It is a very rare Saturday that doesn't involve a parkrun for me whether as a runner or volunteer. Until this weekend I think I have missed two so far this year. One was to take my middle son to a school entrance exam and the other was because I was running a marathon that started at 9am. This week I couldn't parkrun, or volunteer at parkrun, because I had to travel up to Glasgow and timings of flights meant that I wouldn't get my weekly fix.
Why this madcap day trip to Glasgow on one of the hottest days of the year? Well, I was attending an interview to be a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games next year. The journey up there was uneventful, although it entailed a stupidly early start for a weekend and I arrived in Glasgow with plenty of time to have a walk around the city before my interview at 1 o'clock. I'd never been to Glasgow before and it felt as though I had stepped back in time. A bit like Portmouth of 20 years ago. The fact that some areas of the city are having a huge facelift in preparation for the upcoming Games seems to highlight the dichotomy.
My interview was at the shiny new volunteer centre, and the process was very slick and well organised. We arrived in batches of 10 and were checked in, had our ID checked and then had a brief presentation about the role we were being selected for. Now I don't know about you, but when I first thought about volunteering I thought I'd get given a big foam hand and a megaphone and be pointed in the direction of streams of members of the public and tasked with getting them in and out of venues in a relatively orderly fashion. The role I was interviewed for was a bit more complicated than that. 'Sports Services' involves several different areas, but could include checking accreditation, liaising with athletes and teams about training venues/times, checking entries for events and much more. I have no idea if I will get selected. Over 50,000 people applied to be volunteered and 25,000 will be interviewed. This will take some time and they are not planning to let people know until 'November at the earliest.'
In other news, Husbando took our 9 year old to our nearest parkrun, Alice Holt, which is somewhat hilly, and knocked 3 whole minutes off his PB. It was a rare treat for Husbando to parkrun as he is normally stuck in his shop. This is only his third parkrun, and his first away from Basingstoke, but I think he finally 'gets' why I love parkrun so much. Thank you to the Alice Holt people for making him feel welcome. We'll try and get back again soon.