It was a cold, dreary night at the South Pine Community Church and the evening crew had just finished a tough session. I asked the team if they had any suggestions or ideas they wanted to raise at next week’s committee meeting. The fabulous Liz Gordon piped up and suggested that seeing as there are many striders that participate in Warner Lakes parkrun each week, then why don’t we offer our support to provide pacers once a month like other parkun’s do. I brought this great idea to the committee who were very supportive of the club offering our services to the good people of Warner Lakes. I made contact with the race directors who eagerly accepted our offer.
It was agreed that our pacing duties would begin on Saturday, 02 September 2017. This date coincided with their second birthday, and also the first parkrun of the month. Pacing bibs were ordered and volunteers called upon. The roster was filled almost immediately by striders eager to pace parkrunner’s to personal bests! The first pacing gig was an overwhelming success and set the tone for the months to follow. Not only were our pacers absolutely amazing with their pacing accuracy, but they did so with smiles on their faces and encouragement along the way. I admit I was a bit apprehensive as to whether this momentum would continue. But each month as the call goes out for volunteers it is usually less than 24 hour before all the positions (all nine of them!) are filled. I don’t know many other parkrun’s that consistently provide nine pacers each month, but ours does!
The first Saturday of the month is now affectionately known as ‘pacer week’, and is embraced with open-arms by the Warner Lakes parkrun community. Our club has established a great rapport and our support is appreciated by many. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from all involved and I am genuinely excited to be a part of it each month. So far we have provided 45 pacers across five pacing duties with approximately 26 different members volunteering to date. If you would like to get involved then feel free to send me a message and I will get you sorted.
Lastly, while I may be the one organising the pacers each month, it was Liz who volunteered this great idea. I am simply piggy backing off her ingenuity. Well done Liz for such a great suggestion. The success of our involvement started and continues with you J
Anthony Fuster – Evening Crew Coach.