A week in the life of a Chipping Sodbury parkrun Run Director

Event number 220
4th August 2018

Today someone asked me what’s involved in being a parkrun Run Director. So I thought I’d used this run report to explain all….!

Saturday afternoon: It was fun to support Andy, RD on 28th July, with processing the results and I now have three bags of parkrun kit decorating my living room floor! I check the emails. There are a few emails in the parkrun inbox from runners about their results so I reply to them. I then put in a funding application to the parkrun Community Reward Scheme – you don’t get, if you don’t ask!

Sunday evening (6 days until parkrun): I send out an email appeal to everyone registered to receive Chipping Sodbury parkrun emails asking for volunteers for next Saturday. To find out how to sign up for these (amazing) emails, visit https://support.parkrun.com/hc/en-us/articles/200566453-How-do-I-volunteer- I then wait for the replies to come flooding in….and they do! How lovely to have wonderful parkrunners coming forward to choose their role. As run director, we use each person’s name and athlete number to find them on the parkrun system and add them to the volunteer roster. It’s amazing how many people there are with the same name registered with parkrun so it really helps when volunteers let us know their athlete number.

Monday and Tuesday (5 and 4 days to go): I check the parkrun inbox and there are some more offers to volunteer so I add them to the roster. It’s looking good.

Wednesday (3 days to go): There are still two marshal positions and a timekeeper that haven’t been filled on the roster for Saturday so I put out a plea on Facebook for people to come forward. Within 30 minutes I have offers from lovely parkrunners and a full roster! Hoorah! Later on I log in to the parkrun inbox again and there’s an email from Waitrose’s Community Matters project. Our green token box (which was part of their scheme for the month of July) has raised £500! Great news! Thank you shoppers!

Thursday (2 days to go): Quick check of the parkrun emails. There’s one from parkrun HQ asking for information about our defibrillator. I must remember to get the make and model and other details on Saturday so I can reply.

Friday (1 day to go): Every time I’m RD I tell myself that I’ll sort out the kit before it gets to Friday evening. Every time I’m RD, I end up doing it on Friday evening! I clear last Saturday’s results off Gromit II, Wallace and Shaun (the barcode scanners) and plug them and the parkrun laptop into charge. I reset Huey and Dewey (the stopwatches) so that last week’s results are cleared off them. I check the walkie-talkies are charged. Then I go for a run – I need to do my ‘parkrun’ tonight! When I get back, I double check that all the tokens are in the right order ready to be given out in the morning – I know how to have a wild Friday night! I also check that we have enough Finish Token Support and Funnel Manager sheets and pens – where do pens disappear to?! Finally I put a post on Instagram (@csparkrun). I love our Instagram followers – such a friendly bunch of people who are all so supportive of each other.

Saturday morning (parkrun day!): I’m up nice and early and arrive at The Ridings at 8.15am. I’ve been beaten to it by Event Director John and a couple of eager volunteers who are already making a start on getting all our kit out of the cupboard – not a small task as there’s cones, stakes, signs, tape, hivis vests, milestone vests, two tables, a megaphone, a tarpaulin…… all to be carried round. We seem to be a little short of hivis vests and the blue and white run director vest is nowhere to be seen. I ask a couple of volunteers to go on a hunt. They return with a couple more hivis vests, but no vest for me! I message the other run directors – one of them had kindly taken the vests home to wash, mystery solved and at least next time we’ll all smell as fresh as daisies! With the volunteer coordinator, John, we check in all the volunteers and make sure everyone knows what they’re doing. A party of hivis heroes sets up the finish funnel, whilst others set up the start, ‘Bob’s Rock’ and the tennis court carpark. For some it’s their first time volunteering in a particular role, so we show them how to use the stopwatches, barcode scanners, walkie-talkies. Others have volunteered many times and get stuck in without any instruction needed. Then it’s a case of making sure everything runs (almost) to time: first timers briefing (about 8.50am), main briefing (about 8.55am), start (about 9am).

