Unfortunately this week’s report takes rather a back seat to some news.
As you are all aware, parkrun is a free event, with volunteers needed to keep the event running and to create a sense of community around our events. The long term health of each event depends on the building a core group of regular parkrunners and volunteers.
Yeovil Montacute parkrun is no different, relying on a Core Team of organisers and a team of volunteers to keep our event running each week.
There are very few rules imposed by parkrun that we need to abide by and all we ask really is that people do listen and follow these few rules.
We are very lucky that National Trust allow us the use each week of their Montacute House property – it is very much a privilege not a right to do so - and again ask that we follow a few rules if we are to continue using the park for our weekly run.
Last Friday we received a message from the National Trust asking that we stopped runners using the balustrades on the Eastern wall at the back of the House to store coats and belongings during the run – the reason being that the walls and built structures around the gardens at Montacute are original features and National Trust needs to ensure minimal disturbance to the walls to preserve them for future generations. On Saturday we were asked to stop runners using the walls in this way and whilst most of you did this without question, unfortunately there was a minority who decided to confront members of the Core Team about this new policy.
In addition, we have frequently made the point highlighting the main rule that we have with parkrun and that is the child safeguarding requirement that under 11s need to be running with an appropriate adult. Unfortunately, and again this is the minority, we have some families who continue to allow their children to run unaccompanied (even after they have been spoken to previously and reported to parkrun HQ) and again there was a confrontation with our Event Director at the finish line.
The net result of this is that our Event Director Neil Biss has made the sad decision that he needs to take a step back and will be standing down as Event Director, and his wife Aime will also be stepping down from the Core Team.
Neil and Aime have been stalwarts of the parkrun from early on, and Neil has been Event Director for the past two and a half years, and both have put an incredible amount of work into making sure our event can run each week – their time with us will be properly celebrated in due course - so this is a real blow to us as the Core Team and to the event as a whole, and we will need to assess how we go forward from here.
It is with regret that the actions of the few threaten what is an incredible weekly event and put a real downer on the team.
The Core Team will be meeting during the week and you will need to watch the News page and Facebook page. We will confirm after that meeting whether the run will be going ahead this coming weekend.
The Core Team