Hello my lovely parkrun peeps! Foxy here, and I’m back with the second piece in my series on the volunteer roles. This time, we are tackling the roles that allow you to snag a volunteer credit AND complete the event: Event Set-up and Tailwalker. Pulling double duty - how crazy cool is that??!!!!
Event Set-up - If you like orienteering, reading maps, or marking territory, or if you simply want to get a warmup in before the main event, consider the pre-event set-up role. Co-Event Director Nick, who is typically part of the set-up team, is a logistics whiz and has created maps for each end of Roosevelt Island that mark where the direction signs and dimple cones should be placed. In addition to placing the signs and cones, set-up volunteers check for hazards on the course and consult with the Run Director (RD) to determine if an alternative course is appropriate. While this role means you are the parkrun early bird, arriving by 8 am, you get to see the event unfold from the start and then admire your handiwork during your parkrun! Feel free to snap a selfie with one of “your” signs! #RIparkrunVolunteer!!!
Tailwalker - Oh, the joy of being tailwalker! This role is my absolute fave! I promise you don’t need a tail to be a pro at it! You start the event last, enjoy a lovely stroll at the back of the pack, cheer for all the parkrunners you see, and then clean up the signs/cones once you’ve reached the 2.5 km halfway mark! Like a true superhero, the tailwalker also watches over the safety of the parkrunners during the event — of course, a great support team will be at the ready to assist if needed. Just make sure to bring a cell phone and grab one of the safety boxes that contains a list with emergency numbers and numbers of frequent volunteers. If you’ve never tailwalked before, arrive by 8:30 am on parkrunday to make sure you get a chance to speak with the RD beforehand.
These two roles are pretty awesome ways to give back to parkrun and still notch up another event on your tally! I hope you take the opportunity to try them out soon!
Check out the prior article at: Barcode Scanner, Finish Tokens, & Timekeeper
Hey ya’ll! Your furry friend Foxy here, and I’m super excited! Mommy and I checked the Foxy File, and it seems this little puppy is going to earn her V25 purple bandana soon!!!! For those of you not yet familiar with V25, it means I will have volunteered on 25 different occasions at barkrun! High-five to that!!!!
My V25 journey has been a fabulous time, and I’ve gotten to test my paws at the many volunteer roles along the way. So I thought I would write a series giving you all the info you need in case you wanted to try volunteering soon — because, well, giving back is awesome fun!
In this first piece, the 411 on the three finish line roles: Barcode Scanner, Finish Tokens Distributor, and Timekeeper. These roles are a super duper way to dip your paws into volunteering as you get to celebrate with all of the finishing parkrunners! And awaiting the finishers gives you time to chat up your fellow volunteers — who knows, maybe one will be your new BFF (Best Friend Fuuuurrrever)!!!
Barcode Scanner - Are you a fan of the “price check” machines at the store? Then this role is perfect for you! You use a nifty little machine (or your phone if you’ve downloaded the parkrun virtual volunteer app) to scan the athlete barcode and then their finish token. Just listen for the beeps to ensure each scanned! Keep the finish token so we can reuse it at the next event, then hand back their athlete barcode and send them off to coffee with a hearty congratulations! Every now and then, feel free to ask loudly if anyone still needs to be scanned — sometimes the parkrunners need a little time to recover before being scanned, but we don’t want them to forget to be scanned before they leave!
Finish Tokens Distributor - This role is for the person who loves to give, give, give! After cheering the parkrunner down the end of the course, hand them a finish token with a smile and a “good job”! Easy peasy! Just check with the timekeeper every now and again to make sure your parkrunner count is aligned.
Timekeeper - If you like gadgets and gizmos, then might I suggest the timekeeper role? You’ll feel like a coaching pro with the stopwatch in hand (or, if you’ve downloaded the volunteer app, you can use your phone!). After encouraging the parkrunner across the finish line, just click the “lap” button to mark their time. Every once and a while, double-check your parkrunner count with the volunteer distributing finish tokens.
In any of these roles, feel free to hoot and holler for the parkrunners as they come toward the finish line — lots and lots of cheers and smiles makes for a fantastic parkrunday for all!!!!
These volunteer roles are all super easy to learn — just arrive around 8:30 am so the Run Director (RD) or another regular can train you before the masses start arriving. Once the event starts, just ask the RD or your fellow volunteers if you have questions!
I hope you give volunteering a try soon!
