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Thursday, 18 November 2010

parkrun volunteers are amazing

Simply put, parkrun events would not exist without volunteers.

Each week, at each parkrun event, a group of volunteers ensure that the event runs smoothly. These volunteers are often parkrunners taking a week off from running for the greater good of the event. Most of them would probably prefer to be running, but are willing to make this sacrifice to ensure that everyone else can carry on taking part.

There are also (from my experience) a number of volunteers that never (or rarely) run a parkrun and give of their time freely and generously for the sake of all that take part. I find this, in itself, absolutely amazing. Very often these are the core volunteers. Those that volunteer week after week.

My experience of this is at the Coventry parkrun. Now 40 races old, the Coventry parkrun isn't a new parkrun, but it isn't old either. Lets say its established. Every week I see many of the same volunteers happily showing the way and offering encouragement. I know I'm not the only one that tries to say thank you every time I pass them, but I hope that everyone does eventually. I hope the volunteers hear this offer of thanks from behind my exhausted breath. I think we all owe every volunteer this small offer of appreciation at what they are doing for us each week. A little thank you goes a long way!

Volunteering is not compulsory but very much appreciated. parkrun suggest that volunteering 3 times a year should be about the right level. There are many that volunteer a lot more. I would say volunteering once every 10 to 15 runs seems about fair. By my own rules I probably need to think about volunteering again in the not too distant future. Its not much to give up 1 run in order to get another 15 free parkruns now is it?

As a sign off, I'd just like to say a big thank you to all those people that volunteer at parkrun. And to those that volunteer week-in week-out, you are amazing and I want to thank you for all you do for parkrunners like me. We all appreciate what you do.

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