If you thought event #273 was cold at 12 degrees, you hadn't seen anything yet. Temperatures were below zero this past Saturday for Livonia parkrun #274, but that did not stop 25 intrepid parkrunners and several volunteers from coming out and enjoying what turned out to be a beautiful, albeit frigid, day.
We had one and only one first timer this week, but she was a unique parkrunner. Willow Vanda-Mower came all the way from Darwin, Australia to visit our Livonia parkrun. She and her husband are on a 7 week tour of the USA and started in Philadelphia, then went to New Orleans, and then decided to come to Michigan for our parkrun. That sounds like a great plan. Willow said she thoroughly enjoyed the folks and the course at Livonia parkrun, and even the weather. And we were very glad she came. Darwin's temperatures rarely go below 70 degrees and it has been 85 there this week, so quite a shock to the system I am sure to go running in below zero temps.
In tourist news going the other way, native Englishman and adopted Livonian Chris Walker went home for the holidays and was able to do two parkruns at Chippenham, near Bristol, England. He got to go home and parkrun with his Dad over Christmas, which is awesome! Welcome back to the frozen north Chris. This week Tim Keer went home to England for his college reunion Friday night. Tim says depending on how much drinking he does, and how much hangoverness he feels, he will decide whether or not to do a local parkrun Saturday morning. IMHO, in statistical terms, the odds of him not doing a parkun are at about .00001 percent.
Let's see who our podium placers were this week. A familiar face, Timothy Howse, was our first finisher, although many people were wearing masks due to the cold so it was hard to tell who was who. Timothy has now finished first 11 times, and has moved into 8th place on the Livonia all-time list. Josh Styron was second finisher for the 3rd time in 9 parkruns, and as yet he has not cracked the top spot. In third was Jeff Everett, just ahead of Josh's son Adam Styron, who was our only junior parkrunner this week.
For the ladies, we only had four of them so they will all get recognition this week. Our first finisher was Tracey Cohen who also was kind enough to bring baked goods for our volunteers. In second was Krystal Lawrence, who along with her friend Nick Shultz, both ran our only PB's or personal bests this week, good job Krystal and Nick! In third for the ladies was also our most experienced lady, Virginia Gerstner, making her way onto the podium for the first time in 24 parkruns. See, persistence pays off. Either that, or showing up when it is below zero out and many others stayed home in a nice warm bed will get you on the podium. And then our final lady of the day was our previously mentioned far-travelled tourist, Willow Vanda-Mower.
In round-number Milestone news, our VIP tailwalker, Sam Bailo, completed his 180th parkrun. Charlie Garnett, also known as Chewbacca this week, ran his 105th. Willow Vanda-Mower gets another honorable mention as she chose Livonia parkrun to do her 70th overall parkrun, and her first outside of Australia. Last but certainly not least, John Tarkowski ran his 30th parkrun, and also got the highest age-graded percentage of the week at 73% of world record pace.
And what would parkrun be without volunteers? A bunch of people standing around without guidance or structure perhaps? Let us celebrate this week's esteemed volunteers: Sam BAILO, Lynn BOVEN, Jennifer BUDD, Tim GALLAGHER, Bruce HYDE, Tim KEER, Thomas PREISS, Elena STYRON, and Donald THEODORE. Elena was our only junior volunteer this week, and volunteered to take some great pictures. Special congratulations and thanks to Jen Budd who volunteered for the 25th time and is now eligible for a snazzy purple parkrun volunteer shirt. Jenn filled in ably on the stopwatch for Spencer who was down in Florida for some unknown reason and missed the below zero temps. We only have one pre-volunteer this week, thank you Kim Zamora! Please volunteer if you are able. Write on our Facebook page and let us know, thank you!
Last week thanks to the magic of Tim Keer's stats we got to recognize all 16 of the people who have parkrun in all six Livonia parkrun years from 2012 to 2017. And I mentioned I would let you know this week who has volunteered in all of the six Livonia parkun years. Without further adieu, congratulations and thank you to: Spencer Greve, Lynn Boven, Kim Zamora, Jennifer Greve, and Robert Vance. And thanks to the magic of Colin Phillips at Parkrun USA HQ I was able to add some pictures this week, hooray! Still need to figure out some flikr stuff, but getting there. See you Saturday!