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Parkrun..

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  • Mais oui, mais oui.




  • Boards 2022 trip to parkrun Paris.




  • robinph wrote: »
    What issues do you see?

    People who don't possess a smart phone not being able to do scanning as a volunteer is a change to the inclusiveness of parkrun, they are aware of that change though. For now that is a change that would be necessary to be able to get parkrun back at all.

    Are there other things?

    My own experience with parkrun and junior parkrun, including a (short) while on the RD roster, is that the biggest and most time consuming weekly task is filling the volunteer roster. I know some events have a bigger problem than others with this, but there’s certainly little to suggest that volunteers will suddenly become more plentiful, after the excitement of the first few weeks of resumed activities abates. If anything, the challenge will be greater, and there will be more roles that some volunteers won’t want to do. Arguably tokens are the weak link, and until someone figures out a volunteer-friendly way to handle them, token duties will probably join scanning and timekeeping among those roles that are often avoided by the more casual or occasional volunteers.

    I know all of these things are probably surmountable, once the guidance and regulations make a return possible, but I would be surprised if the overall volunteer problems aren’t exacerbated.




  • As an RD I have no problem in telling people at the run brief sorry no run today not enough volunteers on the rooster to do it safely so yeah can all go home unless some people step up.

    The one time I have done this the roles where filled on the spot and I had a plenty who stepped up for roles for the following week after the run.




  • ger664 wrote: »
    As an RD I have no problem in telling people at the run brief sorry no run today not enough volunteers on the rooster to do it safely so yeah can all go home unless some people step up.

    The one time I have done this the roles where filled on the spot and I had a plenty who stepped up for roles for the following week after the run.

    I'd have no problem doing this either if I was still an RD. Doesn't necessarily go down well with all EDs though, or with parkrun HQl, from what I've heard anecdotally from one or two others.


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  • Murph_D wrote: »
    I'd have no problem doing this either if I was still an RD. Doesn't necessarily go down well with all EDs though, or with parkrun HQl, from what I've heard anecdotally from one or two others.

    As ED myself I have no problem with this. If there is not enough volunteers to safely run the event then it should not go ahead. HQ will never have a problem with this approach. The communication I have ever got from them is that the event should only proceed if its safe to do so and the RD on the day has the overall say in this regard.




  • ger664 wrote: »
    HQ will never have a problem with this approach.

    That is not my understanding which is admittedly anecdotal (via brother who is RD). I heard HQ were not happy with an event being cancelled. It may be the same event that murph d alluded to in his post.




  • Pawwed Rig wrote: »
    That is not my understanding which is admittedly anecdotal (via brother who is RD). I heard HQ were not happy with an event being cancelled. It may be the same event that murph d alluded to in his post.

    HQs preference is for events to proceed with the health and safety roles covered. i.e. untimed.




  • Duzzie wrote: »
    HQs preference is for events to proceed with the health and safety roles covered. i.e. untimed.

    Junior parkrun is stricter. Event cannot proceed in any form without marshals, and you need a lot of marshals (all runners must be in sight of at least one).




  • Duzzie wrote: »
    HQs preference is for events to proceed with the health and safety roles covered. i.e. untimed.

    Initially at least, scanning of barcodes is a health and safety issue. Knowing who has participated is going to be one of the main things they are using to justify their return to the various government bodies and local authorities around the world.

    But if they need 15 people scanning I don't think getting two people timing is going to be an issue. Faster finishers should make sure they have their phones on them and jump in to scan at the end.


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  • Duzzie wrote: »
    HQs preference is for events to proceed with the health and safety roles covered. i.e. untimed.

    Yes that would be the case once you had your mandatory roles covered.

    I have been it the situation of been short a Marshall and Tail walker.

    In the covid-19 framework I would expect that barcode scanning would now become a mandatory role and an event could not proceed without the role been filled




  • You can only scan them if they've been handed out!




  • ger664 wrote: »
    Yes that would be the case once you had your mandatory roles covered.

    I have been it the situation of been short a Marshall and Tail walker.

    In the covid-19 framework I would expect that barcode scanning would now become a mandatory role and an event could not proceed without the role been filled

    Parkrun is not a race so timing not important.

    Anyone looking for a time will have their own timing device




  • Murph_D wrote: »
    You can only scan them if they've been handed out!

    Handing out position tokens would always have been a requirement for a parkrun to go ahead, it didn't happen if you don't record who was there. But even more now they would need to know who was there.

    There have been a couple of instances of events not being timed, although most times this is actually due to a stopwatch failure rather than nobody being there to press the button on the stopwatch.

    Timing can be considered optional, and some marshal positions on some courses could even be considered optional, but recording who was there I think has always been about the most vital position for the event to be able to call itself a parkrun. If that be PSHCBEFRSE with a pen and paper, or people handing out tokens that are then scanned on a phone app.




