25th Volunteer and a cheeky run too!
Arriving shortly after 8.40 this morning it felt strange not being in the thick of the setting up buzz, normally you'd find me setting up the finish area and then taking to my timekeeping post, but today I was on the other side of it running Alderford Lake parkrun for the first time since parkruns COVID hiatus.
The funnel had already been set up, the volunteers being given their instructions by the volunteer coordinator which today was Liz Rankin, who also was looking after my usual timekeepers post along with Louise Rafferty.
After a quick chat and a catch up it was onto the starting area for the run brief shortly before 9, and before I knew it we were on the move out of the field and onto the gravel, the sound was quite amazing!! I was also told afterwards there was someone running today in bare feet! Well done, that first bit must have stung!!
Now the last time I ran this course it was the other way round, so moving into the 2nd field so early felt strange to begin with but actually on both laps it was nice to be running past fellow parkrunners in the opposite direction. Many giving waves/smiles and words of encouragement to each other. It really shows what a lovely community parkrun is and I’m proud to say I’m part of it.
Everyone can get involved it doesn’t matter where your level of fitness is, everyone gets the same level of encouragement. Today’s field saw a vast range of people with the first finisher completing in 16:34 taking the new course record (well done Jack Gray) and the tailwalker finishing at 1:08:41, so if your thinking of doing parkrun but are worried for whatever reason, please don’t be, we’d love to see you. We had 5 people come and complete their very first parkrun today, joined by 14 tourists and 69 regulars, of those there were 19 personal bests, 1 course record broken and 1 age record (well done Rosemary Symms!).
Now where was I? Oh yes after the 2nd field and Maize field (now newly grassed) it was time to go round the lake. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the path was dry and not churned up mud, the bog of doom a distant memory before saying hi to Marshal Adam round the back of the trees to the woods where Tom was waiting to greet me before the steep short climb into the woods. Now I also found this weird, it felt longer this way round than previously but equally quicker as I felt you could really have fun going weeee down the undulations. Then back to the start... kind of... this time you get to do a lap of the field before going round the route again! But the next time you see that field you get to do that final lap of honour before heading towards the flags which mark the finish.
Today there were 25 volunteers, and I may be biased but they are a terrific bunch! Three were completing their 25th volunteering stint. Jon Morgan (Number checker and pre course set up today) Simon Phillips (one of today’s photographers) and okay so the other was me. Well how was that when you turned up and ran it today? I hear you ask. Well one of the things some people don’t realise is there are some volunteer roles you can do which will allow you to run too. One of those roles is rounding up the events of the day in this here run report, so if you’ve enjoyed reading this and fancy giving it ago one week let us know! We like to read everyone’s different experiences at parkrun it’s what makes us unique and a community.
Another volunteer mention is Kathryn who got to wear her 10 volunteer t shirt with pride today, she’s quickly become a regular on the scanners and one of our youngest volunteers, Good luck on getting your 25 parkruns in the near future!
We would love to add more faces to our volunteer core team so if you wanted to find out more, please talk to our Run Directors!