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RE: Why hasn't parkrun taken off in the US?
permits. To host an event anywhere, you need to buy permits, pay for police, etc. even if its a low key thing. Getting these permits for state parks is notoriously hard. City parks, where they exist at a size to hold an event like this, can be hard too depending on the municipality, and federal land, don't even think about it. Your best bet for a low key race not affiliated with scholastics is on the grounds of a private school or university and these exist some places in the US. Otherwise just to hold a 200 person 5k you're doing months of work and having to charge upwards of 40$ for permits.

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