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Is a race a race if…

A. Nobody receives their timings
B. There is no hard evidence of who came where

As I sit here getting my kit together for tonight’s weownthenight 10k, including lacing my timing band to my shoe, I am filled with the dread of what happened this morning…I just can’t stop thinking about it.

I was up at 7.30 to feed Rose, got dressed and made my way to Wanstead Flats parkrun, which I have been doing consistently for a number of weeks now. But today was different, today I would be volunteering…volunteering as timekeeper no less.

When I saw the volunteer rota last night my heart skipped a beat…what a responsibility. It didn’t help that a few months ago I know some of the times were messed up and runners had to submit their own times (well those that had them)

The timing gadget was explained to me when I arrived and then I chatted to runners as they arrived, even joking “if the timings are messed up you can blame me”, well guess what?

As I shouted ready go and pressed the button, I heard it bleep so I thought it was working, but 18 or so minutes later when the first runner came through it failed to bleep, I panicked a bit and the race director came over to help, he got it going by about the time the 6th runner came through. I felt so stupid, but I wasn’t too concerned as the fast runners tend to time themselves anyway. So I carried on bleeping in the runners as they finished their 5ks, all 97 or so runners.

We waited for the final runner to come through, packed up the finish poles and tape and made our way back to the clubhouse. Then the bombshell “nothing has been recorded” WHAT????

I couldn’t believe it. Trust it to happen on my first volunteering shift. We still don’t know who or what is to blame, if the timer was faulty, or I just didn’t follow the instructions properly. But boy do I feel guilty as hell. I feel like I’ve let everyone down.

I know how excited I am to get my official times each week by email, there will be lots of disappointed people this afternoon.

So I just want to say sorry…and I promise I won’t ever go near the timekeeping role again. Perhaps I should become the regular back runner, collecting up the signs…I’m always at the back anyway 🙁

  1. You shouldn’t worry. I’ve just had a new Parkrun start right near where I live and they’ve had timer issues for I think 3 weeks out of 5. Each time they’ve asked anyone who knows their time to email it in, and then they’ve worked out everyone else around them.

    I think for something like Parkrun it isn’t too much of an issue. People who are concerned about their time will time themselves and the spirit of Parkrun is meant to be more about people just getting together and running, rather than chasing down PBs etc.

  2. Oh, class :-/ !!

    Well done for your apology but it doesn’t sound like it was your fault, especially as you had assistance too.

  3. May 18, 2013

    Oh that stinks!

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