Donuts for Violet (Run Report #49)

20170916-ParkRun_0047Summer 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!

Carlos, Diana, and Andrea talk about the art of scanning barcodes

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.

Welcome!Welcome, Mike, Paul, and Robsahm

(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.)

Moberly parkrun: note the big M in the URL

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.

A few milestones: Anouk, Andrea, and Paul

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.)

PBs: Clockwise from top-left: Violet and Clark, Emily, Matthew, and Andrew

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 collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com. 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!

Nick Huang

 

Putting our best foot forward (Run Report #48)

In stark contrast to last week, the weather was near perfect for running on Saturday September 9th. At 9am it was a beautiful 61° F with a light north breeze and a very comfortable dewpoint. The predictable result was a slew of personal best times this week. An amazing 34 out of the 100 finishers recorded new PBs!  Among them was co-event director Colin Phillips, 2nd finisher today, who lowered his already impressive PB by 21 seconds!

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In addition, there were 11 first timers in the field this week establishing PBs on the College Park parkrun course. These included Jim Scott from Australia, a regular at Armidale parkrun in New South Wales. Jim’s debut here was his 71st overall parkrun. He and wife Marianne have spent the summer in the US with Jim running at Eagan parkrun in Minnesota six times. John and Julie Czerkowicz were visiting from Boston. John is a first timer while Julia had already run with us way back on New Year’s Eve 2016. Julie’s brother is College Park regular Chris Kujawa. Also, Yared Zeleke joined younger brother Kidus (a parkrun regular) for the first time. Others making their debut in College Park included Aaron Trulock, Jesse Chasteen, Ramiro Rodriguez, Kelsie Mathieson, Caleb Kiesow, Hannah Saltmarsh, Fasika Delessa, and Daysi Cruz. Welcome!

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We were pleased to see that half of this week’s first timers were in the 20-24 age group. The start of Fall brings a big influx of young people to our community in College Park, and we hope to see many of them at parkrun on Saturday mornings.

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First finisher this week for the 23rd time was Clark Ridge, though Colin was hot on his heels. Among the ladies, Lisa Parsons recorded her 5th first finish. Also, Michael Mattson and Nico Fedkin established new age category records this week. Great job, guys! Nathan Widman ran his final parkrun as a 10-year old this week and narrowly missed lowering his own age category record. We wish Nathan a happy birthday and look forward to him going after the 11-14 age category record. Fortunately, this will mean that Nathan will no longer need chaperones at parkrun. Surely a relief for his dad, Andrew Widman, who was one of this week’s PBs, though far behind Nathan.

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A few notable milestones this week. Sam and Chris Mcgranahan both reached 20 runs at College Park parkrun on the same day. Dave Waguespack, Steve Hendrix, Brie Gibson (PB!), and Ryan Sibley (PB!) all recorded their 10th finishes. Hans Meurer (PB!), Cliff Bedore (PB!), Maggie Pooley (PB!) and Kayla Hayes all ran their 5th College Park parkrun.

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Among the many other PBs this week were some family doubles: Steve and Cindy Feld, John Wilkerson and Susan Whitney. Some parkrunners made notable time breakthroughs: Brie Gibson, Andy Fellows, Judy Mulusa, and Andrew Widman all ran under 30 minutes for the first time. Paul Kittredge and Ben Flamm ran under 20 minutes for the first time. Tsegaab Hailemichael ran under 25 minutes for the first time, and Maggie Pooley ran under 35 minutes for the first time (huge PB!). Walkers Bhavani Khandrika and Chris Rasmussen both scored PBs. It’s not just the runners who are getting faster.

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Our dedicated volunteer crew made life easy for the run director as usual. Thanks to timekeepers Janice Bernache and Cindy Conant, the finish token and scanner team of Will Bobseine and Kacey Nyongesa, course marshals Hump Plotts and Lisa Wilson, tail walker Xinzi He, and photographer Nina McGranahan. Afterwards at The Board and Brew, Sam McGranahan pitched in to help with results processing.

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Lastly, we’d also like to give a special volunteer shout-out to Kim Fisher (another PB today!), who was last week’s tail walker and photographer in the rain storm. And then went and spent the afternoon designing and sewing for us a wonderful new carrier for our parkrun flag and poles. Thank you so much, Kim!

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As you know, we’ll be back at the same time, same place every week. But take note of a few upcoming special attractions at College Park parkrun.

  • September 30th: parkrun global COO, founder of the very first college town parkrun, will likely be joining us at The Board and Brew after parkrunning downtown.
  • October 7th: our second Prince George’s Running Club day
  • October 21st: 1st birthday celebration!
  • October 28th: UMD Homecoming 5k @ College Park parkrun
  • November 11th: teaming up with Prince George’s Parks to plant some larger trees at our start/finish area, providing shade for future summers

See you again soon.

Jim Parsons

 

No washout this time (Run Report #44)

When I checked the forecast on Friday I was a little concerned: there was plenty of rain forecast on Friday night and Saturday, and the last time we got a Friday storm, a section of the trail was flooded and impassible. Fortunately, this time we got less rain than expected on Friday, and there was no flooding -- no need for a double out and back for our 75 parkrunners! (For those of you who were wondering, there was no rain on Saturday.)

and we're off!

We celebrated Kirk Gordon's 50th parkrun. Kirk has earned himself a free red parkrun t-shirt, joining fellow College Park parkrun regular, Cindy Cohen. Special thanks to event director Andrea Zukowski for baking a chocolate cake. Other unofficial milestones include: 20 College Park parkruns: Patrick Wojahn, mayor of College Park; 10 College Park parkruns: Jeanette Novak; 5 College Park parkruns: Noah WoodMisrak Awegichew, Michael Roberts (PB!), and Susan Keller. Congratulations all!

Clockwise from left: Kirk, Steven, Greg, Misrak, Michael. Susan is in the Board and Brew photo below, in the green shirt.

Clockwise from left: Kirk, Patrick, Jeanette, Michael, Misrak. Susan is in the Board and Brew photo below, in the green shirt.

We also welcomed 7 first-timers: Frank Byskov, Dave Walser, Marty Brandon (who was convinced to come moments earlier by Finiana Joseph), John and Erica Barnhardt, Geoffrey Roberts, and Bhavani Khandrika. Also joining us for a few moments near the golf course crossing was a 5-foot long ratsnake, but our golf course marshal Steve Goetzinger moved it off the path (parkrun rules allow dogs, but snakes are hard to keep on a short leash).

