New Years Day 2018 at College Park parkrun

Start 2018 off on the right foot with College Park parkrun. January 1st 2018 is going to be special for us in many ways.

Resolution parkrun. On January 1st College Park parkrun starts at 10:30am [course; registration]. The one time in the year when parkrun happens at a time other than 9am Saturday. Our Resolution parkrun is a partnership with our friends at Prince George's Running Club. We teamed up in 2017, and are excited to do the same again in 2018.

Double parkrun! New Years double parkruns are a popular tradition in countries like Australia and the UK, but 1/1/18 will be the first time that this is possible in North America. Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore will start at 8:30am. So you can do a warm up at Leakin Park, then zip down to College Park for another. If you combine this with the regular Saturday parkrun, then you can make strong progress towards your parkrun milestone in one weekend.

Help us set a new attendance record at Leakin Park. And come see how parkrun and local partners are working to get people to revisit one of America's great urban wildernesses.

Brunch! Following College Park parkrun there will be a get together for all area parkrunners at The Board and Brew, where we will be joined by parkrunners from across the region.

Cake alert! 1/1/18 is also when co-event director Colin Phillips will be turning 50 years old ... AND doing his 50th parkrun (and his 51st). So chances of cake are above average.

Include parkrun in your New Years plans.

PARKING: We anticipate larger-than-usual turnout for the New Years parkrun, so consider parking away from Acredale Park. UMD Lot 11b is right next to the Paint Branch Trail, and perfectly placed for the post-parkrun brunch at The Board and Brew. Parking at AMF Lanes bowling on Route 1 is also available. Please park on the edges of the lot, so as to not interfere with bowling customers.

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5 reasons we’re excited for 5/27 (plus parking and volunteering)

On May 27th we’re looking forward to a very special edition of College Park parkrun, with a visit by parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who will be joining from the UK. If you haven’t been to College Park parkrun before, or if you haven’t come in a while, THIS is the week to join us. Scroll down for notes on parking, brunch, and volunteer needs. We have lots of free parking, easily walkable to the parkrun, but allow a few extra minutes if you'll be driving this week.

Or if you want a map of all the locations, you can go directly here.

 

Five Reasons Why We’re Excited

College Park parkrun takes place every Saturday, year round. Here are reasons why this week is special.

  1. Paul Sinton-Hewitt. Paul’s little meetup with friends in a London park in 2004 grew into the world’s largest running event. He is an inspiring social innovator. With 1200 events worldwide every week to choose from, we’re thrilled that Paul will be joining us in College Park. Read Paul's parkrun story.
  2. College Park. We have beautiful trails, wonderful people, and a super supportive city that is currently on a roll. We’re proud that our free, weekly event helps to show off the cool things happening here. College Park mayor Patrick Wojahn and former mayor Andy Fellows are among the changemakers in town who are also regular parkrunners.
  3. #parkrunfamily. Paul’s visit will bring parkrunners from other parkruns across the region to College Park. We’re excited to welcome them here.
  4. New friends. We love meeting people who are new to parkrun, and we anticipate plenty of opportunities for this on Saturday.
  5. Record turnout? With good luck and good weather, we might be able to set an American Record for parkrun attendance. (193 is the total to beat for a single event, and 570 is the total to beat for the 9 events countrywide.)

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Parking & Transportation

We have ample free parking, but the little parking lots right by the start/finish at Acredale Park likely will fill up early. We will have a parking marshal at the intersection of Route 1 & Metzerott Road, by Rita's Italian Ice. If you pull in there, you can get directions. Your other options, shown in this interactive map.

  • Ride your bike or walk/run. The Paint Branch Trail is beautiful and safe. (And it's about 2 miles from College Park metro station.)
  • University of Maryland Lot 11b (free). This is a very convenient place to park for the run and the post-run coffee. It is on Paint Branch Drive a half mile south of Route 193, in view of the Xfinity Center (UMD basketball stadium) and directly next to the Paint Branch Trail. It’s an easy walk along the trail to the start. It’s also perfectly placed for the post-run meetup at The Board and Brew. But the drive to there from the start/finish is a bit circuitous. Consider driving directly there.
  • AMF Lanes Bowling, 9021 Baltimore Avenue / Route 1 (free), College Park. Big parking lot a couple of hundred yards from the start. The bowling alley is opposite the Holiday Inn Express that overlooks the start/finish. Please park in spots away from the alley, then cross Baltimore Avenue and walk down the lane next to Rita’s Italian Ice. Don't park in the Pizza Hut lot next door, or the Holiday Inn Express across the street.
  • The Varsity, 8150 Baltimore Avenue / Route 1 (*paid*). From here it’s a few minutes’ walk along the trail to the start, but you’re perfectly located for the post-run meetup at The Board and Brew.

