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Athletics: Parkrun ‘not forgetting’ about Scotland after English races get June 5 restart date

Aberdeen parkrun. Picture by Kenny Elrick
Aberdeen parkrun. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Parkrun 5ks will return on June 5 – but only in England.

The thousands of parkrun enthusiasts who enjoy events at Aberdeen, Elgin, Inverness, Fort William and Bressay in the Shetlands, among other locations in the north, will have to wait a little longer to discover when they can expect a return to action.

The roadmap out of lockdown published for England on Monday indicated that from March 29, formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can restart and will not be subject to gathering limits, so long as they comply with guidance issued by national governing bodies.

Nick Pearson, the CEO of parkrun Global, said: “It’s important to note that the roadmap presented applies to England only.

“While we are excited to begin working towards returning events over the coming months, we are not forgetting about our other UK communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

“As things stand we are unable to pinpoint a date for returning either junior or 5k parkrun across these three devolved nations, but we continue to work closely with relevant authorities and stakeholders to understand when it may be appropriate.

“Based on the published guidance, our 5k events could technically return from Saturday April 4 (in England).

“However, due to the other national restrictions in place, the expected level of infection at that time, and a number of our 5k events regularly exceeding 1,000 participants, we do not believe it would be appropriate for them to return this early.”

More detailed guidance regarding the return of organised sporting events in Scotland is expected soon.

New Dava Way trail run pushed back to November

The inaugural Dava Way trail race, scheduled for April 17 on a 50k route between Grantown and Forres, has been postponed until later in the year.

The event was to have been the first in a new series of Moray Way ultra distance races scheduled to be held during 2021.

However, organiser Kyle Greig feels that with continuing uncertainty as to when exactly lockdown restrictions might be lifted, it is best to put the race on the back-burner for now.

He said: “I’ve decided to put the race back to November 13.

“Covid restrictions might be lifted a bit by mid-April, but it’s still not clear so it’s too much of a risk.

“It’s a shame as we had a capacity field of 100 including a few runners from England, but they have the choice of deferring until November or getting a refund.”

Greig is confident, however, that the other races in his series will be able to go ahead as planned.

Kyle Greig. Picture by Jim Irvine

The Moray Coastal trail 50-mile race from Forres to Cullen is on June 12.

That’s followed by the Speyside Way ultras – offering the option of a 100k between Aviemore and Buckie or a 57k from Ballindalloch to Buckie – on August 28.

The longest race in the series – a 100-miler which takes in the Moray Coastal Trail, the Speyside Way and the Dava Way – is on October 2.

Greig added: “Hopefully by June we’ll be able to proceed, even if we have to put some safety measures in place.

“Everything should be fine so long as Scottish Athletics is happy with our risk assessment and issues a licence.”

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