  • Parkrun is not a race so timing not important.

    Anyone looking for a time will have their own timing device

    But the scanning will probably be required for the contact tracing of people if there's a case ata parkrun so it may become such a role, not for the timing but for covid procedure.




  • chinguetti wrote: »
    But the scanning will probably be required for the contact tracing of people if there's a case ata parkrun so it may become such a role, not for the timing but for covid procedure.

    Exactly this. Don't care about my times, want to see my parkrun friends, want us all to be safe. You absolutely need to have contact tracing.




  • The scanning could be done by having a few devices on stands like a smaller version of the self checkouts in supermarkets. I'm not sure how they could hand out the chips.

    In the medium term I can't see it working unless parkrun change their model a fair bit. First come first served of a maximum of what ever the guide lines at the time allow, sign a form saying you don't have a fever, in contact with anyone with covid etc. Pick up a chip, then have chip timing like any race, return the chip after the run. I can't see this happening




  • chinguetti wrote: »
    But the scanning will probably be required for the contact tracing of people if there's a case ata parkrun so it may become such a role, not for the timing but for covid procedure.

    Could use an app or the hse app.

    No reason for scanning.




  • Could use an app or the hse app.

    No reason for scanning.

    If people do parkrun, most will want a time I would guess so it may not be parkrun as it was then. I do think that people could time themselves and that fixes that issue and you could have a mixture of the old way and not parkrun of compiling results. But that would be a slow process for RDs each week.

    I know a few on here thought I was overly harsh saying that the parkrun would have trouble getting people to volunteer a couple of weeks back but I do think that will be the case. Not because of parkrun the organisation but because of people.

    There appears to be more and more who are vectors of Covid and are just passing on the virus and not enough is known about it yet. If someone is after exercising and then stops, they will be out of breath and sweating. Both your breath and your sweat in droplets from your mouth or your body can spread the disease. That makes scanning an issue as that is the closest volutneers are to runners/walkers and the highest risk area in my mind.




  • chinguetti wrote: »
    If people do parkrun, most will want a time I would guess so it may not be parkrun as it was then. I do think that people could time themselves and that fixes that issue and you could have a mixture of the old way and not parkrun of compiling results. But that would be a slow process for RDs each week.

    I know a few on here thought I was overly harsh saying that the parkrun would have trouble getting people to volunteer a couple of weeks back but I do think that will be the case. Not because of parkrun the organisation but because of people.

    There appears to be more and more who are vectors of Covid and are just passing on the virus and not enough is known about it yet. If someone is after exercising and then stops, they will be out of breath and sweating. Both your breath and your sweat in droplets from your mouth or your body can spread the disease. That makes scanning an issue as that is the closest volutneers are to runners/walkers and the highest risk area in my mind.

    The virus isn't spread through sweat.
    As the new coronavirus is spreading, be cautious about all possible exposures, including at the gym or fitness center. The virus isn’t spread through perspiration (sweat), but items touched by many people (barbells, etc.) could pose a risk

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-frequently-asked-questions#:~:text=As%20the%20new%20coronavirus%20is,.)%20could%20pose%20a%20risk.


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  • MY BAD wrote: »
    The scanning could be done by having a few devices on stands like a smaller version of the self checkouts in supermarkets. I'm not sure how they could hand out the chips.

    In the medium term I can't see it working unless parkrun change their model a fair bit. First come first served of a maximum of what ever the guide lines at the time allow, sign a form saying you don't have a fever, in contact with anyone with covid etc. Pick up a chip, then have chip timing like any race, return the chip after the run. I can't see this happening

    The scanning using the app isn't a problem as the person doing the scanning uses their own phone, the parkrunner holds both the barcodes out and then drops the position token in a bucket. No need for any contact between parkrunner and scanner or for anyone to touch anything.

    Handing the position tokens out is the weak point that does require contact between an item that two people will touch, but it's really not too tricky to work around. Tokens are cleaned after the previous use, given to token hander outer, token hander outer takes token and give it to parkrunner, potentially have the token hander outer wearing gloves but that significantly slows down the speed of handing out at the massive events...which is why finish funnels need to be extended. parkrunner then gets token scanned and drops it in the bucket to be cleaned.

    There are issues with the cleaning and sorting of tokens is then something that can't be done in the cafe afterwards so will fall on the RD/ ED presumably, but if a way to resolve that staffing issue (time and manpower to clean and sort) can be figured out there isn't an infection issue with the tokens as there is no need for anyone to touch them with their bare hands other than the parkrunner and they get cleaned and have a week sat in a box between uses.



    parkrun definitely won't be changing to being a restricted number of people taking part or first come first served. If that is the requirement for running activities to happen long term then they will just shut down as it would break the whole point of parkrun too much.




