On Sunday morning, I did my first Run Director shift at Cardiff junior parkrun. And I loved it.
I started volunteering at the event last year, initially being given marshal roles out on the course, which worked well as my offer to help each week often started with “I will be with a buggy – is that ok?”
The organising team were always friendly, welcoming and supportive, and it very quickly became a regular Sunday fixture in all weathers – a much-enjoyed weekend activity followed by an hour in the playpark and/or chatting in the cafe.
As the weeks went on, I got to try more of the different roles – handing out tokens, giving briefings, funnel management, scanning, timing, processing results, sorting tokens and the rest!
I volunteer at Saturday parkruns a few times a year but usually just as a marshal (with buggy), so it was good to sample all the different roles.
I have genuinely enjoyed them all, and quickly got a sense of how the event all works and experiencing the different perspectives and responsibilities.
It is such a great event and there are always members of the team there to answer any questions or support in any way. Whoever is around or whoever you ask, they will always be helpful!
And that led me to ask a bit more about the Run Director role.
And, over the last few months (while my boy has turned four and has started taking part himself), I have been gearing up for it.
It has involved a bit of admin and learning more about the processes involved behind the scenes, as well as shadowing Run Directors on a couple of event weeks to see how it all comes together.
I was keen to get properly started and was glad this weekend’s first shift finally came around.
I have been scribbling a few lists to make sure I did not forget anything, and it all ran smoothly in the build-up – the emails got sent, the rota got filled, the social media posts were sorted and the scanners were all charged up.
I confess I did have a dream on Saturday night that I arrived to find a funfair had set up on the start/finish line, so I was slightly worried about that happening but it all went fine!
Lots of the core team were around and we have several beloved regular volunteers who know exactly what they are doing so that was brilliant.
The weather was a bit damp and there was a slight issue with a stopwatch, but all went well, everyone was smiling at the end and the results went up ok.
I am delighted to have got the first one done and look forward to many more.
Thank you to all the core team for all your support and encouragement, and to all the volunteers who helped this week.
I am very pleased to be involved in an event that I enjoy and support so much and to be part of a great team.
If you are interested in getting more involved yourself, I can thoroughly recommend it.
You can volunteer whenever suits you and in whatever role suits you – including if you just want to be near the start to welcome your runners back at the finish.
However you can help, it would be hugely appreciated.
And we are always keen for more people to be Run Directors too – just speak to anybody in the team on any Sunday morning or visit this page for more information
Diolch yn fawr pawb!