Under 11′s at parkrun

Hi kids especially under 11's and their mums and dads

We posted on facebook before Christmas about running with your adult at all times if you do parkrun on a Saturday.  We don't like asking you to let us know who you are running with each week so we've made some sashes for you and your adult to wear.  These are being modelled for us by Stella and Charlotte.  You may recognise both of them from junior parkrun.

Stella and Charlotte with the 'under11 sashes'

Simply collect a sash from the volunteer table or the Run Director for you and your adult (we have different sizes), wear them throughout the run and hand them back to us when you get your barcode scanned.  Ask the failed barcodes volunteer to write down both yours and your adults position token number and we can identify you in the results.

Don't forget parkrun have 2 rules for under 11's.  Firstly you have to be within arms reach of your adult at all times and secondly you must cross the line just in front of your adult.

If we see any of you without an adult or there's no obvious adult next to you in the results we have been asked to remove your name from the results until Mum or Dad let us know who you were running with and we really don't want to do that.

Mum and Dad can view the parkrun parkrun code of conduct.


Why has my finishing position/time changed?

If we then find it necessary to modify the results to make a correction in relation to say a runner who didn't take a finish token (funnel duckers), or crossed the line twice, etc we will reprocess the results to apply the correction.  This can sometimes cause a runners position and time to change.  We don't do this lightly, as we realise that potentially allocating a runner a slower time is less than pleasing for the runner (but likewise as was the case recently, a runner had a PB by approx. 2 minutes which as you can imagine if left unchecked could be months before the 'fake PB' could be beaten for real).

We have a number of systems (manned by our ever so helpful and friendly volunteers) in place to try and ensure our initial accuracy:

  •  two finish line stopwatches (which are cross referenced against each other)
  •  number checker (who confirms name & time of approx. every 10th runner, so we can generally pinpoint the problem to a small group)
  •  numerous funnel managers to keep 'naughty' runners in check
  •  failed barcodes clipboard to deal with barcode scanning issues
  • a team who ensure the tokens are handed out in order, to every runner who crosses the line
  • a large team who sort the tokens to ensure they are handed out in the correct order and that none have been ‘borrowed’

However that said, we aren't perfect and errors do and will happen.  When we are advised of an error, we do our best to resolve it - to the satisfaction of the runner with the issue, while also trying to ensure the rest of the results we believe to be accurate remain so.

The results shown on the parkrun website should always been considered to be the most up to date and accurate.  When results are reprocessed, emails and text messages aren’t sent again (unless you were a failed barcode scan and were missed from the initial published set of results).

In an ideal world we would never have to reprocess results, as this is time consuming for the Results Processor, and also means a batch of emails to reply to as well when runners email in questioning why their time or position has changed.  One final thing to keep in mind is that results pages on the parkrun website are cached, so changes which we apply to the results may not immediately appear on your web browser (generally they are available 15 minutes later).  As you can imagine, the load on the parkrun website on a Saturday & Sunday is very high so this system is in place to ensure smooth and fast page delivery.

If you do final any positions tokens which have accidentally made their way home with you, then please do return them, as they cost us money to replace, and can affect results if don't realise one is missing.

If you feel that your result is wrong, please email weymouthoffice (@parkrun.com) quoting your name and runner (ie. a123456) number and as much detail as possible so that we can attempt to efficiently resolve the issue.  Issues raised on facebook may be missed or picked up late, so we would ask that if you only use email as a means of contact when it comes to results issues.  Remember that we are all volunteers, so we may not respond the moment you email us!


Weymouth parkrun and Christmas (2017)

Christmas parkrun
Christmas means a bump batch of parkruns.... Saturday 23rd, and then as a bonus event we are holding our first ever run on Christmas Day, and then we'll finish off the year with our final parkrun of 2017 on the 30th.

The 30th may be a pacing event, we'll see how well the survey fills up between now and then.

