Who the 'eck are the Blinding Peakers?
Peak Running's amazing event team! The event team is a crucial part of Peak Running's events; without them the events just would not happen. Some of the team are on show - donning the high viz vests - and others are the “backroom” guys that participants don’t always notice, but who form an integral part of the team.
We know that volunteering and doing something different can be a little scary and so we've put together some information about what volunteering with us may entail, how it 'works' (ie. what you get out of it, other than that warm, fuzzy feeling!) and what you can expect when being part of the amazing Blinding Peakers.
What will I be doing as part of the Blinding Peakers team?
There are many different roles available at our events depending on how "stuck in" you'd like get. Event volunteering is not just the"stand and wave with a high vis on"that it has traditionally been seen as, though it can be if that's your thing! We've got roles from working on registration, through to timing and manning a checkpoint / aid station, and everything in between. Here is an overview of the various roles to whet your appetite for a day with the Blinding Peakers;
'Before the event starts' jobs
These are the pre-event roles that can be done either before competing in the event or prior to going onto a further volunteer role. Great for earning additional credits (more on that later!) and the real stars of the show, helping to get the events up and running smoothly.
General set up crew: helping with set up for registration, the start and finish funnels, course signage on the shorter events, erecting the Peak Running arch, putting the gazebos up and setting up tables with water, snacks etc.
Parking: A lot of arm waving to get people to park sensibly as we all know what runners are like! Some take donations and others guide them in. You'll need a good level of enthusiasm for this role!
Registration: Great if you like to be a bit more involved and we'll train you up to ensure you feel confident. This role includes checking people in and giving out race numbers and timing bands, updating any entries, handing out any pre-ordered merchandise, ensuring that the guys on timing have any entry changes and sometimes kit checks where necessary. This roles tends to starts quiet, have a mad rush and then quiet again!
'Whilst the event is on' jobs
AKA no good if you plan to take part in the event but great if you're injured, want to experience the event from the "other side", want to earn a free place at another Peak Running event or to keep busy whilst supporting your mates who are running in the race!
Start and Finish team: Guiding and herding runners into the right place (imagine herding giant cats), collecting timing bands once people have crossed the finish line and giving out finishers momentos.
Course marshals: Around the course at critical locations such as changes of direction and course splits. A good role if you want to stand, point and cheer.
"Dibber" point marshals: Ensuring runners "dib" in at the timing points correctly, carrying out a number check and cheering them along. No idea what "dibbing" is? Don’t worry we'll train you up before hand.
Road crossing marshals: Positioned at major crossings, we always try to make sure “newbies” are with someone that knows the crossing. No traffic stopping is required.
Sweep marshal / tail walker: They sweep the course behind the last person and let the course marshals know they can head back to base. There may be some signage that needs collecting enroute. A nice role to enjoy a chatty run / walk.
Event Support: Mobile around the course, could be supplying Checkpoints with additional food / drink if they run low, bringing participants who retire back to base and setting up and collecting road signage... it all depends on the event!
Checkpoint Captain: A more involved role and crucial to our "bigger" events. This person looks after the Checkpoint and the other marshals at the checkpoint, sometimes collecting kit from HQ and getting things set up. We give plenty of guidance and support. This role isn't for the faint-hearted as it could be a long stint out there on our bigger events!
Checkpoint Team: These are the volunteers that the participants always remember and are always extremely grateful for! As well as giving lots of moral support, the key thing here is looking after the runners & walkers and anticipating what they may need, before they even know what they need! Roles include supporting participants to fill bottles, explaining the foods available, ensuring that they have "dibbed" and making a note of race numbers and providing plasters etc for blisters. Around these tasks there is general clearing up and closing down of the checkpoint. Blinding Peakers have been known to enjoy a fancy-dress opportunity when doing these roles!
Kitchen Crew: Mostly at our bigger events where participants need some real fuel at the finish. Kitchen crew help to prepare some basic hot foods (soup etc) as well as stock and re-stock a snack table, make hot drinks for participants and congratulate them on their epic adventure. Psst... If anyone quite enjoys washing the pots, this is the role for you.
'When the event is finished' jobs
We're always grateful to those who stay once the fan-fair has died down and participants have headed home. Post-even tasks include helping to clear and pack away kit, tidying the venue where our base is and carrying kit to the event vehicles ready to be taken home... just don't try to put the kit in Andy's van - he likes to do that himself!
Why should I volunteer as part of the Blinding Peakers?
Because we value you. At Peak Running we know how crucial an enthusiastic event team is to the success of our events and so we always aim to look after you as best as we can.
We do this in the lead-up to the event by fitting people with a role that they are comfortable and feel safe with, providing clear information and guidance about the role and plenty of opportunity to ask questions and share any concerns. You'll also be invited to join a group chat on Facebook where you can meet some of the other volunteers and start the fun!
At the event we'll keep you fed and watered and will continue to be available if you have any questions or need additional support. We'll provide any necessary training so that you can carry out your role confidently.
Post-event - the best bit! - you'll have earned your Peak Running credits, which can be redeemed against any future Peak Running events, activities or merchandise. Hooray!
Also following the event (after you've had some rest and kip) we'll be in touch to get feedback about how the event went from your perspective, what we can do next time to make the experience more enjoyable for our volunteers and collect any general comments from you, or that you heard, good and bad! The plan is that when you return to the next Peak Running event for a volunteering stint - because you had that much fun! - you'll see that your feedback was listened to and implemented... within reason of course. Sorry, we can't provide champers on ice!
We hope that this information has demonstrated just how diverse and interesting volunteering on the Blinding Peakers team is. So, are you interested? We'd LOVE to see you at an upcoming event. If you can help out, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org specifying which event and any time constraints / role preferences you have. Similarly, if you have further questions or queries, please get in touch or chat to us at an upcoming event. We look forward to hearing from you soon,
The Peak Running Team