Today was the seventh week back of parkrun fun, today's run was made possible by 31 fantastic volunteers.
Before lockdown, we always loved to read out the names of all of the volunteers in the Run Director's briefing to recognise all of our volunteers individually. Unfortunately at the moment we need to keep the brief as short as possible to reduce the time that people are gathered at the start, but I can assure you as soon as we can, the Run Directors will be testing their lung capacity again by reading out every volunteer name to the raucous cheering and applause from the waiting runners.
Until then, I would like to use this run report to appreciate this week's superstar volunteers and let you know a little about what the volunteers do.
Let's start with PRE-EVENT SET UP, this week executed spectacularly by Eddie B, Jim Perrin, and Rob Pitt (Rob is also one of our Co-Event Directors & RDs), who arrived a bit earlier than our other volunteers to assemble the finish funnel, set out cones, flags, the speaker, essentially getting things ready for the runners and other volunteers before the start, this is a role that allows you to volunteer and run on the same day!
Another role that you can do and still run after is the FIRST TIMERS BRIEFING, you are given an outline of the points you need to include, and the microphone so our ever growing numbers of new runners know how it all works. Thank you Anna Maclean for briefing the 9 brand new runners and 30 tourist runners.
The next person you will probably meet on parkrun day is the RUN DIRECTOR. The RD oversees everything about the event on the day, from arriving early to mark out the course, through to the very end when the kit is all locked in the cupboard and processing the results later after the event, Julie Bryant (who is one of our Co-Event Directors, and was this week’s VOLUNTEER CO-ORDINATOR) did everything needed for the smooth and safe event we all we able to enjoy!
At the start of the run RD Julie, was joined by our TIMEKEEPERS, Simon Cox and Rob Pitt, and NUMBER CHECKER Sam Conlan, all starting their app stopwatches on 'GO!' When our runners cross the finish line the timekeepers click a time for everyone, this requires a fair bit of concentration so please don't stop and ask them for your time! Our Number Checker picks random finishers, clocking their time and finding out their name and finish position, so if there's a hiccup with the timekeeper's stopwatches or the finish tokens, the number checker's log gives the RD points of reference to try to unscramble the results.
But before you reach the timekeepers you will pass our lovely MARSHALS who are spread around the course to guide you in the right direction, warn you of obstacles and cheer and clap you on your two laps around the park, please cheer back as you pass them because they are amazing! Marshals provide a key safety role being the RD's eyes and ears on the course so if an incident ever happened they can call the RD who will send help. If we don't have enough marshals to cover the course, parkrun will be cancelled because the safety of our participants is crucial. You were clapped around our course by Belinda Barratt, Neil Boosey, Nicholas Goldman, Dawn Heaven, Charlotte Hitchin, Stuart Johnson, James Ross, Sarah Warr and Morgan Wills.
The other volunteers you might have seen out on the course were Matthew Bennett and Chloe Cox, our TAILWALKERS, they stay at the back of the field to make sure everyone is accounted for from the course, crossing the finish line after everyone else, gaining a volunteer and run credit.
Once you cross the finish line you will meet some FUNNEL MANAGERS some very important people for keeping things in line so the results don't get in a jumble. Anne Connell and Alastair Heslop (Alastair is one of the Guildford RDs) were in charge of keeping everyone moving down the line today and staying in their finishing order, while watching with eagle eyes for dreaded funnel duckers!