It was such a good morning for a 5k in College Park that some of us decided to do TWO. Our friends at the College Park Community Foundation held their 5th annual 5k race at City Hall at 8am. And at 9am we had our 81st weekly College Park parkrun. And with perfect weather, there were few excuses for not getting out and enjoying the outdoors with the community.
Congratulations to the parkrunners who ran both the 8am and 9am events: Patrick Wojahn, Marc Swisdak, Tsegaab Hailemichael, Cindy Cohen. Thanks to the folks who attended the CP5K and then volunteered at parkrun: Frank Filteau, Janice Bernache, Andrea Zukowski. And it was great to see the names of parkrunners in the CP5K: Alan Mulindwa, Sharon Chi, Elliott Hamilton, Diana Gough, Carlos Gough, Sheilah Kast, Jane Hopkins. The event is a key fundraiser for the foundation that supports so many good causes in our community.
And a special shout out to Clark Ridge, who did both 5Ks pushing his son Felix in a stroller. In the CP5K they gave the strollers a slight head start, and Clark was so fast that none of the stroller-less runners were able to catch him. Then at parkrun he was joined by his daughter Violet, and they proceeded to inadvertently pace Xander and Tara Mease to a big new PB. As Tara recounts: “what happened is that Xander started chatting with Violet, and he had to keep up in order to stay in the conversation with her, and he didn't even realize he was going faster than he thought he could.” Perfect!
We again welcomed a new event to the parkrun USA family. Charleston parkrun in West Virginia’s capital city launched as the 21st event (CP was #7). We’ve been welcoming so many new events lately that the kids jumped right in to hold the sign.
Nobody reached an official milestone this week, but there are more and more people making strides towards the parkrun milestone. Jordan Foley did her 25th parkrun, halfway to 50, and what better way to enjoy it than running with young Charlie, discussing science. We had 4 new members of our unofficial 10-parkrun club: Cindy Conant, Yukun Fung, Claire Hinrichs, and Dan Sarmiento. And another 5 members of our unofficial 5-parkrun club: John Barnhardt, Emily Sheil, Lee Babcock, Lori Dominick, and Wenyan Li. Excellent stuff, folks.
It was a day of much speediness, with a lot of PBs, some new age-category records, and even a parkrun USA record.
Martin and Lin Lascelles visited us from the UK, and took a hatchet to a couple of our age-category records in the process. Martin and Lin have been doing quite a lot of parkrun USA tourism lately, visiting events in California, Colorado, and Massachusetts already. We don’t see many international parkrun tourists in College Park, as visitors to the DC area tend to gravitate to Roosevelt Island parkrun, but Martin and Lin clearly had done their research and knew that CP is where it’s at. Martin took 2 minutes from Duane Rosenberg’s 60-64 record. Impressive.
Martin and Lin got to meet Cindy Conant, who was doing her 10th College Park parkrun. Little did they know that they were chit-chatting with the person who is, in age-graded terms, the speediest adult parkrunner on the continent. Cindy then went and improved upon her own record. Cindy’s now part of the core team at Kensington parkrun, where she’s helping to make her own community even healthier, but she likes to sneak over to College Park for a time trial now and again. Another benefit of coming to College Park is that Cindy gets to meet with her niece Erin Munsell, who set yet another PB this week, now running under 8-minute miles for the first time. Fantastic, Erin! To add to the fun, Cindy’s husband Carleton Conant also set a PB.
We have a few people who are on PB streaks. This included Steven Moore, who did his 6th run and his 6th PB. Almost 6 minutes faster than his first time out. Eric Skidmore did his 3rd run and his 3rd PB. James Hudson took 2 minutes from his PB, and Alina Zhang dipped under 30 minutes for the first time. Yvette Tamukong also set a nice PB. We knew that this was due. It was just a matter of her getting out of bed in time to start with everybody else. Other PBs this week were by Lee Babcock, Franz Wien, Jefferson Ruiz, and Dave Heintzelmann.
We would be nowhere without our wonderful volunteers. With Lisa Wilson still in Scotland, Yancira Amaya again was your turnaround greeter. Hump Plotts guarded his eponymous crossing, as always. Janice Bernache, Frank Filteau, Jake Foley, Larry Washington, Xinzi He, and Win Persina took care of business at the finish line. And JJ Su was tailwalker, making sure that nobody got lost. Chris McGranahan was run director.
And although I’m writing this run report, I was thousands of miles away when the run happened, visiting with family in the UK and dropping in at Chipping Sodbury parkrun near Bristol. There I was one of 423 parkrunners on a narrow 3-lap course around some soccer and rugby fields. I think the locals were a little taken aback by my enthusiastic “American style” cheers of encouragement. … But even though I was very far away from College Park, after spending an enjoyable flight home editing photos sent by our College Park volunteers, I feel like I was almost there.
See you all soon!