FOR just the second time in more than seven years – global pandemics excepted – there will be no Saturday morning Parkrun in Jersey this weekend.
Organisers of the popular 5k event, which attracts hundreds of runners to Les Quennevais every Saturday, have had to cancel as a result of health and safety concerns.
Co-director Michael Chaytor said recent high winds had damaged floodlights for an adjacent football pitch lying close to the Parkrun finish line.
Some of the equipment had been blown down, he explained, leading to the area being cordoned off ahead of remedial work set to be carried out by contractors next week.
Mr Chaytor added: ‘Unfortunately the area affected includes our storage shed, which stopped us gaining access to retrieve equipment that we could potentially have used to mark out another course.
‘I visited the site to talk to the groundsman and carry out an assessment, but we agreed that we couldn’t take the risk – these lights are big units, and it’s going to be windy again this weekend.’
Covid-19 caused the suspension of Parkrun between March 2020 and April 2021, but with the exception of the pandemic the event has only once been cancelled – due to an unscheduled clash with a cycle race – since being launched in September 2015.
Mr Chaytor said he was disappointed at the cancellation, but was confident it would only be a one-off.
‘We have been assured the work should be completed by the middle of next week,’ he said. ‘And even if that isn’t the case, we should be able to gain access to the storage shed, which would give us the contingency option of being able to mark out a new course [for Saturday 3 December] if need be,’ he said.
Parkrunners who will be forced to miss a week will be able to catch up over the festive season: in addition to the usual Saturday events on 24 and 31 December, there will be a special event to ring in the New Year on Sunday 1 January.