However early I get to the town park when I’m Run Director, it’s never early enough to be there before the pre-event set up gang. And sure enough, the dream team of Pat, Tony, John and Dan were half way through their course inspection when I got there.
Soon the rest of the volunteers were streaming through the gate.
Recently an app called Virtual Volunteer has become available and it was suggested to me that the timekeepers Gerard and Mary and barcode scanners Majella, Marguerite and Ciara use it. I was delighted that some already had the app on their phones and those who didn’t, installed it and were happy to give it a go. A quick trial and we were ready for action.
Séamus and Mary were finish token ready. Marshals Billy and Margaret were in full voice to cheer on the faithful.
As the first timers and tourists arrived Yann was on hand to brief them on the route and make them feel at home. Having welcomed the newcomers and run through the format, it was time to applaud those achieving milestones.
Pamela McLeod reached her 50th.
Pádraig O’ Connor got his 100th. Monica Dillane, a keen volunteer made her 100th and Ellen Mulcahy Lynch finally got her 100th certificate, delayed only by her passion for volunteering. If there were a role for brightening up someone’s day, Ellen fills it every week.
With the sun bursting through the clouds, I blew the whistle and they were off. The volunteers clapped and cheered as park runners ran, jogged and walked around our beautiful green.
VI guides Emer, Tony and John guided Máiréad, Barry and Ross in the sunshine. Gerard was on hand with the camera to capture everyone doing their thing (two albums on our Facebook page, here and here).
First finishers were Iain and Sinéad
Very quickly it was action stations as the first finishers came through the funnel. All the facts and figures are on our Results Page.
And soon tail walkers Doreen and Finola were guiding the final finishers home. Nora was busy with the communications book and filled a page with volunteers for the coming weeks. Mohamed was on hand to take down the course, then it was in to the Brandon.
The cheerful buzz of friends chatting and analyzing their run was intoxicating. Bettina and John were busy sorting the tokens while John, Pat and I were upskilled at results processing with a masterclass from Tony.
The new app was a great success and sped the whole process up. It’d be great if everyone put the virtual volunteer app on their phones for future use. (You can download it from Google Play for Android phones or the iPhone AppStone).
Job done, we were able to sit back and enjoy the assortment of delicious cakes and brownies on hand, thanks Sinéad and Ellen.
Another perfect parkrun. See you next week, when it's Pacer Day and we will also welcome 5KYourWay back to our parkrun - they are celebrating one year on Saturday and you can find out more about them in parkrun Ireland's blog.
Mary Ross A1305173