Event Report July 24th – We Are Back!

There were literally tears of joy today as parkrun finally returned to England and the Town Moor. It's been months in preparation, and in the end it couldn't have gone better.

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This week 471 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom a massive 63 were first timers at our event and 34 were total parkrun first-timers - welcome!  67 participants recorded new Personal Bests for this event, no mean feat for an event that's been going since 2010. Representatives of 49 different clubs took part, and we had our biggest ever turnout of volunteers - 50 in total, without whom none of this is possible.

Thank you to all runners for sensible spacing at the start and for seeding yourself in roughly the right order. These aspects worked even better than we hoped.

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Our new pink hi-viz volunteer bibs certainly made for an arresting sight.  Our new route allowed for lots of social distancing at the start, and with no gates until 2km we had no bottlenecks.  The new route was well-received by runners, though we will struggle to remember that "Malcolm's Gate" is now Gate 2 and not Gate 1!

Lining up the barcode scanners near the fence seemed to work well and no queues built up. Russell the Run Director today was also over the moon with the new Virtual Volunteer app, as results were posted before he even finished his first coffee!

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Urban Green Cafe were delighted to see so many runners come along after the race, and the core team retired there for a post-mortem of an event that couldn't have gone better.

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We are always looking to improve, so if you have any ideas or feedback for us do get in touch here.

 

A New Era

We were conscious that it’s been a bit quiet on here lately, so we wanted to update you all on the progress that we’re making towards a restart.
The first thing to say is that all of the interested parties have been very supportive in working towards the return of safe, free, weekly, timed, 5km walk/jog/run events on the Town Moor as soon as possible. Particular thanks goes to our local authority, Newcastle City Council, our landowners, The Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne, Urban Green who, amongst other things, run the café and our neighbours at Wylam Brewery.
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As many of you may know, but some will not, our long serving Event Director Ian Kirtley has decided to hang up his hi-viz after 10 years of dedicated service to us all and we want to take this opportunity to thank him for the huge contribution he made to parkrun in Newcastle.
This week we will introduce you to the new event team so that you know who will be there to welcome you to the Town Moor every Saturday morning.
Look out for news and updates over the coming days and weeks – believe us when we say, as soon as there is something to tell you then we will!
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Help Us Get Up and Running

parkrun is the success that it is because of volunteers cheering, guiding, processing results and making sure we are all safe. After this prolonged break some of our long-serving volunteers have decided to take a well-deserved break, so Newcastle parkrun will be coming back with new faces and new ways of working. Whether you’ve volunteered with us before or not, we’d love you to get involved. We will need more people volunteering every week to ensure social distancing, and to reduce the workload on the core team we would also like to have more people in key roles. You'll get plenty of training and work alongside experienced volunteers to begin with.  So, what are we looking for?

Volunteers on a summer's day in Newcastle!

Volunteers on a summer's day in Newcastle!

Tokens and Scanning

It always takes a little while for new helpers to gain confidence and become proficient, so we’d love some regular team members in the key roles of "barcode scanning" and "finish tokens" (giving out the finish tokens) so that every week we have experienced people in those roles along with new helpers. This will ensure we can process our runners quickly and efficiently and keep them moving. Fancy volunteering regularly in one of those roles and leading the team on the weeks you are on duty? Give us a shout.

Funnel Management

We will be reconfiguring our finish funnel to be one much longer funnel, and it will be more important than ever to keep runners moving along after they finish. You need to be assertive but polite to move runners along efficiently without upsetting anyone.  Willing helpers, please get in touch.

Running and Volunteering

The bottlenecks tend to occur from about 23-30 minutes, so if you run in under 23 minutes, you could run and then join the funnel management or scanning team. You’ll get a credit both for running and for volunteering.

Core Team - Run Directors and Event Directors

Ideally we will have 2 co-Event Directors (EDs) and 6 Run Directors (RDs), so no-one needs to be there every week and the workload is shared. We are delighted to welcome two brand new RDs - Simon and Larry - and are looking for further EDs and RDs. RDs help setup the event on their week, and oversee the volunteers. EDs deal with communication from HQ and field email queries, and can operate as RDs if they want but they don’t need to. Fancy trying this?

For any of the above, please email us on newcastlehelpers@parkrun.com or via our social media pages. We look forward to working together to continue the success of Newcastle parkrun.

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