Noticeboard - 13th December 2018

December Volunteer Update


Welcome to this month’s volunteer update! Here is some of the key information for the coming period as we approach Christmas, and the start of 2019.



1 | Lightning


Summer storms are upon us and with these storms often comes lightning, which can be a serious threat to the safety of walkers, runners, volunteers, and spectators.


If lightning is around, the event must be cancelled. If an event has already started then all the parkrunners would need to get off the course and take shelter where it is safe to do so, the event will then be officially cancelled. The decision to cancel is made by the run directors on the day and this decision is final. We ask all parkrunners to respect the decision taken by the run director and to note that the cancelled event will not start (or re-start) at a later time once the danger has passed.


We do recommend the use of a lightning detection app for situations where you are unsure as to the proximity of the lightning. This is called Lightning Alarm and is available for iPhone and Android.


If you feel lightning has the potential to cause any risk at all please cancel your event.



2 | Dis-Chem


After five years of invaluable support we say goodbye to Dis-Chem as a sponsor. Most of our events have received high vis vests branded with Dis-Chem and parkrun.


They must not be given away as they are branded with parkrun and Dis-Chem and should now be destroyed or ethically recycled. If you are unsure about this process please contact us via


3 | First Aid Top-Ups


Should you need to replace any products in your first aid kit please email and we will send you an expense form for your claim.


4 | Head Office Reports


Every week we produce a variety of operations reports to ensure that things are ticking along nicely. See details below of those that directly affect teams:


Events without a tail walker – to confirm that events comply with the compulsory Tail Walker policy and that anyone carrying out the role is a registered parkrunner. Please note that we also actively encourage events to have more than one person carrying out this role at any one time.


RDs carrying out other tasks - We have noticed a few events where the Run Director is participating in the parkrun with fellow parkrunners.The RD has overall responsibility for event safety, and should wholly concentrate on overseeing proceedings throughout the event. Please remember the Run Director does not walk, run or carry out any of the following tasks: pacer, tail walker, timekeeper, barcode scanning, finish tokens or marshal whilst undertaking this role.


First Timer Brief report – the percentage of events logging a volunteer credit for this task. We would like to encourage teams to include this as a stand-alone role on the volunteer template please. It brings new volunteers forward (who may step up to Run Direct in the future) and it shows anyone looking at your roster that you welcome new participants.


VI Guides & Sign Language Support reports – to give us some idea of the level of VI participation and signers in action every weekend. Please endeavour to credit anyone guiding a runner, walker or VI volunteer and/or signing at your event whenever possible and note that you are always welcome to add anyone missed off the roster in retrospect.


5 | Unaccompanied Under-11s


Some interpretations of the under-11 policy have caused a few issues recently so we’d like to further clarify how we expect an event team to act if faced with this situation.


The key thing to note is that you should only ever take action if you witness this yourself and not because of a report from somebody else.


We don’t want teams to scrutinise their results once published, and an unaccompanied under-11 should only be removed from the results as a last resort, and providing that you have completed all of the following first:

  • Emphasise in every first-timers briefing and pre-run briefing that all children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm’s reach) throughout the event by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent’s choice.
  • If you think an under-11 might have been unaccompanied please enquire in a positive and friendly manner, and if appropriate explain our policy and ask them to abide by it next time.
  • Explain to the adult that you have the authority to remove the under-11s result if this is repeated.
  • Log an incident on WebFMS, including names and parkrun IDs if possible, so that we have a detailed record of the conversation.

If you do decide that an under-11 should be removed from the results because this is a repeat offence please write to the family as a courtesy to inform them of your intention first, and also log this as an incident.


If you would like further advice or feel that any situation relating to the enforcement of this policy might cause further issues, we would recommend you contact us first via


We absolutely believe that by keeping the message upbeat in briefings and using positive images of families participating together helps set the tone at our events.



6 | Christmas Compendium


As the festive period approaches we receive increasing questions from the parkrun community as to whether or not specific events are taking place on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.


As such, we publish these details on the parkrun website. Any events that have not yet declared a preference to Head Office are now published as not taking place, if you are in fact planning on holding an event but have not yet told us, please follow these simple ‘special event’ instructions as soon as possible.



7 | Response Times


Between the 22nd of December and the 2nd of January we will only be responding to critical or urgent support matters as the office will be closed during this period.


We urge anyone having any issues processing results to contact us as soon as possible by calling the technical support line on 27 8755 17275. This is particularly important if you are hosting an additional event on either Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.


Our Serious Incident Line 27 8755 04667 will be also available on all parkrun days.


Happy holidays from all of us at Head Office!


Gill Fordyce

COO, parkrun South Africa

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We are all a family

Alison Turrill, 55, loves the sense of community at parkrun and wishes she’d started taking part sooner.    Now she loves catching up with her parkrun friends every Saturday.   There is a sense of community at every parkrun I go to. I love the simplicity and inclusivity of parkrun. Who you are, what you…