We’ve only just begun (Run Report #53)

College Park parkrun #53 was a momentous one. It was the final run of the first year! All I can say is WOW!

Before I dive into the run itself, let’s just take a moment to look at some impressive stats from the first year.

  • Number of attendees: 900+
  • Number of volunteers: 128
  • Number of runs: 3,605
  • Average turnout: 68
  • Biggest attendance: 180
  • Average runs per runner: 4
  • Number of 5-timers: 202
  • Personal bests: 818
  • Average time: 32:36
  • Total time run: 81 days, 14 hours, 45 minutes, 27 seconds
  • Distance run: 18,025 kilometers (almost half way around the earth!)
  • Total charge to participants: $0

Here’s a graph that shows the growth in attendance over the year.


Do you remember what happened on the days that attendance spiked? Here’s a little help - the dates were 1/1/17, 5/27/17, and 7/1/17. The first was our New Year’s Resolution Run, co-hosted with Prince George’s Running Club. The second was Founders Day, when we were joined by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the Godfather of parkrun. The third was the day that we were featured in a story in the Wall St Journal.

Ok, back to run #53…

We had 72 attendees, 10 on-course volunteers, one dog, one baby, and one parkrun tourist. Seven first timers and 20 PBs.

Our 7 first timers this week were David Lough, Joseph Chuzhin, Carleton Conant, Noemi Mercado, Michael Coomes, Andrea Coomes, and Dalila José. David was visiting from Scotland, where he usually runs Victoria parkrun in Glasgow. Andrea and Michael were visiting from Ohio to visit their 4 week old grandson, Henry, and walk the course with Henry (in a stroller) and his parents, Stephanie Coomes and Ian Ross. Joseph, Carleton, Noemi, and Dalila were very special first timers: each participated for the first time in a parkrun. As is usual these days, most people come along because they hear about College Park parkrun from a friend or family member.


Twenty PBs means that about 1 in every 3 parkrunners had a PB! Maybe it had something to do with the weather. It was humid, but overcast and not hot. Ian Cutler set his first PB, and Erin Munsell, Pat Ewing, Abe Cutler, Jian Kuang, Margodane Vanriel, and Thomas Parsons each set their second. The remaining 13 parkrunners ran anywhere between their 3rd and 7th PB. Speed isn’t the only measure of improved fitness, but boy does it feel good when you see those PBs rolling in week after week. And for the volunteers and the rest of our parkrun community, it’s so great to see your satisfaction as you progress by leaps and bounds.


One of our juniors, Alex Limarzi, completed his 10th parkrun and received his certificate. That’s an official parkrun milestone for under 18s, so he can also order a free parkrun milestone shirt. Eddie Matus and Colin Phillips joined our unofficial-yet-ever-expanding-and-very-impressive 25+ College Park parkrun club (that was a mouthful). There are now 17 in that club. Misrak Ayegichew and Harish Guda both joined our unofficial 10-parkrun club, which now has 90 members. And Ian Ross, Joann Tschiffely, Mary Buck, Bonnie McClellan, Brent Bolin, and Dan Sarmiento took the membership in the 5-parkrun club to over 200!


Clare Imholtz and Mike McClellan set new College Park age category records! That’s such an accomplishment that I’ll shout it. CLARE IMHOLTZ AND MICHAEL MCCLELLAN SET NEW COLLEGE PARK PARKRUN AGE CATEGORY RECORDS! Clare runs in the 70-74 group and Mike in the 80-84 group. We should all be so lucky to be in such great shape at those ages.


Our volunteers included two members of the UMD Track and Field team: mid-d runner Maria Castellanos Vaquero and triple-jumper Breanna Coleman. Thank you, both! Breanna was our barcode/token scanner, and Maria, and Xinzi He, were our timekeepers. John Wilkerson ensured that finisher tokens were handed out, and then safely returned. Diana and Carlos Gough were our tailwalkers. As usual, Lisa Wilson was at the turnaround and Hump Plotts took care of Hump’s Crossing. Anna Tinnemore sorted tokens at The Board and Brew (one of my favorite volunteer roles). This week’s photos were courtesy of paparazzi Lisa, Diana, Colin, and yours truly. You can always find them on our Flickr page or on Facebook.


Speaking of the Board and Brew, we had a smaller than usual contingent at our post-run social, but we still had a great time. Debbie Levenson and geeked out about medical writing and communications. Carlos and Diana played a game of Battleship. Two math nerds (me and Colin) bravely attempted to process results on our own for the first time. Once we figured out how to login to the laptop it was plain sailing. Well, mostly. Thanks to Andrea Zukowski for taking our urgent calls, and to Clark Ridge for acting as the go between for us and Andrea.

Where were Andrea and Clark? They were on their way home from a bit of local parkrun tourism at Leakin Park parkrun. They ran into College Park regular Gus Campbell while they were there. Why were they there this week? Because we have so many cool things going on at College Park parkrun in the coming weeks that it will be hard to stay away.

  • October 21st: FIRST BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (cake alert!)
  • October 28th: UMD Homecoming 5k @ parkrun (Go Terps! Free t-shirts rumored)
  • November 4th: walking groups day, led by UMD Arts & Humanities Staff Council
  • November 11th: tree planting at the start/finish, with Prince George’s Parks
  • November 18th: Kid Takeover Day! (grownups get to run, kids are in charge)
  • November 25th: post-Thanksgiving turkey burnoff


To close out our first year, I’d like to leave you with a quote from the 1970s Carpenters song, “We’ve only just begun”:

“...So many roads to choose
We’ll start out walkin’ and learn to run
And yes, we’ve just begun…”

For those of you who think of the 1970s as the pre-historic past, here’s what I’m referring to.

And College Park parkrun really has just begun. Here’s to a fantastic year two!

Till next time,
Pam Marcus