Summer was back for a brief visit this weekend, Sep 16: temperatures in the 80s, 70% humidity. And that was probably why we saw participant numbers dip: 69 parkrunners and 10 volunteers. Nevertheless, a good parkrun overall. How so, you ask? Here we go:
First, we recognized Diana Gough and her son Carlos as parkrunners of the month for September. They both took a break from parkrunning today to volunteer: Diana scanned barcodes and tokens, while Carlos handed out tokens, filling a volunteer gap in the last minute. Thank you guys for volunteering!
Second, we welcomed nine newcomers. Six were local: Yogarshi Vyas, Sarah Sopher and her aunt Lisa Sopher, Seun A, Emily Cruikshank, Stowell Davison. We also had three visitors from Europe: Mike Richardson (from Sheffield, UK), Paul Cleaver (Tamar Lakes parkrun, UK, but also a UMD alum and who used to run at Greenbelt Park), and Robsahm Trude from Norway. Mike has run at 179 different parkrun locations, and was our first finisher for Saturday.
(What happened to our local speedsters? Well, Clark Ridge was running with his daughter Violet, and co-event director Colin Phillips was in Missouri doing a parkrun test event in Moberly. Moberly, MO, parkrun launches Oct 28.)
We also celebrated a couple of milestones. Co-event director Andrea Zukowski finished her 25th College Park parkrun, Anouk Dieuleveut her 20th, Jeff Lunsford his 10th, and Paul Kittredge his 5th (while finishing 2nd overall). And in the junior category, Anna Colette Foley and her brother Jonathan each completed their 9th parkrun, putting them closer to their free 10-parkrun t-shirt milestone.
Our regulars continue to astound with their performance. Despite the warm weather, we saw 16 PBs today, that is, one in four people beat their parkrun records. A few notable PBs: Pam Marcus, taking a break from planning a parkrun in Kensington, MD with Jeff Lunsford and a few others, set a PB. Matthew Mullally is on a streak: 6 PBs in 6 runs, and getting very close to breaking the 20 minute barrier. Judy Barnes walked her way into her 7th PB -- how she walks this fast is beyond us. Emily Flamm and Martin Mittendorff made sizable improvements in their times. Andrew Widman, perhaps fortified from Nathan Widman's birthday cake, took a minute and 20 seconds off his PB last week, and Violet Ridge took 3 minutes off hers. I was told by a parkrunner (who I will not name) that after the run Violet told her dad Clark "Daddy! I DEFINITELY earned a donut today!" Food does amazing things to your willpower.
(For the record, my source also said that Clark replied to Violet, clarifying that he does not do donut bribes, although it was unclear whether this policy applies to participating in parkruns in general, or setting a PB.)
And where would we be without our volunteers, who continue to dazzle with their stylish lime-green vests while making all this possible. As mentioned earlier, Diana and Carlos took care of scanning and tokens, Kim Fisher made sure everyone turned around at the right spot; Hump Plotts kept the golf-course crossing safe; Jenn Augsburger left no one behind, Clare Imholtz and Rachel Lukens got everyone their times. If you wonder why some of the photographs are so nice this week, that is because we were joined by Norm Bernache (Janice Bernache's dad), and a pretty capable photographer. Thank you all! If you can help in a future week, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you update your parkrun profile to receive our weekly volunteer email circular (yes, only one per week), then your parkrun community will thank you.
Coming attractions at College Park parkrun:
- September 23rd: event #50 already!
- September 30th: join us at The Board & Brew after parkrun to meet with Tom Williams, COO of parkrun global, and founder of the original college town parkrun.
- October 21st: First Birthday Celebration!
- October 28th: UMD Homecoming 5k @ College Park parkrun.
Let's hope that we will get some regular fall weather this coming weekend. Same time, same place. Don't forget your barcode!