Clockwise from left: Frank, Dave, Bhavani, John and Erica, Marty and Finiana, Geoffrey

Clockwise from left: Frank, Dave, Bhavani, John and Erica, Marty and Finiana, Geoffrey

Unfortunately, in my pre-run briefing, I forgot to mention that we always meet at The Board and Brew after parkrun for coffee and/or breakfast. So, if our first-timers are reading this: sorry about that, and please join us at The Board and Brew the next time you come. (Regulars are of course also welcome.)

Post-parkrun coffee at the Board and Brew

Post-parkrun coffee at the Board and Brew

Despite the humidity, many of you continued to push the envelop; there were 18 personal bests in total. This included Mark Shroder, who just keeps on setting PBs, this time smashing through 30 minutes. Michael Roberts has now had a PB in each of his 5 parkruns (all at College Park). Speedy first finisher Travis Boltjes was 3 seconds away from his PB, but improved on his age-graded performance -- which probably means that he recently celebrated a birthday. Happy belated birthday, Travis! Karen Prestegaard took almost 2 minutes from her PB, and Judy Barnes set a big PB too -- we don't have documentary evidence of Judy breaking into a run, but she's reaching a pace where it's hard to walk. Kate Murray and Orla Collins again scored mother-and-daughter PBs. Rumi Matsuyama scored a big PB on her 8th parkrun. Jordan Foley set a PB, while still pushing Charlie in a stroller. Meanwhile Ben Flamm, running without a stroller for a change, came close to cracking 20 minutes. ... And the list goes on. Great running to all of you.

PBs: Michael and Travis

Michael and Travis

A special mention is in order for PBs by Nina and Graham Mold, who visited us for the second time as parkrun tourists. Nina and Graham normally run at Rugby parkrun in the UK. They visited us for our special flooded parkrun on July 29th, and returned this week to see the full course. They were really glad to meet our parkrun community.

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I also wanted to give a shout-out to three other members of our parkrun community. First, Noah Wood, who donated bottled water. We didn't have to open up the pack of water this week but we will have them next Saturday. Second, Clara Burkart Schaffer wasn't scheduled to volunteer, but decided to help with tokens and barcode scanning. Third, Clark Ridge. Like Clara, Clark wasn't scheduled to volunteer either, but offered to stay after his run and help out with barcode scanning duties, even though he has a 3-week old baby at home.

From left: Noah, Clark, Clara and Lois

From left: Noah, Clark, Clara and Lois

Lastly, our volunteers. Pam Marcus joined Jenn Augsburger, parkrunner of the month for August, as timekeeper. Dale Morey took a break from running a parkrun to hand out finish tokens, with help from Clara. Barcodes and tokens were superbly scanned by Lois Zukowski and Clark -- results processing was a walk in the park (pun intended). Andrea Zukowski, whose post-surgery progress has been incredible, was our tailwalker. JJ Su and Steve Goetzinger were our turnaround and golf-course marshals respectively, our regular marshals, Lisa Wilson and Hump Plotts, being away this weekend. We are always on the look-out for volunteers, so please email us (collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com) if you are interested.

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Clockwise from top left: Pam, Lois and Clark, Steve, Andrea and JJ, Dale, and Jenn (last two photos from a previous sunnier parkrun)

Meanwhile, co-Event Director Colin Phillips was doing a spot of parkrun tourism himself. While in Oslo he tried to check out Norway's first parkrun, due to launch next week at Tøyenparken. He only got to see part of the course, as the park was blocked off for the Oslo Jazz Festival (first world problems!). Then on Saturday he visited the interestingly named Nonsuch parkrun, set in an expansive park in the suburbs of London. Colin received a warm welcome from the Nonsuch team. They are a long-established parkrun, on a scale that we can barely imagine at College Park. For event #310 they had 605 parkrunners, supported by 50 volunteers. To handle the busy traffic they have an elaborate double funnel set up at the finish. Over 200 of their participants on Saturday had already done 50+ parkruns. The Nonsuch team has an informal "twin parkrun" relationship with New Farm parkrun in Brisbane, Australia, and they suggested a similar special relationship with College Park parkrun. Our events have much in common -- including the excellent coffee shops. Theirs is set in the gardens of Nonsuch Mansion, right by the start/finish area, and their selection of cakes is to die for. Sounds tempting! Then, on Sunday, Colin was at the London Olympic Stadium, watching the world's fastest women 5k runners in the world championships. And there he was joined by Karen Harris and Paul Martelletti. We met Karen and Paul when they visited College Park parkrun last week, with Paul setting our course record. With our event founder Andrea unable to travel to London, Karen and Paul were able to put Colin's spare tickets to good use. Some perspective on how fast the world's quickest women are. Paul's incredible time of 14:57 at College Park last week would have placed him 8th in the women's race in London. Wow.

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That's it for this run report. For more photos, visit our Facebook or Flickr pages. Or follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or join our Strava page.

See you next Saturday and don't forget your barcode!

Nick Huang

 

A Reason to Celebrate (Run Report #43)

It was an absolutely stunning summer day for College Park parkrun this week and we had 93 parkrunners come out to celebrate the low humidity, low temperatures, and wonderful sunshine. However, it wasn’t just the stunning weather that made this day special. There were plenty of reasons to celebrate.

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As we mentioned last week, our founder Andrea Zukowski underwent cancer surgery just a week ago Friday, but if you know Andrea, it’s going to take a lot more than that to keep her away from parkrun. We were delighted to have her smiling and enjoying parkrun with us. She walked the course with the volunteers and enjoyed taking pictures of you as you passed in the opposite direction. We so happy for your progress, Andrea!

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We also celebrated an official parkrun milestone. Violet Ridge reached the 10-parkrun milestone. Congratulations, Violet, we hope you enjoy your parkrun 10-run shirt. We love having you join us, slowing your dad down a bit, and running through the puddles after a rainstorm. Thank you to Lisa Wilson and Diana Gough for baking cakes for this celebration.

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Along with Violet, we also had a number of people reach unofficial milestones. Russell Dickerson joined us for number 10. Russell first joined us on the big May 27th parkrun and has been a regular since. Tsegaab Hailemichael also joined for number 10 after first joining us back in Janurary, always bringing that wonderful parkrun smile! Meanwhile, Kirk Gordon ran College Park parkrun for the 25th time. This was also his 49th parkrun overall, so next time out is #50 for Kirk. And a shout out is in order for College Park regular Chris Kujawa, who ran his 25th parkrun this week at Livonia parkrun in Michigan, where he has been the “resident parkrun tourist” this summer. His new Livonia PB is just one second shy of his College Park PB, but the grassy Livonia route is more challenging.

