Harrogate council confirms Parkrun return to the Stray may be on the cards
While national organisers weigh up the pros and cons of restarting the hugely popular weekly 5k runs across the country - and just how to achieve that as lockdown eases - in Harrogate fans of the event are keeping their fingers crossed.
The arrival of the Covid pandemic in March 2020 not only stopped Parkruns everywhere in their tracks but also had a devastating impact on club championships and regular races nationwide.
But, as restrictions on meeting up start to relax, new hope is seeping into the organisers of Harrogate Parkrun - and the thousands of members in the running community in the Harrogate district.
Now Harrogate Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Culture Tourism & Sport has confirmed that the council is backing a bid to bring back Harrogate Parkrun next month if it can be done safely.
Coun Stan Lumley said: "I very much hope Parkrun can resume at all locations throughout the Harrogate district as soon as is safe and possible.
"Harrogate Borough Council is in dialogue with the local parkrun organisers and we’ve asked them to supply the necessary Info, Covid Risk assessments etc. detailing how they will manage the runs when they return.
"Once all the paperwork is worked through and satisfactory then the runs will be allowed to resume on council land.
"I strongly believe that exercise is essential for physical and mental health and people want to get back doing the things they love.
"Parkrun is well-established in the Harrogate district and it is also an important social event."
Free-to-enter and marshalled by volunteers, the good news for Harrogate Parkrun may also provide a boost neighbouring events at Conyngham Hall in Knaresborough and Fountain’s Abbey near Ripon.
At a national level, Parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt has been lobbying landowners to allow a potential return on June 5, with a warning that the majority of the events had to return at the same time to prevent them being overwhelmed.
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