Trees and Freeze (Run Report #57)

November 11th seemed like an excellent day to hold a tree planting event at College Park parkrun. Our friends at Prince George’s Parks explained that larger trees are better planted in the Fall, so that they have time to establish their root systems before the hotter weather comes around again. And early November in the mid-Atlantic often brings peak Fall colors. Perfect! Nobody expected that we would have record low temperatures, with the thermometer showing barely above 20 degrees when we woke up. Already a little light on volunteer tree-planters, we were worried that we’d see few parkrunners and even fewer for planting.

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We shouldn’t have worried.

89 parkrunners joined us, including 16 first-timers. And so many people stayed around to help with tree planting that the planting was almost finished by the time the tailwalkers returned and the parkrun gear was packed up. A small army of parkrunners got an upper body workout, improved the park, providing shade in years to come, and forged new friendships in the process.

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We are so thankful to Antonia Bookbinder of PG Parks for planning the event, and to her colleague Michael Ellis for helping to coordinate. Antonia said: “Seriously, I am never doing another tree planting with parkrun with fewer than 40 trees! I'll need a better truck to haul trees, though.”

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The next time that you’re at College Park parkrun, you’ll notice that one of the first new trees that you encounter after reaching the park stands out from the rest. It is surrounded by a small ring of stones. This tree is called “Peter”, a memorial to Peter Blank, a much loved DC-area runner who passed away just a few days ago. Peter was instrumental in bringing parkrun to the DC metro area, as he brought together some of the key people who started Fletcher’s Cove parkrun downtown. Thanks to parkrunner Win Persina for thinking of this. And if you know of how to source a small sign that we could plant to explain this, we would love to hear from you.

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The trees weren’t the only notable happening at College Park parkrun this week, of course.

It was another Fall football day in College Park. parkrun is becoming the largest participation sports event in town, but it’s still the case that a few people turn out for big Terps games. Especially when those games involve Big 10 teams like Michigan, who seemed to take over the town on Saturday. When we arrived at the park Saturday morning we were surprised to find a blue Michigan Wolverines tent erected right over the parkrun finish line. Was this an act of parkrun trolling, forcing our Terp parkrunners to run through this tent to finish? Actually no, it was a bit of parkrun tourism by Tim Gallagher of Livonia parkrun in Michigan, the oldest US parkrun. Tim was one of our larger-than-usual crowd of parkrun tourists on Saturday. He came together with his sister Jennifer Gallagher, based in nearby Falls Church, and his friend Tom Leonard, who helped out as a volunteer. We wonder if it was the Michiganders who brought the 20-degree weather with them. It certainly didn’t seem to faze them. Tim was happily walking around in shorts the entire time.

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We also had parkrun tourists from further afield, who probably cannot be blamed for the cold weather. Tracy Watson is more commonly seen at Gungahlin parkrun in Canberra, Australia. And Fred Babumba Lukwago’s home parkrun is Uvongo parkrun in South Africa, an event that runs alongside the Indian Ocean, partly along a beach. Welcome to Tracy and Fred, and we hope that you enjoyed the “different” conditions at our parkrun.

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Also of note, this week in our 57th event we had our 4000th finisher. Fittingly, it was Jim Parsons, one of our most dedicated parkrunners. Congratulations Jim on this truly obscure honor. Jim won’t be with us next weekend, as he’ll be accompanying a group of our younger parkrunners to Youth Cross Country Nationals. Good luck to Ian, Thomas, Colette, Nathan, and Elizabeth!

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This week we announced our parkrunners of the month for November. It was a joint award to Steve and Cindy Feld. Steve and Cindy have done 39 of their 50 parkruns at College Park parkrun, and they have also volunteered 13 times between them. They travel a little way to join us, but they feel very much a part of our parkrun community, and we’re so happy to see them when they can join us, and just as happy when we see their names appearing in the results of other parkruns that they visit on their travels. Congratulations to Steve and Cindy, and we know that you will enjoy the gift card generously provided by The Board and Brew.

