To mark a year since the start of the collaboration between Royal College of GPs and parkrun, GPs up and down the UK were encouraged to pledge to promote and take part in parkrun on June 1st. Over 2000 GPs are said to have pledged to take part. As a parkrun enthusiast for years, I had already linked our practice with Peacehaven’s event, and we have been actively involved as a practice since October, regularly fielding 5-10 staff, their friends and families, and hopefully inspiring patients to give it a go.
So, to give something back to the organisers, we put up a dozen volunteers for a parkrun Takeover. Martin made me Run Director for the day (gave me a megaphone and a script) and with the help of Lisa, Zingy, and other experienced volunteers, made it all go smoothly.
Hi-vis jackets were donned and our receptionists, care navigators, prescription clerks, paramedic practitioner, data manager, and business coordinator became marshals, beepers, and timekeepers for the day. After all admitting to nerves at first, everyone took to their roles and before we knew it the run was taking off under a perfect blue sky.
Dry underfoot there were no issues with grip off the paths but the uphill track was as uphill as ever. The absence of wind was a blessing around the exposed path by the skate park. However the sun was strong, the temperature was already over 20C. It was a hot work out for the fastest and a stifling long walk for others. But the summery scene, the sound of the birds and the smell of coffee from the cafe, who deliberately left the doors wide open, to entice us. All of these things made it a very special event at which to volunteer.
Enormous thanks to my team from Quayside Medical Practice, in Newhaven, but our thanks too to the Peacehaven parkrun organisers, for making things so easy on our Takeover. I can thoroughly recommend volunteering. If you can, do a Takeover, with workmates, club members, family, or just a few pals who you want to get involved with parkrun, please do not hesitate in going forward.
See you all again soon.
Dr Paul N Moore