Rushcliffe’s 5k Parkrun Returns

Ruddington welcomed the return of its weekly 5k Parkrun for adults this morning (Saturday 24th July) after an unprecedented sixteen month gap. It was suspended back in March 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic so participants today were clearly keen to get their running shoes and high-vis back on!

Whilst Rushcliffe Junior Parkrun had already resumed on Sunday mornings, for 4 to 10 year-olds, in April, Parkrun UK decided to wait for a further lifting of Coronavirus restrictions before restarting the timed run for the grown-ups on Saturday mornings. Both events remain FREE to enter, but registration is required in advance of your first visit.

Organisers report that 306 parkrunners gathered in Rushcliffe Country Park just before 9 o’clock this morning to walk or run the 5km (3.1 mile) course – with the usual support of the park team and Rushcliffe Borough Council.

Rushcliffe Parkrun Event Director, Geoff Hardy, tells “It felt like a celebratory atmosphere with parkrunners able to enjoy what they used to regard as normality. Parkrun is operating under a COVID protocol that requires social distancing and we were delighted to see all participants maintaining their distance from others.”

He explains the main changes at Rushcliffe, other than adopting a new ten point national Parkrun protocol, was his pre-run brief being delivered in the Kite Field: “This is a much larger space than the area around the start line, and we had more volunteers to scan barcodes and minimise queuing. Both changes worked really well and contributed to the safe atmosphere” says Geoff. “The respect shown by all participants, and their adherence to social distancing and the parkrun code, meant it felt very safe. Of course, being outdoors makes a big difference.”

Geoff addresses the runners in the Kite Field at Ruddington’s country park

The cooler weather today was also welcomed by the runners, who range in age from under 10 to their late 70s. Lorna Cobb commented: “Thank you to the team for getting this going again. Brilliant morning and so amazing to be back!” Jo Chalmers agrees: “Thank you to everyone involved – a LOT of work had clearly gone on behind the scenes for it to run so smoothly and a massive thank you to all the volunteers who made it possible for the rest of us to enjoy Parkrun again.”

One of the marshals, Paul Thomas, says: “Wow, I have missed this so much. Absolutely fantastic to be back and loved volunteering. Great to see so many happy faces on the first lap – and a few on the second lap!!!” 

Event Director Geoff adds: “It was fabulous to be back at Parkrun today. We know that it makes a positive contribution to the physical and mental wellbeing of participants and volunteers.” However, he admits: “We were nervous beforehand, as we returned into the COVID pandemic world, but thanks to the protocol set up by Parkrun UK, and the changes made locally, it felt very safe. I’m looking forward to doing it all again at 9am next Saturday!”

If you’d like to take part in the 5k Rushcliffe Parkrun yourself, you can find out more details and register >>HERE<<.

There’s also a welcome change for Ruddington’s 11 to 14 year-olds from this Sunday – they can now participate in the 2k Rushcliffe Junior Parkrun again, too.  Since April it has been open only for ages 4 to 10, in order to keep numbers down and enable social distancing. Details >>HERE<<.

Geoff briefs the volunteers ahead of the run

Both the 2k and 5k Rushcliffe Parkruns are organised entirely by volunteers. If you’d like to help them out on a Saturday or Sunday morning (or both!) they would welcome your email at

{All images courtesy of Rushcliffe Parkrun}

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