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With no danger of overheating, 15 parkrunners set PBs. A couple of PBs stood out to us. Janice Bernache did her 10th parkrun, and she has now set a PB on all but one occasion. Impressive! Erin Munsell set another PB on her 11th parkrun, and it was cool to see the surprise on her face when she saw her time. Chris Kujawa set a PB for College Park parkrun on his 35th run, and Jen Murphy got her first sub-25 clocking on her 27th parkrun. Jen and husband Brian Murphy will be traveling in Australia for the holidays, and they are looking forward to doing some parkruns in slightly warmer weather.

Nobody reached an official parkrun milestone this week, but a few more reached unofficial milestones. New in the 10-parkrun group are: Kristen Limarzi, Janice Bernache, Matthew Mullally, and Xinzi He. And new in the 5-timers at College Park are Eric London (a regular at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun), and Stephen Wills (PB!).

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This week we had our largest ever group of volunteers (32), due to the tree planting activity. Here’s the full list: Jay Bao, Dominique Blom, Frank Bohne, Antonia Bookbinder, Gus Campbell, Steve Feld, Cindy Feld, Yefon Fonye, Diana Gough, Xinzi He, Clare Imholtz, Aileen Kroll, Tom Leonard, Eric London, Pam Marcus, Dale Morey, Brian Murphy, Jennifer Murphy, Katie Murtough, Nebafabs Nwafor, Win Persina, Colin Phillips, Hump Plotts, Xiaoxuan Ren, Dan Sarmiento, JJ Su, Larry Washington, Susan Whitney, Ginger Wilkerson, John Wilkerson, Lisa Wilson, and Andrea Zukowski. … Wow.

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It feels like something special has been happening at College Park parkrun every week this Fall. And that’s because it has! We didn’t exactly plan things that way, but it kind of happened, as so many of you approached us with cool ideas. We have one more this coming Saturday, when it will be Kid Takeover Day. We really appreciate our younger parkrunners, and this weekend they will be in charge, led by our guest Run Director, 11-year old Ginger Wilkerson. You won’t want to miss this one.

One final thing. We have been working with a team from UMD’s School of Public Health on a research project about parkrun and how it supports sustained physical activity. This is a first step towards understanding how best to support healthy communities across the country. If you’re the kind of person who reads to the end of the run report, then you’re exactly the kind of person who the UMD team would love to hear from. Look out for a survey link in your email and/or social media feeds in the coming days. The survey is straightforward, and it takes 5-10 minutes to complete. Thank you!

Colin Phillips

 

 

ARHU Day! (Run Report #56)

Have you ever heard of ARHU? College Park parkrunners are in the know, because run #56, which took place on November 4th, 2017, was ARHU Day.

ARHU is short for the University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities. ARHU’s Staff Council advocates for and facilitates a healthy and civil work culture at the College. This semester, the Staff Council has been holding biweekly campus walks during lunch hour, and as a culmination of the walking series, they decided to come out to parkrun. What a nice idea! Check out the photo of some of the ARHU folks who joined in: Julie Gowin, Lorenzo Evans (Chair of the Staff Council), Carlin Bokal, Emily Sheil, and Heather Mundwiler. Come back any time, guys!

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Andrea Zukowski, Colin Phillips, and Nick Huang were all away this week. They were at a professional conference in Boston, although they did check out a local parkrun that’s in the planning stages. Meanwhile, Jim, Ian, and Thomas Parsons all did their first parkrun away from College Park, attending the inaugural of Anacostia parkrun, just a short drive down the BW Parkway.You know how they say that while the cats are away the mice will play? Well, play we did! 100 attendees, 18 first timers, 32 PBs, four dogs. One milestone: Kidus Hailemichael joined the junior 10 run club. Twelve volunteers. No newborns this week. No parkrun tourists.

