Well the weather wasn’t the most amazing for my first parkrun as Run Director but the bigger issue was the fact I didn’t really have a voice – the megaphone certainly came in handy once Ian pointed out how I made it work – my initial attempt having resulted only in the siren and giggling (might have been me).
I got there early to set up and make sure I didn’t come across as unorganised which fell apart the moment we realised the laptop bag was missing the all important pieces of paper. We improvised with a wing mirror leaflet from the back of my car. I then ‘lost’ the lanyards which Kelly found – they were right in front of me. This meant the volunteers saw me at my best. I ploughed on and Denise’s excellent enthusing about volunteering during the week meant we had plenty of volunteers so we were able even to double up on station 2 with Liz and Martin. Mark had already had a good run round the route before we even started and used his left over energy to cheer people up the cobra and June handled point one and four. Lana waited to hand out tokens while looking cold.
It wasn’t the biggest turn out at 124 participants despite the highest guess on parkrun bingo this week being 194 but we had some tourists from various places including Leicestershire and Yorkshire who Sarah H-F briefed along with our first timers. Meanwhile I squeaked random instructions through the megaphone forgetting the vital stuff like looking out for other park users but remembering to get people to thank the volunteers!
If you’d like lots of runners saying thank you to you on a Saturday mornings why not try volunteering? It’s great to have plenty of volunteers but it isn’t the case every week and some of our regulars do like to run occasionally so if you fancy giving it a go please contact Denise at email@example.com Our tourists all seemed very pleased about the course later on much to some of our surprise, we’re more used to people complaining about the hills not complimenting them!!! I was pleased that Kelly and Harvey were on the timekeeping as I’m still wary of the stop watches. Our nerves jangled when we realised that Kelly’s stopwatch kept stopping (one could argue that is what it says on the ‘tin’ but it was at injudicious moments) so the pressure was really on for Harvey. He needed a hot chocolate, with cream, to get over the stress.
I suddenly realised I was also in charge of taking photos, a role which we realised quickly I am not well suited to. Here are some of my less good attempts. The photos of the fence were intended to be action shots as people went past…. Not so good. I even had warning that Ian Marshall was about to do his jump for the camera and still managed to time it wrong. Next time I think I might need an official photographer. Or we could pretend they are Harry Potter style photos with the subjects simply having left the shot for a moment.
We had a steady flow of runners ably managed by Stephen as they came through the funnel with Lana making sure everyone got a token then Jo and Karen made sure everyone got scanned in. We had very few people without barcodes this week – well done for remembering everyone! Dawn Hughes and Claire Sambridge both got their 100 parkruns and I remembered to take a photo. I’m not sure who was more proud of themselves. We had 20 PBS and 10 first timers! Well done everyone! Matthew Nutt crossed the line first quickly followed by Ian Hales.
Jess and Kevin and their dog rounded up all the runners as tail walkers and were cheered in as with a drop out they were a long way behind the last runner and Jess clocked it as her first official parkrun having previously volunteered in other roles! Good day for a nice walk round too and a great way to get some exercise if you’re not feeling up for a run on a Saturday (hint hint).
Then it was off to the Willowbrook for a brew and breakfast while Kelly and Sarah sorted tokens and I asked a million and one questions about results processing!!
Thanks especially to Ian S and Kelly who made sure I remembered everything and got the results processed properly – I am learning it honest! Ali – your turn next week! Over and out - Jenny Bx