1. When and why did you first choose to volunteer with parkrun?
I first got involved in parkrun way back in 2010 before Worsley Woods parkrun had started and first volunteered in 2011 at South Manchester parkrun which was my home run back then. Like a lot of runners, I first decided to try volunteering one weekend when I had a race on the Sunday so wanted to take it easy on the Saturday but still go along and be a part of parkrun. My first volunteer role was as a marshal and it was a great opportunity to see the whole field of runners and support everyone as they ran, jogged and walked past me, some clearly gunning for a PB and others enjoying a more social morning out.
2. Which is your favourite volunteer role at parkrun?
I love barcode scanning. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to both run and then barcode scan at Worsley Woods the past two Christmas days and it’s such a lovely way to start the day getting to see everyone after the run in celebratory mood and wearing some amazing fancy dress. Although Worsley Wood is my home run (if those still exist?), I do a lot of parkrun tourism so I’m not “at home” very often and barcode scanning when I am is a great way to catch up with people.
3. What would you say to someone who is unsure if volunteering is for them?
Give it a go! There are lots of volunteer roles available, some you can even do and still get a parkrun in. I know some of the roles – time keeping and barcode scanning especially – can seem a bit scary. I know the first time I acted as time keeper I was worried I might mess up so badly no-one got a time! But even these are actually quite simple and there are always lots of more experienced volunteers around if you need help. Plus, if you’re worried about doing something “technical” there are always other roles which are more straightforward.
4. What are you doing when you're not at parkrun?
Professionally, I’m a solicitor (currently based at my kitchen table!) When I’m not at work (or working at home) I am mostly involved with running in some shape or form. I’m a member of Swinton Running Club and currently act as Ladies Captain. I love competing and take part in races from 400m right up to marathon (the phrase jack of all trades master of none springs to mind). I’ve also made lots of amazing friends through running and I enjoy the opportunity to catch up with them and rehydrate with some wine (don’t the professional runners do that?)
5. What song would be your parkrun anthem (either for volunteering or walk/jog/running)?
So, this will take a little explaining! When my group of tourism friends are travelling to other parkruns, our driver usually has an 80s music radio station playing. Because of this, I now associate a lot of 80s hits with parkun. There are several tracks I could choose but I think I’m going to go for “(I’ve had) the time of my life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warner as it’s a great song to sing along to (which I do, very enthusiastically if not especially in tune!) plus isn’t parkrun the time of everyone’s life (or at least everyone’s week)?