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Our first timers this week were Lee Babcock, Roman Kastin, Brandon Saravia, Julie Gowin, Emily Sheil, Carlin Bokal, Newton Kendig, Kevin Saravia, Angela Gentile, Katie Murtough, Constantino Patricio, Liz Leahy, Doug Kerr, Katherine Kirklin, Tessie Aikara, Shayla Chelliah, Rhonda Summey, and Denise Mitchell. We hope you all had a great time, and we can’t wait to see you again on the course! If you were a first timer but had not registered in time at parkrun.us, never fear. If you register for your free barcode (it’s fast!) and then drop us a line (collegeparkoffice@parkrun.com) we can do our best to update.

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A special shout out is in order for first-timer Denise Mitchell. Denise joined us this week together with 18-timer Dustyn Kujawa. On Tuesday Denise was elected to College Park City Council, and Dustyn was re-elected to the council. Both of them represent the district that our course passes through. Thank you, and congratulations! ... Actually, further congratulations are in order for parkrunners Patrick Wojahn (re-elected as mayor), PJ Brennan (re-elected to city council) and Kate Kennedy (newly elected to city council).

An electoral landslide for the parkrun party!

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Let’s talk about PBs. You know how much we love to mention by name everyone who has achieved a PB. But when you draw 100 attendees and a third get a PB, it gets more challenging. So hearty congratulations to all of you! If you aren’t sure if congratulations are in order for you, check out the results table. You also can check to see if congratulations are in order for your friends, colleagues, or relatives. If they are, don’t forget the high-five and fist-bump the next time you see the deserving individual. Rest assured that we parkrun organizers do keep an eye on the achievements of the regular parkrunners, and it’s really cool to see when people set a new PB, sometimes week after week.

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We do want to give a shout out to folks reaching official or unofficial milestones this week. Nobody reached 50 parkruns this week, but Lisa Wilson did her 48th, so we are on high cake alert status for a couple of weeks from now. For the first time we had 3 people do their 25th parkruns on the same day: Anouk Dieuleveut, Chris McGranahan, and Sam McGranahan. These three are true stalwarts and have really done more than 25, as they were regular participants in our 33 proto-parkruns that we held before the event became official.

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We had a large crop of new 10-timers this week. In addition to Kidus Hailemichael, who as an under 18 gets an official parkrun milestone shirt for his efforts, we had grownups Finiana Joseph, Aileen Kroll, Erin Munsell, Gloria Cottman, Doug Hamilton, Paul Kittredge, and Jay Bao. Cathy Flynn was the one new member of our unofficial 5-run club this week.

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We love love love our volunteers! This week, Jim Cantwell was on scanning, Wei Chen handed out finisher tokens, and Maria Castellanos Vaquero, Steve Feld, and Cindy Feld were our timekeepers. Ellen Hamilton was our tailwalker. As usual, Lisa Wilson was at the turnaround and Hump Plotts protected us at the golf course driveway. In addition, Lisa and Hump kindly transported the Big Blue Bag of parkrun Necessities to wherever it needed to be. Anna Tinnemore sorted tokens at Board and Brew. A second shout out is in order for Anna - she helped me process results (with Colin chiming in as well via phone from Boston). Our photos came from Lisa, Ellen, and yours truly, and you can find them here. But if you want to see some really awesome parkrun photos, take another look at last week’s collection from UMD’s Lisa Helfert.

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Before I wrap it up, I want to alert you to two totally awesome College Park parkrun events that are happening very soon.

Saturday, November 11: Tree Planting Day with PG Parks!
We love our 5K course, but there's no denying that our start/finish area is exposed to the elements, especially in the summer. Antonia Bookbinder of Prince George’s County Parks & Recreation is doing us a huge favor by arranging for trees for our start/finish line. Just one condition: we provide the tree planters. Planting starts around 10am, immediately after parkrun. Up to 40 people can volunteer. If you’d like to volunteer, send an email to collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com. We’re expecting a chilly morning, so bring warm gear. (We’ll also bring handwarmers to help.)

