What do the volunteers do?

EVERYTHING!

The volunteers make parkrun happen; they run the local events.
They do all of the high-profile tasks at the event (like  timing, result recording, etc), and all the behind-the-scenes roles like PR, and results processing.
Whatever you want to do, there's almost certainly a role for you.
Volunteering at parkrun should be fun; if you are at all concerned about trying a role please let the Event Directors know so they can put your mind at rest.

What are our Volunteer Roles?

Your Event Directors are Kate Winnen and Timothy Marshall.
They can be thought of as the project managers of the local team. The project being ensuring that participants get to enjoy a free, weekly timed 5K run every week come rain or shine. As well as being Event Directors they often take on the role of Run Director or other volunteer roles. Sometimes, on very special occasions they get to have a run.

The Run Director is in charge of the run on a specific day.
They have ultimate responsibility for deciding whether or not the conditions are suitable for the event and with advice from the other volunteers may decide to modify the course (because of new hazards, for example), delay the start, or even in exceptional circumstances cancel the event that day (very poor weather being the most common reason for this).
They are also responsible for organising the team of volunteers, along with the Event Directors

What does Pre-Event Setup do?
This is a behind the scenes role, meaning you could both perform this role and run.
Volunteers in this role help setup the event. They often help to pack up at the end

What does Tail Runner do?
The Tail runner stays right at the back of the field and should be the last person to cross the finish line ensuring that everyone is accounted for.
They are encouraged to carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies.
Volunteers undertaking this role receive both a run credit and a volunteer credit.

What does Finish Tokens do?
The finish tokens role is fairly straightforward, and if you've run at parkrun before, you've definitely run into this guy/girl. The finish tokens volunteer is the one that hands out your finishing position token once you have crossed the line. Simple as that.

What does Barcode Scanner do?
The barcode scanner role is another that you've definitely dealt with if you've run at parkrun before. The barcode scanner volunteer scans everyone's barcode and finishing position at the end of the run, or manually record details if there is a problem with scanning. The scanner unit has only one button to press, so hopefully nothing can really go wrong! If it's appropriate, these volunteers may also help sort the finishing tokens into order for the next week's event.
The downside to this role: you get to handle lots of sweaty barcodes. To be honest, that's about as bad as it gets with any of the volunteer roles!

What does Timekeeper do?
Timekeeper is one of the easiest jobs at parkrun, but also one of the most feared. The timekeeper is in charge of the stopwatch for the event, and whilst the role is just pushing one button every time someone finishes their parkrun, the responsibility of recording everyone's time can make this feel much more difficult than it actually is. Our timekeeper also works with "Finish Tokens" to keep everything in sync and ensure the right athletes get the right time.
As with all of our roles, we keep a "cheat sheet" of instructions in the box with all of our run kit, and our run director has a reasonable knowledge of how to operate the stopwatch and is available to help whenever needed.

Key attributes that we look for when filling the role of timekeeper are:

  • enjoys parkrun and encouraging runners over the line
  • can press a button
  • knows left from right

What does Photographer do?
"Wait!" I hear you say. Isn't it obvious?
Well, yes it is. The photographer takes photos. As simple as that. The photographer is the most autonomous role we have, free to roam the course as they like and take complete creative license with making a pictorial record of each event. The only guidelines are really that we want to capture both the community and park parts of parkrun, and as many runners as possible.
We have a camera available for use (please let us know before the event if you need it - we should have it anyway but just to be sure) if you don't have your own.
Responsibility for uploading photos to a facebook album can either be taken by the photographer if they want, or one of the run directors can organise to do this if preferred.

How do you know if we need more volunteers?
There are a few ways that you can find out how the schedule for volunteers is looking. Email portfairyoffice@parkrun.com or facebook message both work to get in contact with us, and we can tell you what the current plan is.

We also keep the future roster on our website, and keep it as up to date as we possibly can. You can check the website roster at any time if you are thinking of helping and want to see which roles have been filled.

If you are interested in any volunteer role, please email us at portfairyoffice@parkrun.com

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