Our Christmas Day event will take place at the normal time of 0900, but be aware that the college car park may not be open, so you may need to seek alternative parking, or even stump up a few pennies to use the main Pay and Display carpark at Lodmoor, although that will probably only be 50p (do check the boards!).  If you opt to park in the near by residential streets, then please park responsibly.  There will are more details on our facebook Christmas Event page, but Santa hats, tinsel or anything Christmassy for runners, volunteers and supporters are encouraged :-)  For anyone wishing to partake in the harbour swim you should have plenty of time to run and then nip over to the harbour before being able to tuck into a well earned festive feast!

We won't be holding an event on New Year's Day; sorry about that, but if you feel the desire, then please check out the parkrun compendium for a complete list of locations and if they are holding additional runs or not in case you need another parkrun fix!

For those who attend junior parkrun, they will be holding an event on Christmas Eve at 0900 - their first festive junior parkrun (remember this is a 2k course, and not suitable for adults!)

As it as been a while since our last new post, we'd like to take the opportunity to remind parents that children under the age of 11 must always be within arms length around the park for the duration of the run of their 'responsible' adult.  This can be a parent, or a friend/family member (but they must be 18 or over).  If the latter, or you do not share a common surname as the under 11, then please contact us (ideally by email), stating the adults name and the under 11s name.  We'll be checking the results and any under 11s found without their responsible adult next to them in the results will be removed until we can confirm if there were running alone.  We don't want to be harsh about this, but this is a safe guarding issue for the under 11s.  parkrun has very few rules, so lets try and not break them!

More and more runners are taking advantage of our spare barcode folder, which all regular Weymouth parkrun runners are encouraged to leave a spare barcode in.  If you turn up and run, and then realise you have forgotten your barcode you can grab the spare from the folder, have it scanned and then pop it back in the folder.  As results processors we don't like seeing 'unknowns' in the results as much as you don't like missing out on not seeing your total run count increase each week!

You may have noticed The Friends of Lodmoor County Park were also in attendance this morning.  They were trying to raise funds by selling 2018 calendars and also observing how we operate the parkrun in Weymouth.  There is some concern of the path through the trees (which we currently pass through twice).  The width of runners in this section could potentially be causing issues to recently planted trees and bulbs.  Once again we would like to remind runners to keep to the paths and not to try and perform sneaky overtakes in the trees!  You can join the Friends, for just £2/year (Nov-Nov) per household and this entitles members to discounts at other park based attractions - but not at parkrun as we are free already!

Finally, the run report for this week.  Despite the slight chilly morning, and the odd little patch of ice (mainly in the carpark), we had 231 parkrun members taking part.  A special mention to Gail who completed her 100th parkrun with us (87 in Weymouth, and the remaining 13 runs being covered by 8 tourist locations, including Clearmont Waterpark in America).  Undoubtedly due to 2 different Couch 2 5k events recently finishing, they both used the parkrun as the first 5k run, which saw 25 first timers at Weymouth - well done to you all, we hope to see as many of you as possible going forward.  The conditions seemed to spur runners on as there were 33 new PBs - the thought of warm shower post run must work, or maybe it was the tub of sweets...


Female course record falls

It's been a while since we did a run report but we couldn't let a new female course record last Saturday go unrecognised.  Ruth Barnes from Avon Valley Runners recorded a time of 17:17 and was 2nd overall. Well done Ruth.

I also thought I’d write a little bit, well quite a lot, about the volunteering roles we need each week for Weymouth parkrun to go ahead.

We often struggle to get enough volunteers and this puts a huge pressure on the volunteer co-ordinator all week. Theirs isn’t a rock up on Saturday role, it starts from the previous Saturday when they take a photo of the volunteer board to update the roster before sending out emails and facebook requests and updating the roster.

In order for parkrun to go ahead safely, we need a Run Director. This is one of the core team which is made up of about 12 parkrunners who love Weymouth parkrun and are prepared to do a little extra during the week in order for parkrun to happen each week in accordance with parkrun policy. It’s not our parkrun, everyone who runs or volunteers is what makes Weymouth parkrun, but like most events it doesn’t just happen without input from both the core team and runners on a weekly basis.

