I think of all the times I’ve been going to parkrun #91 was the funnest for me. You see, it was my first time as Run Director, and what a fun day it was for me!! I have volunteered for almost all the roles... I might be missing a couple, but never for Run Director. I was intimidated, my voice doesn’t carry, I don’t like the spotlight on me, I’m a ‘supporter’ not a ‘leader’, but with a little encouragement from Cam, I decided to give it a try, and if you want a long story short: It was AMAZING!!! But, I know you’ll continue reading because I have a call to action for everyone at the end.
Okay - so there were quite a few people that turned out on Saturday: 47 in all! We had some regulars, lots of first timers, and lots of visitors from within the great State of Washington, National (hello friends from Montana), and Internationals (looking at you my friends from Australia and the United Kingdom)! Because this was my first time as Run Director I wanted to ‘capture’ the moment with a selfie. So I called everyone in and asked them to indulge me while I took a selfie/group picture! I realized when I turned back around that I didn’t need to talk as loud because everyone was RIGHT THERE!!! (high fives to me)
After the run briefing everyone gathered at the Startline and I got to do the count-down “3-2-1 PARKRUN!!” I wish I could say that was the highlight of the day…. But it gets better!
All the participants were off and in that 5-10 minutes where it’s just you and the other volunteers I got the time to chat with them and make connections! (I love making connections!) Thank you Blake Kennedy, Cam Kennedy, Karen Gates, Matt Morgan, Paul Hsu, Ray Arrington, Steve McCarthy and Wendy Sweeney for doing such amazing work - you made my job SO MUCH easier!
As the participants made their loop and headed back to the finish line the real fun began! There was so much going on, I had people talking to me about volunteering for future events (THANK YOU!!!), writing down names and barcode numbers for those who’s barcode wouldn’t scan, and people asking questions in general, celebrating Personal Records, and First-time finishers! I’m very grateful that Cam was there and for all her support she provided! Thanks again Cam!!!
Oh - what was better than the Startline count-down? It was all the people that showed up at Luther’s Table afterwards! I love heading to breakfast afterwards, it’s a great time for getting to know the other participants and making CONNECTIONS!!! For example, I met two ladies who I had seen on the course, but have never spoken to (other than the “good job” that I tend to yell at everyone as they pass me by). Turns out we have quite a bit in common, including the love of Farmer’s Markets! (Hi Dottie and Nancy)
Okay and now my call to action (stepping up onto sewer access perch): If you haven’t had the chance to volunteer for a parkrun event, please put it on your “Bucket LIst”. It truly is a great experience no matter what role you volunteer for. We are all in this together, let’s support one another and the things that we are passionate about - like parkrun. (stepping off my sewer access perch now).
Thanks again everyone for making Saturday one of my Top 10 Most Fun Days this year!
Nikol Gianopoulos, Volunteer Run Director of the Day