I am sure like many runners, I am proud to be a member of my local parkrun community in Lincoln. Going to parkrun has transformed my Saturday mornings, and I know many people say it – but what was life like before parkrun? However the huge success of my local parkrun, and indeed parkrun worldwide, is due to the dedicated volunteers who have helped create accessible, inclusive and friendly running events for communities to enjoy. It was not until I opted for my first turn as a volunteer that I was truly able to stand back and appreciate what an impact parkrun was having on so many people’s lives.
I like to write to encourage people to volunteer at parkrun so they too can see parkrun from the other side, and also appreciate even more the commitment given by some volunteers who are there week in, week out at parkrun events – they are the true core of parkrun. When I volunteer I always feel a little proud to be putting on my high viz vest, like I am doing my bit to make that run happen - which of course volunteers actually are!
The occasions I have volunteered have not impacted my own running or my love for trying to chase down my own parkrun PB. Often I have chosen to volunteer if I have a race the next day and want to rest my legs, whilst other times I have just simply wanted to help out. Recently I have also taken to running to parkrun, volunteering, and then running home. This way I still get any miles in I might have on a training plan, but can also help make parkrun happen.
I am now up to seven volunteer counts, not a huge amount but importantly enough to make difference. My volunteering has seen me handing out finish tokens, marshalling on course and scanning those precious barcodes; there is a role for everyone. Each time I have volunteered I have met someone new to chat to, or have been able to catch up with a familiar face. I have also never failed to be inspired by watching some of the performances from runners throughout the field, and there is nothing more I like than standing at the start and watching the crowd of runners huddled ready to go.
Volunteering at parkrun is simple. There are no prerequisites - just willingness and enthusiasm. It is not hard work, nor is it stressful; it is simply rewarding and fun! I encourage all parkrunners to have a turn - I will certainly be continuing to support Lincoln parkrun, and not just because I have my eye on the purple (my favourite colour) '25' volunteer milestone t-shirt!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...