Sligo parkrunner Marion Davis found parkrun after joining a local annual walking programme. Accompanied by her dog Shadow, she’s since gone on to complete 100 parkruns and become an integral part of the core team at Silgo parkrun. Now a regular Run Director, she tells us her story.
In January 2016 I completed the annual ‘Operation Transformation’ walk and on reaching the finishing line was handed a flyer advertising Sligo parkrun. I decided to give it a go.
I had never done anything like this before, but the core team and volunteers were very supportive. As the weeks went on I got to know more people. I felt really at home. In those early days, I was bringing up the rear but getting as much encouragement from the volunteers as if I had come in first.
When the weekly request for volunteers went out I decided to give it a try. I learned about the different volunteer roles and the importance of each one. I know first hand how much the support and interaction of the volunteers with the runners means and I tried a number of different roles. All the runners/walkers at parkrun are there for different reasons, and we have lots of tourists who always feel at home joining the Sligo parkrunners.
One day, Run Director Jim asked me if I would be interested in finding out more about what the core team does ie: preparing the results, thanking the volunteers, sending out a run report to parkrun Ireland, organising the next roster etc. It was so interesting to see how it all worked and when there was an opportunity to get trained up I was delighted to take the chance.
And, as they say, the rest is history! Now I have completed 100 parkruns and 51 volunteering positions – a number of them as Run Director.
There is a little bit more work to be done when you’re run director but it’s not difficult. You can do it too! Why not put your name down to train? Or come along after the run and see what the role entails. I’m so proud when I’m Run Director and I can see all the runners, walkers and volunteers enjoying the experience. The worst thing that can happen is a very wet day and you feel sorry for the volunteers that are helping you, as you know the runners don’t mind the rain. Remember, Run Director is just like any other volunteer position. You can do it. I did. And I still had time to run and achieve my goals.
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