Saturday, 18 February 2012

My morning devoted to parkrun

It was a morning completely devoted to parkrun - perfect!

I was volunteering today so no run for me, but if we all do our bit then that means I can enjoy my weekly parkrun fix for weeks and months to come until its comes round to my turn again.

Our fantastic parkrun event and race director, Jason Douglas, was taking a very well deserved week off this week. As soon as I had heard about this a few weeks ago I was happy to put myself forward to volunteer this week, not as Race Director, but to help this week's Race Director out on Numbers and the Website results upload.

This morning started early compared to my normal parkrun weekend start time, I suppose it does each week for every parkrun Race Director. I was in the park just before 8am ready to help with the course set-up process. Direction and kilometer markers were put out (one of which it turns out I didn't hammer in enough!) and the course was checked to ensure there were no obstacles. Thankfully the course was in tip-top condition, with none of the snow and ice of recent weeks.

There were several tables and some other signs to be put up. But mostly milling around looking for other small jobs and saying hello to people as the runners started to appear ready for their run.

I was lucky enough to meet up with Richard Hill, a Brueton parkrunner and regular contributor to this blog, on a parkrun tourist trip to Coventry. I hope to do the return trip to Bruteon parkrun in the spring or summer if possible. It was really nice to meet you Richard.

The parkrun went off after a 5 minute delay due to toilets not being open, and then I just had to cheer people through for the next 18 minutes waiting to start my next role, handing out the numbered barcodes at the end of the finishing funnel. I am so glad that it was warmer today than recently. The hand that I was giving out the barcodes with was numb with cold by the end. What must this have been like when it was 20 degrees colder last weekend?

Then onto my third role of the day, the website results upload. Three of us have been doing this each week for the last month or so, each time under the watchful eye of the usual Race Director, but this time we were on our own. Thankfully, between myself, the timer and the number checker there hadn't been a single mistake, so the results upload was pretty straightforward. There was the oddity of three people finishing in 4th position, but once we realised that 2 of them were the person scanned in testing prior to the start, this was soon resolved and the results upload was completed. It was still a relief when my brother confirmed that he had received his text and all the information was correct. Fingers crossed that was the same for everyone.

So you would think that this was the end of my parkrun day, but no. After heading home and a very quick change, I couldn't resist popping back out for a parkrun freedom run. And one parkrun freedom run became two, as tends to happen for me and my brother. We ran at a pretty comfortable pace for 2 back-to-back parkrun freedom runs at a little over 24 minutes each, finishing at exactly midday to complete a very satisfying and enjoyable morning devoted to parkrun.

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