The volunteers make parkrun happen; they run the local events.
They do all of the high-profile tasks at the event (like marshalling, timing, result recording, etc), and all the behind-the-scenes roles too.
Whatever you want to do, there is a role for you.
What are our Volunteer Roles?
The Event Director takes overall responsibility for their event and can be considered the chair person of the local team. Most Event Directors (though not all) will act as Run Director on a pretty frequent basis.
The Run Director is in charge of a particular event on a specific day.
They have ultimate responsibility for deciding whether or not the conditions are suitable for the event and with advice from the other volunteers may decide to modify the course (because of new hazards, for example), delay the start, or even in exceptional circumstances cancel the event that day (very poor weather being the most common reason for this).
The Equipment Deliver & Storage volunteers are responsible for ensuring that all the equipment is stored safety during the week and is delivered on time to the event.
The Event Day Course Check involves checking the entire route is safe to use on the day of the event.
The Pre-event Setup volunteers help the Run Director prepare for the event. This may include the placement of equipment around the course, setting up the start/finish area including the finish funnel, and placing signs and/or cones to indicate the route.
The First Timers Briefing volunteer will speak to new participants and tourists explaining how we operate and welcoming them to the event.
The Sign Language Support volunteer signs the first timers briefing and the pre-event briefing for our deaf and hard of hearing participants.
Marshals guide and encourage the participants around the course warning them of any obstacles or hazards, as well as ensuring that other park users are aware of the event. They are also the eyes and ears of the Run Director out on the course.
Marshals perform a crucial function; if there aren't enough marshals then the event can't go ahead. So if you're taking part and see them out on the course, please say thanks (particularly if it's wet, windy or cold) and always follow their advice.
A VI Guide accompanies a visually impaired parkrunner around the course and receives both a run credit and a volunteer credit when carrying out this role. This role should also be applied when supporting a volunteer with a visual impairment.
The Tail Walker stays right at the back of the field and should be the last person to cross the finish line ensuring that everyone is accounted for. They are encouraged to carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies. They let any marshal out on the course know that they can collect nearby signs and leave their post. Volunteers undertaking this role receive both a run credit and a volunteer credit.
This role is compulsory in some countries but please note that not all events in our parkrun world have a tail walker.
The Timekeeper is responsible for recording the finish times of all the participants at the event.
The Finish Tokens volunteer is responsible for handing out position tokens to all participants. They may be assisted by Finish Tokens Support.
The Funnel Manager is responsible for the smooth operation of the finish funnel.
It's vitally important to our recording system that participants stay in order after they cross the line, so that we keep their time in sequence with their finish token.
Barcode Scanning volunteers scan your personal barcode, followed by the barcode on the finish position token.
The Number Checker is responsible for recording (but not correcting) discrepancies that may arise between the timer and the tokens that are given out.
The Results Processor is responsible for bringing together the times and positions and uploading them to parkrun HQ for publication.
The Warm Up Leader carries out a basic warm up routine to get both minds and bodies ready for our junior parkrun events.
Lead Bike cycles ahead of the front participants to show them the way and to advise other park users that parkrunners are on the way.
We strongly advise all bike riders to wear the appropriate safety gear, especially a properly fitted cycle helmet.
Pacer volunteers (5k only) agree to identify themselves to the other participants (by wearing tabards or carrying pacer flags), and try to complete the course in the agreed time, as evenly paced as possible.
Please note that not every event has pacers.
The Post Event Closedown volunteers help pack away all the equipment.
The Token Sorter sorts the finish tokens into the correct order ready for next week.
The Volunteer Co-ordinator maintains the volunteer roster ensuring that there are enough people to fill all the roles each week.
The Run Report Writer produces a written summary of the event which is uploaded to the news page of the event website.
Photographers capture images of our events in order to help us to inspire other people to engage in physical activity and to redefine what it means to be active. This imagery also provides a means for historical recording of our events over time. All volunteer photographers are required to follow our Photography and Filming Policy.