Reunion 5K takes place on Saturday as part of government's Events Research Programme
The Reunion 5K, the only running event in the government’s Events Research Programme, takes place at Kempton Park on Saturday [15 May], organised by London Marathon Events, and marks an important step in the return of mass participation sporting events.
The event will see runners and spectators split into two very different 5K races to provide scientific data on Covid-19 transmission levels at mass participation running events:
- Race A (09:00 start): approximately 1,000 runners socially distanced (participants set off at regular intervals over a 30-minute period). Spectators to socially distance.
- Race B (11:45 start): approximately 1,000 runners taking part with no social distancing. Spectators will also not be required to socially distance.
All registered participants and spectators must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 lateral flow test to enter the venue.
They will also be asked to take two Covid-19 PCR tests (one on the day of the event and then one five days after the event) to aid the programme’s research.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has entered the Reunion 5K – whether they’re running or spectating. This is such an important step towards the return of large mass participation events in towns and cities across the UK. We’d also like to thank the Mass Participation Sports Event Organisers (MSO) and our many partners in the industry who have helped to market the Reunion 5K and support it in so many other ways. Thanks too to Public Health England, Surrey County Council, Spelthorne Borough Council and our other key stakeholders for their help in planning the event.
“It has been interesting to see how cautious people are about entering an event which enables them to run in close proximity to each other for the first time in fifteen months. With hindsight, this is entirely understandable when social distancing has been our way of life since lockdown began.
“Research is now showing that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is extremely low and we all know how important exercise and these mass events are to mental and physical health and to inspiring people to change their behaviour and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
“We need to get mass participating running events back all over the UK for everyone - whether it is a parkrun, the Great North Run or the London Marathon - whatever its size, its location or its charitable purpose so that, in the words of our founders, we can have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world.”
Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone said: “The Reunion 5k is a vital part of the Events Research Programme which will provide essential data on the safe return of mass participation events.
“It’s fantastic to see so many runners and spectators getting involved in this event which will feed into policy decisions ahead of step 4 of the roadmap and hopefully see things like the great London Marathon return with crowds.”
Entries for the Reunion 5K are now closed. There are no entries on the day and spectators cannot enter the venue unless they have previously registered.