No Barcode – No Result – No Exceptions

We have been asked since Easter to enforce the parkrun policy to the letter. Below is the explanation. I am sure you will support us in this endeavour.

In the earliest days of parkrun our runners were able to turn up at our events for the first time, and we would register them, each subsequent time they run we would search for their records by name and add their result manually. As we grew, this became increasingly impractical; a huge number of runners have the same name, and even when other identifying information was requested, results processing became increasingly difficult and inaccurate. We therefore created the online registration system, with the Barcode identification system that is now familiar. For some time after introducing these systems we did allow runners to turn up without their barcodes and we would still record their result, but again this became increasingly difficult and inaccurate; HQ spent considerable time every week, cleaning up and re-entering incorrect results that had been added manually, so we introduced our No Barcode - No Result policy.

  • The 'No Barcode - No Result' rule virtually eliminates the possibility of allocating a result to the wrong athlete.
  • The rule makes results processing simpler and less time consuming.
  • If runners are able to get the result without their barcode there is no real incentive for them to 'remember' to bring it with them. The number of runners 'forgetting' their barcode went down at all events when they switched from a relaxed position on barcodes to the firmer 'No Barcode - No Result' rule.
  • While some smaller events feel that they can deal with the administrative burden that barcode-free runners cause, please spare a thought for the larger events around the country; our runners do travel around, and we have lost count of the number of times we've heard "we had a runner say I don't have my barcode but we don't need it at my home parkrun" - it is better for all events if we all stick to the same line.
  • We are not denying runners the opportunity to take part in our runs if they don't have a barcode - they are very welcome to participate, but on that one occasion they will simply not receive an official result. To put this another way - if I turned up at pretty much any other organised event without my runner number, I would not be allowed onto the course, so even with this rule, we are still far more relaxed than pretty much any other organised run.
  • We are concerned with getting people running, getting them to join running clubs, and getting them to take part in organised races. If we take a relaxed approach to barcodes we are not 'educating' our novice runners in the ways of organised runs, and consequently not really doing them any favours.
  • Any disappointment the runner may feel about not getting their result recorded should be tempered by the knowledge that they will be able to take part again the very next week.