Saturday, November 18: Kids Takeover Day!
It’s true, the kids are going to be in charge. And the grown-ups have to listen to them. You won’t want to miss this one. (p.s. Sorry kids, you cannot borrow the car keys. Grown-ups will still be handling driving-related activities.) We still have some volunteer slots available, if you know a younger parkrunner who would like to join the fun.

See you next time!
Pam Marcus

 

New Years Day 2018 at College Park parkrun

Start 2018 off on the right foot with College Park parkrun. January 1st 2018 is going to be special for us in many ways.

  1. College Park Resolution parkrun starts at 10:30am. The one time in the year when parkrun happens at a time other than 9am Saturday.
  2. The Resolution parkrun is a partnership with our friends at Prince George's Running Club. We teamed up in 2017, and are excited to do the same again in 2018.
  3. For the first time in North America, it is possible to do 2 parkruns in one day. Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore will start at 8:30am on 1/1/18. So you can do a warm up at Leakin Park, then zip down to College Park for another. Help us set a new attendance record at Leakin Park.
  4. Following College Park parkrun there will be a get together for all area parkrunners at The Board and Brew.
  5. ... we may have extra cake, as 1/1/18 is when co-event director Colin Phillips will be turning 50 years old.
  6. Oh, and you can get a third parkrun in that weekend, too, by running at any of the area events on Saturday 12/30. Consider visiting Fletcher's Cove parkrun, Roosevelt Island parkrun, or the new Anacostia parkrun.

Include parkrun in your New Years plans.

 

Feels like Homecoming every week! (Run Report #55)

This week, College Park parkrun partnered with the University of Maryland to host the Homecoming 5K. It was such a win-win that we are already planning to repeat the partnership next year. It seemed fitting to host a Homecoming event, because parkrun is starting to feel like a homecoming every week. Colin and I (co-Event Directors) have been working in College Park (at UMD) and living in the College Park area for 18 years, but College Park has never felt more like home to us than it does now. That’s in large part due to the wonderful, diverse, supportive community that has gradually built up around parkrun during its first year. It’s one of those things where you don’t know that something has been missing in your life until you have it, but once you have it, you cannot imagine life without it. We suspect that some of you feel the same way. That’s partly because you tell us. But also based on the fantastic responses I get when I send out my weekly volunteer appeal. You might think volunteer wrangling is a hard and thankless task, but for me it is a weekly reminder that you all are just as committed to keeping parkrun going as we are. I was blown away by the number of people who offered to help this week for our special event that needed more volunteers than usual. I had to turn some people down!

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We had our second largest attendance this week: 158 parkrunners and 15 volunteers. We can’t know for sure how many of this week's 53 first timers were there in honor of Homecoming, but it’s a good bet that many of them were. 50 of them had never done a parkrun anywhere, and we were thrilled to introduce them to our community. If you’re reading this -- we hope to see you again!

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Did you get a selfie with Testudo? Testudo was truly the star of the show this week. Thank you, Cynthia Martinez, for arranging for him to visit us. While we’re at it, we also owe a big thank you to Anne Martens. It was Anne’s idea to have Homecoming partner with College Park parkrun for their 5K this year. Thanks to both Cynthia and Anne for their help making this partnership happen. And thank you to Lisa Helfert of UMD for sharing with us her fantastic set of pictures from the day, which you can find on our Flickr group here, or on Facebook here.

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Some of our favorite stories this week are about walkers. Two people who are normally speedy runners—Christian Knapp and John Whitridge—came along and walked/jogged with friends Alia Abdelkader and David Straitiff. It was David’s first 5K (but we predict not his last). And one of our partners/advocates from Prince George’s County Parks, Antonia Bookbinder, took multitasking to a new level this week, walking the course while spinning wool into yarn by hand. That was after having camped out in a nearby park overnight so that she would be close to College Park on Saturday morning, since she lives far away. Incidentally, Antonia will be leading a tree planting project at our start/finish area following parkrun on November 11th. The trees we’ll be planting will provide shade for us when it gets warm again next year. Please come out to parkrun on Nov. 11th, and then stick around to help plant trees! That will start around 10am. One hour of your help, times many of you, will make light work of it, and we will all benefit next year as the trees get larger. We are so grateful to PG Parks for arranging this for us!

