Return of parkruns to St Helens beauty spots is delayed by three weeks
Runners and walkers in St Helens will have to wait a few more weeks for the return of parkrun events.
Organisers at parkrun UK had hoped the free, weekly 5km events would be able to return to green spaces around the country from Saturday, June 5.
But the national organisation has not been able to secure permission for some of its events to resume then, so has announced it will now aim to restart across England on Saturday, June 26.
St Helens, Sutton Manor and Knowsley parkruns do not yet appear on the list of events for which permission has been granted.
"Although it is disappointing not to be able to return on June 5, we are still optimistic that we can return parkrun events to nearly 600 communities across England very soon. We will do everything we can to ensure events restart on June 26.”
More than 250 events do have permission to return, but parkrun says this "falls short of the critical mass needed" to prevent them being overwhelmed by participants who would usually run or walk at events not taking place.
There are more than three million registered parkrunners across England and around 300,000 people take part on a typical weekend.
According to parkrun, many of the requests for events to resume "got caught up in unnecessary red tape and lengthy internal bureaucracy at a local level".
Representatives from the organisation have been outspoken recently in their desire to see parkrun events return and have had support from politicans and athletes, including Olympic gold medallist and now president of World Athletics Lord Sebastian Coe.
The 5km events, which have not been held since the coronavirus pandemic began in March last year, usually take place at 9am on Saturdays in parks and green spaces nationwide.
They are open to people of all abilities and are free to take part, with a team of volunteers organising each event.
Some of its 2km events for children have already resumed, including Victoria junior parkrun, which starts at 9am on Sundays at Victoria Park in St Helens.