THE RETURN of Southampton’s Parkrun has been cancelled following new restrictions.

The popular event was set to return at the end of October, with organisers working hard behind the scenes to make sure it was safe to restart.

An announcement from Parkrun Global Chief Executive Officer, Nick Pearson however has confirmed that the event will not be returning to England just yet.

The organisers were all ready to go but were disappointed to hear that all parkrun events across the country would be put on hold again.

Event Director for the Southampton Parkrun, Rob Kelly, said: “We are very disappointed, but it was inevitable given how the levels of infection were going up throughout the country.

“I’m not sure what light it would have been seen in if Southampton Parkrun had been running and other events around the city had been cancelled.

“I don’t think the council had much choice than to deny us access to the common.”

The organisers put out Facebook posts at the start of the month announcing plans to return, but in the coming weeks, government guidelines meant that wasn’t possible.

Rob added: “The course was all set out and ready, all the Covid policies were all in place.

Daily Echo: Rob Kelly, Event Director for Southampton ParkrunRob Kelly, Event Director for Southampton Parkrun

“People were very excited to come back and were very much looking forward to it.

“It was just bad luck I suppose that the government and Sport England had decided that it was a good time for Parkrun to resume.

“Keeping social distancing going, and no more than 6 in a gathering posed a bit of a problem with an event this size.”

Rob and his team are now looking for a return at some point at the start of next year, and see the extra time as an opportunity to prepare.

“I’m a firm believer that fitness in the coming winter months and with Covid is really important.

“As I said to my colleagues, we are ready to go and we will be ready to go when we are told we can, just remain positive.”