A fabulous run report from Stella Edwards all about her first experience of volunteering and how fun and rewarding it was - thank you Stella!
‘Marshall number 4 – Defib position’
I’ve been attending Parkrun on and off since 2013 and I decided that it was about time I gave back so I volunteered for the first time today. Ian told me what time to get there and where I would be. Marshall number 4 - on the road by the cricket pitch entrance. My role was to ensure people knew where they were going and to be with Patrick, his dog Godfrey, David and the ‘defib.’ ‘The defib?! Oh wow, that’s a bit more responsibility that I first thought!’ Luckily Patrick, Godfrey and David are volunteer pro’s, and they had the defib with them. Fortunately, it was not required.
My first thought was ‘I just have to stand there, clap and point, how could it go wrong?’ …… the first thing I shouted was “Keep left” and runners shouted back “Keep right” – yep, it was MY left… woops! I felt like a right plum and wanted the ground to swallow me up, but I soon got over that and started to get more confidence as the run went on. I must have said “Well done” about a thousand times and my hands hurt from the continuous clapping but hey, at least the runners only heard it a few times when they ran past! A big shout out to the 55 first timers and the whopping 67 runners who achieved a PB, including my Husband Eddy!
People started to shout “Thank you Marshall” which was really nice, I got smiles, I got thumbs up, I got people mouthing ‘thank you’ to me, it was great to feel that I was helping in some way, albeit small. When I take part in Parkrun, I find that a simple ‘clap’ or ‘well done’ goes a long way and gives me that little boost so I hope at least 1 person felt that it helped.
Runners started to finish and walk back to their cars, it became difficult to determine who was still running, who had finished or who was just having a stroll in Poole Park and at this point, I accidentally missed a lady who wasn’t sure of the route and ran the wrong way, luckily Patrick spotted and re-directed her (you see – volunteer pro!). To the lady I am writing about, I apologise, and I hope this hasn’t put you off taking part again.
I plan to run next week but I was speaking to another volunteer who told me that she volunteers every 10th parkrun which I think is a great idea, I shall certainly be volunteering again as it is a very rewarding thing to do, I got to see everyone which is very rare, I’m usually staring at the floor telling myself to breathe and trying not to pass out!
One observation I had was there didn’t seem to be anyone taking photos. I used to love looking at all the photos from the run each week and trying to find people I knew, it’s a shame this seems to have stopped, if anyone fancies taking pictures and uploading them to the Poole Parkrun Facebook page, I am sure it would be appreciated
I shall stop waffling now and just end by saying to you all…. “Well done!”