Alison Gitelson – parkrun Profile
Alison Gitelson is one of the founding volunteers at Alberts Farm parkrun, from the very beginning she has been indispensable. Especially behind the scenes, handling the logistics and documentation that keeps everything running smoothly, she is the one setting up the processes that make our results come so quickly and dependable. If not herself, odds are, she helped teach the person doing it how it’s all done.
What made you come to Albert’s Farm parkrun?
I started at Delta with the guinea pig group back in September 2011. Unfortunately I was away the week we launched so my first one was Delta’s second event. I ran/walked a few times and volunteered a few times and then I became a very sporadic parkrunner. In 2013 I returned but found it had become too crowded for me so I moved over to Roodepoort and persuaded my hubby to join me. At the same time we had moved to Northcliff and I discovered Alberts Farm. I immediately saw the possibilities for an event here, relishing the idea of a parkrun virtually on my doorstep. I suggested it to the Friends of Alberts Farm, and then a couple of months later to Bruce as a way to take the pressure off Delta. I didn’t want to take responsibility for the whole event but I was very happy to help get it going. Shortly after that I heard that Mike was keen to start one. Once he had the requisite permissions in place he called a bunch of us together to plan the launch and we did a practice walk-through of the route. And believe it or not I was again away for the launch day! But since then I’m very happy to have finally completed my 50 with almost half of my runs being at Alberts Farm.
Why did you become a volunteer?
The only place I enjoy running is in the bush or on a trail. parkrun makes it safe for me to do that but it can’t exist without volunteers. So if I want it I need to do my part to make it happen.
What do you enjoy about volunteering?
I love the friendliness and willingness amongst all the volunteers at Alberts Farm. It’s such a great community. I’ve made new friends. I now know more people in my local area than I’ve ever known anywhere I’ve lived.
What’s you favourite experience as a Volunteer/Run Director?
I love seeing ordinary people enjoying the achievement of finishing 5 k’s whether they run it or walk it. People who have perhaps never been sporty who are now enjoying the outdoors and exercise.
I know I speak for many when I say “Thank you Alison, you make Alberts Farm parkrun awesome!“