Run Report #83 – Welcome autumn!

We always knew parkrunners were a resourceful bunch. Even with Canal Road blocked off for the Tour de Cure, 56 hearty souls found their way to the Fletcher’s Cove start line by 9am.

We started off our pre-run briefing with a shout out to birthday boy Howard FROST, who hit his milestone 50th parkrun today. Happy birthday and congratulations, Howard!

Also, a shout out to our visiting parkrunners from Australia and the UK as well as our 13 Fletcher’s Cove first timers. So glad you could join us on this beautiful, sunny autumn morning.

Speaking of first timers, first male finisher across the line was new parkrunner, Enrico KUHN with a speedy 17:38. First female was Claire WIGGLESWORTH with a sparkling 21:10. And my goodness, did everyone drink an extra cup of coffee this morning? We had a raft of new PBs including Alejandro MALDONADO (19:07), Simon YOUNG (23:30), Ariel SITLER (23:33), Nicholas CHADWICK (24:04), Plauto FLORIANO (29:42), Allison RIZZETTA (30:20), Cecilia HERNANDEZ (38:33), Becca KRANTZ (41:34), and Danielle SPRINGER (41:44). Congratulations, one and all (and apologies to anyone I may have inadvertently omitted)!

Closing in on their 100th and 50th, respectively, parkruns are father and daughter Andres FALCONER and Stefania FALCONER with 99 and 49 parkruns apiece. As impressive as Andres’ 99 parkruns is, what’s equally impressive is the fact that he’s also volunteered 71 times. Wow!

Every parkrun only happens because of the time and dedication of our volunteers. Effusive thank yous to this week's superstar volunteers: Alex FOXLEY, Andres FALCONER, Emma IMPAVIDO, Henry WIGGLESWORTH, Jason LEGUM, and Julia A FIGUEREDO. You made my first time as a parkrun run director so much easier due to your knowledge, competence, and all-around awesomeness.

Want your name in lights (or more accurately in bytes)? It’s so easy to volunteer. Best of all, our standards are low (ha ha ha!). You need no experience, special skills, or talents. All you need is a heart to give back to parkrun in this small way. Simply click on the link in your results email to receive volunteer emails. Or sign into your parkrun profile and sign up there. No spam, no obligation, just an opportunity to give back. Don’t be shy, we’d love to have you join us :^)

And with that, I’m signing off. Have a brilliant weekend, everyone, and hope to see you next week!

Silver Lumsdaine

Run Director

 

Run Report #82 – Out of the Ordinary

In the last Run Report I wrote – some time ago already – I sang the praise of a perfectly average parkrun on a perfectly ordinary parkrunday, AKA Saturday. I love my ordinary parkruns, but this Saturday was not ordinary by any stretch of imagination.

For starters, it was the second time ever that we were running an inverted course, beginning on the usual spot at Fletcher’s, but running in the opposite direction, toward Georgetown, before turning back. We were sharing the venue with the annual Abebe Bikila Day Marathon and Half Marathon. Inverting the course is simple enough, but poses some logistical challenges, including finding a halfway marshal that knows exactly where the new halfway spot is. Not a problem if you can persuade your wife to go on a long run on Friday, passing through the proposed course, and identifying the spot. Thank you Jolanta for agreeing to marshal for us.

46 runners and walkers turned up in the post-summer heat, and we think all were able to spot our event (the one with the parkrun flag, right?) and not end up running a long race instead. parkrun is a run, not a race, but, again, this was no ordinary parkrun. This was Dan Owen’s and Martin Gambrill’s 50th run (where were you, Howard Frost, it would also have been your 50th! Next week?). Dan and Martin strategically spaced their runs so that they could do their 50th together, on the occasion of Martin’s final run in the US. Martin, despite being a British expat, was first introduced to parkrun in the US, and has done 49 of his 50 runs in DC. The other one of his 50 was in Haga parkrun, in Stockholm, Sweden. Martin is leaving us for Sweden, and has already contacted the local parkrun team and is committed to helping start a new Swedish run in his new town. If he delivers, he'll be the second Fletcher's Cove transplant starting a new event (after Cathryn Burby, who recently moved to Seattle and will be co-Event Director of the upcoming Renton parkrun). Good luck, Martin!

