Tub on the Run

Marshalling at parkrun


Don’t worry, it hasn’t escaped my notice that lately that Tub on the Run is very much still a Tub, but not so much on the run.  “Tub not on the Run” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though.

Anyway, I’d signed up to marshal yesterday’s parkrun at Killerton (being close to other runners must count for something, surely?!).  I’ve not marshalled parkrun before, and I was a bit nervous about what to expect.

I didn’t need to be too nervous though.  I had been changed from being Marshal 5 to Marshal 4 – one of the furthest points away for marshalling.  While the place where I stood wasn’t too far away, the post started about a mile and a quarter from the finish line.  I realised, quite early on, why marshals choose to wear their running stuff.  I wore jeans and my normal (i.e. my non-running) trainers.  No sports bra.  I don’t care what anyone says, more important (for me) than the right shoes is a sports bra.  I got a bit paranoid about the time, as it was getting on for 8:55am when I had just tied the gate at the furthest point back, so I made a run for it.  With a handbag on one shoulder, the marshal pack in one hand, and boobs in the other, I made an awkward dash for it.  I dread to think what I may have looked like to anyone who may have been there to witness this half crazed, out of puff runner, in the most un-runnerish attire whilst appearing to be groping herself…  It turned out that I needn’t have worried so much.   There was no one around, and the first runners didn’t come through for another 20 minutes (it seems they must have started quite late).

The runners come towards you from here

The runners come towards you from here


And continue running past you, up here

And continue running past you, up here

I really enjoyed it.  For a start, it was nice to see the runners who I never see past the start line (and even then, they’re a blur in the distance), and I was actually quite touched by the amount of people who said thank you, smiled, nodded, or said good morning.  I always try to say thank you, but having close to 237 people saying thank you (just for standing there and marvelling at their speed really) was quite heartwarming.

In amongst the quicker runners was Sharon from Shazruns.  We’ve been commenting on each others’ blogs for some time.  I missed her at my second parkrun where she was on the finishing tokens, and I definitely never see her on the course, as I’m a good 14 minutes slower, but yesterday, I was spotted.  Impressively, not only did she manage to detour slightly to say hi and shake my hand, but she also PBd!  Well done Sharon!!

Next week, Sharon’s volunteering, so I will have some company at the back!

As the last people came past me, I walked along with them, chatting away to a (newly) 7 year old, who told me all about her dog, and how she was pleased to be walking this marathon.  She was very sweet, and her mum was a hoot too.  When I arrived back at the finish tent, I helped take the tent down and some other bits and bobs before heading home.

I’ll look to marshal again in September or October, depending on the diary.  My weekends are getting increasingly fuller as the wedding approaches (less than three months now).  I may start getting a mild panic on about having too much back fat spilling over my wedding dress soon.

Author: Steph

Blogger learning to live a healthier life, losing weight and starting to run.

11 thoughts on “Marshalling at parkrun

  1. I totally agree, about the sports bra! Well done- we know how important marshalls are!

  2. I loved your description of running to your marshaling point. I share your discomfort! Recently I marshaled at our local parkrun, usually I head out with plenty of time to spare – but not this week I was chatting to friends, when we realised we should be heading out to our respective points. We continued chatting as we headed out, when I glanced at my watch … only 5 mins to starting time! Ykes, I was a good km from my point, so a bit like yourself had to run for it. I would have been a great sight – running in my fluro vest over a ‘puffer’ (down filled) jacket holding the cones which I had to place to direct the runners. Lesson learned – never go to parkrun unless in appropriate running attire!

    • Haha! I am glad it isn’t just me (though I didn’t have a coat, but I definitely didn’t need my handbag). I am glad I didn’t have to carry cones too. One of the hardest thing I found was actually going the reverse way around the course – poor run director had to explain it several times to me!

      • haha, I know that feeling too. Also walking the route it looks different to running, or maybe I don’t pay much attention when running. The first time I volunteered a friend and I were walking out to our respective marshaling points – we came to a bend and both said we didn’t recognize it…. so what did we do, walk back to an area we recognized, then ran! Hahaha, the bend was right, we just hadn’t noticed it, or the road next to it.

  3. Great to meet at last. When I marshalled I was number three equally as far to go and my problem was needing the toilet, whilst running that’s dangerous for someone my age. I was totally panicked about making a mess of it all, but like you loved it. See you next week.

  4. Haha! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who supports their girls with an arm or two when making a dash sans sports bra. Love it!

  5. Def tail runner on Saturday, its on the roster!

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