Robert Francis stumbled upon Waterstown parkrun by accident. Now a keen parkrunner and regular volunteer, he tells us all about his parkrun journey.
Soon it will be my 200th parkrun. It should have been sooner, but that’s what happens when you forget your barcode!
So it has been an interesting and wonderful journey. parkrun has got me into a ‘fit-for-life’ attitude and has also helped start up my running journey, as well as a new running club.
If you are an early riser like myself, you can see the benefits of getting involved with parkrun and especially with volunteering.
I got started in Waterstown parkrun. I used to walk the dog there, and take photos of the park in order to help promote our Waterstown Park facebook page.
I realised that every Saturday morning a lot of people were gathering in the park and, with camera in hand, I started taking photos.
I asked questions about what was going on and, as they say, the rest is history and my parkrun journey began. For me, I couldn’t do something without getting more involved and, as an early riser, I would give a hand with the set up and then with the take down.
It’s a great feeling, having such a fulfilling Saturday morning.
But I had a dilemma – I loved the partaking in parkrun but also enjoyed the volunteering roles. So the set up was a handy number for volunteering, as I didn’t mind the early start.
Being there early you would start noticing visitors and new people arriving and “a stranger is a friend that you just haven’t met yet”.
It was great meeting new people starting their parkrun journey, and visitors from near and far with some incredible and interesting stories.
So I discovered that there are plenty of ways to volunteer and still do the 5k. Set up and take down are obvious. Setting out the course markers is a great way to warm up prior to your parkrun.
Processing photographs was another task and fortunately nowadays with modern phones the quality is fantastic and so easy to upload.
A good Tail Walker is a good listener and you get to hear a lot of interesting life stories.
I have done lots of parkrun tourism also, made friends for life and helped people on their parkrun journey, and trust me you get more back than you give.
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