Dear new parkrun Event Director,
You work hard. Really hard. You have found a location. You have applied for and finally received your permit from local authorities. You have miraculously found the money, and it was like finding a pot of gold at the bottom of a rainbow. Through all this, you have often felt like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.
When you think the worse is behind you, Euan sends you the Event Template. And that’s when you realize there are lots of details you haven’t thought of. Weeks later you send out the finalized version of your Event Template, full of pride for having completed the paperwork, looking forward to seeing your webpage. And then Euan sends you the Risk Assessment. And that’s when you realize there are still TONS of details you haven’t thought of.
And then you start receiving all your equipment. You are excited with each parcel you receive, at the same time, each parcel brings a bit more stress. This is real now! There is no turning back! This is really happening!
Finally, you get to see your parkrun webpage for the first time and your parkrun Facebook page. By now you have already told everyone you know about it. Now it’s time to tell everyone you don’t know!
Then you get your training with Euan. By the end of it, after opening different software, plugging and unplugging a few wires, pressing and clicking many buttons, you kind-of know what you should be doing to process results, sort-of.
As you get nearer to the launch, you get more stressed. You have sleepless nights wondering if you will have enough volunteers, if you will even have participants showing up, or what if hundreds of them come?! You wonder what you got yourself into. Did you really need this stress in your life? Is this really worth it?
The answer is YES!!! It is worth it! Every second of it!!!
Each Saturday morning, when you will see volunteers arriving, eager to do whatever they can to help you make this event a success, you will know it was worth it.
Each time you will see a new parkrunner coming to the start line, with the look of a 6 year old on his first day of school, not sure what they should be doing with their barcode, you will know it was worth it.
Each time a parkrun tourist will come to your event, with the biggest smile and biggest enthusiasm, someone who has often experienced more parkrun events then you did, you will know it was worth it.
Each time a parkrunner will sprint to the finish line to try to beat his/her personal best time, you will know it was worth it.
Each time a parkrunner will go home after the event, with a smile, with pride and with satisfaction, you will know it was worth it.
Each time you will recognize the face of a returning parkrunner, someone who really enjoys parkrun, who is so happy to have heard of your event and is so grateful to have the help of parkrun to find the motivation to start his/her weekend being active, you will know it was worth it.
Dear new parkrun Event Director, may your event become a success and make you feel proud that all your hard work really did pay off.
Frédéric Back parkrun Event Director
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