Being a parkrun Volunteer

It’s been a busy few weeks, including a fantastic trip to Denmark. I have also had some good news which I will be sharing shortly, thus my short blogging hiatus. However, this does now mean an influx of blog posts as I have a lot to talk about, including an upcoming competition, a review on raspberry ketone and thoughts on competing under pressure. For now though, it is the turn of a parkrun blog.

Not as a runner this time, but as a volunteer.

For the unaware, parkrun organise free, timed 5k runs every week throughout the country and further afield, with runs now taking part in Denmark, Iceland, Australia and beyond. There is even an organised parkrun at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. My local is Greenwich and I have been going on and off for a couple of years, although I must confess that since moving just 300 yards or so from the park, it has mostly been an “off”. These events are great for everyone and are really friendly; it doesn’t matter if it takes you an hour to walk round or whether you are a super-speedy sub-20 minute runner, all are welcome and all are made to feel welcome.

These events depend on the kindness of volunteers to run and despite meaning to volunteer, I somehow never got round to it. I suspect it’s something to do with the fact that I like sleeping, which is also the reason I’m not too good at actually getting up to run. This is pretty poor of me as I do think that if you are prepared to run and take advantage of this fantastic event, then you should really give up the occasional hour or so a couple of times a year to help out. Anyway, when Greenwich tweeted a call for volunteers last week due to shortages, I decided it was a good time to put something back and put myself down to be timekeeper and my boyfriend to marshal.

It was a drizzly Saturday, but we had a great time. I was shown how to work the stopwatch and luckily managed to log a time for all runners; I had a vision that I was going to miss someone and screw it all up, but luckily this was not the case! I had a frantic moment of “eeeeek! beep beep beep” whenever a group of runners crossed the line together, but I managed them all. It was also great fun actually being able to see everyone finish, especially the front runners as being most certainly not a sub-20 runner, I have never got to see them finish. It was also really good fun watching the field spread along the bottom of the park and the front runners streak ahead as everyone spread out, the back runners also keeping up a respectable pace.

Boyfriend also made himself useful by managing to recruit a curious old man who wanted to know what was going on and could he join in? Yay!

The fellow volunteers were lovely, it was great fun and I have already signed myself up for another stint. A good way to spend a Saturday and I am already looking forward to my next bacon sarnie from the park cafe!

Have you volunteered yet?


6 thoughts on “Being a parkrun Volunteer

  1. Hilly Fields, Hilly Fields! We always like to welcome travelling Parkrunners :) I find the stopwatch role a stressful one, you just can’t chat can you?

    Looking forward to some more blog posts and news.

  2. I’ve been trying to get into more ‘social’ running events. My Learncliki fitness adviser said I should think about parkrun. Did you find it a good way to make friends? Do you know when the next one runs in the south of England? Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Camilla!

      parkrun is great as it is so friendly and runners often have coffee together after, so you can certainly get to know people. They are held every Saturday throughout the country, so it is very likely there will be one near you. Just go to to find your nearest and then all you need to do is register an account and they will email you a barcode. Then just turn up on the day, run and they will scan your barcode at the end to email you your time. Bish bash bosh :) Enjoy!

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