Group Leader & Runner Responsibilities

Leaders

On our Monday night runs, each group should always have a designated Run Leader. The role and responsibilities of the leader are set out below, but their main task is to ensure that the group gets around safely!

Before leaving the Sports Centre, the leader should:

  • Know the route and be aware of any possible hazards.
  • Ensure they know who is in their group that evening, and if there are any particular issues, e.g. a runner returning from injury; somebody wanting to leave the route early etc.
  • Be wearing appropriate clothing to set an example (e.g. hi-viz or light top on dark nights).
  • Ask another responsible group member to act as a “sweeper” if the group is large and so potentially difficult to keep together.

During the run, the leader should ensure that:

  • The group runs at a pace that all members can sustain, i.e. at a pace suitable for the slowest member of the group. This may not be the “advertised” pace.
  • No group member is left behind. If the group splits, e.g. when crossing a road, the pace should be adjusted so that the group is back together as soon as possible (or just wait!).
  • The group sticks to the approved route, crossing roads only where it is safe to do so. Crossings and potential hazards are normally outlined in the route description, but things can be different on any given night. For example there may be roadworks or street lights not working.
  • If there is a problem during the run, e.g. a serious injury, then the leader should stop the pack and ensure that appropriate steps are taken, e.g. ambulance or relative called, before allowing the group to continue. This may mean handing over the leading of the group to somebody else and staying with the individual concerned.

At Claremont Road Runners, there has always been the convention that the group can split after the half-way mark if some runners wish to push on at a faster pace. They should only do so if they know the route and they agree to stay together, or at least in pairs. The leader should remain with the slower group, as this is the only way of ensuring that nobody is left behind. Remember that lone runners, particularly lone female runners, are most at risk. (However if somebody wishes to go on alone, or wants to leave the route to head home on their own, then we cannot stop them!).

On returning to the Sports Centre, the leader should check that everybody is back safe and sound. Once satisfied that everything is OK, their duties are complete.

Runners

It is also important that runners take responsibility for their own safety. In particular:

  • Sign-up via Spond and think about which pace group you want to run with.
  • Check the route in advance. Although the leader will know the way, it helps if you do too!
  • Follow any instructions given by the Group Leader.
  • Always run with at least one other person (join a slower group if necessary).
  • Tell the leader if you slow, stop or switch to another group.
  • Make sure you can be seen – wear bright clothing or lights on dark, winter evenings.
  • Ensure somebody else is aware who to inform in case of an emergency. A good idea is to carry ICE details (In Case of Emergency phone number) – a parkrun barcode is ideal for this.
  • Chat to and encourage other members of the group.
  • Above all, enjoy yourself!

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