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Quite a number of people hit their 5th parkrun on Saturday, too. Kristen and Marco Limarzi joined two family members who did #5 last week. Kristen and Marco both did their first parkrun back in March, as did Bridget Pooley, who also did #5 this week. Janice Bernache, Martin Mittendorff, Dale Morey and Solomon Ambaye all did their first parkrun in early July and have been with us almost every week since then. At this rate, they will have earned their 50 shirts by this time next year. Dale will be taking a week off from running this week to volunteer -- thanks Dale! Solomon, Martin, Janice, and Dale all celebrated this week by setting new PBs.

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We also saw 10 first timers at parkrun. This included a number of people who brought along family members. Paul Wester brought his daughters Mary and Abigail, and his wife also walked much of the route. Kara and Matt Wharton brought along Kara’s parents Steve and Marcia Teolis, and their dog George. And Teresa Mittendorff brought her sister Verena Ettner. We have lots of families with younger children that come to parkrun together, but parkrun is also a great way for families with grown children to meet up. My father-in-law Gus Campbell is one of the most regular runners at College Park parkrun, and it’s great for me and Jen to meet up with him for a run and a breakfast chat, or, like this week, to work together as volunteers.

Welcome everyone -- we look forward to seeing you back for more!

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We mentioned that we had 93 parkrunners come join us. Out of those 93 there were 28 PBs (35% of returning finishers)! Solomon Ambaye made a big step forward on his 5th parkrun. July parkrunner of the month Frank Filteau got a PB on his 22nd parkrun. Elliott Hamilton scored a substantial PB to mark his birthday. So this meant that it was an especially large PB in age-graded terms. Dale Morey deserves a special shout-out for his big PB this week, as he’s one of the people who might have missed out on a PB last week due to our last-minute course change. Matt and Kara Wharton got his ‘n hers PBs this week, as did Yolanda and Mike Roberts. Teresa Wertz probably wasn’t chasing a PB, but she got one anyway. Annabel Gorman made a big 2-minute improvement, as did Alex Limarzi and Harish Guda. Jake Foley took a week off from pacing duties so was able to set a PB of his own. Steve Goetzinger threw down a PB and then raced back along the trail to join his wife, tail walker Tiffany Goetzinger.

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We announced our parkrunner of the month award for August. This month’s honoree is Jenn Augsburger, who was one of this week’s timekeepers. Jenn was a regular parkrunner, and we hope that she will be again, but since being sidelined with injury she has been one of our most dedicated volunteers. Thank you, Jenn! And we hope that you enjoy the gift card from our friends at The Board and Brew, and that you’ll be able to run with us again soon.

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We also welcomed a few parkrun tourists. Paul Martelletti and Karen Harris joined us on holiday from London and Paul brought the speed! The College Park parkrun course record was held by Tom Bean at 15:24. Tom showed up to defend his record, but had his work cut out for him. Paul has an impressive running history as a 2:16 marathoner, and a world record holder for fastest marathon in a Spiderman suit. He also held the course record at 27 different parkruns. He can now add a 28th, as he ran a blazingly fast 14:57. This is also now the overall parkrun USA record. Maybe just as impressive was Paul’s run later that evening (I’ll let you find that on your own). Tom Bean was just a couple of seconds shy of his own PB with 15:27, but was far behind Paul. Keep at it Tom, I think you can get the record back! All credit to Tom for being a good sport and welcoming Paul to College Park. Right after the run, Tom took Paul for a run around Lake Artemesia (... because a 5k just isn’t enough), and then they met up for a long run the next morning.

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We had such a blast this week and it was all possible because of our amazing volunteers. The volunteers have almost as much fun as the parkrunners, so if you are looking to help out, don’t be shy, and let us know (collegeparkoffice@parkrun.com). Over 100 of you have helped out already, and the more that contribute, the more our free, weekly event will thrive.

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Golf course marshal this week was Hump Plotts. Turn around marshal was Lisa Wilson. Tail walker was Tiffany Goetzinger. Timing was well handled by Steve Feld and Jenn Augsburger. Finish tokens given out by Gus Campbell. Barcodes were scanned by Andrea’s mom, Lois Zukowski. Thanks for filling in and letting Andrea participate in parkrun, Lois! And as usual we had a wonderful collection of photos from around the route, thanks to a team effort by Jen Murphy, Colin Phillips, Lisa Wilson, Tiffany Goetzinger, and Andrea Zukowski. You can see the full set of photos at our Facebook page or in high resolution at our Flickr group.

Brian Murphy

 

A Near Washout (Run Report #42)

The week leading up to College Park parkrun #42 was not a typical one. With our event founder Andrea Zukowski undergoing cancer surgery on Friday, our thoughts and concerns were with Andrea and her family. About mid-week, however, Mother Nature put us on notice that we had better be paying attention to run preparations as well. The forecasts were dire, and quite unusual for July, with as much as 6 inches of rain predicted on Friday. We knew from experience that flooding of the course could be a concern. The forecast proved fairly accurate with just about 5 inches of rain falling in College Park. Shortly after daybreak Saturday we scouted the course and indeed found one section inundated and realistically impassable. Rather than throw in the towel, however, we elected to modify the course from an out-and-back to a double out-and-back which avoided the flooded section, and College Park Parkrun #42 was on!

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With the storm moving away, Saturday was delightfully cool compared to recent weeks and an impressive 82 parkrunners assembled for the start including 14 first-timers. Among these were several international visitors. Graham and Nina Mold visited from Rugby parkrun and Ruth Babalola from Bracknell parkrun, both in England. We had two other first-timers who had only run parkruns abroad before. Tim Waterhouse had previously done parkruns in Queensland, Australia, but we suspect that College Park is closer to home. And Annabel Gorman came along with her dad, regular parkrunner Greg Gorman. She did her first parkrun a couple of weeks ago at Amager Strandpark parkrun, which appears to follow a very interesting route along a beach in Copenhagen, Denmark. Other first-timers included Abe Cutler, James Hudson, Paul Kittredge, and four year old Charlie Foley. That gave us six (!) Foley finishers today, as parents Jake and Jordan and siblings Elizabeth, Colette, and Jonathan, all parkrun veterans, were also present.

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The last minute change to a two-lap course meant that we had the challenge of figuring out at very short notice where the new turnaround point should be. This involved me sending course photos to Colin Phillips, who was with Andrea in Georgetown Hospital. Then Colin pored over maps and measurements to come up with guidelines to send to our ace turnaround marshal Lisa Wilson, so that she could find the place to plant her cone. It went something like this. First walk to the 2.5 mile post, then walk to the start of the chain-link fence, counting the number of paces as you go. Then proceed 6 fence posts, multiply the pace count by 0.75, and then walk that many paces to the turnaround. What could possibly go wrong! We think this got the turnaround to within a few yards of the 1.25K point, and we thank Lisa for taking on this task under time pressure. Probably the route was around 5.1K, and we plan to use more accurate tools than legs to re-measure for future reference, but you can assume that your 5K time this week was a few seconds shorter than your finish time.