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We had one big parkrun milestone to celebrate this week. Clark Ridge completed his 50th parkrun, earning big kudos and a free red 50-parkrun shirt. Clark is the first ‘native’ College Park parkrunner to reach this milestone, and it’s amazing that he did so after only 55 events. Clark is proof that nice guys can finish first, as he has been our first finisher 26 times. Many weeks he can be found running with his daughter Violet and learning the simple pleasures of puddles. He has volunteered a few times by running around ahead of everybody else and then picking up a volunteer job at the finish. One of our favorite Clark Ridge moments is the day when the turnaround cone was placed only halfway to the correct spot. Clark reacted calmly by snatching it up as he zipped past and then took it to the right spot before anybody else got there. Congratulations Clark! You have a rain check on the celebratory cake.

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We also saw a lot of unofficial milestones this week. Nina McGranahan and Evan Hirsche became the 99th and 100th members of our 10-run club. Jian Kuang, Daysi Cruz, Yukun Fung, Annabel Gorman, Sharon Bollers, Dana Bogle, and Julie Bringman all joined our 5-run club. Julie brought her husband Silas Kulkarni along for his first. Great idea!

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In the area of PBs and acts of extreme speediness, we also had a lot to report this week. 4 parkrunners set age-category records: Katie Hirsche, Eldad Mulugeta, and Daniel Ritter all upped the ante in the younger age groups. But we were especially interested in Mark Neff’s new record. With his 17:27 in the 55-59 group, it is now the case that the 55-59 record is faster than the 50-54 record, which is faster than the 45-49 record, which in turn is faster than the 40-44 record. Almost the same thing is true on the women’s side. So much for aging gracefully!

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Meanwhile, there were an impressive 29 PBs this week. Pretty impressive. Some that stood out to us: the three McGranahans (Sam, Nina, Chris) all got PBs this week. Jonathan Foley and his mom Jordan Foley both set PBs, and in Jordan’s case it was by a huge 2 minutes. Katie Hirsche improved by 4 minutes, and Sharon Bollers by 3 minutes. Emily Flamm took yet another big chunk from her PB, her 7th in a row. Andy Fellows took a big chunk from his PB on his 23rd parkrun. At the other end of the scale, Jian Kuang set a PB by just one second. Other PB setters this week were: Mark Neff, Yukun Fung, Frank Byskov, Cameron Nasseri, Solomon Ambaye, Suerken Matsuyama, Kirk Gordon, Josh Haverstick, Tsegaab Hailemichael, Xinzi He, John Ramsey, Jim Groves, Judy Mulusa, Chris Nichols, Susanna Ebisah, Lisa Jordan, John Giamalva, Judy Barnes, and Bill Bystricky.

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I was doubly appreciative of the volunteer support this week, because I sprained my ankle while hiking with teens the day before, and so I was struggling to get around, while many of our parkrun core team were on travels. Colin Phillips, was parkrunning in the rain at Brabrand parkrun in Aarhus, Denmark. Pam Marcus was part of a new parkrun USA record of 256 parkrunners at Crissy Field parkrun in San Francisco. And Nick Huang was in Iceland, a long swim away from the nearest parkrun.

This week’s volunteers were Crystal Bergemann (tailwalker, with family), Steve Feld and JJ Su (timers), Dale Morey and Cha Munar (scanners), Anna Tinnemore (tokens), Lisa Wilson and Hump Plotts (marshals), Diana Gough and Susan Keller (photographers), Chris McGrahahan (results support). Jan Edwards, Bex Williams, and Josh Haverstick helped out with briefing and registering newcomers, and generally helping a busy event to run smoothly. Although Colin Phillips was on the other side of the Atlantic, he still kept our communications running smoothly. On top of all these, we thank the UMD Homecoming team for all of their help, including additional on-the-day helpers. Lisa Helfert took some amazing photos.

