Diary of a first time Run Director (RD)
Some of you may know that I was due to be RD previously but had to cancel due to snow/ice. Today, on my inaugural day I thought I'd share this week's preparation to ensure the day ran smoothly.
parkrun -7 days
The plan: attend parkrun, run and collect the kit after arriving from holiday back in the UK at midnight.
Reality: 8 hour flight delay, via Gatwick, arriving in Manchester around 8.20am. Finally back in Lancaster by 10.20am, quick dash to the park to get the kit so I could sort it all out before the next week (who needs sleep?).
Once kit was home, I dried out the volunteer bibs (alongside the mountain of holiday washing) and then organised the kit ready for its next outing.
Before (left) and after (right - this is honestly organised!)
Rest of week
Monitoring the volunteer emails and adding people to the roster. It's great to get lots of offers for volunteers so early in the week and I was lucky to have filled the roster by late Tuesday so I didn’t have to put out any additional requests.
parkrun -1 day
Printed the volunteer roster and assigned marshals to the various points. Unfortunately, our ace Co-event director, Andrea Towse, (sensibly) decided she wouldn’t be able to volunteer due to having a possibly broken ankle (get well soon Andrea!), so a quick re-think of how to fill this role. I'm lucky as I knew other RDs would be available on the day if needed and my incredible husband, Ryan, is always my emergency volunteer (thank you all).
Received a request for a guide for our regular visually impaired runner David and asked for volunteers via FB to find Maggie had already arranged this with David. It would be great to have a pool of volunteers to guide any VI runners who may wish to join us so do let us know if you would like to volunteer in this role.
Time to clear the barcode scanners and timers from last week and charge them along with the laptop and mobile. Had a look to see if any runners may be completing a milestone so I could mention them at the briefing. A final check and everything was all ready to go in the morning.
Up early, quick check of the kit and car loaded, and it's off I go! Arrived around 8am to get myself sorted and meet the kind volunteers who were setting up the course. It's useful to have a couple of people to do this and it can be completed before running so it’s a good option for any of you wanting to do both.
Greeted the volunteers as they arrived, talked through the role with them to make sure everyone knew what to do. We always train new volunteers so don't be put off if you might not know what to do. Suddenly its 8.55am and time to do the briefing. Argh, its finally here. Must get this right! Quick briefing and off the runners go! A sigh of a relief (and a wonderful feeling) to see all the runners on their way.
Whilst the run is in progress, chatted to the volunteers, spectators and runners. It's great to speak to lots of people. And just like that, the last runner/walker finishes and it's time to leave the volunteers to pack up and head to the café to process the results.
I was glad to have other RDs on hand to help with the results processing, particularly when I didn't seem to have any times to upload.... Minor panic and realised I needed to press one more button first! (Thanks Andy and Jim).
Easy job of processing, with only one small error of an additional finish token being given out – but I knew about this so no problem. Finalise the results and send to HQ along with the volunteer list.
Get the sorted tokens back from the volunteers with a note that one is missing. Please, please, please do not take the finish tokens home with you as we need them each week, and each week one or two seem to go walkabout. Do return any you may find lurking at home!
Re-packed the car and dropped the kit off with Jim for next week.
Home, checked the emails for any issues with results and now for a sit down and report writing.
Phew, I survived! Thank you to all the volunteers who really did make my job easy this week. As ever they just get on with running parkrun with little input needed from me! We couldn’t do this without you.
This week has really made me realise how much work goes on behind the scenes to make parkrun happen. Thank you to all the RDs and our Event Directors for doing these invisible roles.
Lancaster parkrun Event number 120 stats
This week 279 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 43 were first timers and 34 recorded new Personal Bests. Well done all and welcome to the visitors and first timers. We hope you will be back. It was great to see a family group complete parkrun this week after seeing the event in the park last week and deciding they would give it a go! We look forward to seeing you next week.
The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:
Ruth MEWIS • Andrew HOLME • Ryan MEWIS • Rachel BARTON • David WALKER • Maggie WILD • Linda WALKER • Becky SIMNETT • Christine PERRY • Phil CORRIS • Amanda CHAPMAN • Pam HOLME • David HOLME • Holly SATTERLY • Angela SINGLETON • Francesca CITRON • Anna HARRISON • Adam ROWNTREE • Alice DAVIES • Paul COTTAM • Michael GISBOURNE • Nicky MEER • Anna GISBOURNE • Simon METCALFE
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Lancaster parkrun Results Page.