Runners from Ross-on-Wye suffered a blow on Friday when organisers parkrun UK announced that it has been forced to delay the planned re-opening of 5k events in England.

The community event was suspended in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite being one of more than 250 parkrun events that have landowner permission to return, Ross-on-Wye parkrun will not resume as originally planned on Saturday June 5.

This comes as parkrun UK announced that the current number of parkrun events permitted in England fell far short of the number needed to prevent overwhelming events that have already been given the go-ahead.

With more than three million registered parkrunners across England, and around 300,000 people taking part on a typical weekend, opening a small subset of parkruns is not viable.

Organisers are continuing ongoing discussions with landowners and with a number of landowners responding positively, parkrun UK are now targeting Saturday June 26 to resume all 5k events across England.

A decision regarding the go-ahead for this new date is expected on Friday June 11.

Nick Pearson, parkrun Global CEO said: “Although it is disappointing not to be able to return on June 5, we are still optimistic that we can return parkrun events to nearly 600 communities across England very soon. We will do everything we can to ensure events restart on June 26.”

Before lockdown caused its cancellation, Ross-on-Wye parkrun was a free weekly event held on Saturday mornings at 9am.

The event is hugely popular in the area, attracting runners of all abilities to its 5km long course at Ross-on-Wye Sports Centre, with the course consisting of two-and-a-half laps around the perimeter of the sports field on mainly flat grass land.