 

Post-run Coffee/Brunch

College Park parkrun is social. Every week after the run we meet up for coffee or brunch at The Board and Brew, an awesome café that’s just a few minutes’ walk along the trail from the start/finish. They have great coffee and treats, and it’s also a popular hangout for board game aficionados. It’s a great time to chat with old and new friends. Don’t know anybody at the run? Not a problem -- it’s always a super-friendly group. The Board and Brew is reserving extra space for us this week.

Where: The Board and Brew. 8150 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD.
When: after the run, for as long as you want.
Who: old and new friends.IMG_6136

 

 

Volunteers Needed

College Park parkrun is 100% led by volunteer parkrunners, and we have some extra volunteer needs this week.

  • A photographer and/or videographer (no fancy equipment needed)
  • An extra time-keeper
  • Pre-run help, directing cars and runners
  • Lead bike to alert trail users

Drop us a line at collegeparkoffice@parkrun.com if you or a friend can help.

 

Snow and Ice: Status for March 18th

FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE. Thanks to Mother Nature and a couple of hours shoveling snow and ice, College Park parkrun is all systems go for March 18th! We couldn't bear to go a week without seeing everybody! So we'll see you all on the trail in the morning. And this week we'll be welcoming guests from our partners at the American Cancer Society.


Good question! We have been out checking on the trail, and it's a mixed bag. Some sections of trail are quite clear already, including our start/finish area at Acredale Park. But the bridges and the shaded section near the golf course (over a third of the parkrun course) are rather icy. Not safe for parkrun. Temperatures should rise on Friday, and we will be back to check on the trail early evening.  With snow shovels.

Check back here for updates Friday evening or Saturday morning before you leave. If we have to cancel then how about joining us downtown for a spot of parkrun tourism at Fletcher's Cove parkrun? Their route on the C&O Canal Towpath gets more sun than ours, and is already clear. Same barcode, same friendly vibe, same unbeatable price.

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Dog Days of Winter (Run Report #14)

The main story for this week was the warned ice storm that failed to materialize. Instead it was mildly cold, with intermittent rain. Enough to dampen our fur, but not our spirits. Turnout (27) was down relative to weeks with finer weather, but everybody had a good time.

An unexpected benefit of the weather alert was that Paint Branch Golf Course was closed for the day. This put our dedicated golf course marshal Hump Plotts out of a job, and so he got to join us for the start for once. Two other family members were on the trail: Lisa Wilson was your turnaround marshal, and their son Kenneth Plotts was a first-timer this week.

Even more unexpected was our second running Australian Cattle Dog. Ken Leonard and Scout are familiar faces at College Park parkrun (and they again set an age-category record this week). But this week they were joined by Tom Hornik and Martina. Tom previously ran Bury St Edmunds parkrun in the UK 50 times, earning him a red 50-club shirt. But after moving to Ellicott City in 2015, he had to wait 18 months to get to wear his shirt at a parkrun. For her part, Martina was sporting a dashing collar in the colors of the Maryland state flag. Needless to say, Martina and Scout were interested to meet each other, and are looking forward to meeting up again at parkrun.

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Lisa Chilcote of Montgomery County Road Runners was a first-timer this week, and she proceeded to run the second fastest female time ever on our course. Nice work Lisa! Better yet, Lisa’s husband Damon stepped in at the last minute as finisher token volunteer. And cowbell ringer, a new volunteer role for us. Hope you can visit again, Lisa and Damon. With or without the bell.

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We had no new members of our College Park 5 or 10 clubs this week, but expect many more in the coming weeks, with better weather in the forecast. But we did see an impressive number of PBs, with a third of finishers setting their best time to date: Ken Leonard, Evan Hirsche, Jenn Augsburger, Adria Schwarber, Ann Hendrix-Jenkins, Jeanette Novak, and both Dave and Denise Vause.

