New normal (Run Report #109)

This week in the DMV we really saw the shift in seasons. Snow is not something we talk about in this area until at least December, and even that seems early. Well, Mother Nature has her own plans and we got that hit of winter weather the Thursday before parkrun. We rebounded well, though, and by Saturday we had a beautiful Fall morning for 120 finishers.

Everything about Saturday seemed like your normal Saturday parkrun. Friends gathering a few minutes before the start, barkrunners played among the kids, first-timers came to ask what this was all about and what the barcodes were for, parkrun tourists introduced themselves, volunteers donned their hi-vis vests, and a community of walkers and runners formed as it has for the last 2+ years on this trail. This all felt normal. You hear a lot lately about the “new normal”, and it often has a negative connotation behind it. Well, this is my new normal - an amazing, diverse community of family, friends, and neighbors enjoying each other and parkrun. On a day like today less than two years ago, we would have been thrilled to break 50 parkrunners, but 120 now feels normal.

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Besides celebrating this new normal, we had a few other reasons to celebrate this parkrun. College Park parkrun had their first person to hit the 100 parkrun mark. John Jensenius joined our community a few months back after running most of his parkruns at Oxford parkrun. He was able to take the black 100 sash on its inaugural spin. We are thrilled to have you with us, John. Congratulations on #100! Now that College Park parkrun is over the century mark, we’re expecting to see a few of these 100s coming up. Stay tuned!

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We also celebrated a special 25 volunteer. Jen Murphy tailwalked this week, which was a perfect change of pace from her marathon the week before, and earned her 25th volunteer gig in the process. The purple cape looks great on you, Jen! This 25 volunteer milestone is another spot where I’m expecting a number of people hitting pretty soon. Could we be seeing lots of purple shirts in our community in the spring? I think so.

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We also like to give shout-outs for our unofficial milestones. Maria Cecil and Helena Santos-Collins both did their 25th parkruns. Halfway to the 50 club already! Sharyn Gordon, Maria Ialacci, Caroline Molieri, and Jefferson Ruiz all joined us for the 10th time. Dagne Ture was the one new member this week of our unofficial 5-parkrun club.

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We welcomed 19 first-timers this week. That’s also fairly normal these days. We saw some more families. Steven Moore and his son Liam this week brought along the rest of the family - welcome to Amanda Edmonds and James Edmonds-Moore. John Maneval and his daughter Vivian joined us, as did Sam Hawala together with Lilian and Jeremy. Our most seasoned parkrunner of the day was Paul Parker, who has run most of his 210 parkruns at Killerton parkrun in Exeter, UK. We were also happy to welcome Laura Patsko, whose home parkrun is Cambridge, UK.

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Maybe a whole bunch of PBs are the new normal, too. We saw our fair share on Saturday. First across the line and first to get a new PB was Niko Fedkin at 18:12. Just barely a minute back was Cotter Rosenberg who has been knocking off PBs seemingly every week. Maybe he just loves to ring that PB bell. The fact that he still had so much spring in his step at the 4k mark suggests that there’s more to come from Cotter. The PB bell got a workout this Saturday. Isaac Scott got to ring it again, as did Daniel Walker, Emily Jensenius, Frank Snyder, Caroline Molieri, Meghan Gieske, Charlie Foley, Larissa Olson, Sarah Treado, Justin Bridgman, Marcia Abrams, Finn Ward, Carrie Murphy, Magdalena Duhagon (4 in 4!), Helena Santos-Collins, and Dominique Blom.

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A special shout out for Janet Tate, her daughter Tara Mease, and her grandson Xander Mease. This may be the first time that we’ve seen 3 generations set a PB on the same day.

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Also, kudos to Lilly Ridge, who ducked under 40 minutes for the first time, and had the distinction of being the first finisher named Ridge. No mean feat in that family.

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Congratulations everyone! I love hearing that bell ring loud (and often!).

I also love all our volunteers each and every week. This week’s superheros were Casey Allen, Saul Goldberg, Kayla Hayes, Nick Huang, Eric London, Tomas Marambio, Erin Munsell, Jennifer Murphy, Colin Phillips, Hump Plotts, Clark Ridge, Abigail Santoni, Lisa Wilson, and, of course, Andrea Zukowski. As we head into Thanksgiving week, our ever-changing volunteer crew gives me a lot to be thankful for. Our growing community always comes through when we need a volunteer to fill one of these roles - for that I’m very thankful!

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Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope I’ll see many of you for our special Thanksgiving parkrun. Lots to be thankful for! We’ll be meeting at the usual time, usual place, usual price, and with the usual swag (friends!) on Thursday November 22nd. Then we’ll be back at it at our regular Saturday time on November 24th. It’s a perfect time to bring along family or friends. The only difference is that on Thursday we’ll be skipping the regular post-parkrun coffee, so that the Board & Brew folks can get to Grandma’s house on time.

Alternatively, you could do one of this week’s parkruns with our friends at Kensington parkrun instead - they’ll be holding two events. Or at any of the DMV parkruns that are all taking place on Saturday. Or if you’ll be traveling elsewhere in the US, you now have more and more parkruns to visit. If you do, do send pictures!

-Brian Murphy

[Ed - we would also like to congratulate Brian for putting in an amazing run in last week's Richmond Marathon, with a 2:55 clocking. It's impressive that he was able to climb onto the stool for the run briefing this week.]
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