Belper Harriers Parkrun Takeover – Shipley Country Park – By Sarah J
Our Parkrun takeover was arranged months in advance, but fell on a particularly wet Saturday morning. The night before, I found myself questioning whether a Parkrun had ever been called off for non-stop rain, as it looked like that was exactly what we were getting the next day. However, after a brisk early-morning walk around the course on Saturday morning with Andy Paisley, we were confident that the course was soggy but safe.
A grand total of 26 volunteers from the club turned out to help. Jobs included marshalling, timekeeping, barcode scanning, funnel managing, token distributing, tail walking, pacing, run directing and being ‘Billy Blue Cone’ – the important job of directing people to their second lap or the finish line.
The regular race director, Tara, was very helpful on the day in making sure everyone had the equipment they needed and knew where they needed to be and what they were doing. The volunteer team are clearly very well practiced in all aspects of running the event, which they do pretty much every week. The equipment is expertly packed away so that it can be easily accessed the following week.
We all wondered whether there might end up being more volunteers than runners due to the weather and the England rugby match, but thankfully 111 runners turned up to brave the weather in a range of Halloween costumes – witches, zombies, devils and much more! Two runners were running their 100th Parkrun, showing just how much people love Parkrun and have made it part of their weekly routine.
Shout outs go to Andy Stubbs for the high-vis award (see if you can spot him in the group photo), Wendy Amis for her lovely little witch hat, our bell-ringing marshals, who rang with gusto, and our three mascot dogs who joined in the fun – Pip, Rocky and Simba – Simba even rocking the fancy dress. Our pacers did a great job of accurately pacing their allotted target time, whether or not they had runners around them to pace!
It will be great if we get some more interest in joining our club from the event, but even if we don’t, I think everyone agreed that it was an enjoyable morning of being on the volunteering side for a change, and that cheering on and helping fellow runners was good fun! I will definitely be putting myself forward to volunteer more regularly now, and would like to organise another Parkrun takeover sometime soon – perhaps in the summer months next time?
Thank you so much to everyone that turned out to help – it was a real team effort and a successful morning for Parkrun and the Belper Harriers!