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Last, but definitely not least among this week’s volunteers, is Testudo, who tried out a number of different roles: registering new parkrunners (fingers too big), run briefing (he doesn’t talk), run starter and selfie hero (perfect!).

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Quick reminder of coming attractions at College Park parkrun.

  • November 4th: Walking Day. Inspired by the UMD Arts & Humanities Staff Council, who will be bringing their walking group to College Park parkrun.
  • November 11th: Tree Planting with PG Parks. We need lots of helpers (see above).
  • November 18th: Kid Takeover Day. Looking for some additional young volunteers. This is a parkrun not to be missed.
  • November 25th: post-Thanksgiving burnoff. Bring the family, run off some of that turkey.
  • January 1st: New Years Resolution parkrun PLUS a Baltimore - College Park double. Consider visiting Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore for their early morning resolution run, then zip down to College Park for our late morning parkrun, co-hosted with Prince George’s Running Club, and followed by a celebration at The Board & Brew for all area parkrunners. Great way to start off 2018.

Whew. That was a lot to tell you about. If you made it this far, thank you!

Andrea Zukowski
Event co-Director

 

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Piece of cake (Run Report #54)

On Saturday College Park parkrun celebrated its first birthday. The weather was perfect, we had one of our largest turnouts yet (116), and the birthday cake was incredible. Really, Andrea’s rendition of our course in edible form, together with Hump and Lisa stationed in their usual spots, was wonderful.

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But I must confess that the things that really made the day for me were a few comments that we heard, all from people who are not stereotypical runners.

  • “parkrun is one of my favorite things about College Park”. From somebody who recently moved here.
  • “I started looking up real estate in College Park.” From a long-time Montgomery County resident.
  • “I hadn’t run since I was in the Army, 50 years ago.” From one of our most regular parkrunners, who runs in the 70+ age category.
  • And the person who used to stay home with the kids while her speedy husband went to running events, but now leaves the husband with the kids while she goes to parkrun, where she is improving by leaps and bounds.

It’s things like this that have me reaching for the tissues. I am an unrepentant data nerd and I could put you to sleep with numbers about the first year of College Park parkrun. But at the end of the day it’s encounters like these that we find most rewarding after one year and 54 events.

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When College Park parkrun launched one year ago our core team had two main things on our minds. First, relief at finally making it to the start line. It had taken 10 months to jump through the various hoops needed to get the event going (permits, insurance, fundraising, etc.), and we had organized 33 proto-parkruns along the way, utterly low-key affairs where we were joined by anywhere from zero to a dozen people. Second, apprehension about being able to pull off an event every week, year round. Would people keep showing up, even in the cold of winter or the hot, humid summer? (Yes, in ever greater numbers.) Would we somehow find enough volunteers every week? (Yes, because of the wonderful community support.) Would we get burned out? (Not even close. But we didn’t expect to be spending so much time on spreading the good things happening in College Park to other US communities. If you’re a long time local resident, as we are, you’ll understand how good that feels.)

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Back to this week’s run …

Aside from the cake, which really was the star of the show this week, there were plenty of other things that deserve a shout out.

Nick Huang reached his 25-time volunteering milestone. So he’ll soon have a snazzy purple volunteer shirt that perfectly matches our purple parkrun laptop. We would normally celebrate a milestone like this at the pre-run briefing, but we were caught napping on this one. Ironically, Nick finished up the results processing at The Board and Brew (with help from understudy Ginger Wilkerson) and two minutes later was surprised to get an email from parkrun telling him that he had reached his volunteer milestone. Thank you, Nick! Nick is one of the people who has been with us from the very start, and who has volunteered more often than he has run. He is our results guru, and he is the person who you want on your team when things go wrong and you’re tempted to panic. He is cooler than a cucumber.

