UKC

ParkRun: should I have turned up

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 Wilderbeest 25 Jul 2021

I’m a huge fan of ParkRun and regular attendee…but with cases rising rapidly and hospital admissions up I decided not to run yesterday.  
 

400+ people at my local run disagreed with that and turned up.  Should I have gone ?

 petemeads 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

Wife and I ran, about 300 others. Seemed pretty safe with the precautions taken. Good to be back.

 Lankyman 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

As a non-runner my answer is moot in value but in general I would avoid any large public gathering. Why take an unnecessary risk right now? I think I have long covid and it's not great. Fortunately my symptoms aren't crippling but it has greatly affected what I can do outdoors. You might run outdoors but in a large crowd of hot hard-working runners just imagine the cloud of exhaled viral particles in their wake.

 Trangia 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

> As a non-runner my answer is moot in value but in general I would avoid any large public gathering. Why take an unnecessary risk right now? I think I have long covid and it's not great. Fortunately my symptoms aren't crippling but it has greatly affected what I can do outdoors. You might run outdoors but in a large crowd of hot hard-working runners just imagine the cloud of exhaled viral particles in their wake.

I couldn't agree more. There is no need to become part of a large group of people either inside or out. The risks both ways* are just too great. We are nowhere near back to normal as a society, tens of thousands of new infections are occurring every day, and as you say to the OP, run by all means, but don't do it in a crowd! Too many people are putting instant gratification ahead of common sense.

Sorry to hear that you may have long covid, and I wish you well.

* of being infected or infecting others

 timjones 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> I’m a huge fan of ParkRun and regular attendee…but with cases rising rapidly and hospital admissions up I decided not to run yesterday.  

>  

> 400+ people at my local run disagreed with that and turned up.  Should I have gone ?

Only you can know the answer to that question.

It may be worth considering whether or not there is any data indicating that there is a significant risk of transmission at events similar to parkrun.

 Wilderbeest 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Trangia:

I can easily go for run by myself but ParkRun is so much more than just a run….

ands it’s not really instant gratification…you can see from the comments after the run how much everyone missed that essential social interaction, they were saying hello to people they had not seen in 16 months.

 Trangia 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

I understand what you are saying about the social aspect, but even then is the current risk really justified? Yes, 16 months is a long time, but so is being dead or contracting a potentially life changing illness like long covid, or worse still, risking causing them in others. 

After what we have all been through we all know how horrible this illness is, so isn't it worth being patient for just a little longer until all have been double jabbed, before opening the floodgates on social interaction? Unfortunately the Government has lacked the balls to continue with many of the more stringent rules, and has left it to our collective good sense. Inevitably many are choosing to throw caution to the wind, you acted sensibly, so don't beat yourself up over it. 

 elsewhere 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

A parkrun of 400+ people must be massively safer than 400+ people in a nightclub - much more distancing and vastly greater air dilution.

In reply to Wilderbeest:

I'm giving it a miss. Infections are on the rise and I've thus far avoided being infected by sensible controls. Seems daft to exercise caution for the last 18 months then catch covid by relaxing things too soon.

In reply to elsewhere:

> A parkrun of 400+ people must be massively safer than 400+ people in a nightclub - much more distancing and vastly greater air dilution.

Probably also massively safer than what they cumulatively might have otherwise done. Even if only a few of them would otherwise have done some indoor thing (e.g. going to the gym) that morning then it quite possibly prevented a few infections.

(Not relevant to the OP should you have gone point though, assuming what you did instead was less risky)

Post edited at 11:16
In reply to Trangia:

> Too many people are putting instant gratification ahead of common sense.

If it's fair to put Parkrunners in this category at all, they're surely at the absolute margins of it. Certainly their contribution to general spread must be negligible by comparison to everything else that's going on right now. I respect the restraint of anyone who's desperate to go and choosing not to, but I don't think it's really fair to criticise those who do attend as if the risks they're taking are at all relevant in the big picture.

 Wilderbeest 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Instead of ParkRun I visited my 86 year old Father in Law…who was completely out of food and wanted me to take him shopping.  So I ended somewhere I haven’t been for many months… very very large supermarket with a lot more than 400 in there.

Is ParkRun safer than shopping indoors in a crowded Saturday afternoon supermarket?

In reply to Wilderbeest:

> Is ParkRun safer than shopping indoors in a crowded Saturday afternoon supermarket?

Yes. 

And before someone pipes up about mask or no mask, it's still yes.

 elsewhere 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> Is ParkRun safer than shopping indoors in a crowded Saturday afternoon supermarket?

Not safer but visiting, shopping and getting him out of the house probably hugely appreciated.

In reply to Wilderbeest:

If it's social interaction folk want, then it is probably best not done over 40minutes of hard breathing.

They could do staggered starts etc.. certainly here in sweden there have been 1000+ competitor orienteering events, but they have staggered starts, or different start locations for oldies and youngsters. If folk want to socialise before or after, then they won't stop them, but Sweden's guidelines and in some case rules prevent mass gatherings, you are encouraged to park the car, run, go home to shower and change.

Post edited at 12:20
 wbo2 25 Jul 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

It's hard to exaggerate how welcome that must have been, but you can argue he should lie low until everyone double jabbed etc.   An absolutely impossible dilemna to solve

Obviously parkrun is going to be safer than a packed supermarket.

 David Riley 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

The health benefits of parkrun probably greatly exceed the risk.

In reply to Wilderbeest:

Outdoor spread is minimal.  If you wanted to belt and braces, take an FFP2 mask to wear during the briefing and remove once people start to spread out as they tend to.