Once everyone’s running, the RD’s job is to support the volunteer team and be the first point of contact should there be any problems. All the marshals either have a walkie-talkie or mobile phone so they can contact me. I’m on the look out for under 11s running without an adult, this is against parkrun rules and is not safe practice. There are some people wanting to drive into the carpark, but we keep the gate shut until the tail walker goes past on the last lap. I explain this to them and they agree to wait. As the fastest runners pass us on their final lap, the timekeepers get into position, thumbs at the ready! They’ll need to stay alert whilst all the runners, joggers and walkers come through the finish. The number checker and funnel manager will then make sure everyone stays in order in the finish funnel and keep track of whether the numbers on the stopwatches are in sync with the finish tokens. Everything is going smoothly until a runner jumps into the funnel without going through the timekeepers. Before we can do anything to stop it, she takes a token. Now we have one less time on the stopwatches than we have given out tokens. The Number Checker volunteer makes a note – we will have to jiggle the results to sort it out.

The tail walker comes through the funnel and it’s time to pack up. The hivis heroes are a dream to watch as tape gets wound up, cones stacked, and everything squeezed into the cupboard.

I’m lucky this week as I have Duke of Edinburgh volunteer Stuart helping me with the results. We download the data off the barcode scanners and pick one of the stopwatches to use to get the times. We then use the parkrun website to merge the barcode scanner data and stopwatch times. We manually input the names and positions of the people whose barcodes wouldn’t scan. Then we add in a time for the person who jumped into the funnel. Now our number of times matches our number of tokens. Finally we update and confirm the volunteer roster so all the hivis heroes get volunteer credit. Meanwhile the tokens are put back into the right order ready for next week by two amazing token sorting volunteers.

And after all that, the results are made live on the website and they are:

292 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 26 were first timers and 39 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:

Malcolm Kevin WHITE • Jackie THOMAS • John FRANCKSEN • David STOTT • Bruce SELLERS • Rosamund MOGG • Gary BIRCHER • Annabelle WESCOTT • Cliff TREW • Charlotte MITCHELL • Gavin START • Rob BIGGS • Debbie YOUNG • Ellen DEVINE • Angela WORLOCK • Hannah GOLDIE • Betty MANSER • Stuart MANSER • Myra EVANS • Sophie HILLYERD • Kevin BEARD • Sue BIRD • Karen DORE • Claire THOMAS • Ben WILLIAMS • Julie DEVINE • Lesley PERRETT

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Chipping Sodbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:16 on 10th September 2016 (event number 128).

The female record is held by Charlotte Emily TAYLOR-GREEN who recorded a time of 17:35 on 11th November 2017 (event number 188).
The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline LAVIS who recorded 90.12% (24:18) on 12th March 2016 (event number 104).

Chipping Sodbury parkrun started on 22nd February 2014. Since then 7,606 participants have completed 55,451 parkruns covering a total distance of 277,255 km, including 10,716 new Personal Bests.

Saturday afternoon: After a nice cup of coffee and a bit of lunch, I log into the parkrun inbox and reply to a couple of queries about times and an offer to volunteer on a future week. Now it’s time to write this run report and reflect on how great it was to see so many people enjoy parkrun this morning.

Thank you to everyone who took part by running, jogging, walking, spectating and especially to those who volunteered. We’ve got the week off next week, but we’ll see you bright and early on 18th August for another parkrun.

Ellen (A1956728)

 

Liz’s 250th!

Chipping Sodbury parkrun Event number 215 23rd June 2018

Liz’s 250th!

Lovely very warm weather greeted us today to celebrate Liz Wilkie’s (Stu and Sharon’s mum) 250th parkrun! Pictured with her are the other 250 Club members who run Chipping Sodbury regularly, including her partner Mel. Ann Fisher and Mark Crossland also clocked up their 50th runs. Liz is remarkable because she was completing her milestone twelve weeks after a hip replacement! Juniors Ruby Spring, Anna Williamson and Stephen Coney were doing their 10th runs.

Event 215

Event 215

Even the Run Director (me) was getting in on the act with my 100th separate volunteering stint at Chipping Sodbury.

Volunteer Co-ordinator Andy Airey sorted the volunteers out and even supplied the cake tent! Eclipse in the top right is my finger!

Event 215

Liz and Mel kindly supplied the healthy fruit and marshmellows instead of cake!

