London Marathon and Parkrun events to start again

The London Marathon and Parkrun events have confirmed they will return after the Government announced that England would proceed to Step 4 of the road map on July 19.

Members of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO), a collection of the UK’s biggest mass participation sports organisers including Parkrun and the Great North Run, confirmed events will resume from next week.

The Standard Chartered Great City Race, which sees city workers run 5km around the city of London, kicks off the return of the races on July 20.

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Parkrun, the weekly community event which takes place each Saturday morning in parks across Britain, returns to England on July 24.

The Great North Run, held in the North East, and Brighton Marathon will both take place on September 12 and the London Marathon – which usually occurs in April – is being held on October 3.

Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon Events, said: “It is wonderful to confirm that our great mass participation events are returning across the country.

“Extensive scientific research worldwide has shown that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is negligible.

“The UK’s event organisers have worked together to ensure the safe return of mass participation sports events outdoors by participating in the Government’s Events Research Programme and collaborating on a range of protocols that ensure our events will be safe and Covid-secure.”

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Paul Foster, chief executive of the Great Run Company, added: “Participants in the MSO’s calendar of events generate more than £250 million every year for charities and these funds are so desperately needed now, as the services of charities are vital to support vulnerable members of society.”

On Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it was the “right time to get our nation closer to normal life”.

In a press conference later that evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the lockdown easing, adding that people should “proceed now with caution”.