The current date to "restart" parkrun is Saturday 24th July dependent on the final stage of lifting lockdown to be confrimed (we'll be following those parkrun blog posts, just like you!).
We can now share with you what the event will "look and feel like" when it does come back.
The first thing you should notice is that every effort has been made to make it "feel" just like a regular parkrun. To save you playing "spot the difference" we thought it would be useful for you to know what the changes are and why they're being made.
At the bottom we've also added a "Frequently Asked Questions" section and if that still doesn't answer your question, please do drop us an e-mail.
The following table is based on the changes we've made as a result of applying the guidelines as detailed in the parkrun Covid-19 Framework.
|...our Run Briefs were celebratory, informative and welcoming.
||...our Run Briefs will contain critical information, will be significantly shorter (around 2mins) but we will still be welcoming! (6.a.ii)
|...the Volunteer Co-ordinator (VC) welcomes the volunteers and checks them against the roster when they arrive.
||...the VC will continue to do this, but also ask the volunteers to sanitise their hands using the sanitiser gel provided and also tells them where to leave their hi-vis and lanyards afterwards.(5b/5c/5d)
|...the VC shows scanner and timekeeper volunteers how to use the Opticon Scanners and the Stopwatches.
||...the VC will now show these volunteers how to scan and time keep using the parkrun virtual volunteer app on their own phones. (5b/5c/5d)
|...the finish funnel was wide at the entrance and narrowed to a single line at the end.
||...it will now have a wider entrance and will be much longer, providing much more room for finishers to socially distance, and will have the option for a double funnel meaning you spend even less time in the funnel (8c/8d/8e)
|...the Funnel Manager used to keep finishers in order and ensure timekeepers and finish tokens being issued were in sync.
||...the Funnel Manager, and additional support volunteers, will carry on as before but also tell finishers to maintain a distance from each other and to "cup hands" to catch the finish token. (8d)
|...the volunteer at the end of the Finish Funnel would hand out Finish Tokens to all the finishers.
||...the Finish Tokens Volunteers will now "drop" the finish token into the finishers hands.
|...we had 3 or 4 volunteers "scanning" the finishers. The scanners would take and scan the finishing token and drop these into a shared bucket.
||...we'll have up to 10 volunteers "scanning" (8.i.ii) and each Scanner will have their own bucket so they can spread out. Finishers will keep hold of their own finish token during scanning and drop it in the bucket themselves. (8j)
|Scanners using the app used to have to e-mail the results when they finished...
||...the app has had some updates and now they will "scan" the event QR code that the Run Director will have and automatically send the file to our Field Management System (webFMS) ready for results processing.
|Timekeepers used to hand stopwatches to the Run Director once the even had finished...
||...like the scanners, they'll scan the RD's QR code and the stopwatch file will be sent to webFMS.
|...results were processed in the cafe on the laptop.
||...results will now be processed away from the park (9e), probably at home, and we can do it on our phone or tablet!
|Last minute scanner and timekeeper volunteers would need to be manually added to the volunteer roster...
||...the new Virtual Volunteer app will automatically add volunteers to the roster once the RD provides them with the event's QR code to submit the results to webFMS!
Q. How did you work out which parts of the event needed to change? And have all events made the same changes?
A. The parkrun Covid-19 Framework identifies the risks and how we minimise those risks along with the regular risk assessment that we have always had. The little numbers in brackets refer to the part of the Covid-19 Framework and the risks included within it.
Q. I want to hand out tokens, how will that work?
A. You can still "hand out tokens" except now we ask you to "drop them" carefully into their waiting open hands. We may look to have more than one volunteer handing out finish tokens (8d) but the much longer finish funnel may be sufficient.
Q. I'm a bit concerned with wearing a hi-vis that someone else has worn, can I bring my own?
A. No, you'll be expected to wear a parkrun hi-vis. All of the hi-vis vests will be either washed, quarantined or both before the event.