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Despite the slightly extended course, there were still a dozen of you who recorded PBs this week. This included Janice Bernache, Joe Danger, Harish Guda, Kayla Hayes, Brigid Limarzi, Cameron McPhee, Martin Mittendorff, Judy Mulusa, Joan Myles, Mike Roberts, Erin Saddler, and Kevin Yatchet. And a handful of others who were mere seconds away from their PB can claim a “moral PB” for themselves.

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Among other speediness, Niko Fedkin was first finisher, on his third visit to College Park parkrun, and we had the rare sight of Niko lapping 21-time first finisher Clark Ridge. Clark was running with daughter Violet, and they had more important things than PBs on their mind. Puddles! Among the ladies, Lisa Parsons was first across the line for the fourth time at College Park parkrun. Lisa had been due to volunteer as golf course marshal, but she was able to run at the last minute when Hump Plotts joined us, having returned early from a trip due to the rain storms. Good that Hump was with us, as Hump's Crossing has never seen so much traffic as today.

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Nobody reached an official parkrun milestone this week, though a few people are closing in. Violet Ridge did her 9th parkrun, so we’ll be celebrating her 10-run milestone next week. And both Kirk Gordon (48 runs) and Kayla Hayes (8 runs) are getting very close. Meanwhile, we had a record 10 parkrunners join our unofficial 5-run club. That included five member of the Foley family, Joe and Alex Limarzi, John Tirador, Harish Guda, and Judy Mulusa.

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I want to thank all the volunteers again for their help this week, especially Lisa Wilson who in addition to being the turn-around marshal, handled several other tasks and made sure all went smoothly.  In addition, Yuhan Zhang did an excellent job as photographer while Chris McGranahan and Fanda Hartono handled the timekeeping. Michelle Hermanson, Diana Gough, and Junjie Su took care of the finish tokens and barcode scanning. Hump Plotts was back on marshal duty and Cindy Feld was our tail walker. I’d also like to thank Colin Phillips and Nick Huang for helpful consultation prior to the run. Finally, a shout out to Andrea Zukowski, who even with everything else going on in her life this week, still made sure we were all on board.

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For a full set of pictures from this week's run, see our Flickr group. And you can always follow our updates on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

For next week we’re expecting fine weather and a return to our regular course. See you there!

Jim Parsons

[Ed. Update on Andrea’s progress. Her surgery was a success. She’s now down one kidney, but importantly she appears to be cancer free. On Saturday her limit was an out-and-back course of about 50 feet in Georgetown Hospital, but she is recovering remarkably quickly and by Tuesday she was able to walk a couple of miles. No running at parkrun for a little while, but she plans to be there on Saturday to offer her support.]

 

 

This show will go on (Run Report #41)

8 years ago I weighed 50 lbs more than I do now. I was in the worst shape of my life. Many reasons, but the mid-Atlantic summer heat is one of them. 1 year ago, on a sweltering morning much like last Saturday, Andrea and I went to Acredale Park for our weekly unofficial pre-parkrun, and nobody else showed up. We were concerned that the soon-to-be-launched parkrun would struggle to survive in the hot summer months.

Fast forward 12 months, and we were thrilled to see a crowd of 80 parkrunners and volunteers on the trail, despite the sauna-like weather.

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So what made the difference? Community. It’s easier to stay active in the worst parts of the DC summer heat if you’re doing it with familiar faces. We have that every week, always meeting old and new friends on a Saturday morning. And it helps even more if there are extra human motivations. We had two this week.

First, we celebrated Cindy Cohen, who became the first College Park parkrunner to reach the 50-parkrun milestone. That’s a whole year of Saturday morning 5ks, and for this she has earned a fancy (and free) red 50-shirt from parkrun. You might be wondering how Cindy managed to do this when we’ve only had 41 runs so far in College Park. She reached the 50 by running 25 times at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun, 5 times at Roosevelt Island parkrun, and now 20 times at College Park. Cindy is also president of Prince George’s Running Club, and there were a good number of PGRCers on the trail with her this week. We also celebrated with a special cake, which was appreciated by parkrunners of all ages.

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Second, we celebrated Andrea Zukowski, the founder of College Park parkrun, who was doing her last parkrun before kidney cancer surgery. Andrea was thrilled to see so many people from our parkrun community, despite the oppressive heat, and she is looking forward to following everybody’s progress while she is recovering from the surgery. It will be a little while before Andrea is able to run again, but prospects are good for a full recovery, helped by the fact that she is in such good shape through running. She has been enjoying running every day that she can, and she cannot wait to be back on the trail with you all on a Saturday morning.

One of Andrea’s many parkrun hats is as volunteer coordinator. With her sidelined over the next couple of weeks, we’re trying to fill the volunteer rosters earlier than usual. Drop us a line at collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com if you can help out. We’re so happy that College Park parkrun is doing so well that everything will run very smoothly while we’re away.

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We were very happy to welcome three generations of the Ridge family this week. Clark Ridge did his 36th run with us, and the 21st time as first finisher. 8-year old Violet Ridge did her 8th parkrun, putting her within arm’s reach of the 10-run milestone. And this week Violet ran with her granddad, 3rd time parkrunner Doug Ridge. Why was Doug visiting from Delaware? To visit the newest member of the Ridge family, 5-day old Felix Ridge. Best wishes from all of us to Clark and Lilly and their family, and we’re looking forward to meeting Felix at some parkrun in the future. Clark was a few seconds below his normal pace this week. It could have been due to the heat. But it could just as well have been due to recent lack of sleep.

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We didn’t expect any PBs on such a hot day, and we encouraged everybody to slow down a little. But somehow 13 people still turned in a PB. Especially notable was Mark Shroder, who set a PB on his 10th parkrun. Other PBs were by Matthew Olivencia-Jacques, Solomon Ambaye, Mike Klamm (with a hot dog), John Tirador, James Madden (without the stroller), Dale Morey, Alex Limarzi, Harish Guda, Sandy Gawlas, Karen Prestegaard, and Yolanda and Mike Roberts.

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In addition to former city councilman Mark Shroder reaching his 10th time at College Park parkrun, we also had 8 people who joined us for their 5th parkrun. Fanda Hartono, Steve Goetzinger, and Pam Marcus have been with us more than 5 times already, as they have also joined our growing group of volunteers. Fanda is a graduate student from Indonesia who studies at American University and lives in College Park. Steve is a Hyattsville resident who has a taste for ultra-distance running, and who this week ran (in the heat) from Hyattsville to parkrun and back. Pam is a cancer researcher who is scouting possible parkrun routes in Montgomery County. Rumi Matsuyama, Kate Murray, Meredith Phillips, and Chris Munar are folks who recently discovered College Park pakrun and have been coming frequently ever since. Welcome! Meredith is part of the growing group of walkers, often coming with her dog. Walking is a great way to enjoy the trail and the good company. Adam Kiely is one of our growing group of regular parkrunners who are members of Montgomery County Road Runners Club.

