Over the last few months Newent parkrun’s Core Team have been preparing for the much-anticipated restart of the event on the 24th July, and we thought that you might like an update.
First and foremost, we would like to send a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to the fabulous Newent Community School and Gloucestershire County Council, on whose ground we operate, for giving their permission for Newent parkrun to restart. Their ongoing support to our free, weekly and inclusive event to the benefit of the health and well-being of the local community is appreciated by us all.
With regards to our restart, there is a lot of excitement, and perhaps also some nervousness about what the return of parkrun will look like.
The parkrun Covid-19 Framework describes the guidelines that we will be following in the first instance.
The following is an outline of what this means for Newent parkrun.
For timekeeping and scanning, volunteers will use their own mobile phones loaded with the free ‘parkrun Virtual Volunteer’ app.
This helps reduce equipment sharing and allows for easier results processing.
It also allows us to have more volunteers able to perform barcode scanning. This is important because the framework sets out guidance that for every 50 participants, we need 1 volunteer barcode scanner. With our historic average of 70-80 participants we will have 1 dedicated barcode scanner as before. The second Run Director (RD) will step in if there are any signs of congestion forming at the scanning post. Scanning will continue to be done outside after the finish line.
If you are interested in volunteering for timekeeping or scanning duties then we would encourage you to download the parkrun Virtual Volunteer app and have a play.
Please visit our Volunteer page for details of how to volunteer for any of our posts.
Walkers and runners
Before and after the event
You are encouraged to not congregate in large groups before and after the event.
The bar area is open solely for food and drink (NOT for congregating or dropping off jackets etc). Restrictions in the bar are the same as for any other bar or restaurant. You must scan the Track-and-Trace QR code before entry, take a seat, and then be served at your table. Masks shall be worn inside when moving to and from your table.
The toilets in the bar will be available to everyone but you should wear a mask and respect social distancing when queuing. Only one person at a time shall be allowed in the toilets.
These requirements may change as government restrictions are relaxed.
You may notice that the pre-event briefing is much briefer than before. It will still contain all the important safety information about lumps, bumps, and molehills, but will be shortened to reduce the time spent in close proximity to each other.
In line with the Covid-19 Framework to increase the spacing between participants at the start line, there will be a change to our course.
The start has been moved further back and one of the twisty sections of the course has been removed. This has the added advantage of reducing the course complexity and also set-up time. We will be trialling this new layout under the Covid-19 Framework, but will likely make this a permanent change.
Please can you help us?...
In addition to the above, we have a couple of very important requests for your support.
We want to provide you with the safest event possible. In particular, we would like to be able to respond to a time-critical emergency in the fastest possible time because In some situations every second counts.
Our Core Team feels that using personal mobile phones to summon the defibrillator, for example, is not optimal. Therefore, we would like to upgrade our event communications to include walkie-talkies.
All our equipment has to be paid for out of our own donation pot, and we would like to raise £200. This would be enough to buy a set of walkie-talkies and give us a little bit left over to pay for some new signage and other bits-and-pieces required for the restart.
The average number of participants at Newent parkrun is 72. If each one of our regular runners donated £3, we would exceed our target. Not bad when you consider that we’ve never asked our participants for donations in the 8 years that we’ve been operating. If you want - and are able - to help, then donations can be made via our About Us page. We thank you heartily for all your support.
Preparing for the restart
Before we can restart there is a certain amount of clearing and tidying that needs to be done. We will be putting out a request for volunteers for anyone who can help us with grass strimming, branch lopping and litter picking between 11 am and noon on Saturday 17th July. This will be organised through our Facebook page so please look out for a post later this week.
While we are very hopeful that there will be no further changes to parkrun’s restart date, there are still no guarantees in the current climate. Please keep your eyes on our Facebook page for any updates.
We hope that you are as excited as we are at the prospect of meeting up again at parkrun and we look forward to seeing you on the 24th July.
All the best - Newent parkrun Core Team.
PS - Here's a rough picture of the new start layout...