'Twas three sleeps before Christmas
And all through the park
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a lark
Whence came Eden and Nick
With the wagon in tow
Spreading dimples and signs
For a 5k to sow
For despite lots of mud
And many long shopping lists
And even though our boardwalk
Had mostly ceased to exist
We had 43 runners
Who were merry and bright
And eager on course
Alternative-1 to alight
And spring round they did
With Ed Spencer back first
No doubt spurred on by
Santa marshalling the course
Special mention to Delia
On her fab stocking-stuffer
Of a new RI record
Atop the ladies roster
After which we retired
To our usual respite
With friends to have coffee
And to share a quick bite
So thanks to all of our
May your holidays flow
With parkrun-ing cheers!
-- Run Director Dominic White
Hey there barkrunners and parkrunner peeps! Foxy here. Did you hear the latest and greatest about New Year’s Day (NYD)?! Fletcher’s Cove parkrun has opted in to the NYD Double extravaganza! With 8:30 am starts at Kensington and Leakin Park and 10:30 am starts at Fletcher’s Cove and College Park, NYD in the DMV+ region is going to be simply parkruntastic!
Now that Fletcher’s Cove has joined the NYD party, this little puppy realized she needed to put her paws to paper to ensure you had the 411 needed to make an informed choice! In case you missed it, my earlier article on Kensington, College Park, and Leakin Park parkruns is available on the RI parkrun news feed. And, while Anacostia is not holding a NYD event, Foxy couldn’t leave them out of her DMV+ round-up, so this article gives you the skinny on Anacostia parkrun too!
Fletcher’s Cove parkrun - if your paws prefer the trails, barkrunning at Fletcher’s Cove will be right up your alley! The flat out-and-back course runs on the C&O Canal towpath, which was formerly used by mules to pull boats. I’ve sniffed and searched, but sadly, there are no mules to bark at on the towpath these days. But, with the scenic C&O Canal beside you and lots of opportunities to give and receive cheers from parkrunner pals, as well as a marshal to high-five at midway, you are bound to leave Fletcher’s Cove parkrun with a smile! Afterward, party on with your new friends at the nearby Black Coffee.
Anacostia parkrun - barkrunning at Anacostia is on the paved Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Whether you are walking, running, rolling with a baby buggy, or happily dancing (hey, no judgment here!) down the asphalt-smooth out-and-back course, you can snag a fabulous view of the Anacostia River in between sharing good vibes and encouraging words with your fellow parkrunners! I’ve heard this course referred to as “flat and fast,” which I think means you have such a rockin’ time that you feel like your 5k was over way too fast! After you cross the finish line (and thank the volunteers, of course!), keep the festivities going down the street at Hype Cafe.
The peeps at Fletcher’s Cove and Anacostia would love to meet you, so I hope you get a chance to visit them soon!
Not planning to be in the DMV+ region on NYD? Click over to http://www.parkrun.us/special-events/ to see if your local parkrunUSA event is holding a NYD 5k!
2018 is drawing to an end.
But before 2019 we begin,
Let's remember the past.
The smiles, the cheers, the laughs.
Through the winter, spring, summer, and fall,
parkrun was there for it all.
Neither cold nor heat nor rain nor snow,
Could curb our deep desire to go.
Over coffee, new friends we made.
Well wishes to others we bade.
At RI, we welcomed many a tourist,
And we greeted new parkruns with a whiteboard flourish!
Valentine's, Halloween, Ugly Sweater day,
CPR training and RI clean-ups along the way.
Teens Run DC and Mike Wardian came to parkrun,
And MCM sign-making was so super fun!
Barkrunners always received lots of cuddles,
And altered courses still had mud puddles!
Cheers, high-fives, and hugs were bestowed.
With joy in our hearts, our smiles simply glowed!
Milestones achieved, hi-viz heroes in capes,
RI parkrun continued to take shape.
Now past our hundredth and anniversary two,
We're sticking around and hope you are too!
-- Poem courtesy of Eden
Congratulations to our RI parkrunners who reached the 50 parkrun milestone in 2018: Joyce, Svetlana, Melynda, Ian, Robin, & Felicity! Well done to our juniors who reached the 10 parkrun milestone: Corbin and Marta! And a great big thank you to all of our volunteers who make parkrun happen each parkrunday, with a special shout-out to the RI parkrunners who reached the 25 volunteer milestone in 2018: Travis, Dominic, Nick, Eden, and Paul!