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College Park parkrun is a community-owned and community-produced event, and its strength owes a lot to the many people who volunteer each week. This week we welcomed two first-time volunteers, Letricia Avalhais (scanner) and Greg Gorman (photos). Current parkrunner of the month Frank Filteau volunteered as timer, and former parkrunner of the month Yancira Amaya handled tokens. Jenn Augsburger is proving to be a regular (and excellent) timer while she recovers from injury. We hope you’ll get to run again soon, Jenn! Lisa Wilson was back in her role greeting you at the turnaround, while Debbie Levenson stepped into Hump Plotts' role as golf course marshal. We were very happy to welcome back Diana and Carlos Gough, who have been away for a little while due to swimming season. Diana and Carlos and their dog Ruby were this week’s tailwalkers, and Carlos doubled as roving photographer, as did Kim Fisher, who showed up with her camera and took some nice pictures as she walked the trail Thanks, Carlos and Kim!

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If you’re not already on our volunteer email list, please join the 80+ parkrunners who already receive our once-weekly volunteer email. No spam, we promise. Just edit your parkrun.com profile to opt in.

Next weekend, July 29th, parkrun USA will be reaching a milestone, as the 1000th individual event will be held (the 42nd for College Park). Andrea and I are looking forward to celebrating this milestone in Georgetown Hospital, where we will be eagerly awaiting the parkrun results email and the pictures of your smiling faces.

Colin Phillips

 

 

Hazy, hot, and humid (Run Report #40)

Three words that define the summers in the D.C. area, and we certainly got a reminder of these words this week. However, College Park parkrun caught a bit of a break and - even though it was still a bit hot - had a cold front help take a bit of the nastiness out of the air for parkrun Saturday. The heat did not stop a fantastic crowd of 91 finishers at our 40th event. This helps tip us over 2500 runs completed at College Park - by more than 700 different people!

Hi - I'm Brian Murphy. I discovered parkrun at Fletcher's Cove in early 2016, together with my wife Jen. We visited College Park for one of the unofficial parkruns shortly before the launch, and we've been regular runners and volunteers since then. This was our first time in the Run Director role. I confess that getting up on Saturday wasn't the easiest, but from the moment that we got to the park and started meeting so many familiar and new faces, it was a blast.

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We’re always impressed to see the number of new PBs on such warm days. Emily Flamm took 5 minutes from her PB on her 5th parkrun. Great stuff, Emily! Kate Murray, Gloria Cottman, and Letricia Avalhais are all on PB streaks right now. Kate’s daughter Orla Collins snuck under 30 minutes for the first time, and Judy Mulusa posted a PB on her 4th run. And although Jacqueline Hayes was a first-timer at College Park, she ran a full 10 minutes faster than her previous 6 visits to Fletcher’s Cove parkrun.

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The warmer weather didn’t prevent some people from posting speedy times. Our regular speedster, Clark Ridge, showed up just as we said “Go!” and still managed a fast 18:49 at his 35th (!) parkrun, though this left him well behind 17-year old Matthew Laskowski, this week’s first finisher. Another notable is Jesse Melchiori, who has been edging closer and closer to the sub-20 minute mark, ran a new PB of 19:38 at his 9th parkrun. Great job, Jesse! Right behind him was first timer, Art Drisko, who came out to see if he was still able to break that same 20 minute mark. Pulled along by Jesse, Art was well under that mark at 19:41 - we think you’ve got years of sub-20s in front of you, Art. One more speedy note comes from the amazing Cindy Conant, who now has run 5 of the 6 total 90%+ age-graded times ever run in parkrun USA. Ellen Hamilton joined in the fun by setting a new age category record for VW65-69. Nice job, Ellen!

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We say it all the time at parkrun: “it’s not a race!” People come out and set their own pace. Whether that’s pushing themselves to a new PB or enjoying a comfortable run or walk with friends. On a personal note, I love seeing this. I’ve been able to see my father-in-law Gus Campbell come out in all weather types to run a total of 33 parkruns (including a few playing parkrun tourist at Leakin Park and Fletcher’s Cove). It’s great to see him stay healthy and it’s great that Jen and I get to see him each week and catch up over parkrun and usually breakfast at The Board and Brew. If you are unsure if you’re “fast enough”, know that if you can walk or run 5K between 15 minutes and an hour and 15 minutes, you’ll fit right in.

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First timers were also not dissuaded by the warm weather. We had a total of 16 first timers join us. First timers this week included Ben and Michael Lee, who were Googling local 5Ks and came across the free parkrun options so close to them - yes, we will always be free! We also had Patricia Shaffer and Leslie Keiser who saw us while walking on the trail last week and decided to join in the fun this week. Other first-timers this week included Yolanda and Michael Roberts, and Gloria and Ben Melson. We are happy to have all our first timers join our parkrun community! Come back and see us (we’re here every week), and don’t forget your barcode!

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We welcomed a couple of parkrun travelers from New Zealand - did we mention that parkrun is a global community? - who have been hopping around the growing USA parkrun options. Savannah Hyssong and Dave Wooldridge (of Pegasus parkrun) have been to Livonia, Heritage Harbor, and now College Park parkruns in the US. As more people look to do similar parkrun tourism, they may have more options soon. We were happy to have on site Pam Marcus, who is looking to start a parkrun in Montgomery County, MD and Nick Young who is looking to start one at Fort Hunt, VA, close to Mt Vernon. We hope it works out, Pam and Nick, and we look forward to visiting!

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Just as we were getting started our new parkrunner of the month joined us. With just one shoe on. We were so thrilled to present parkrunner of the month for July to Frank Filteau. Frank first joined us at our 20th parkrun, and has been a regular ever since. He now has a total of 19 parkruns, plus some volunteering. This despite the fact that he generally has to be at work by 10am on a Saturday. We had planned to present the award last week, but then it turned out Frank was away at Deep Run parkrun in Richmond, VA. Congrats Frank and thanks for bringing a positive attitude each week. And thanks also to The Board and Brew for sponsoring this award with a $25 gift card.

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The community of parkrun USA is continuing to grow. This week we had another attendance record with 712 runners and walkers and 90 volunteers across the country. College Park regular Cindy Cohen has played a big role in these numbers. This week was her 49th parkrun, and she is slated to hit the big 50 parkrun milestone at her next parkrun event. Do join us to celebrate this achievement. Cindy is is also president of our partners the Prince George’s Running Club, so wear your club shirt if you’re a PGRC member.