Event 215

Event 215

This week 310 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 31 were first timers and 41 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part. Numbers were a bit down, maybe due to the hot conditions.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers, thanks to you all! Katie PINNINGTON • Malcolm Kevin WHITE • Michelle CRAKER • S WILKIE • John FRANCKSEN • Bruce SELLERS • Alice SMITH • Bob BELL • Justine BROWN • Martin HERRING • Isobel PALMER • Tracy FRANCKSEN • Andy AIREY • Kevan ALLINGTON • Lorraine NORRIS • Charlotte MITCHELL • Peter COOMBS • Melanie YOUNG • Di CAVE • Jeffery HARDY • Rob STEWART • Sue BIRD • Aaron BROWN • Debbie COOPER • Helen O'BRIEN • Anne DRYSDALE-GROVES

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Chipping Sodbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:16 on 10th September 2016 (event number 128). The female record is held by Charlotte Emily TAYLOR-GREEN who recorded a time of 17:35 on 11th November 2017 (event number 188). The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline LAVIS who recorded 90.12% (24:18) on 12th March 2016 (event number 104).

Next week is odd minute pacing so please let us know if you would like to don a pacer's vest!

John Francksen
Co-Event Director and Run Director, event 215

 

What colour would a 50th volunteering T-shirt be…?

Chipping Sodbury parkrun
Event number 214
16th June 2018

With Pomphrey Hill parkrun cancelled this week, we were expecting some ‘local tourists’, but we were also joined by parkrun tourists from as far as Manchester and Edinburgh and a fantastic 67 first timers. All in all, 375 people ran, jogged and walked the course of which 50 recorded new Personal Bests – well done! There were several milestones celebrated including Alex Cooper who ran his 50th parkrun and brought sweets for everyone – always a winner at parkrun! We also had some very impressive running from two ladies pushing buggies and running with a dog each on a short lead – that’s some skills!

None of the above would be possible without this week’s fantastic team of 22 volunteers. Each and everyone of you are essential to a successful event, but let’s give a special shout out to Sue Bird who expertly handed out the finish tokens on her 50th volunteering stint whilst wearing one of our red 50th milestone vests. Our hi-vis heroes this week were:

S WILKIE • John FRANCKSEN • Sonia CROSS • Bob BELL • Julie BRYANT • Isobel PALMER • Kevan ALLINGTON • Bill SHACKCLOTH • Gareth SHAW • Nick PHILLIPS • Laura NICOLL • Nigel CHAPMAN • Ellen DEVINE • Betty MANSER • Stuart MANSER • Peter DEAKIN • Anne DEAKIN • Sue BIRD • Denisa MULCAHY • Rachel YOUNG • Sam NORSTER • Emilie POWNER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Chipping Sodbury parkrun Results Page.

And the stats are….

  • The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:16 on 10th September 2016 (event number 128).
  • The female record is held by Charlotte Emily TAYLOR-GREEN who recorded a time of 17:35 on 11th November 2017 (event number 188).
  • The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline LAVIS who recorded 90.12% (24:18) on 12th March 2016 (event number 104).
  • Chipping Sodbury parkrun started on 22nd February 2014. Since then 7,432 participants have completed 53,636 parkruns covering a total distance of 268,180 km, including 10,453 new Personal Bests.
 

Seeing Red… White and Blue at Event #211

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After a cancellation last parkrunday we were back on this week and on a special day too.
This Saturday was the day of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
A huge majority of the runners got the memo (facebook posting) about this weeks colour theme and looked fabulous displaying red, white and blue as they ran round The Ridings.

 

 

 

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Thanks to all of the following people who gave up their time and a chance to run to volunteer this week and help me put on the event:

 

Kevan ALLINGTON, Bob BELL, Eric BRYANT, Julie BRYANT, Nigel CHAPMAN, Ian CRABBE, Ellen DEVINE, Karen DORE, John FRANCKSEN, Chris HOPKIN, Chris LOVELL, Iain MACFARLANE, Betty MANSER, Stuart MANSER, Tammy MEDD, Charlotte MITCHELL, Jim OVENS, Isobel PALMER, Nick PHILLIPS, Emilie POWNER, Bill SHACKCLOTH, Nigel TRICKEY, Sally TRICKEY, Nicki WADE, Malcolm Kevin WHITE, Stuart WILKIE, Elizabeth WILKIE, Jan YOUNG

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After my mother (check out those socks!) did an amazing job on the first timers brief it was over to me on the main brief.