This was also, sadly, Diarmuid “Dee” Coughlan’s last US parkrun, his 40th (and 26th at Fletcher’s, alongside 56 volunteering roles - the whole roster). Dee was part of the original group that contacted parkrun in the UK to start an event in Washington back in 2015, and who eventually relaunched parkrun in the US. While Dee humbly claims he was only the Ringo of the Fab Four, we owe to him valuable insights on the links between running and health, a sea of useful contacts and connections, as well as our partnership with the American Cancer Society. Dee’s charm and social skills rival his fast feet: he was first finisher at Fletcher on six occasions. Best wishes for your new life in Newcastle, Dee!

Also noteworthy is the fact that our overall first finisher was a female – another first at Fletcher’s Cove – Julie Dickerson, with a speedy 19:27. Aidan Urbina, an under-14 first timer, finished a mere second behind Julie, pushing her to a PB. Congratulations to both! On the other end of the field, five year old Ethiopian-American Bekalu Wigglesworth, certainly honoring double Olympic Marathon winner Abebe Bikila, completed his first-ever 5 km run, escorted by a squadron of fawning supporters.

Special thanks to the team of volunteers, Elena Woitach, Ellen Maxwell, Henry Wigglesworth, Jolanta Blazaite, Paul Durbin, Sylvia Lesic, making my life as Run Director very simple ona potentially complicated day, as a special thank you to Alex Foxley in his first week as volunteer coordinator.

And, yes, I leave the most extraordinary news to the end: our usual volunteer coordinator couple, Stephanie and Ian, gave birth to a beautiful baby, Henry, on #parkrunday, no less!

 

Andres Falconer, Run Durector, A110656

 

Run Report #81 – The best thing I did in Washington…

Was go to Union Station on 22nd September 2015 to discuss starting a parkrun, the rest they say is history! 2 years later, there are 3 parkrun events in the DMV, registrations tally at 4,435 of which 3,177 REAL people have completed a parkrun. With 4 more events in the offering in the DMV, this has been the best did I thing in Washington.

This is my final run report for a while!! (I am moving to Newcastle, England - if there, get in touch). I will save the emotional outpouring for the last paragraph. Now, last week's run report:

We had 56 parkrunners, a gentleman called Carlos arrived late and I forgot to add him to the results. Please forgive me. We had 10 first-timers including one tourist, A mister Neil Armstrong from Peterborough in England and yes he has heard all the astronuant jokes!! We had 12 PRs. Bravo! Our first finisher, for the 11th time, was Howard Frost, who will hit the magic 50 parkruns next time out. Closely followed by Matteo Iacoviello in a PB of 19:18 and Lokesh Meena also in a PB of 20.01. Special thanks to the volunteer legends, Jason Legum & Rodger Potocki. First-timer, Sarah Kass as timekeeper and special, special thanks to 11-year old Olivia Skerlj who did a wonderful job as a barcode scanner. Not to forget, the birthday girl (9), Mariana Rahal, who took all photos below, wonderfully capturing the various expressions of the finishers. There is always something special about Saturday mornings at the Cove and this week it was Olivia and Mariana. They were awesome to volunteer with.

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Clare Allenson, Belinda D’Agostino and Susan Crammond were the first 3 ladies home. It was great to see Susan Martin back with us. Susan & her friends completed the 5K as part of their long run. Very impressive. Special shout-out to Mohammed Shamma, who went sub-30 and clipped over 3 mins off his PB.

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Lovely to chat with Stephen Vitvitsky & Clare Allenson whose first parkrun was in last week’s deluge. They cycled to Fletcher’s Cove from Georgetown. This is definitely the way to go if you can. The Capital Crescent Trial is such a wonderful resource to Washingtonians.

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Also, great to see the Longerans back at the ranch. Hugh was sporting the classic apricot T-shirt (FYI..when you hit 10 parkruns, you'll get another parkrun T-shirt). Also, great to met the Lowenfish family (Luke, Eliza and Martin), please do come again.

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Also, great to see Nick Keenan (the unofficial Mayor of the Palisades), Roberta Alvarez, Brenda Heffernan and Nancy Edson back running strongly.

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Finally, the last 3 photos are:

1) Ian Ross and Stephanie Coombes who are having a baby imminently. As a couple, they have organized the volunteer roster over the last year. Thank you for being awesome people and friends.

2) The 'Colinator" (as Henry affectionaly calls him) and I having completed the beautiful Parks 1/2 marathon on Sunday. Montgomery County Road Runners Club (MCRRC) did a super job - put it on your calendar for 2018. Colin and his wife, Andrea, are behind College Park parkrun but also are incredibly supportive of new events across the country. Colin has been to 9/12 parkrun events in the US.

