Skip to content

Volunteer Update - November 2021

November volunteer update

Welcome to the monthly volunteer update for November.

We continue to see events returning around the world, and also new events open up in our 23 parkrun territories. For the first time ever we have had over 1000 5k and junior events taking place in the UK on a single weekend, and we have also seen record numbers of events in Germany, Japan and the Nordics.

Our thoughts go to those parkrunners and event teams in countries where events are yet to return, or are still on hold, and we continue to work to bring back all our events as soon as we can.

Amazing Volunteering Statistics!

It’s easy to become blasé about just what an incredible volunteer driven organisation parkrun is, but here’s a few statistics to remind us:

  • Since July 2021 we have recorded over 390,000 instances of volunteering by 121,723 different people

  • Over 30,000 volunteers had never previously volunteered at parkrun

  • And of those, 7,145 had never walked, jogged or run at a parkrun event before!

We hope you all enjoyed your volunteering experience and felt energised from your contribution to the parkrun family when you did so (that’s what the survey says!)

If you know someone who might enjoy volunteering please do encourage them to come along and join us on a Saturday or a Sunday morning. As you probably know already, you don't have to be a walker or a runner to enjoy many of the benefits parkrun has to offer.

Running the course in reverse

Previously at parkrun, some events occasionally ran their courses in reverse, perhaps once a year on a special event. It’s perhaps worth explaining a few of the reasons why this is no longer permitted.

For insurance purposes, each new course needs to be registered and Risk Assessed. A ‘reverse course’ definitely counts as a new course for us, as potential risks are changed; a cycle path might now be entering the course differently, a steep uphill now becomes a downhill, and a blind corner potentially changes to become more dangerous. Processing hundreds (or even thousands) of new Risk Assessments for reverse courses is a time-consuming task.

Additionally, although it sounds simple, running the course in reverse will also mean that extra signage may well be required for the event.

So we kindly ask teams to ‘keep it simple’ and stick with their regular courses. (And there’s always the possibility of a ‘not parkrun’ in your own time to test out how the course feels in reverse…..)

Christmas/New Year/’Special Day’ parkruns

There are two days in each year where events may stage events on days other than their normal day, New Year’s Day and then on a nominated ‘special day’ in each country. In the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Denmark, France and Singapore this is on December 25th (following the tradition of Bushy parkrun who first held a Christmas Day parkrun all the way back in 2004). You can find the special event date for other countries here. (Note that the two most recent parkrun territories, The Netherlands and Austria, have not yet set their ‘special day’).

Of course this year is a little different, with both 25th December and 1st January falling on a Saturday. Events have the choice as to whether they wish to hold an event on their special day and on New Year’s Day.If the team have declared their intentions that information will be contained in the ‘Christmas Compendium’ which you can find by following this link and clicking on the relevant parkrun territory.

Volunteer Milestone T-shirts

At the beginning of last month we launched the new milestone t-shirts for volunteering, which meant that for every existing walking, jogging, and running milestone club there is now a volunteering equivalent (e.g. jv10, v50, v100, v250, v500).

We’re happy to report that there’s been a great uptake of these t-shirts with over 4000 having been ordered so far, including 16 of the V500 t-shirts! And we’re delighted to see them appearing at events around the world over the past few weeks:

Volunteer Milestone T-shirts

To check your eligibility and to place your order, simply log in to your parkrun profile.

Signing up for the Volunteer Appeal at your local parkrun

If you haven’t yet signed up to receive volunteer updates for your local events, then take the chance to do this when you receive your next results or thanks for volunteering email! It’s so simple - just click on the ‘Volunteer Opt-in’ button (see image below).

Then you will receive an email from the local events you’ve opted into whenever they’re on the lookout for volunteers.

Volunteer Hub

As always, we would really love you to take a look around the Volunteer Hub, where you’ll find all that you need to know about volunteering at parkrun. You can read more about our guiding principles for volunteering here and learn about the different roles that are required for parkrun events.

In addition, the parkrun Safeguarding Hub contains everything you need to know about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults at parkrun events.

Thanks for reading, and until next month, wherever you are in the world, stay safe, keep active, and if you’re close to a parkrun event that’s open - see you at the weekend.

Meet parkrun Volunteer Olwyn Dunne

“Volunteered at Ringsend juniors this morning, beautiful autumn day 🍂 and so many happy smiley kids and volunteers. The best start to a Sunday.”

Volunteer Olwyn Dunne

Thanks for reading, and until next month, wherever you are in the world, stay safe, keep active, and if you’re close to a parkrun event that’s open - see you at the weekend.

James Kemp