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Another thing that stood out was the great number of regulars who came out for our parkrun birthday. If you’ve run 10 or more times, then you’ve pretty much drunk the Kool Aid by now. And of the nearly 100 who have drunk said Kool Aid so far, more than 60 of them were with us this week, either as runners or as volunteers. So there were a LOT of familiar faces. This was awesome.

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As usual, we welcomed a few first-timers and visitors to College Park this week. Also, as usual, most people came because they heard about us from a friend. Perfect! Our one parkrun tourist this week was Kylie Corso, who came with her 7-month old daughter Adeline. You might have guessed that Kylie is an Aussie, but she is based in London, where she is volunteer coordinator at Wimbledon Common parkrun. That event is one of the oldest parkruns. So old, in fact, that they started before they were called parkruns. This week they had their 570th event. Wow.

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We had over 20 PBs this week. Again. It’s hard to comment on all of them. But here are just a few. 8-year old Violet Ridge took yet another big chunk from her PB, ducking under 30 minutes for the first time. Her proud dad, Clark Ridge, will reach his 50-run milestone next time out. Emily Flamm and Susan Whitney both continued their impressive PB streaks. Jordan Foley this week ran without a stroller, and it was very cool to see her daughter Colette pacing her to a PB. Jay Bao set another PB. He didn’t get a barcode until this week, so his progression slipped under our radar. Harish Guda got yet another PB today, another person who seems to get faster every time.

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We also had a few age-category records. Clare Imholtz seems to set a new record every weekend. Second-timer Maggie Gill got the record that she narrowly missed first-time out. (Jessica Molloy: your move next!) Ann Fields took a handy 10 minutes from the 65-69 record. And first finisher Bernard Kelly regained his 40-44 record … but the 45-49 and 50-54 records are substantially faster. So much for aging gracefully.

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No official running milestones this week, but plenty of unofficial milestones. Chris Kujawa did his 25th College Park parkrun (he has also run at Livonia parkrun a few times). We had our largest ever crop of new 10-timers: JJ Su, Bob Silverman, Sarah D’Alexander, Emily Flamm, Cameron McPhee, Pam Marcus, Judy Mulusa, and Dale Morey. And there were a bunch of new 5-timers too, taking the total to 209: Maria Cecil, Stephanie Coomes (to go with her 161 parkruns elsewhere), Dan Stafford, Chris Rasmussen, Kara Wharton, Trace Huard, and Anna Tinnemore.

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This week’s volunteers were an elite crew. Together they had volunteered at College Park parkrun over 350 times already. That’s amazing. Big thanks to Jim Cantwell, Eduardo Valente, Jenn Augsburger, Dustyn Kujawa, Zoe Phillips, Alex Haile, Diana Gough, Carlos Gough, Lisa Wilson, Hump Plotts, Anna Tinnemore, and Schuyler Price.

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With our big birthday event behind us you might think that we’re ready to kick back and coast through the rest of the Fall. Not exactly, as we have a number of cool special days coming up.

  • October 28th: UMD Homecoming 5K at College Park parkrun. We’re excited to be teaming up with UMD for this event. All welcome, as ever, but do encourage any Terp alums, students, or faculty/staff that you know to join us. UMD will be giving free Homecoming shirts to finishers. And we’ll also have a special guest: Testudo will be coming to parkrun!
  • November 4th: Walking groups day, led by the UMD Arts & Humanities Staff Council. Are you part of a walking group, or have friends who are? Encourage them to join us for a lovely Fall walk on the trail.
  • November 11th: Tree planting with Prince George’s Parks at the start/finish area
  • November 18th: Kid Takeover Day! (some volunteer slots still to fill)
  • November 25th: Thanksgiving burnoff. Bring the family.
  • January 1st: one to put in your calendar. We’ll have a special parkrun New Years Double. Early morning, join our friends at Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore. Then zip back to College Park for a mid-morning parkrun, co-hosted with Prince George’s Running Club, followed by a New Years brunch for all DMV parkruns at The Board and Brew. More details to follow.

See you next week. Testudo will be there. Will you?

Colin Phillips

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