To infinity and beyond! (Run Report #100)

When I arrived at Acredale Park (and Hurricane Florence didn’t), I could feel an extra buzz in the air. Then again, I could have easily mixed that up with the smell of the cookies, cakes, and confectionery (vegan and otherwise, contributed by various parkrunners!).

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The special buzz was because we were celebrating our 100th parkrun in College Park, just 23 months after the first one. And a LOT of people came out to celebrate this milestone. 210 finishers was easily our largest crowd yet at College Park parkrun, and with volunteers, barkrunners, kids in strollers, and supporters, it was quite the crowd.

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In addition, there were also several extra exhibits that you would not normally see on a ‘regular’ parkrunday. Here’s three that you probably couldn’t miss:

100 Reasons Why We Love Parkrun, by what-were-you-smoking-if-you-told-me-5-years-ago-I’d-organize-100-running-events Andrea Zukowski.

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100 (I guesstimated) photo collage, by Cindy & Steve Feld.

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100 & Fabulous sash, by Lisa Wilson, pinned on the parkrun flag

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Did you know, black is also the color of the parkrun milestone shirt that you can proudly wear after completing 100 parkruns? (It’s free, too.) Just like red is the color of the 50 milestone shirt that we’re seeing on more of our regulars. Now you know why the 50 sash that Emily Jensenius wore this week for reaching her 50th parkrun was red. A junior parkrunner, Benno Wien, also reached his 10-parkrun milestone (for juniors only) this week. We don’t seem to have a white 10 sash yet. Or maybe a cape would do the trick.

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We also take this opportunity to congratulate those who are on their way to the official milestones:

5 College Park parkruns: James Hudson, Silvia Lesic, Calvin Ridge, Kristine Rogers, Erin Schneider, Josh Schneider, Raffaele Simpson, and Sotiria Stathopoulou. Among these, Justin Bridgman (PB), Külli Puusta (3rd PB in a row!), and Samantha Schneider (4th PB in a row!).

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10 parkruns: Adam Brown, Tami Graf, Dexter Guillaume, and Zak Mellen. Dominique Lisiero managed to complete 10 parkruns within 2 months and a day of first joining us. Impressive.

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25 parkruns: Susan Keller, Jay Bao,and Abdur Rahman-Quadri. Both Elizabeth Foley and Katie Hirsche got a chance to ring the PB bell on their 25th parkrun!

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Talking about PBs, there were a LOT of PBs this week. In fact, the total of 48 PBs was the highest ever for our event, and the highest ever for parkrun USA. Here’s the full list:

Joseph Barrow, Erika Barnhardt, Laura Beckert, Kimberly Bills, Adrianna Bradford, Justin Bridgman, West Coile, Angela Dadak, John Elliott, Elizabeth Foley, Jonathan Foley, Ben Gieske, Alyssa Heintzelmann, Dave Heintzelmann, Katie Hirsche, Janis Jackson, Mary Keane, Pride Kewkam, Aileen Kroll, Jinhan Long, Suerken Matsuyama, Bonnie McClellan, Leyla Merlo, Rachel Muzakir, Talor Nickens, Princesse Owona, Lara Pagano, Francis Parks, Teresa Perdomo, Funita Phan, Matthew Phillips, Denis Primakov, Külli Puusta, Francisco Reyes, Samantha Schneider, RJ Spalding, Sarah Starett, Zora Stovall, Derek Symer, Chris van Vlack, Daniel Walker, Chyna Waugh, John Way, Benno Wien, Franz Wien, Tess Wood, Wendy Young, Yogarshi Yvas.

... Phew! These guys certainly kept the PB bell busy!

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Among the many PBs, 3 lowered our event’s age category records. Katie Hirsche set a record in W15-17, Bonnie McClellan in W75-79, and John Elliott in M80-84. John already holds our 75-79 record, so he must have had a recent birthday.

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A big Thank You to the parkrunners who brought friends and family to celebrate event #100 with us, such as Jim Cantwell and family, and many others in the week’s photos.

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Next, my thanks goes to all the volunteers who joined me to make event #100 happen! I am grateful for Lisa & Hump Plotts’ perennial presence on the course. Did you know, ‘Hump’s T-shirt collection’ made it to the 100-reasons-why board? Bringing up the rear of the huge (record 210) parkrun posse this week were Julie Russell, Enrique (Neil) Jograj Jr., Xinzi He, and Xiao Ji (the latter two were among our parkrun paparazzi for the day). Back at the finish line, Larry Washington & Eduardo Valente kept the stopwatches clicking, while Kayla Hayes and Tomas Marambio teamed up on the finisher tokens. Tomas recently moved to College Park from Santiago, Chile, and he has jumped in right away as a runner and volunteer. Welcome! And we hope that last week’s excellent puddle photo will just be the first of your many parkrun memories! Chris McGranahan and Jenn Augsburger took care of scanning lots and lots of barcodes, and Xiao (Jay Bao’s wife) joined Colin as our finish line photographer, capturing some great moments.

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As this week’s run director, I was glad to see all the familiar and new (that’s you Tomas!) faces. I’m especially grateful to Kayla and Xiao, who agreed to my last minute requests to don the hi-viz vests! At the Board & Brew, Neil and Valerie Silensky had the novel experience of sorting three huge safety pins worth of tokens. Andrea and Colin checked if I was comfortable enough to process results on my own. I did (almost) everything entirely by myself this time around. Thanks to Nick Huang for showing me the very last step. ;)

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And we have some announcements for upcoming weeks:

#101 - September 22nd. Park cleanup day. Have you seen the state of the parking lot? So much litter! Not from parkrunners, of course, but we’re looking after the park in recognition of the warm welcome we receive from PG Parks. Please arrive early to help out, e.g., 8:15. We have bags and grabbers. Also, it’s a UMD Home Football Game, 12pm. Don’t try to park in UMD Lots.

Oh, and a certain mayor will be doing his 50th parkrun.

#102 - September 29th. parkrun by Broomstick Day! This is the one day per year when Acredale Park is taken over by a Muggle Quidditch tournament. Parking will be in short supply. So dust off your broomstick and fly to parkrun. Or ride your bike. Or park in UMD Lot 11b (5-mins walk) or at the bowling alley across Route 1. In any case, allow a few extra minutes. Or head to Fletcher’s Cove parkrun, where they’ll be having a special event to commemorate the Nelson Mandela centenary, featuring legendary ultra-runner and manager of parkrun South Africa, Bruce Fordyce.

#103 - October 6th. Walking Day and College Park Day. At parkrun we’ll welcome the walkers of Club 300. Hoping that others will walk with them on that day to help welcome them to our community. In the afternoon we’ll have a parkrun booth at the College Park Day event at College Park Aviation Museum. Can you help out? Let us know.

#105 - October 20th. Our 2nd birthday!

So much to look forward to this fall at College Park parkrun.

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Remember to check out our album of great photos from this week’s event, and from every other week’s event.  Till the next #parkrunday!

JJ Su

P.S. My personal contribution to the 100 reasons why board.

The community, camaraderie, and sometimes cake is as cool as the salt, sweat, and support I know I will find at College Park parkrun.

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P.P.S. how is it possible to go to infinity and beyond? If it is not possible to even reach infinity, because it is, well, infinite, then how can one go beyond it? Apparently, according to Wikipedia, there is a difference between actual infinity and potential infinity. I probably meant the latter. In potential infinity, there is a non-terminating process, such as ‘add 1 to the previous number’, which in turn produces a sequence with no last element. (The parkrunners who are also mathematicians can probably correct me if I’m wrong). In any case, the title of this run report is my wish for our parkrun on its 100th event.

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