The return of mass events takes stride forward
Super Sunday kicked off early for thousands of people who took part in the Vitality London 10,000 at Hatfield Park and Vitality Mile at Hatfield Park today as the return of mass participation events took another important stride forward.
On a bumper day of sport which included the Wimbledon men’s final and European Championships final at Wembley, participants flocked to the beautiful setting of Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire, to take part in a festival of running for all ages and abilities.
The Vitality London 10,000 at Hatfield Park was the first event of the day. Runners took part in three waves: two with a mass start for up to 1,000 runners and one socially distanced with the runners set off at two-second intervals.
This was followed by the Vitality Mile at Hatfield Park which had five waves: wheelchair participants, adults and three family waves made up of people young and old running, jogging or walking a mile together.
Families stayed to enjoy the picnic areas and kids zone with outdoor games and activities and the famous Tumbleator, a giant treadmill where participants and spectators could discover how long they could run at world record speeds!
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “It was wonderful to welcome thousands of people enjoying running together in the beautiful setting of Hatfield Park on what truly is a Super Sunday of British sport.
“The success of the England football team will have inspired so many people, as will the Olympic Games later this month. It is, therefore, so important that mass participation sporting events, such as these today at Hatfield Park, return to cities and parks across the country to enable people to get active for both their physical and mental health. Extensive scientific research worldwide has shown that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is negligible.”
Jonathan Barr, from Finchley, North London, ran the Vitality London 10,000 and said: “It was all about coming together again today. It was lovely to see so many runners here taking part and it was a lovely event to run in. I’m running the Virgin Money London Marathon for a 10th time in October and this is a stepping stone towards that. I’d come back and do it all over again, it’s been great.”
The Vitality London 10,000 and Vitality Mile were due to take place in May in central London but were cancelled due to the pandemic and moved to the new location of Hatfield Park.
The event is part of a phased return of mass participation events by London Marathon Events (LME). In May, LME hosted the Reunion 5K, a pilot event for the government’s Events Research Programme and on Tuesday 20 July, the Standard Chartered Great City Race will be the first mass participation event to be held on closed roads in London since the start of the pandemic.
These events will be followed by The Vitality Big Half on Sunday 22 August and the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October 2021.