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. We even try to ensure the finish tokens person has a helper to smooth out any busy times when lots of runners cross the line.
Volunteer Roles: 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!
Volunteer Roles: What does "Marshal" do?
This is absolutely one of the most important jobs you could be tasked with at parkrun. The primary responsibility for the marshals is, of course, to provide all runners with motivation and encouragement in the form of high-fives! Of course, we also ask that you think about the safety of the runners and warn them of any possible problems, for example oncoming cyclists, and generally keep a watch to make sure everything runs smoothly on course.
This role does come with two possible shortcomings:
- standing in the rain
- sore high-five hand (we recommend an alternating hand strategy to avoid serious injury)
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 parkrunners 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
Volunteer Roles: 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.
People do seem to be very hesitant about this role, but it's a lot of fun and you really do not need special equipment! In fact some of the best parkrun photos have been snapped on a smart phone. The event team will organise access to the Facebook page, so your pictorial creations can be uploaded for all to see!
Volunteer Roster: 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org