Finally! Parkrun is set to return in Sheffield and its a wonderful celebration of communities coming together

I make no apology for reproducing some of this article again. We thought Parkrun was coming back on June 5, then it was scheduled for June 26, but the delay to lifting restrictions, forced reopening across the country back to July 24.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:00 am

Finally, it looks like Parkrun is coming back this coming weekend. I would encourage anyone who can to get to their local event to join in. It will be a wonderful celebration of being allowed to gather as communities again. There are careful safety measures parkrun have put in place, and strong evidence shows outdoor mass exercise events like this are very low risk for virus spread.

One of the key changes is having more volunteers to scan barcodes at the end to reduce congestion. It can be done on your own phone using the parkrun app, so if you are supporting, running, or walking, you could offer to do some scanning to reduce queues.

My GP practice was involved in setting up the Graves Parkrun in partnership with Sheffield Council nearly ten years ago. I can honestly say it was one of the most meaningful health interventions I’ve ever been involved in. The feeling of mutual support and comradery extended to everyone who volunteers, walks or runs at the event each week is phenomenal. It’s free and it happens every week! Whether it is Endcliffe, Hillsborough, Manor fields, Concord or Graves park you will always be guaranteed a friendly welcome. It matters not if you are a first timer or seasoned regular it is inclusive and encouraging by design.

Runners head into Endcliffe Park to finish the Round Sheffield run.
Runners head into Endcliffe Park to finish the Round Sheffield run.

As an organisation parkrun has been celebrating that average times are getting slower, it shows more beginners are joining in. In fact, they recently launched ‘parkwalk’, with an eight-week build up programme. There is also the hugely popular ‘Couch to 5k’ programme.

I know many of our practice team will be at Graves parkrun at 9am on Saturday July 24. Over 1,500 GP practices across the country are signed up as ‘parkrun practices’, and encourage staff and patients to join in. If you’ve not already registered, visit parkrun.org.uk. What a great way to embrace our city’s recovery.