“Hello, I’m a first timer”, I probably said that to another parkrunner a year or so ago at event #34. Fast forward to event #90. The day was graced with lovely weather, and it brought a big crowd, one of our largest yet for a ‘normal’ Saturday. As a first timer Run Director this week, I was ready to see our weekly event from a new perspective.
I have been a regular runner, and I have volunteered in many different roles, but I had never been tasked with overseeing all of the different pieces that need to work for everything to go off smoothly. There were really a lot of things happening, and it was over before I knew it. From setting up the gear (thanks to Clark for storing and delivering it), to starting the event on time (apologies to those of you who weren’t expecting this), to countless conversations with volunteers and participants, to my first time in the driver’s seat processing the results (thanks to Chris for helping, and to Andrea for some key guidance from an ocean away). I was grateful for the wonderful opportunity to be a steward of the goodwill that the team has built so far. With this experience I now have a deeper appreciation of what the people who have come before me have done to make the event such a dear one.
Among the many first timers this week, there were two Alex(es). Allister Alexander, and Alexandra Minicozzi, who finished as a first timer together with her daughter. Catherine Calvi and her big family, who came in with the tail walkers, also joined the first timer club this week. We also welcomed back the parkrunners who we haven’t seen in a while: Lisa Chilcote returned, bearing cake! It disappeared rather quickly. Thanks Lisa!
No official milestones this week, but Amanda Mercer will join the parkun 50 club if she turns up next Saturday. Kirk Gordon and Jim Parsons both already joined the 50 club, but this week they ran at CP for the 50th time. Eduardo Valente ran at CP for the 25th time, and Trini Molina did her 25th parkrun. Two reached their first double-digit (10) run: Astrid Salguero, Jim Cantwell (PB!). A number of runners also reached the unofficial 5 club: Tara McLoughlin, Erika Barnhardt, Raphael Benitez, John Scott, George Myers, Carlos Chaverri, Sean Turner, Tina Heineman (PB!), and Jing Geng. We just love seeing new people come along and become regular members of our growing community.
In terms of PBs and other speediness. Jim Cantwell cut 4 minutes from his PB! Great to see him finish his 10th run. He has volunteered 11 times already. Timothy Purvis: 4 PBs in 4 visits! Same for Tina Heineman, and for Pai-Kai Yeh. 3rd PB in 3 visits for Pratima Hebbar. Rebecca Purvis lowered her PB by 23 minutes. We suspect that she may have been holding back on previous visits. Lots of second timers are showing faster times. David Gang, a second timer dropped almost two minutes from his first visit, and achieved a PB in 10th position overall. All of you get a chance to ring the PB bell next time out if you have not done so already!
Finally, I want to say a big thank you to all the people who joined me as a volunteer, and also to those who helped out in your own way at event #90. So many people helped out. Lisa and Hump kept us on course, as they so often do. Jackie and Kayla Hayes took care of tokens. Clare Imholtz and Abdur Rahman-Quadri handled timing. Great to have old hands on that one. Erin Munsell and Yancira Amaya handled scanning. Tara McLaughlin and Lori Dominic teamed up on tailwalking and photography duties, and Xinzi He also took pictures at the finish. Check out our Facebook or Flickr pages to see the cool things that they captured. Clark and Violet Ridge helped with gear, tokens, and more, and Chris McGranahan held my hand for results processing. Andrea Zukowski and Colin Phillips were away on holiday in England, doing a little parkrun tourism themselves, but they were still keeping busy from afar. I was really glad to join you and the rest of the parkrunners on a cool summer day.
See you again soon on #parkrunday (every Saturday)!
First-time Run Director