It’s officially over a year since I first went to my local Park Run. And I’ve managed to complete 21 Park Runs in total so far. Despite that, I only volunteered for the first time ever at the end of October… Yeah I’m not sure why it took me so long!
It Makes You Speak To New People
I hate this. I really do. But I know that if I don’t push myself to be more confident and speak to new people then I’ll never get anywhere. Sometimes you just need bite the bullet and do something that scares you. Talking to new people is one of mine.
On the morning I rocked up a little earlier than usual so I could say hello and get my information. There were a few other volunteers already there and you know what, it was all fine. I grabbed my first aid kit and radio and headed off to the marshalling spot to wait for the runners to appear. Many said thanks on their way round, and it helped me to start giving them boosts of motivation as they passed.
Perfect For When You Have a Race The Next Day…
This is actually why I volunteered my first time. I had my Saturday morning off, but I also had the Jailbreak 10k on the Sunday. I decided to rest my legs and do a bit of volunteering instead. It meant I still managed to get to Park Run and be a part of it – which is great as a Saturday morning routine of course. Because who wouldn’t want to be stood in a park at 9am on a Saturday?! (Spoiler – it’s actually quite fun)
Your Help Is Always Really Appreciated!
The thing about Park Run is that it is run solely by volunteers. Every week people will give up their time to be your marshalls, to be your time keepers and barcode scanners – and the main person, the race director. Volunteers are necessary to make sure the run is allowed to go ahead safely. I would assume the number of volunteers needed really depends on the place, especially with marshalling spots, but these people are always needed. It’s for everyone’s safety.
I think we have a few volunteers who wouldn’t usually run anyway, but it’s nice to just swap around and give help every so often. My shifts rotate and I work most Saturdays, so it’s always a question of whether I’m on the open or close and whether I can even be there. If I had every Saturday off, I think I would have volunteered earlier. It’s hard when you just want to run and rack up that number count. But know that everyone is grateful when you do volunteer!
My local has a facebook page and they tend to put out a post when volunteers are still needed for the week. I’d imagine most places have a group like this so keep an eye out for when your local is in need! You can also sign up to the volunteer roster/emails to get news, and check on the park run website itself.
Volunteering At Park Run Gets Your Day Off To A Good Start
I know for sure after I’d volunteered I felt just as good as I would have done if I’d run the course. There’s just something about coming together as a group and doing something you all have a passion for. Park Run attracts people of all ages and lifestyles, so you really do get to meet a variety of people. I actually quite enjoyed watching everyone go past me.
But like, even if you don’t speak to anyone (like I didn’t before I volunteered) you feel part of a community. Everyone is there with one goal, and that’s to complete a 5k. Doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting, running, jogging or walking. Everyone is supportive. And it’s great.