3) Me and the boys! It has been my pleasure to work with you all on this odyssey but more importantly to have gotten to know you and your families. I learned from each one of you and about the importance of teamwork.

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No doubt, moving somewhere new can lead to loneliness and social isolation. However, each and every Saturday morning I was assured of one thing - a warm welcome at Fletcher's Cove that gave me a warm fuzzy glow inside. When I say that parkrun was the best thing I did in Washingtion, I am not sating that in an altrustic or professionally sense, it was the best thing I did in Washington for me. Thanks to one and all for the memories, it would be pointless to name names except for Laura  - thanks for the epic breakfasts!!

Your friend,

Diarmuid

 

Run Report #80 – The Deluge

Congratulations to the 31 brave parkrunners that finished our 80th run! And a wet one it was. That was not an obstacle for Howard Frost, our first male finisher with a time of 19.57 and Claire Wigglesworth, our first female finisher at 20.22. Congratulations are in order to Amory Giffin and Phoebe Thomas. Both defied the inclement weather and flew over innumerable puddles to set new PBs.

Mark Parnell joined us from Torrens parkrun, Adelaide, Australia. We also welcome first timers Clare Allenson, Dave Hamer and Stephan Vitvitsky. Thanks for joining the Fletcher’s Cove crew and we hope this is just the beginning of many, and hopefully not as wet, runs by the C&O Canal.

A final word of thanks to our great team of volunteers that made the 80th parkrun possible: Fred Fagestrom, Henry Wigglesworth, David Donahue, Jason Legum, Dan Owen, Julia Figueredo and Sylvia Lesic.

See you all next week!

Alex Foxley, Run Director

 

Run Report #79 — The temp drops, so do times

It was a lovely day, especially for the end of summer in D.C. There was a bit of humidity, and the sun made its presence known….resulting in many runners receiving their token from the classic “hands on knees” position. We shared the trail with a fair number of cyclists and runners, including local collegiate men’s and women’s cross-country teams out for their runs, flying down the trail in two graceful and swift packs. Of course, we cheered them on, and they seemed to appreciate it. 
 
This last Saturday of August, we hosted over 50 parkrunners, including one dad with a double stroller and a speedy daughter alongside, two folks with canine companions, a few out-of-town visitors, and two first-timers.  First across the finish line, for the second week in a row, were Dee Coughlan (18:05) and Claire Wigglesworth (20:10, a new PB!)  We need a few more speedsters to come and push Dee and Claire under the 18 and 20 minute barriers, respectively. Dee's final parkrun here will be Sept. 16, so we hope we can send him off with a PB.
 
We had lots of junior parkrunners out today and applaud all of their achievements:  Molly Goldwasser notched a PB at 26:21, as did Jackson Keyser at 25:42.  Looking remarkably fresh was eight-year-old Lola Orlove Rodriguez, cruising in at 29:57.  A pair of Wilson High School students, Sabina Harrison and Maya Bravo, ran together and finished strong at 44:35.  And rounding out the Bravo contingent, Ben and Noah did their first parkrun at a very respectable 39:20.  Bravo to the Bravos!
Also making their parkrun debuts were Allison Rizzetta and Dr. Hamid (Ryan) Kazemi. Dr. K., a local triathlete and oral surgeon, was one of the earliest supporters of FC parkrun (thanks!) after hearing about it from his patient, Henry Wigglesworth. After today’s outing, expect to see Dr. K. back with his two children soon.
 
Representing their home parkrun of Mansfield, Ohio - and joining their daughter Stephanie Coomes in tail walking - were Andrea and Michael Coomes. Joining us from the UK were Anna Bowman (London) and Ben Watson (Leeds). After finishing, Ben and Anna graciously acted as finish line photographers to help us capture as many parkrunners as possible for posterity - or at least our Flickr account and Facebook page. 
 
As is true every week, today’s parkrun was made possible by our fantastic volunteers! 
 
Thanks to:
Nancy Edson for marshaling
Dee Coughlan for helping with the flag setup and for handing out tokens 
Joe McKenzie for his stalwart efforts as timekeeper 
Henry Wigglesworth for timekeeping and other duties
Rebecca Smith for barcode scanning
Bekalu Wigglesworth for helping set up the finish line (and pacing some of our last runners in at high speed)
Stephanie Coomes for tail walking
Ian Ross for coordinating the volunteers
All of the above, and you, for making my first turn as RD a good one.
 
There are volunteer spots open for the coming weeks - the roster can be found here.

Hope to see you soon! #loveparkrun

Melissa Bodeau
Run Director 

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