The huge success of my local parkrun in Lincoln, and indeed parkrun worldwide, is due to the dedicated volunteers who have helped create accessible, inclusive and friendly running events for communities to enjoy. I volunteered for the first time at Lincoln parkrun in April earlier this year (read more here), and I enjoyed the experience greatly. Volunteering that week gave me real sense of satisfaction and I felt pride that I had helped to make that week’s event a possibility.
Since my first stint in a yellow high viz volunteer bib I am now up to five 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; and through all of these roles it’s been a fantastic way to fully appreciate the impact parkrun is having on people. 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.
My five turns at volunteering 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 a bit, whilst other times I have just simply wanted to help out. I am still however amazed and grateful of the commitment given by some volunteers who are there week in week out at parkrun events – they are the true core of parkrun.
All runners are encouraged to give back to their local parkrun event by having a turn at volunteering; through the sheer size of the parkrun movement, if every parkrunner can spare a few Saturday mornings a year I imagine those rosters would soon fill up! I thought about writing this blog as we enter the busy Christmas/New Year period when I know parkruns all around the country will be seeking those extra special people to stand out in the cold and ensure we all get to run. Volunteering at parkrun is simple, and in keeping with the parkrun ethos, anyone is welcome and there is a role to suit everyone. It’s not hard work and I promise you will enjoy it! So as we enter the season of goodwill I encourage all runners out there to think about giving back to their parkrun event - especially if you haven't yet done so - and be a part of spreading that parkrun cheer!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...