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This week’s tailrunner was Sarah D’Alexander from UMD’s Office of Community Engagement. In addition to securing our guarantee that you-will-not-finish-last-at-parkrun, Sarah was also checking out the trail and the stream. Watch this space for news of what she and Andrea have been plotting together, and plan to be at parkrun on April 1st. Thanks Sarah!

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It’s now one year since parkrun hit the DC area, and a lot has happened in that year. We went from zero to 3 weekly parkruns, with more in the pipeline. 2117 people have registered with DMV parkruns as their ‘home’ events, and 3825 runs have been completed, with around 700 of them in College Park since our official launch in October. Not bad.

Other volunteers this week included Thomas Parsons on barcode scanning, Debbie Levenson with the stopwatch, Nina McGranahan and Anouk Dieuleveut on photography, and Nick Huang as results-wrangler. We’re always happy to have new volunteers helping to make College Park parkrun free to everybody every week. You can contact collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com to offer your help. Better yet, you can login to your parkrun.com profile and choose to receive our once-per-week volunteer emails. It’s a great way to contribute.

Next week, we will leave you in the capable hands of run director Rory Murphy, who this week was down at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun, celebrating their first birthday. Next week (Jan 21st) Mansfield, OH parkrun will launch. This means that College Park will no longer be the youngest US parkrun event. Organizers Karen and Steve Crane visited for our inaugural run in October; Andrea and Colin will be driving to central Ohio to check out their new event.

You can follow College Park parkrun on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, find loads of photos on Flickr, or join our Strava club. Or you can just show up 9am on Saturdays.

Colin Phillips

 

January 14th – All Systems Are Go!

We have been closely monitoring the weather forecasts over the past few days, as there was a risk of an ice event like the once that forced all DC-area parkruns to cancel on December 17th. But we are now confident that the ice risk is extremely low. So we are going ahead with today's parkrun. We'll keep the pre-run briefing, well, brief. And you'll warm up in no time.

We make every effort to bring you a free parkrun every Saturday, whatever the weather. Cold (Jan 7th), rain (Dec 24th), or snow fall are no problem. We just wrap up warm, and we always have a good time on the trail. The situations where we would cancel are ones where the trail is closed, as in a major snow event, or where your safety is a concern, as when roads and trails are icy (Dec 17th).

 

Shiver me timbers! (Run Report #13)

Shiver me timbers, that was cold! 20 degrees & blustery! Andrea here, with a confession: I am a wimp about the cold. But here’s the thing: running is just about the only way I know to overcome it. Every cold morning that I head out to run, I think ‘this is going to be the day that the cold beats me’, and every time, I’m wrong. Of course it’s cold at the start, but there always comes that moment—maybe a mile in, maybe longer—when you realize you’re not cold anymore, and in fact, you’re toasty warm. And every time it’s a reminder that you are beating the cold. It’s a little taste of a superpower. 

So congratulations to 33 mini superhero parkrunners who came out to thumb their noses at the cold with us last Saturday!

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This week Sam McGranahan reached the parkrun 10 milestone (and we hope he has now ordered his free t-shirt so he can show it off). But more generally, our group of ‘regulars’ is growing all the time, even while we get first timers every week. This is great news for us, and great news for all of you repeat offenders!  

This week Jim Parsons joined the unofficial College Park 10 Club. And Chris Kujawa and Christine Becraft joined the College Park 5 Club. That brings our totals to 32 people who have run CP parkrun 5x or more, and 6 people who have run it 10x or more. Why do you people keep coming back?  Oh, right, the pancakes after. 

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We also had 6 first timers this week. Congratulations to all of you! We had a huge number of people register for our parkrun during New Year’s week (resolutions?), so we anticipate that there are a lot of ‘closeted’ soon-to-be First Timers out there. Why not come out this weekend?

Despite the cold (or maybe because of it?), quite a few people set new PBs this week: Ken Leonard (and Scout), Chris Kujawa, Rachel Lukens, and Monique Bourque. Great running, all of you!

I want to give a special thanks to this week’s volunteers: Gus Campbell, Chris and Nina McGranahan, Jen Murphy, Hump Plotts, Cee Cee Swalling (and her pup), and Lisa Wilson. They didn’t get to warm up by running, and it took a long time for them to thaw out afterwards--maybe it’s no coincidence that every one of them did come to the post-run breakfast at Board and Brew,  Thank you so much, each of you, for helping out!

