Volunteer Roles

Please have look at this list of jobs and if you feel you would be able to help out please drop us a line on DurhamHelpers@parkrun.com letting us know which role you fancy trying if possible.You don't have to commit to volunteer every week, but we do ask runners to volunteer about one in every ten runs. For the technical roles (Timer/Scanner) we'll often ask you to shadow an existing operator before doing it 'for real'.

Mandatory – we need someone to do each of these otherwise we can’t and won’t start the run.

Run Director – will often but not always be the Event Director.

Will be one of the core parkrun organising team (s). They have overall responsibility for event safety, will make Pre-run Announcements, will start the run, and oversee proceedings during the run and at the finish. Most importantly, the Run Director decides whether the event should be cancelled or postponed or that an adjustment to the course is needed (because of bad weather or other circumstance). Such decisions will be taken with guidance from the other event organisers, but the Run Director has the final say. Normally will also perform another role.

Timer – probably the most important job, but with the equipment we have is pretty easy. Once setup you press the big button once to start the race, then walk briskly to the finish before the first runners are coming in. Then as every runner crosses the line press the big button once for each runner. To end the race press and hold the button. We also have a backup stopwatch which needs to be operated in case of any results queries or equipment malfunction

Video Tutorial - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zuUuMr6HGk

Backup Timer Tutorial - http://youtu.be/XYkYYozUJw8

Scanner(s) – the next most important role.As the runners cross the line and receive their finishing position token you take this and their own personal barcode and scan the two together. You have to remember to scan the personal barcode first, then the finishing token. If the runner doesn’t have a personal barcode you scan neither. If there’s a problem and the barcode won’t scan then you quickly pass them over to the results administrator to sort out. You may need to shield the scanner from direct sunlight – a cardboard box works well for this.

Video Tutorial - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaBIdkK17xM

Token Handout – This person hands each runner crossing the finishing line a numbered finishing token. We thread these onto a knitting needle so they are easy to hand out.
This can get quite busy especially at peak periods so you need nimble fingers. If you drop some it's not a problem. Let them stay dropped and continue from the next pile.

Safety Brief – Needs a loud and clear voice and reads out our safety brief and any announcements.
New parkrunners and visitors are briefed at the first timers briefing at 8.45am

Bandstand Marshal – Needs to get to the finishing point at the Bandstand before 8.30am and looks after any bikes or kit that runners leave at the finish before they make their way to the start. Will also erect the Finish banner.

Kingfisher Bridge Marshal 1 – Kingfisher Bridge is the second bridge on the course and is quite narrow. This marshal stands on the other side and warns oncoming cyclists, pedestrians and dog walkers that runners are on their way. They can only ask them to wait, they can’t insist as other users have just as much right to be there as us. Needs a Hi Viz vest (supplied)and needs to be diplomatic.

Football/Rugby field Marshal 1 – stands at the end of the football field and makes sure that runners continue onto and around the rugby field. If we don’t have a Football/Rugby field Marshall 2, they shout out to tell the runners to make sure they come off the grass after the rugby pitch and go onto the riverbank path. Needs a Hi Viz vest (supplied). Hopefully we will eventually be able to replace this marshall with signage and cones.

Maiden Castle bridge Marshal - Directs runners over the first noisy bridge and left onto field. Is a good role for anyone who wants to be away quickly as you’re finished by about 9.10am! Can also take photo’s at the same time.

Baths Bridge Marshal -Directs runners up and over the final (Baths) bridge and warns oncoming walkers/cyclists that hordes of runners are on their way. Note that we can't force them to get out of the way, we can only politely ask them.

Turnaround point Marshal - Directs runners at the first turnaround point just after the tennis courts and returns the arrow to the cafe. Finished early. A good point to be if it's cold or you need to get away early.

Results administrator – Has a notepad and pen/pencil and writes down manually the (rare) barcodes that don’t scan, along with the finishing position number and surname for manual entry. Advises runners on what to do to avoid this in future. (Laminate or sticky plastic the barcode, put it in a freezer or plastic bag, print it on a better quality printer). If a runners barcode regularly doesn’t scan we can print it for them if they email us.

Cone/sign layout – Normally done by the team at about 8am while the course inspection takes place.

Optional – The race can go ahead without these but they add value to the event and make it run more smoothly.

Photographer – most runners like to see photo’s afterwards. The photographer or photographers take these and upload them to Flickr and then add them to the Durham parkrun pool so that they show up on http://www.parkrun.org.uk/durham/photos Some photographers take photo’s as they’re running! Full uploading instructions provided here - http://www.parkrun.org.uk/flickrtips

Token collection and sorting – makes sure that runners don’t take the finishing position tokens home with them inadvertently. Sorts them afterwards so they’re back in order and ready to go. A great role for kids to help out.

Back marker/Tailrunner – Runs at the rear of the field and lets the timer know when he can stop the race. Anyone can run parkrun, but if you think it might take you more than 45 mins please let us know beforehand. Back Marker runs (as long as you run the full distance) are recorded and count towards your parkrun statistics.

Cone/sign collection – Collects the cones and signs. Will often be the back marker as he/she goes round.

Equipment bringer – Make sure all the equipment is brought to the event. Equipment includes the laptop, scanner and timer, finishing tokens, Hi Viz vests, cones and signs etc

Kingfisher bridge Marshal 2 – If we are lucky enough to have two marshalls here the second will stand on the near side of the bridge and warn runners of anyone already on the bridge. They will ask the runners to keep to single file, if they are not already. Wears a Hi Viz vest (supplied)

Football/Rugby field Marshal 2 – If we are lucky enough to have two marshalls, the second stands on the other side of the football/rugby field and guides the runners off the field and onto the path. Wears a Hi Viz vest supplied. Also a good opportunity for photographs.

Token handout assist – prepares the piles of finishing position tokens and hands them to the Token handout in order. Guides the runners back to the scanners