  • The scanning issue is going to be more of a problem than implied in the framework.

    Anyone who had done scanning knows that there is a certain percentage of tokens (both athlete and finish tokens) that don't scan very well.

    In pre Covid times that just meant a delay while trying a few times to get the scanner to read the barcode which, at worst, could lead to a backlog developing. Now that backlog has other connotations with bunching of runners in the finish tunnel the last thing you want.

    Ideas of automatic scanners won't work. Scanning is flakey at best due to poor quality of reused barcodes wearing over time and varying camera qualities on smartphones. Washing the barcodes weekly is only going to accelerate the wear and tear on them and render them even harder to scan.




  • I would be quite happy if Parkrun either did
    #Just put a clock at the finish line and you could see your time as you went over finish line. I do not personally need to see it up in an website every week with my finishing place. Knowing my time would be good enough for me

    #Give every parkrun user possibility of purchasing a finishing chip which simply activates on the finish line

    No need for tokens, scanners, clock timers, no need for people to Q up for scanning etc.
    A simpler world no doubt and not to everyones taste I know :)




  • DeepBlue wrote: »
    The scanning issue is going to be more of a problem than implied in the framework.

    Anyone who had done scanning knows that there is a certain percentage of tokens (both athlete and finish tokens) that don't scan very well.

    In pre Covid times that just meant a delay while trying a few times to get the scanner to read the barcode which, at worst, could lead to a backlog developing. Now that backlog has other connotations with bunching of runners in the finish tunnel the last thing you want.

    Ideas of automatic scanners won't work. Scanning is flakey at best due to poor quality of reused barcodes wearing over time and varying camera qualities on smartphones. Washing the barcodes weekly is only going to accelerate the wear and tear on them and render them even harder to scan.

    The delays in scanning and queues building up are recognised in the framework document. That is why they say to move the scanners further away from the end of the finish funnels and to aim for person scanning per 50 finishers based on the average recent turnouts at the event. That could mean a massive number of people scanning at some events in theory, but getting the first few finishers to join in with the scanning will cover the busy finishing time periods and should mostly eliminate the backlogs.

    A few of the other first finishers who didn't run with their phones can then also assist with "encouraging" people to keep moving through the funnel and directing them towards where the scanners are located so making sure there isn't an increase in tokens going missing.

    Might need more people with clipboards writing down numbers that don't scan, but you just get the parkrunner to read out the numbers for the person with the clipboard and there is still no need to have any contact between people or items. If they can't read it then just tell them to reprint it for the next week as they would do normally for unscannable barcodes.




  • i008787 wrote: »
    I would be quite happy if Parkrun either did
    #Just put a clock at the finish line and you could see your time as you went over finish line. I do not personally need to see it up in an website every week with my finishing place. Knowing my time would be good enough for me

    #Give every parkrun user possibility of purchasing a finishing chip which simply activates on the finish line

    No need for tokens, scanners, clock timers, no need for people to Q up for scanning etc.
    A simpler world no doubt and not to everyones taste I know :)

    Those things won't happen because it breaks the simplicity of parkrun for the volunteers and the costs of having clocks setup at the finish. Using chips for timing is also a massive expense for parkrun to setup for 2000+ events and then getting people to purchase a chip in order to participate breaks the inclusive requirement from parkrun. They would already like if there was a way to eliminate the barriers to certain people just caused by the need to register on a website and print a barcode out.

    Great Run, as in Great North Run, do a thing with chip timing I belive. It's all a bit random as to what days, what distances, and where their events take place and the need to pay to participate isn't great for getting new people into being active.




  • None of this is insurmountable and the only problem I'd see is in funnel backlogs - but you make those longer and address them as outlined above by robin. The mail advertising the return of parkruns can include "Please print out a fresh barcode, get it laminated if possible" line. Barcode scanners were quite flaky (and how many will have flat batteries after not being charged for months) but I've never seen anyone have problems using the app on their phone - everyone who has used it swears by it and is reluctant to go back to the hardware scanner.




  • On the phone scanning, you can scan both at the same time, so this could speed up the process as well.




  • Ted_YNWA wrote: »
    On the phone scanning, you can scan both at the same time, so this could speed up the process as well.

    That’s interesting, didn’t realise that. Phone scanning is definitely the way forward. In fact I believe it’s default for new events (when there were new events).


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  • Latest update:

    https://blog.parkrun.com/ie/2020/08/25/covid-19-coronavirus-update-25-august/
    Whilst right now we are not ready to commit to specific dates, we do remain positive that some parkrun countries could reopen before the end of October.

    Interesting. First time I've seen a date mentioned, however tentative.


This discussion has been closed.
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