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Thank you to everyone for the hush and patience during this. We know a lot of you already know most of the contents of this but for first timers this is their first experience at a parkrun and will want to listen to what is being said and of course someone somewhere standing out there listening to us may be getting a name check if they are on a certain milestone or visiting us from another parkrun... (like Claire) my friend from Longrun Meadow who was picking up a parkrun C this week on her way to completing her chosen word.

 

If you have forgotten already about my shameless plug about the Grand Union Canal 145 mile Race this Saturday and how I'm hoping to raise a bit of sponsorship money from it for the Running Down Dementia challenge then you can check out my profile page here !

 

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations to Sarah Presley who this week finished her 50th parkrun and Tom Morgan in 21st place who ran his 100th parkrun.

 

Thanks to Nicki Wade and Mel Warren for providing this weeks photographs. All of Which can be found on our Flickr page.

 

This week your RD is Nick, looking at the current state of the roster, I think he would really appreciate a bit more help... If you can volunteer this week? please get in touch!

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Thanks for dropping by and reading this..
I'll see most of you on the 9th June back at the Ridings, Until then...

Happy parkrunning #DFYB

Chipping Sodbury parkrun
Event number 211
19th May 2018

This week 356 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers and 66 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 31 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Malcolm Kevin WHITE • Stuart WILKIE • Elizabeth WILKIE • John FRANCKSEN • Jim OVENS • Bob BELL • Julie BRYANT • Tammy MEDD • Isobel PALMER • Nigel TRICKEY • Kevan ALLINGTON • Chris HOPKIN • Bill SHACKCLOTH • Charlotte MITCHELL • Nick PHILLIPS • Nigel CHAPMAN • Sally TRICKEY • Ellen DEVINE • Chris LOVELL • Jan YOUNG • Betty MANSER • Stuart MANSER • Ian CRABBE • Iain MACFARLANE • Nicki WADE • Eric BRYANT • Karen DORE • Emilie POWNER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Chipping Sodbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:16 on 10th September 2016 (event number 128).
The female record is held by Charlotte Emily TAYLOR-GREEN who recorded a time of 17:35 on 11th November 2017 (event number 188).
The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline LAVIS who recorded 90.12% (24:18) on 12th March 2016 (event number 104).

Chipping Sodbury parkrun started on 22nd February 2014. Since then 7,307 participants have completed 52,555 parkruns covering a total distance of 262,775 km, including 10,267 new Personal Bests.

 

Saturday 5th May

This weeks run report is provided by Isobel Palmer, one of our wonderful volunteers who is currently doing her Duke of Edinburgh award.

What can be said about todays park run that hasn’t been said before…..it was SUNNY and not only that, but it was sunny on a bank holiday weekend. The sun seemed to put a smile on everyone’s face and from the fast boy and girls at the front to the walkers at the back, everyone, well almost everyone, seemed to enjoy themselves.

Well done for everyone making the effort to get up on a Saturday morning and congratulations to anyone who did their first park run or to those who smashed their PB. Most of all a big thank you to all the volunteers who make Park run the success it is.

It always amazes me what a diverse lot us park runners are, from the extreme athletes leading the charge, to those of us who are tired out after the first 100 metres, the young, the old, the skinny, the less skinny the list goes on. Well done everybody.

 Thanks

Izzy

Chipping Sodbury parkrun
Event number 210
5th May 2018

This week 423 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 41 were first timers and 81 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 35 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:

Malcolm Kevin WHITE • Stuart WILKIE • Karen Janet WHITE • Sophie REED • Sonia CROSS • Sheila TURNER • Isobel PALMER • Mark OFFER • Nick WHITE • Adrian MITCHELL • Charlotte MITCHELL • Eleanor COX • Sally TRICKEY • Ellen DEVINE • Betty MANSER • Kim LEONARD • Iain MACFARLANE • Sue BIRD • Penelope THOYTS • Emilie POWNER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Chipping Sodbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 15:16 on 10th September 2016 (event number 128).
The female record is held by Charlotte Emily TAYLOR-GREEN who recorded a time of 17:35 on 11th November 2017 (event number 188).
The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline LAVIS who recorded 90.12% (24:18) on 12th March 2016 (event number 104).

Chipping Sodbury parkrun started on 22nd February 2014. Since then 7,283 participants have completed 52,199 parkruns covering a total distance of 260,995 km, including 10,201 new Personal Bests.

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