Whilst we say that every parkrun event takes place every week, all year round, event teams should feel perfectly comfortable cancelling where participant safety is at risk or the course is unavailable.
The most common reasons for events being cancelled are:
- Weather - For example, the course is flooded or too icy, or if high winds or other weather conditions may have left some parts of the course unpassable or dangerous.
- Lightning - If lightning is present or in the vicinity of the event.
- Other events - parkruns usually take place in public places, which will occasionally be used for other events that affect our courses. These could be things like fairs or other sporting events.
Events also do cancel due to insufficient volunteers, however, we don’t like to see this happen, therefore we ask event teams to get in touch with their Ambassador or parkrun HQ so we can assist with strategies to recruit volunteers.
How to Cancel
If event teams do need to cancel, the following process should be followed:
- Select event cancellations from the menu within WebFMS or EMS and follow the prompts to clarify event name, date, and reason for cancellation.
- This action will trigger several changes to the event website; populating the volunteer roster for that date with the words ‘no event’ and the appearance of a red notice of cancellation banner on the home page and news page of the event website. It may take up to an hour to show the cancellation on the event website.
If the decision to cancel is made before event day these additional actions apply:
- Volunteers rostered for the cancelled event are to be notified, This can be done by selecting the appropriate week via WebFMS or EMS, clicking ‘send reminder’ under the ‘event actions’ tab. In WebFMS or EMS, event teams will need to manually edit the content of the email in order to relate it to the cancellation of the event.
- Use the event social media accounts and pre-event briefings as a reminder to the community that the event will be cancelled on a specific date.
Cancellations can happen right up to the scheduled start time and/or during the actual event if it is felt that it cannot continue for some reason.
If the decision to cancel is made on the day these additional actions apply:
- Make an announcement at the normal meeting point, giving the reasons for cancellation, if it is safe to do so.
- Place an item on the event news page explaining why it has been/was cancelled at short notice.
- Place notices on the event’s social media platforms informing the community that the event is cancelled.
- The image below can be used on social media for 5k events.
- The image below can be used on social media for junior events.
Important: Event teams should not confirm any volunteers for the cancelled event, even if it is a late cancellation and some of them have attended. Whilst we understand that volunteers may have turned up in good faith, in practice the implications for processing volunteers and not walkers, joggers or runners for an event is problematic and causes issues with our results systems.
Cancellations should never be reversed. It is important that parkrunners take our announcements seriously, don’t turn up on the off-chance that we change our minds, and, importantly, it is not fair on those who choose not to attend and make other arrangements.
The Run Director at an event has the ultimate authority to cancel and cannot be overruled in this situation. They should always err on the side of caution and be supported in that decision by their fellow volunteers.