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In addition to the official parkrun milestones (10 for under 18s, 50 for grown-ups, 25 for volunteers), we always give a shout out to our parkrunners when they reach unofficial milestones at 5, 10, or 25 times at College Park. This week Larry Washington and Cindy Feld ran with us for the 10th time. And the new 5-timers were Bob Slevc, JJ Su, Cindy Conant, Emily Flamm, Catherine Jellison, and Suerken Matsuyama. It’s great that so many people are joining us regularly.

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Some of our regulars were visiting other parkruns this week. Last week we found Nick Huang in Oxford, England. This week he was at East Coast parkrun in Singapore, where he ran into Scott Anderson, a regular at our neighbors Fletcher’s Cove parkrun in Washington DC. Small world. Chris Kujawa is summering at Livonia parkrun in Michigan, where he got another PB this week. Closer to home, we had a delegation at the new Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore. Lisa Wilson and Hump Plotts, our stalwart course marshals, didn’t just visit -- they went and volunteered, too. Colin Phillips also went along to add to his collection of US parkruns. My family visited for their inaugural run, and we encourage you to check it out sometime.

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Of course all of this would not be possible without all of our wonderful volunteers. The volunteers have just as much fun as the parkrunners (and they get less sweaty in the summer months), so if you are looking to help out, don’t be shy, and let us know. It takes just one minute to update your parkrun.com profile to opt-in to our once-weekly volunteer email. Thanks to the many of you who have already done this.

Golf course marshal this week was Jim Parsons, in the absence of Hump Plotts. Hump - your crossing was well managed this week. With Lisa Wilson also in Leakin Park, our turnaround marshals were Rachel Lukens and 3-year old Marty Lukens. Tail walker was Junjie (JJ) Su. Timing was in the capable hands of Kim Fisher and Jenn Augsburger. Finish tokens given out by Cindy Ricker. Cindy is Rachel’s mom, so we had three generations of the Lukens-Ricker family helping this week! Barcodes were scanned by Pam Marcus.

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Last but not least we had absolutely wonderful photographs this week by Jen Murphy and Jonathan Bird, with more from Rachel and JJ. Jonathan’s collection of pictures of you running through the tunnel of trees is stunning. You should check them out, on our Flickr group or our Facebook page. We have super high resolution versions of Jonathan’s pictures from the tunnel of trees -- if you’d like a copy, please drop us a line at collegeparkoffice@parkrun.com.

Brian Murphy

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Yellow Submarine (Run Report #39)

Well, to be honest we’re not sure of the color of the submarine, but we did have a team of visiting submarine designers from England drop in on our parkrun this week. You never quite know who you’re going to meet at 9am on a Saturday morning. Olli Derham, Josh Lahiri and Mason Phillpott are engineering students from Warwick University who were in the area for a human-powered submarine competition. Apparently, it’s a bit like racing solar-powered cars, but crazier. Anyway, they had a fun visit, and they were surprised when it turned out that the nice gentleman they had been chatting with after the run was our mayor, Patrick Wojahn (18th parkrun today!) That’s how we roll in College Park, guys. Visit us again sometime!

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Today was a perfect weather day for a 5K in July.  What made it even better was having 93 wonderful folks that showed up to run, jog, walk, or push a stroller on the trail. It was a mere 75 degrees and low-ish humidity at start time, amazing for a July morning in College Park. I’m Lisa, and I had my debut as Run Director this week. Normally you’ll find me in the forest at the turnaround point and I’m the last one to return, so it was exciting for me to see the start and finish action, which included some spirited ‘racing’ for the finish line. A few people arrived late and still posted a good time. And we even have one parkrunner who is likely a dad for the third time by the time you read this (and another parkrunner who’ll have a new brother).

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We reached some notable milestones this week. We passed 1000 people registered with College Park parkrun as their ‘home’ parkrun. We also reached 500 followers on our Facebook page - if that’s your scene, then follow us to break up the grind of cat videos and angry uncles. And we’re about to reach 2500 runs completed since our launch last October. All very nice!

[Ed - interrupting … And that’s not all: on Tuesday the Wall Street Journal ran an article on parkrun USA, featuring lots of nice photos from their visit to College Park parkrun on July 1st. Check out the article! [The Rise of the Free 5k.] In last week’s run report we were asked to not mention the WSJ visit, but now we can. THANK YOU to everybody who helped to make this story such a great reflection on our College Park community. Not only the big crowd of parkrunners last week, but everybody who has helped over the past year. Many of you spoke last week with Rachel Bachman, the WSJ reporter. And more of you were photographed by Stephen Voss - you should check out Stephen’s portfolio. His normal diet is people like Michelle Obama and Bill Gates, not sweaty parkrunners. But he had a good time biking around our course to capture the action, and he’s looking forward to joining a local parkrun as a runner in the near future.

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… back to Lisa]

We were thrilled to have 93 of you join us this week. This included 29 first-timers -- we hope you’ll join us again. We also had 29 this week who were joining us for the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time. Great to see you again. One of our second-timers, Jessica Molloy, was pleasantly surprised that when she showed up after just one week we already knew her name. Well, sometimes we’re a little forgetful, Jessica, but we try our best.

In addition to our submariners, our first-timers this week included Christoph Peters, a visiting researcher in the area this summer; Ludwi Winardi, an Indonesian student at American U.; Mike Klamm, whose Australian Cattle Dog went some way to filling the gap left by Martina (now a regular at Leakin Park parkrun) and Scout (on summer break). Orla Collins joined her mom Kate Murray, who is quickly becoming a regular. We had a group from The Clarice, UMD’s excellent performing arts center: Kara Wharton, Matthew Wharton, Jennifer McDonald, and LeighAnn Yarwood (and Abigali). Look out for news on a new partnership that we’re developing with them.

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We had 17 parkrunners with new PBs this week. It’s not all about getting faster, but it’s great to see how many people are returning and making progress. Jessica Molloy further improved her age-category record from last week. Conor van Sycoc was last with us 35 weeks ago, and this week he returned with a new PB, narrowly outsprinting Jesse Melchiori, who is nudging faster every week. Kate Murray got a 3rd PB in 3 runs. Teresa Kolf, Martin Mittendorff, and Chris Munar were a parade of PBs in 43rd-45th position. Cameron McPhee set a new PB on her 5th parkrun. Gloria Cottman was a couple of minutes faster than last week. Nice! And a shout out to Letrícia Avalhais who was 3 minutes faster on her second run. Amazing! Letrícia is plastered all over the internet this week, as a picture of her first parkrun last week was the featured image in the WSJ story.