Q. If it's a shared stopwatch/scanner will I need to wear disposable gloves or something?
A. Nope! All of our stopwatches and Opticon scanners that have served us so well for the last 7 years or so have now been 'retired'. You will use your own phone to either scan or time keep using the parkrun virtual volunteer app.
Q. I'm excited for parkrun's return, I've put my name down to volunteer but I've developed a sniffle, I don't think it's Covid and I don't want to let the event down...
A. A "sniffle" isn't a Covid symptom: -
"No one should attend a parkrun event if they, or someone they live with, has any of the following: A high temperature (above 37.8°C), a new, continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste. This check should be done prior to each parkrun event."
If you, or anyone in your house is exhibiting any of the symptoms above then please stay away from the event (yes, that includes spectating too). If you could let us know would be great and we can find a replacement for your volunteer role. The event won't be going anywhere and we look forward to your return once your self isolation period is complete! (3e)
Q. How will scanning work? Surely handling all those tokens is a risk?
A. parkrunners will be asked to hold up the finish token to be scanned and then they will be asked to drop it into the bucket themselves. The scanner volunteer no longer needs to handle any of the finish tokens. We've actually now got ten buckets for finish tokens, one for each scanner, and they'll sit on the floor to support up to ten scanners (not that we think we'll need that many). (8j)
Q. I don't have a mobile phone can I still use a scanner?
A. Sadly no. Using the parkrun virtual volunteer app will actually help us process the results quicker as we won't need to mess about with special cables etc. Processing of the results will be entirely wireless too. (8h) There are plenty of other roles you can do that don't require you to have your own mobile phone.
Q. Sorry, how many scanners did you say!?
A. To reduce the scanning queue we will need additional scanners (8i.ii) for Maldon Prom that will need to be about ten. We're hoping that some of the faster finishing parkrunners will register to become scanners which will help significantly in both finding that number of additional volunteers as well as keeping the numbers down. Once the queues have subsided after the "peak" (normally after about 9.40am) the number of scanners can be reduced. The aim is to keep the scanning queue short and away from the finishers (8g).
Q. OK, so I want to volunteer to do timekeeping or scanning
A. If you're planning on Timekeeping or Scanning with us here is the link to the new parkrun Virtual Volunteer app. This link includes instructions on how to install it on your phone as well as instructions on how to use it. Why not install it and have a play? If you want to play with your very own finish tokens, you can get some here.
Your phone will need to be in Airplane mode all the time that you are scanning or timekeeping. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
Q. Can I run as well as volunteer?
A. Yes, there are volunteer roles that can be performed before or after your run. As well as the set-up of the event (you'll need to be at the park for 8am), we will need those extra scanners. This can be done after running (if you expect to finish in under 28 minutes or so) once you have had your barcodes scanned. You will need to report to the 'Volly Trolley' to get your hi-vis top and be assigned to a token bucket. Once the queues have gone we will stand down some of the scanners. We also need a couple of volunteers each week to pack away the equipment.
Q. Is it true you're not doing a Covid-19 Risk Assessment?
A. No, this is not true - as well as the numerous risks we've assessed and mitigated already - we have those that have been raised in the parkrun Covid-19 Framework and the mitigation activities that have been recommended here has resulted in changes to the start to avoid congestion around the lake, the lengthening of the finish funnel, the new scanning and timekeeping processes and the use of sanitiser gel.
Q. Will we need to "check-in" using the NHS app?
A. No you won't need to "check-in". For "Track & Trace" we'll be using your barcode which is why it's even more important that you "Don't Forget Your Barcode" #DFYB. (13a)
Q. I don't have a mobile with the Virtual Volunteer App on, can I borrow a phone?
A. Sadly no. In all likelihood we can find you another role to perform that doesn't require you to have a mobile phone.
Q. It's raining, I don't want my phone to get wet, why don't you have phone cases we can borrow?
A. We can actually go one better and GIVE YOU a waterproof phone case for your phone (pls don't give it back). Okay, it may look a bit like a sandwich bag...
