Being a Run Director at Lancaster parkrun is a great role. Here’s my account of (my slightly rushed) Saturday:
My alarm went off at 6.45am, I snoozed it…. and snoozed it again. All of a sudden it was 7.15am. I needed to leave the house at 7.30am and the car wasn’t packed. Andy and Pam, setter uppers extraordinare, were meeting me at the park at 8am and I didn't want to keep them waiting. Up, wash, dress, kettle on, toaster on, head outside with laptop and roster in hand. Came back in, picked up tea in my thermal mug and toast on a plate to eat in the car on the way. Signs went in the car, first aid kit, megaphone, hi-vis vests, cones. 7.36am. Not too bad.
Arrived at the park at about 7.55am so was able to put the cones and signs up at the Quernmore Road entrances. Andy and Pam met me at the Memorial. Pam greeted me with a hug and I mumbled something about not being a morning person but quickly enough things perked up. The dawn light on the memorial was beautiful and the lights across Lancaster and Morecambe were twinkling.
Andy and Pam took charge of setting up whilst I checked through the kit so that it was ready to hand out to volunteers. FINISH TOKENS! Where were the finish tokens? In my rush had I left them in the garage? No!!! I ran back to the car, nothing in the boot. Could I call my husband to bring them? Would they get here in time? Earliest I’ll need them would be 9.15am… Then, I remember, they are sat in the foot well of the passenger seat. Breathe.
Volunteers turned up one by one. It was lovely to meet Rachel Barton a new volunteer, the Jolly family who were visiting volunteers from Lincolnshire and also Bob’s beautiful dog, Rab! Everybody had turned up and knew what they are doing. So far so good! Phew!
It was soon time for the runners brief. Surprisingly, I was a little bit nervous. Usually, I’m fairly happy welcoming everyone to the parkrun and reminding everybody of things to watch out for. Maybe it was the rushed start to the morning? Anyway, count down the run (to Ryan’s disappointment not in the 1990s Gladiator style he’s been hoping for) and watch everybody start.
It’s always great to stand at the top of Fenham Carr to see people coming in and out and cheering people up the hill. Lucas Pinnington was flying round. Lucas is one of our super speedy junior runners and did fantastically to hold on to his lead for the entire run. It was great to see some familiar faces and lots of new people, we had 34 first timers this week.
As the lead runners came back into Fenham Carr for the second time, the finish funnel volunteers made their way to the memorial ready to receive the finishers. This week I stood at the entrance to the funnel watching people finish. When I’m not RD, my favourite role is barcode scanning, so I’m usually at my busiest during this part of the morning. It feels strange to be only cheering people on but I’m pleased that I’m not needed. An incident free week is the best kind of week. A quick chat with the groundsman about the lavender near the start on the run (please keep off of it!). Then one of the nicest things about being RD. Those parkrunners who come up and say thank-you. It puts an extra smile on your face and gives you that extra reminder that people really appreciate the effort that the team has put in to put the event on. Had a nice chat with some of the finishers and watched the tail walkers come through in positions 285 and 286, a great turn out.
Steve Perry did another lap of the course picking up the cones and signs and others gave a hand bringing the kit in. Jim bought me a very welcome coffee, by then my hands were freeeeezing. Ruth, Jim and I got the laptop out to process the results. We knew that one of the stop watches had an extra click, there were a couple of duplicate entries, but otherwise the data seemed to be in good order. 10.30am and I had to dash off to Chester leaving Jim and Ruth finishing off the results making sure that all these fab volunteers were credited for their hard work:
Ruth MEWIS • Stephen PERRY • Andrew HOLME • Rachel BARTON • Anne JOLLY • Marsaili JOLLY • Elspeth JOLLY • Helena LEWIS • Jenny LOWE • Andrea TOWSE • Imelda HATTON • Christine PERRY • Pam HOLME • Holly SATTERLY • Angela SINGLETON • Anna HARRISON • Alice DAVIES • Bob LOCHRIE • Vicky BOOTH • Jim BACON
After coming back from Chester I checked e-mails to make sure that there were no incidents that I wasn’t made aware of at the time and then today I remembered that I hadn’t written a run report! Next time I will be more organised. But organised or not it’s always great to be involved with such a positive event. See you all soon!
For all of this week's results: Lancaster parkrun Results Page