would be inappropriate at the very beginning of April which is only a few weeks away, for a couple of thousand people to be gathered etc, big crowds of adults would not be acceptable in just a few weeks' time," he told the Free Weekly Timed podcast.
"However, on May 17, when we hope Step Three will start, there's a real step change in what people can and can't do and part of that is outdoor events with up to 4,000 people.
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"Step Three is where we feel it would be most appropriate for 5k parkrun to come back in England.
"The first Saturday is May 22 but Step Three may not be confirmed until May 10 and we feel that 12-day gap is a bit small if we have to alter things.
"We are going back two weeks to Saturday, June 5 to give us four weeks, and it is our ambition and hope that from June 5 that parkrun will return across England.
"I'm not going to get carried away until we're stood on the start line but there is a date.
"Having a date, and we know it's not guaranteed, but having a date in the roadmap really lifts your spirits and gives you an inkling of when we might be back to normal which is what so many people want."
Mr Williams added that there were plans for parkrun's junior event to return on April 11.