It’s all downhill from here...
My name is Emma and I aim to volunteer as a marshal at Sutton Park parkrun at least once a month. I have a favourite spot; Location 10 as I get to tell people that “it’s all downhill from here...”
On Saturday, I arrived at Banner’s Gate at 8:15 and joined the other volunteers. Although it was a little breezy, the weather was pretty much perfect for both the parkrunners and volunteers. Once all the marshals had all arrived, there was a quick briefing and we then headed out onto the course. I walked to Location 10, checked that the course was clear and then spent an enjoyable 15 minutes or so talking to other park users. I may have found time to take some terrible selfies.
I didn’t have too long to wait until I spotted the first of this week’s parkrunners heading towards me. I’m always seriously impressed that everyone makes the Sutton Park course look both so easy and enjoyable. I always look like I’m dying by the time I turn onto the grass section. From the moment the leader sprinted past me, there was a steady stream of runners and walkers, all heading onto the grass section and towards the finish. As a marshal I got to support all 362 parkrunners and a few other runners and walkers, hopefully everyone appreciated my words of encouragement.
While I appreciated all of the slightly breathless shouts of “thanks marshal” and the ‘thumbs up’ from those who couldn’t talk, I’ll let you into a secret... I enjoy volunteering more than running. I love supporting my local parkrun, next time I may be brave and volunteer as a timekeeper.
So why am I telling you about my experience of volunteering?
I’ve tried to be honest about my experiences as a marshal on Saturday. My overall
experience of volunteering was really positive. Marshalling gave me a different perspective on what it is like for all standards of runner and the challenge that every participant faces. It also made me appreciate the efforts of all of the volunteers, from the timekeepers, to the tail walkers to the photographers. Hopefully some of the runners and walkers that I encouraged appreciated my words, and as I said before, I certainly appreciated all of the support I received while I was marshalling. I’ve now volunteered five times and will hopefully join the’25 Volunteer Club’ later this year.
As I left Sutton Park, not all of the week’s parkrun duties had been completed. The event director made sure that all of the signs and cones had been packed away for next week. There was then the not so small matter of sorting out the finish tokens and uploading the results that everyone could receive their eagerly awaited text messages and emails. Did I get a PB? What was our age-graded percentage?
So a massive thank-you to all of this week’s volunteers and to those who regularly offer
themselves up to ensure that Sutton Park parkrun runs smoothly and safely every Saturday.
If you haven’t volunteered yet, I hope that I have shown that it isn’t difficult and it is a lot of fun, please email email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering.
Please take a minute to look at the full run report statistics below; there are some amazing facts about Sutton Park parkrun. And finally, thanks for reading and I’ll hopefully see you next week if I escape from the dentist on time.
Additional note from Saturday's Run Director
Some of you may of noticed the appeal we put out last minute yesterday for somebody to help with tokens.
This was because we had a text from Laura who was on the roster for that role to say that she unfortunately could not make it. For those of you who don't know Laura personally perhaps you have noticed the lovely pregnant lady who is always smiling when running.
Anyway, we had confirmation last night that the reason she could not help with the delivery of the tokens at parkrun was because late on Friday she had a somewhat more important delivery to make ....... a lovely baby boy.
Apparently she woke on Saturday morning to find Mark crying his eyes out looking adoringly at the amazingly beautiful baby they had created and her first comment was ..... "OMG..... I am meant to be volunteering this morning!!!"
Huge congratulations from all of us all at SPp, and don't worry Laura ..... we've put you in for tokens next week instead
And just a word of warning...... I don't want to worry you ladies but Laura also ran at our very first event at SPp.... which was exactly 9 months ago .... beware the power of the "Hill Of Doom"!!