Northern Ireland news

Parkruns to restart this weekend

The popular events are due to restart on Saturday

MORE than a year after parkruns were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are poised to return.

The weekly 5km runs are due to begin at venues across Northern Ireland on Saturday - although one of the largest at Ormeau Park in Belfast will not yet resume.

The events, which usually attract huge numbers every week, were stopped last March amid the Covid-19 restrictions. But with the easing of lockdown rules, the long-awaited return can now take place.

Parkrun events are usually held every Saturday, typically in pleasant parkland surroundings, and are free and open to everyone.

The first parkrun began in London in October 2004, with the popularity of the events spiralling in recent years. There were more than 30 events in the north and almost 100 in the Republic before the coronavirus crisis hit last year.

The Waterworks parkrun in north Belfast, which was the first to launch on the island of Ireland in November 2010, will be among the locations to welcome back participants on Saturday as well as the Stormont parkrun in the east of the city.

In a statement, parkrun said: "We are very pleased to announce that 5k parkrun events in Northern Ireland will reopen Saturday 26 June under our Covid-19 Framework.

"Please do however check your local event pages for any cancellations."

Participants must adhere to a number of measures including, distancing from others where possible and no high-fiving with others.

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Northern Ireland news