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A special shout out is in order for our senior parkrunners and our very youngest participants. It was cool to see a phalanx of strollers at the start of this week’s run, and we look forward to the time when the passengers want to get out and run. Patrick Stanley (with stroller) and Bethany Stanley both got PBs this week. Sharon Salmon returned and set another record for the W75-79 category. Bonnie and Michael McClellan joined us again,. Michael must have had a recent birthday, as Bonnie set a PB, whereas Michael set an M80-84 course record.

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Also notable in the speediness category: Sonya Butseva joined us for the first time, and proceeded to set a new women’s course record of 19:31. That’s fast! Sonya is a student at McGill University in Montreal who is visiting family for the summer. Her run takes down the record of regular parkrunner Cindy Conant … who is three times Sonya's age. It would be cool to see these two go head to head.

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Nobody reached an official parkrun milestone this week, though Violet Ridge is edging closer. In unofficial milestones, Yancira Amaya became the 5th person to run College Park parkrun 25 times. It was cool that all 5 were with us this weekend. Andy Fellows and Steve Feld both finished their 15th parkrun. Aaron Anderson became the newest member of our 10-run club. And we had 5 new 5-time parkrunners: Kim Fisher, Anne Byrnes, Jeff Bowser, Cameron McPhee, and Ryan Sibley. Great stuff, guys!

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Despite the big numbers, we also had some of our parkrunners on tour this weekend. Nick Huang checked in from Harcourt Hill parkrun near Oxford, England, where it turned out that the run director used to visit College Park. Check out this Facebook post. We were surprised to not see Frank Filteau at the start, as he’s with us almost every week. But then we were thrilled to see that he was at Deep Run parkrun in Richmond, VA instead. And Rachel Lukens and her son Marty were up at the new Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore, showing that their course is not only beautiful but also suitable for strollers. Hump and I are looking forward to visiting Leakin Park ourselves next week.

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As Run Director this week, I felt all the more grateful to our wonderful volunteers, without whom none of this could happen. Our volunteer coordinator, Andrea Zukowski, sets up the volunteers, make sure everyone knows how to do their volunteer position, and let’s not forget that without her there would be no parkrun in College Park. Our communications czar, Colin Phillips, who collects the hundreds of pictures each week and turns the run report into something informative and entertaining, with pictures… (no, I didn’t do that part). The finish line staff: Jen and Brian Murphy were your finish token distributor and timekeeper; Junjie Su, “JuJu” the token scanner; and special thanks to Lisa Parsons who filled in at the last minute as second time keeper. Kim Fisher welcomed you all at the turnaround point like a veteran, and Fanda Hartono handled tailwalking duties.

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A super special thank you goes out to Hump Plotts, the “Hump’s Crossing” golf course driveway marshal. He has never run the course, and he shows up almost every week. Not only is Hump your crossing guard he is my wonderful husband of 24 years … and he is the golf course marshal just because I asked him and I will always be grateful.

Lisa Wilson

 

Putting our best foot forward (Run Report #38)

Were you out of town for the 4th of July weekend? Here's what you missed at our 38th parkrun: it was warm, it was welcoming, and by the end, we were all a bit wet. But it was wonderful!

With 119 participants, it was our 2nd largest event to date. We had a whopping 28 first timers. We are growing all the time, and by this Saturday we will top 1000 people registered for College Park parkrun. We also had some guests, who talked to many of you about why you come to parkrun. We'll share more about that later.

This week for the first time we brought two canopies to provide some shade. They did the job remarkably well, and as a result, people were happy to hang around after the run, and (possibly related), we also had a big crowd at the Board & Brew after. The canopies will be back!

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Our large turn-out this week included a strong contingent from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Pam Marcus, who is an epidemiologist with NCI, was our golf course marshal this week. Diarmuid Coughlan of NCI is one of the team that two years ago set parkrun in motion in the DMV. This week he tried to outrun 33-timer Clark Ridge. Nice try! Also from NCI we had Frank Perna and his daughter MiaSteven Moore and his son Liam. And Audrey Wellons, and maybe more that we weren't aware of. Thanks guys!

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By the way, Pam Marcus and parkrun-enthusiast Cindy Conant are scouting out potential locations for a new parkrun—the first for Montgomery County. They are determined to make this happen, so stay tuned for future developments. Want to be a part of their team? Talk to Pam this Saturday at College Park parkrun!

Our big turnout also included a big crowd from Fit for Christ. We continue to see first timers from their group, and they have a growing number of parkrun die-hards. This week the group came to parkrun directly after doing a 5-mile trail race in Rock Creek Park. Amazing!

We also had a great turn-out from the Prince George's Running Club, as you can tell from all the blue shirts in this week's photos. If parkrun is helping you get your "running mojo" on, PGRC can offer you many more running opportunities throughout the week. Check out their offerings (pgrc.org/training/weekly-runs/). And don't miss their free summer Thursday evening "fun runs" at Buddy Attick Park, which I understand culminate in popsicles!

Among our 28 first timers was Rosemary Paul, who visited from Dover, DE with her husband Art. The results show Rosemary as doing her 26th parkrun (most of those were in Norfolk, UK). But we noticed she was wearing a purple 25-volunteer milestone shirt, and after a little snooping we discovered that she has volunteered at 158 parkruns. Wow!

Another first timer, Deedee Montiel, finished inside the course record for her age. As it happens, Jessica Molloy, who was also running parkrun for the first time, came in a few seconds ahead of Deedee. Great running, both of you!

Jim and Sharon Salmon of University Park were also first timers this week. Sharon inadvertently set an age-category record on her first visit. Congratulations, Sharon, and come back any time!

Other first-timers included the Mussel Mamas from Hyattsville, who biked to parkrun as part of their triathlon training, and speedy Valerie Rankin of PGRC who has volunteered with us before but got to run for the first time this week.

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18 of you managed a new PB this week. How any of you did that is beyond me, given the tropical climate! Jesse Melchiori (a 7th timer this week) is edging ever closer to a sub-20-minute time. James Madden bested his previous PB by 7 minutes, despite pushing a stroller! Anthony and Thomas Nolan set PBs even while picking up trash and recycling along the route. Bob Silverman (with Misty in tow) managed a huge PB at his 5th parkrun. Mark Shroder (an 8th timer) is on fire now with 3 PBs in a row. Both Suerken Matsuyama and Raphael Benitez continued to get faster, as did second-timer Kate Murray.

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Tom Bean's time this week of 15:40 was just a few seconds shy of a PB (and the course record, which he holds). That's crazy fast in this weather. By our calculations, there were around 175,000 runs at parkrun events worldwide last Saturday, and Tom's run was the 9th fastest. Not bad.

