College Park parkrun #66 got off to a brisk start. The wind chill factor stayed well above zero, but many people (including me) were glad to use the hand warmers that co-event directors Andrea Zukowski and Colin Phillips kindly brought along.
Despite the cold, 100 people took part. A crowd in the triple digits has become a normal turnout and it shows just how devoted people are to parkrun here in College Park. But parkrunners in Eagan, MN showed perhaps a tad more devotion because six of them braved a temperature of -9 F. That’s before accounting for the wind chill! The hardy Eagan runners joined a total 248,000 people worldwide, an all-time record, thanks in large part to New Years Resolutions in the Southern Hemisphere that benefit from warmer weather.
Rumi Matsuyama was named parkrunner of the Month for January, in recognition of her tireless advocacy of community-based fitness in the College Park/Hyattsville area, including parkrun, plus a lot of parkruns herself. (Follow Rumi and her happy clan on the Hyattsville Hyperactive group on Facebook.) As her award was announced, Eric London, visiting from Fletcher’s Cove parkrun, recognized her name and realized that they had worked together more than 20 years ago but hadn’t seen each other since then. The two were reunited after Rumi volunteered as a photographer.
Saturday’s crowd included 55 people who have already run with us at least 10 times. It also included 12 first-timers we hope see at future parkruns, and 12 people who made PBs:
- Emily Flamm, with her 12th PB in 18 runs
- JJ Su, on his 16th parkrun
- Win Persina, part of the VW55-59 group, easily the most competitive age group at CP parkrun
- Becky Gitter and Joanie Myles from the Hyattsville Hyperactive group, on the same day that Rumi Matsuyama received the POTM award
- Mary Wester, running with dad Paul ahead of returning to college
- Helena Santos-Collins, Samuel Collins and Hannah Collins, all on the same day
- Cotter Rosenberg, a second-timer. This time he got the better of his dad, Duane Rosenberg. But Cotter has about a 40-year advantage on his dad.
We also had several mini-milestones:
- Tara Mease and Xander Mease both made their 25th runs, halfway to the 50 club. (Impressively, 8 people did their 23rd or 24th parkrun on Saturday … including me.)
- Maria Cecil marked 10 runs.
- The 5-parkrun club now includes Marc Swisdak, Bin Cao, and Deborah Gayle.
- Despite the insane cold that started the year, there are 20 people who have done all 3 CP parkruns so far this year. Who can keep this streak going?
Seven furry “barkrunners” were in attendance. Colin thinks that’s a record, but he can’t be sure because we don’t have barcodes and data for the dogs. I suspect that Scout, accompanied by his human running partner, Ken Leonard, may have hit a milestone or two. Either way, she was pretty stoked to have so many four-legged friends this week.
While the cold wasn’t as bad as last week, it was still nippy, especially if you were volunteering and not moving around much. We are so grateful for our volunteer crew. Diehard parkrun volunteers Hump Plotts and Lisa Wilson served as marshalls. Lisa says that being out in the cold makes your blood thick and ready for more winter weather. It seems to be working for her and Hump, because they are out there every week. Volunteering at the finish line were Brian Murphy, Jen Murphy, Jordan and Jake Foley, Bernard Kelly. Pam Marcus, Danielle Durham, and Rumi Matsuyama were tailwalkers and photographers, joined by Norm Bernache, who stopped by after most runners had left. Chris McGranahan was run director, and he is very thankful to Nick Huang for processing results in record time!
Trail news: we have arranged with Prince George's Parks to "adopt" our stretch of the Paint Branch Trail. We love the trail, and benefit from it every week. By adopting the trail were are committing to helping to take care of it, including quarterly clean-ups. Plus some signage on the trail to tell other trail users who we are. Look out for upcoming announcements about our first trail cleanup day.
We are looking forward to our upcoming Kensington parkrun Day on January 27. Pam Marcus, who has been a regular runner and volunteer here in College Park, will lead trial runs in Kensington every Saturday, beginning on February 3rd, in preparation for an official launch on March 24th. We’re excited to see our new sister parkrun get off the ground, and we can’t wait to visit them.