Parkrun: 60th time running; 63rd time volunteering

I said last week that I was thinking about running parkrun this week. A few days ago, I got cold feet and emailed to say I’d do the finish tokens after all – no one was down on the roster.

The volunteer coordinator replied that that there was a queue to do the finish tokens, so I could run after all.


Another email came through: could I do the first-timers’ briefing?

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like public speaking, but I said I would give it a go. I knew there was a card with the script on it, and it was unlikely to be a massive group. I agreed to do it.

First timers’ welcome

This morning, I was nervous, but not as nervous as I thought I’d be – perhaps because I’d told myself it would be just like a conversation. Just before it was time to go, I had a rush of adrenaline and felt the urge to disappear. But I didn’t; I gathered myself a group of first timers.

The group was a mix of people new to Littleport parkrun and people new to parkrun. I hope I made all ten of them feel welcome.

I emphasised the non-competitive nature of parkrun for the benefit of the newbies to parkrun, and went through the palaver with the finish tokens and the barcodes; they’d all remembered their barcodes.

I went through the course with them, making sure they understood to keep left at music corner and to go all the way up to the school at the end so as not to cut the last corner off.

Everyone seemed happy enough at the end, so I couldn’t have made too much of a mess of it.


After the parkrun briefing from the run director, it was time to run.

The fields were muddy, particularly at the entrances. The sinking sticky slipperiness was energy-sapping, and I struggled my way round the two laps.

Colin, who finished long before me, joined me in running the last little loop to the finish funnel. That gave me a little boost to finish in 35:39, which, everything considered, I’m quite pleased with.

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