Sheffield Parkrun returns - take a video tour of new route at city's most popular Parkrun before the events finally restart this weekend
It’s been a long time coming – but Parkrun in Sheffield will finally restart this weekend after an almost 18 month absence due to Covid-19.
Four of the city’s free 5K routes, which are organised by volunteers and recognised for their physical and mental health benefits as well as their sense of community, will be open to runners this Saturday July 24, those at Graves Park, Manor Fields, Concord Park and Endcliffe Park.
Endcliffe – formerly known as Hallam – is the city’s most popular Parkrun, and before the pandemic, some 800 runners would take part on a busy Saturday. Several couples ran the morning event before their weddings – while dedicated runners have used it as the launch of city-wide challenges.
A new route for the race had been needed before lockdown began due to safety concerns around runners going into Rustlings Road as they completed the second half of the lap.
Volunteers have spent months meticulously planning, measuring and testing the new route, which will be debuted on Saturday.
After starting on the main park field and heading around the original loop at the main Hunters Bar entrance, it heads past the park cafe and two duck ponds before taking runners around the back, wooded section of the park once they reach the top entrance, down to the Mi Amigo war memorial and then back to the original loop.
One of the Endcliffe Parkrun directors Louise Dale-Hughes showed the Telegraph the new route last night for this video tour.
Volunteer marshalls will be stationed around the route, as well as new tapes marking the route in some points plus signage from Sharrowvale company ADL Design and Print urging people not to overtake at a particular ‘pinch point’ in the woods.
Volunteers have cut back foliage and tested the narrowest point with a double running buggy to make sure it can be used by all, as accessibility and inclusivity is the main ethos of Parkrun, rather than speed.
Louise said volunteers ‘couldn’t wait’ for Saturday’s return after such a long absence.
She said: "My hope is that people come back, in a way, like it never stopped”
"But they come back with that renewed energy to get involved with everybody. We have got a really good core group of runners here who’ve got their own little famous identities and personalities and they get mentioned in the run reports. I want that to grow.
"I want people who want to get involved to be able to come to the volunteers and have a good laugh and a good chat and meet us for coffee at the cafe again because that’s what it was like at the start.
"And I want people to really know that we are all inclusive. If anybody turns up last minute and says can I volunteer, they can.”
Runners will be given a full safety briefing before the run starts on Saturday, and some of the post Covid measures in place will include longer lines for finishers to wait at to scan their barcodes after the race, as well as hand sanitiser.
Endcliffe needs more than 30 volunteers to operate each week and is still in need of support for this Saturday.
To volunteer, email [email protected] or follow the run’s page on Facebook.