Have you been enjoying parkrun, and want it to continue every Saturday? Please help make that happen by taking a turn at volunteering with us. Remember, we are people-powered entirely!  Drop us a line at: collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com.

 

Winter weather plans (UPDATED)

UPDATE: 8pm, Friday December 16th.

We're sorry to have to cancel this week's parkrun! The greatest risk of ice is exactly when you would be traveling to parkrun. We happily run in snow, cold, or rain, but ice is more dangerous. We're looking forward to seeing you next week (12/24) for a free, friendly start to the holiday weekend. The weather for next week is looking excellent.

 


 

We just love running on a carpet of snow, especially on our beautiful trails. We're looking forward to doing this with you some time. But we also care about your safety, and the safety of our volunteers. So here's our plan for wintry weather.

The default is: College Park parkrun is going ahead, unless you hear otherwise. We will announce no later than 6am on Saturday morning, via this website, Facebook, and Twitter. So check online before heading out. We'll announce the cancellation earlier if it's clear that we can't go ahead.

For Saturday December 17th the decision will turn on whether we have snow (lovely!) or ice (stay inside!). This will depend on early morning temperature changes. Our volunteer team will be ready with smiles (and warm coats), so we're keeping our fingers crossed.

 

New Year’s Resolution parkrun, and more

DECEMBER 2017: If you're reaching this page via an online race directory, note that this post is about the Jan 1st 2017 New Years parkrun. For information about the Jan 1st 2018 New Years parkrun, see our News page or the link on the right of this page. And consider trying the New Years double parkrun by doing Leakin Park parkrun at 8:30am and then College Park parkrun at 10:30am.

UPDATE: We're anticipating a big crowd Sunday for the New Year's Resolution parkrun at 11am. ... and to add to the festivities UMD has announced that the sold-out Maryland-Nebraska basketball game will start at 12:00. So traffic and parking will be more challenging than a typical Sunday morning in College Park. You'll perhaps be a little ahead of the basketball traffic, but check traffic. Our recommendations:

1. Bike or carpool if possible. Allow a little extra time.
2. University Boulevard (Rte 193) can get very crowded before big games.
3. UMD Lot 11b (behind The View) will be for permit holders only. Don't try to park there.
4. There are 3 small parking lots by the start at Acredale Park, but they may fill up.
5. Rita's Italian Ice (Rte 1 & Metzerott, 50 yards from start) has kindly agreed to let us use their (small) parking lot; just don't block the recycling bins.
6. AMF Lanes bowling alley on Rte 1, opposite Holiday Inn Express and 3 mins walk from start, has kindly agreed to let us use their parking lot. They have lots of space, but please park on the edge, away from the building.

We're looking forward to seeing you! (Don't forget your personal barcode: parkrun.us/register).


Two updates on how parkrun is helping to bring health and happiness to the DC area this holiday season: a special New Year’s Resolution parkrun on Jan 1st, and other area parkrun events to mark the end of the year.

 

Holiday parkruns in College Park

You can get your regular Saturday 9am College Park parkrun fix throughout the holidays, including on December 24th and December 31st. No change there. And as usual we’re delighted to hear from you if you can help out as a volunteer on one of those days (collegeparkhelpers@parkrun.com).

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We’re excited to announce that on January 1st we’ll be holding a special New Year’s Resolution parkrun. Some things will be the same as you have come to expect: the beautiful Paint Branch Trail; the absence of entry fees, swag, or prizes (just bring your barcode); results online and emailed to you barely an hour after the run; and the smiles and friendly volunteers.

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Some other things will be a little different. We’ll start at 11am, so that you can sleep in (or do another run … more on that below). We’re expecting to welcome lots of guests to our parkrun, including College Park mayor Patrick Wojahn, University Park mayor Len Carey, District 3 County Council Member Dannielle Glaros, parkrunners from DC and as far away as England, and community members who will be running/walking/jogging with us for the first time. We’re very happy to be partnering on this event with our friends at Prince George’s Running Club, who have a tradition of New Year’s Resolution runs. And we’re also delighted that the nice people at The Board and Brew will be open for us to hold a special post-run meetup.

Bring your friends and family. It's going to be a great start to 2017.