Firstly we need key marshals at the pineapple, the rugby club, the bridge and 2 at the final turn before the finish. The marshals at the rugby club and the final turn are there to keep you safe from traffic that sometimes crosses the runners paths. The pineapple marshal is at our furthest point and the bridge marshal directs the way. If there is an event at the rugby club, we need an extra marshal there. If we have enough marshals we add another to the bridge and one at the T junction as you leave the back of the pitch and put and join the tarmac path.

We must also have a tail walker. This is the person who runs/ walks at the back of the pack. Marshals stay in position until the tail walker has past them.

We also need 2 people to help set up the start and finish areas. If we have a third person, we can also get water for you to enjoy after the run. We also need one or 2 people to help put everything back in shed once the last runner has finished and been scanned.

Already we are up to 10 volunteers plus the RD, volunteer co-ordinator and the results processor. If we had no other volunteers, we could hold a parkrun safely but you wouldn’t get a time, a position or a run credit towards your milestone tee shirt.

Two more volunteers and we can give out tokens, but with this, we would also need 2 or ideally 3 volunteers to scan barcodes or we’d be queuing for a long time. We would also need 2 or 3 runners to join in and sort tokens so they are ready for the following week. This would give everyone a position so we could upload results based on finish order but we would have no times so everyone would be given the same time of 59:59 to ensure there were no false pb’s.

As you can see we already need 21 volunteers and we still don’t have any timekeepers. One more volunteer would give us a timekeeper but if anything went wrong with the stop watch or if there were any discrepancies, we wouldn’t be able to address these. A second timekeeper helps with the results as we then have two sets of data and a backup if anything goes wrong. It has been known for the stopwatch buttons to get stuck as well as human error clicking the wrong button or accidentally hitting one of the buttons when the volunteer is packing up the start area before the first runner arrives at the finish area.

If somebodies barcode doesn’t scan for a variety of reasons, having a volunteer on failed barcodes means that runner can still get a time. They are under strict instructions to only accept printed barcodes, wrist bands or key fobs. Pictures of barcodes on phones do not scan and written down barcodes won’t be accepted. Any barcodes that do not scan have to be manually input by the results processor so they don’t want lots of these. NO BARCODE, NO RESULT, NO EXCUSE

If we are lucky enough to have a third person with a stopwatch, this person is the number checker. They randomly select runners and ask their names and write these against their finish times. If the results don’t go to plan, this persons records are the results processors most important piece of information as we can usually limit errors to a smaller group of runners.

In order to keep runners in the finish funnel, we have at least one funnel manager, usually two. If runners aren’t registered or they don’t want a time, please do not cross the line. If you cross the line, please stay in the funnel until after you’ve passed the token person. You will have been counted by the timekeepers who don’t know you are leaving the queue and it can give the results processor a big headache if you duck out of the funnel.

We often have visitors to Weymouth and we are also attracting new runners each week so we have someone to do the first timers briefing. We also have a lead bike as we have a fast course with a few junctions and we don’t want the first runner to go the wrong way.

We can safely hold a run with 12 volunteers but in order to get a time and position, and to make our volunteer roles as easy as possible, this number quickly rises to a full complement of 30 volunteers.

There are always choices and the run director and the volunteer co-ordinator for any parkrun will do their best to ensure you get a time, place and run credit but we do rely on the goodwill of all our runners to take a turn at volunteering once in a while.

Remember without runners there is no parkrun but without volunteers there is also no parkrun

Thanks for reading :) .


Christmas and New Year Events at Weymouth parkrun (2016)

We will be hosting a parkrun on Christmas Eve (24th), but there will be no event taking place on Christmas Day.  You will find many of our regular volunteers taking part in the Weymouth Harbour swim instead... why not come along and support them before tucking into your Christmas meal?


There will be a parkrun on New Years Eve, but not an event on News Year's Day.  A few sober (and not so sober) runners are likely to be found taking part in the Broadstone 1/4 on New Years Day....


Check out the full Christmas and New Year parkrun compendium.

⇐ Newer Posts