Three people completed their 10th College Park parkrun this week: Judy Barnes, Trinidad Molina, and John Ramsey. Eight others completed their 5th College Park parkrun: Andres Falconer, Tom Bean, Gladis Benitez, Russell Dickerson, Roberto Munoz, Greg Gorman, Craig Thompson, and Bob Silverman. Andres holds the distinction of being our first "parkrun tourist" to run with us 5 times. He's one of the founders of Fletcher's Cove parkrun (try that one sometime!), and he's the volunteer who puts together the monthly parkrun USA newsletter that should be arriving in your email inbox any day. (If you don't receive it, update your parkrun.com profile.)

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Thanks to a strong turnout across the US and big records across parkrun Canada to coincide with the nation's 150th birthday, this was the first weekend with over 1000 parkrunners in North America (College Park represented over 10% of that total). In parkrun USA, 40,000 runs have now completed since the first parkrun kicked off 5 years ago. More impressively, 10% of all those runs have happened in the 6 week stretch from late May onwards. We are on the move! And you are part of that movement.

Have you been planning to take a turn volunteering at parkrun? Wait no longer! We need helpers every week, and the whole system works best if everyone jumps in to lend a hand. This week, the people who helped provide a free 5k to you were this wonderful crew:

Andrea can't-get-enough-of-parkrun Zukowski
Debbie how-does-this-stopwatch-work-again Levenson
Ellen duck-protector Hamilton
Jenn I-can-help-even-if-I-can't-stand Augsburger
Jim happy-to-help-even-though-I've-never-run Cantwell
Lisa sure-I-can-cover-two-volunteer-jobs-simultaneously Wilson
Nick results-wrangler Huang
Pam let's-bring-parkrun-to-Montgomery-county Marcus
Ran I'm-with-speedy Wang (hope you can run with us again sometime, Ran!)
Zoe if-I-have-to Phillips
Colin data-nerd Phillips

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One final plea:

Please, please PLEASE remember to bring your barcode with you!

As we grow, it is becoming more and more of a burden to deal with problems that arise from people forgetting to bring their barcode. It takes the attention of the Run Director away from other tasks. It often means we have to reconstruct people's finish times based on photos, which is time consuming. It means we have to re-process the results many times after they are initially sent out. And it means we end up losing finish tokens (from runners who don't get scanned because they don't have their barcode, and then end up putting the finish token in a pocket).

See you all this Saturday!

Andrea


 

Ed. Andrea was too modest to mention it in her report, but another highlight of this week's parkrun was Andrea receiving a "Service over Self" award from the College Park Rotary Club, in recognition of her efforts to bring parkrun to our community. The award was presented by regular parkrunner Sarah D'Alexander of UMD's Office of Community Engagement, whose leadership of Good Neighbor Day in April played an important role in strengthening our partnership with Prince George's Parks. 

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Last parkrun for June, first parkrun for Leakin Park! (Run report #37)

Another notable day in parkrun USA history, as Leakin Park (Facebook page) became the 12th parkrun in the US, the 2nd in Maryland, and the 4th in the Washington DC metro area. Congrats to Rory Murphy and the rest of the Leakin Park core team for a successful inaugural -- you guys have worked incredibly hard! Rory started working on launching a parkrun in Baltimore in October last year: while parkrun is a 5k, organizing a parkrun is clearly a marathon. And bravo to our College Park regulars who went up to lend support as volunteers and parkrunners. To everyone else, check out Leakin Park when you get a chance!

Despite the new competition from the north, College Park parkrun still saw 48 parkrunners in the morning. We had 14 first timers (15, if we include Howard Gillespie, who decided to check out College Park after his first parkrun at Roosevelt Island), which means almost one in three of us were actually covering the course for the first time. Welcome, and we hope to see you again!

Some notable first timers: John Gorman was our first finisher, with a sub-20 time. (It was the fourth parkrun for John's dad, Greg.) Cudjoe G, who came with Eunice Ankamah, was our second female finisher. Jon Sener got here early, shortly after Hump Plotts and I got done setting up, while Patrick Stanley (pushing a stroller) and Justin Gorinson were both delayed and missed flag-off, although they caught up easily. Some first timers also came with their parkrunner friends, e.g. Gemma E and Shaquana Cooper came with Rebecca Crawford, and Alvin Pee with JJ Su. We hope to see more parkrunners bring their friends and family members with them -- what better way to start your weekend with friends, family, and a five-k?

Our newcomers

We also saw 8 PBs despite the warm weather. Gibbs Smith, back here for a second parkrun, improved his time by almost a full minute. Tsegaab Hailemichael extended his PB streak -- it's his sixth PB in six parkruns. Regrettably, John Ramsey narrowly missed a 9th consecutive PB, following in the footsteps of Eduardo Valente, who missed his 9th last week. Eduardo, who ran with Teresa Kolf this week, seems to have (for now!) passed the metaphorical PB baton to her: Teresa set a second consecutive PB this week. Judy Barnes set a third consecutive PB, which was also an age category record. Likewise, Christian Ngassa, Rumi Matsuyama, Judy Mulusa, and Kevin Yatchet all improved on their previous times.

Some of the parkrunners who set a PB, and 25-timer Marvin Russell (bottom right)

Congratulations are also in order for (joint) parkrunner of the month Marvin Russell, who became the 4th person to run College Park parkrun 25 times: He’s now halfway towards earning a spiffy red 50-parkrun shirt. (The frontrunner is Cindy Cohen, who did her 48th parkrun today.) In the meantime, Eduardo joined our unofficial 10-club.

Lastly, our volunteers, without whom parkrun would be impossible (email collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com to volunteer!). This week turned out to be fairly interesting in terms of volunteering, because a good number of College Park regulars were visiting Leakin Park, or out of town (e.g. co-event directors Andrea Zukowski and Colin Phillips in Iceland, where they did the Midnight Sun Half Marathon, super volunteer Lisa Wilson was away in West Virginia), or had other commitments this weekend. But our strong community came through as always.

Hump Plotts took care of the gear, helped set it up in the morning, and kept the golf course crossing safe for our parkrunners. Yancira Amaya and Larry Lee stepped up as our turnaround marshal and tailrunner respectively. At the finish funnel, credit goes to Lisa Parsons (timekeeper), Clare Imholtz (tokens), and Jim Cantwell (barcode scanning) for ensuring that finishers got their tokens and times right. This was one of the easiest sets of results I have had to process! Also thank you to Andrea for coordinating volunteers, and Colin for taking care of communications and photos from far away in Iceland.

We'll see you next weekend. Next week, July 1st, we'll be getting a visit from a reporter and a photographer from the Wall St Journal who are doing a feature about parkrun USA, and highlighting College Park parkrun. More reasons to come along and bring a friend!

In the meantime, follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, check out photos on our Flickr group, or join our Strava page!

Nick Huang

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