Q. My kids like to play on the play equipment at the park, is this still possible?
A. At time of writing the play equipment is open. As before, please be respectful and follow the instructions of the Park Rangers.
Q. Are there any course changes?
A. Yes. The course at Maldon Prom had a few pinch points, including at the start where runners were funnelled between the gap in the amphitheatre wall and again on the first loop of the lake where the path narrows adjacent to the sandpit area (6a.vi). The course will now start near the paperclip/ice cream kiosk and flow towards the coach park entrance before turning left across the field and then left again to return to the rear of the ice cream kiosk and rejoin the original route, passing the petting zoo and pirate golf and then on to two laps of the park before heading to a finish just beyond where it was before.
The main path which will now be the start and finish straight will have an area cordoned off with cones for non parkrunning park users.
Click here for our course map.
Other park users : It's important to note that other park users will have become accustomed to the event not being there, that the main field is currently being used by Carters Steam Fair and that there are other 'pop up' vendors (at the time of writing Mrs Salisbury's truck and the Grape and Grain bar) on site. Don't forget whether you're a fast parkrunner, a regular parkrunner or a walker you have no priority over anyone else and especially no priority over other park users.
Q. I've being doing (not)parkrun, but I've not actually done a "real" parkrun before - will there still be a first timers briefing?
A. Wahoo! Welcome to parkrun! Yes, there absolutely will be a first timers briefing - but it will be kept brief! It will happen at 8.50am and won't be any longer than 2mins. Don't forget to bring a printed barcode (we can't scan images on your mobile phone!) and you should be just fine! (5h)
Q. Will the cafes be open?
A. Yes the cafes will be open, but we would encourage you to leave the park as soon as you've had your token scanned (9f).
Q. My child is really looking forward to coming back to parkrun, any new rules for the kids?
A. Yes actually there are. Whilst normally children under the age of 11yrs old are asked to be accompanied by an adult within arms length during the event, now we ask that children stay with their adult before and after the event too. Young children do not necessarily understand the social distancing rules so it's the parent/supervising adult's responsibility (10c)
Q. Yay! parkrun is coming back! Can we bring cakes?
A. As much as we all love a slice of homemade, post-run/walk cake, alas no. Let's postpone the celebrations and the cakes until the event is back, everything has settled down and we can run the event in it's was "pre-Covid" form. (3b.i & 9f)
Q. I want to help pack equipment away, but I'm concerned.
A. We will attempt to reduce the amount of "hand offs" as we pack away to minimise the handling of course equipment (5e). We have hand sanitiser available (5c) and would recommend you use that after you've helped pack the equipment away.
Q. What about the selfie frame? Time for a quick selfie then leave the park?
A. All the while the event is running and needing to adhere to the parkrun covid-19 framework (3b.iii) we won't be getting the selfie frame out. Which is a shame because we all love a selfie with friends, but social distancing rules don't allow us to get that close (5b). As soon as we can run the event in a pre-Covid state (3b.i) the selfie frame will be the first thing that comes out!
Hopefully this goes some way to give you an idea of all the risks and changes we've made to the event. If you've still got any questions or concerns, please drop us an e-mail.
We're all looking forward to seeing you all back in the park for your favourite free, weekly, timed 5km run.
If you're planning on Timekeeping or Scanning with us in the future here is the link to the new parkrun Virtual Volunteer app. This link includes instructions on how to install it on your phone as well as instructions on how to use it. Why not install it and have a play? If you want to play with your very own finish tokens, you can get some here.
parkrun's Covid-19 Framework on the Volunteer Hub.
Maldon Prom parkrun - Facebook - Twitter
Your Core Team:-
Sue Smith - Bob Gear - Belinda Amner - Elaine Vaughan - Alison Hughes - David Stokes - Michelle la Marre - Adele Bovingdon - Gordon McAulay - Gabi Boland - Andrew McGregor - John Buchanan - Jim Skillern