 Wilderbeest 25 Jul 2021
In reply to summo:

Staggered starts is good…they certainly seemed to have a delayed strung out start at my local one.  I did consider starting my run 5 minutes after everyone but thought better of it, didn’t want my action to be seen a criticism of everyone else.

 Wilderbeest 25 Jul 2021
In reply to wbo2:

86 year old v Tesco self service till certainly raised his blood pressure…but I think we got out unscathed.

In reply to summo:

> If it's social interaction folk want, then it is probably best not done over 40minutes of hard breathing.

Except that the heavy breathing is almost all happening while everyone's pretty spread out. In my experience of Parkrun, times vary from comfortably under 20 minutes to pushing an hour. The field gets strung out extremely quickly. The only time you actually have a large gathering of people is the start. Thinking back to Parkruns I did pre-pandemic, I never felt particularly crowded, and that's without any adjustments in Parkrun procedure and individual decisions about personal space that I'm sure are happening now.

In reply to David Riley:

> The health benefits of parkrun probably greatly exceed the risk.

At a macro level I completely agree.

At my personal level, (still exercising outdoors, not in too bad shape mentally), I take the view that I'm better off not going just yet.

Post edited at 14:31
 Jenny C 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

As others have said the risks are fairly low, especially compared to the many other activities we are now permitted to do. I certainly think it's good that parkrun is now back on, but maybe they should be limiting numbers at popular events or offering staggered starts to make it easier for social distancing. 

Would I go? Well we are lucky have several local ones and id certainly be choosing one of the less popular locations. That said currently thanks to Long Covid I couldn't walk 5km, never mind run it.

In reply to summo:

Orienteering was already a sport that leant itself to the necessary Covid isolation rules and with a few adaptations (which don't affect the actual orienteering run) it has probably become one of the "Covid safest" mass participation sports you can do.

In reply to Michael Hood:

And some mass start, narrow course and single finish line events don't lend themselves, so perhaps we have to accept change? At least for a few more months. 

In reply to summo:

I understand the logic of this argument but doesn't it sound a bit daft in the context that nightclubs are open!

Again, I fully respect those that are choosing to restrain themselves out of personal caution or a really strong sense of social responsibility but any implied criticism of those who are returning to slices of normality like Parkrun that are comparatively extremely low risk strikes me as quite miserable in the current context.

In reply to Luke90:

> I understand the logic of this argument but doesn't it sound a bit daft in the context that nightclubs are open!

Totally agree. It's madness that how many... a million folk will likely be told this month they can't go to work because Bluetooth thinks they've been near a positive person, but I could be unvaccinated, delete the app, get smashed and hit the night clubs. There isn't any sane argument to justify it. 

But, as a vaccinated person, that doesn't mean I'll expose myself to the increased risks of group sport, at least not until numbers are near zero. 

In reply to summo:

> But, as a vaccinated person, that doesn't mean I'll expose myself to the increased risks of group sport, at least not until numbers are near zero. 

This is a completely reasonable position as a cautious individual, but think of these events in the context of the alternatives. You made a choice to go or not go. But the masses of other people might have been choosing between parkrun or going to the cinema, or parkrun or milling round the shops, or parkrun or going to see auntie Mildred, or taking their elderly relatives round Tesco, or, arguably worst of all and most likely, taking their kids to lick everything in a soft play centre.

It's hard to say they're a bad idea if you think of it like that. There's a strong argument for promoting the low (but still non zero) risk things, even though they're never going to be as safe as staying at home.

Post edited at 18:37
In reply to Wilderbeest:

Personal decision for you, and you made the one you were happy with.  My local event was cancelled due to thunderstorms, and I'm away next week so shan't get to go to the first one. 

I did go to our local swimming pool with my kids today.  First time since March 2020.  The mental lift from doing something that has been off the menu for the last 16 months really took me by suprise.  I know it's not all gone away, and might never do so, but it was great to feel another piece of 'normal' life fit back into place.

I've been thinking a lot about Australia recently.  Can't help but think they are where we were last Marchish, and they've got so much to go through before they can get to where we are.  Poor b*ggers.

 bouldery bits 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

Not sure why all the dislikes. 

I think it's a very difficult one to answer. I'd suggest waiting a few weeks, then going back (I won't be going for some time - put it that way!)

Take care,

BB

 Yanis Nayu 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Luke90:

If it takes you 40 minutes you shouldn’t be breathing heavily. 

 David Riley 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Ridge:

> still exercising outdoors

Don't know about you, but I rarely manage to sustain close to my maximum effort when running alone.   I think the occasional maximum effort is where the greatest health benefit is found.   I've been very glad to get back to races (10 recently) and my fitness is improving quickly.

 alibrightman 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

Yes, you should do ParkRun.

Covid-19 is an indoor disease.

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> If it takes you 40 minutes you shouldn’t be breathing heavily. 

Depends if you've got covid or not!! 

 Wilderbeest 25 Jul 2021
In reply to bouldery bits:

That’s exactly my take…I’m very keen on going back but want to wait  3/4 weeks to see how the infection rate is going. The news on that is positive today.

I was a little surprised to be out voted by 400 ParkRunners yesterday and to pick up so many downvotes but guess we are very much in the minority.

 Forest Dump 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

So not in the spirit!

Re OP, hopefully you're double jabbed, probably the vast majority of Park Run peeps too. Reducing your hospital and serious illness likelyhood

Live a little, its hardly techno raving@2am and thats back too..

Eventually its a quality of life thing, says a potential long Covid sufferer!


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