Adult parkruns set to return after almost 500 days – and Lee-on-the-Solent’s new start and finish allows ‘for more social distancing’

Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun makes a long-awaited return on Saturday - after an absence of almost 500 days.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 10:59 am
The Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun returns after an absence of 497 days this Saturday. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The popular seaside event, which was last held on March 14 2020 due to the pandemic, now has a different start and finish point.

In order for the course to lend itself to improved social distancing, the Lee event will now start outside the On The Water cafe with the finish just along at the end of the seafront beach huts.

There were 486 entrants for the 5k event when Lee staged its 252nd event before Covid-19 wrapped its tentacles around the worldwide sporting calendar.

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But Lee event director Maggie Atkinson conceded she is unsure how many runners will turn out for the much-anticipated parkrun UK return.

However, she is confident the Lee seafront course can take place safely.

Atkinson said: 'Junior parkrun has been back for a couple of months and there have been no issues whatsoever.

‘A lot of running events have started back; we could have started, but parkrun have been very precautionary.

‘We’re going to ask people to be as sensible as they can. Obviously parkruns will be crowded in places, but the move of the start and finish we’ve got will allow people to spread out a little bit more.

‘We’re really excited, we had a little meeting down there on Saturday.

‘It’s going to be the same route but just a different start and finish area and it’s a wider area as well for people to spread out more. It allows for more social distancing.

‘We’ve had great support from On The Water cafe and they’ve given us some storage for our kit. They can’t wait to welcome lots of people.'

Events at Fareham, Whiteley and Havant will also be returning on Saturday.