Registration? No special sign-up required, beyond your regular parkrun registration/barcode (get your barcode here). But if you're on Facebook you can click or share this Facebook event. It will help to give us an estimate of the numbers.

 

Special parkrunning opportunities in our area

In 2016 the Washington DC area became a hub for parkrun USA, with 3 events launched, and more are in the works. During the holidays, why not try out one of our sister events at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun on the C&O Canal towpath near Georgetown, or at Roosevelt Island parkrun, which includes a memorable mile of running on a boardwalk through peaceful wetlands. Both parkruns will be held Saturday at 9am on December 24th and 31st. You can just show up with your parkrun barcode. (Do check the Roosevelt Island website or Facebook page if it’s cold; they might have to cancel if the boardwalk is icy.)

So for New Year’s weekend, you have two opportunities to do College Park parkrun, or you can sample two area parkruns in the same weekend.

But if you need even more, then you should also join the parkrunners who will be taking part in DC mayor Muriel Bowser’s FitDC Fresh Start 5k event at 9am on January 1st, on a pretty route by the Tidal Basin. Mayor Bowser is a parkrun supporter and she will talk about plans to soon launch a 4th DMV parkrun in Anacostia, and her hopes for more free parkruns to enrich our communities. Seasoned parkrunners will have a tent at the event and will be signing up new participants. We hope that some of you will be able to join us there.

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We look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.

Your College Park parkrun team

 

 

Inaugural run, October 15th 2016

We are excited to officially launch College Park parkrun on October 15th 2016. If you can't join us this week, don't worry. We'll be there the next week, and the week after that, and the week after that ...

The Diamondback, UMD's independent student newspaper, had a nice article this week about College Park parkrun. Thanks to the global parkrun community, it has been shared around the world, and seems to have been particularly popular in Australia. One nice consequence of launching our event is that we've made connections with far flung parkrunners with ties to College Park. For example, Mary Botto is a Terp alumna who is now a run director at a parkrun in Sydney. (Looking for excuses to visit that one!)

If you'll be joining us for the inaugural run, here are a couple of things to remember.

1. Don't forget your barcode! Your one-time sign-up at parkrun.us gets you a personal barcode that you should print out and bring to the run. It gives you free access to all 900 parkrun events worldwide. (You need to actually print it, as our scanners won't work with your phone.)

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2. Transportation and parking alert! This weekend is a home football game at UMD (12pm, vs. Minnesota), and it's also UMD Family Weekend. This means that parking will be more scarce than normal. So please don't even try to park in UMD's Lot 11b, which would normally be the ideal place to park. And we expect very limited parking in the small lots right next to the run start. The kind folks at AMF Bowling on Route 1 have agreed to let us use their big parking lot for parkrun. If you park there, it's just a couple of minutes walk across the street to parkrun. Just walk down Metzerott Rd behind Rita's Italian Ice. If you drive to the start and find that no parking is available, then getting back to Route 1 is quite circuitous.

Of course, if you can come to parkrun by bike or on foot, then so much the better. That way, you get double the enjoyment of our trails, and none of the stress of parking.

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3. Post-run meet up! Totally optional, but we'll be meeting up for coffee (and more) at The Board and Brew after the run. Come by and join us for a chat in this cool independent coffee shop. It's just a few minutes walk from the start/finish.

dress rehearsal B-and-B

The weather forecast for Saturday is looking lovely. We're excited to enjoy our great local trails with you.

For updates you can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Dress rehearsal run, October 8th 2016

College Park parkrun officially launches on October 15th, but we're holding a dress rehearsal run on October 8th. We'll be testing out the equipment and the logistics, to iron out the inevitable kinks. The only difference is that this event will not be an official parkrun event, and so your run time or volunteer role will not be included in the parkrun database. But the run and the company will be just as good as any other week.

Please join us at 9am one the Paint Branch Trail at Metzerott Rd. If you run (or jog or walk), you'll be the first to cover our accurately measured 5k course. It's a little shorter than the course we've been using for our practice events since January. If you can't run, then you can be a pioneer member of our volunteer team. Drop us a line at collegeparkoffice@parkrun.com if you can lend a hand on Saturday.

Our regular post-run meetup at The Board and Brew will be as official as ever.

Most important of all, for this week and all following weeks: Don't Forget Your Barcode. Free one-time registration at parkrun.us.

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