Livonia #288 – Very British Weather

Pip, pip, cheerio old chap.  That's some sort of British slang you might hear, maybe, if you are watching a movie. We had very British weather last Saturday. It rained the entire day leading to unjumpable puddles on our parkrun winter course, you just had to slog through them. But we kept a stiff upper lip. Those of British origin among us did really well on this rain soaked day. Three of our four top finishers are or were subjects of her Majesty the Queen. But more about that way later in the unimportant section of the run report. Here is a picture of our flags being pelted by rain and wind taken from inside the warm and dry parkrunmobile that is Lynn's van.

parkrun 2018-04-14-11We welcomed one and only one new parkrunner to our merry band last week, and we were surprised there were any newbies. Welcome Janelle Gunn, who was brought (dragged?) by her friend longtime parkrunner, Kathy Hall. Janelle and Kathy stuck together the whole way around the course. Here is Janelle on the left with Kathy on the right. parkrun 2018-04-14-12

We did have a lot of (crazy) veteran parkrunners out with us last Saturday. In fact I would challenge our stats guru Tim Keer to find a USA parkrun with a higher average number of runs per runner as we had on parkrun #288. I know it is hard to check the older stats on this because they continually update to reflect the current number of parkruns a person has done. I think I calculated an average of almost 88 parkruns per person for our 22 drenched denizens.

parkrun 2018-04-14-10We also had one official milestone as frequent volunteer and all-around nice guy Ryan Keberly ran his 50th parkrun with us. Wear your red shirt in good health Ryan. Besides Ryan we had a couple of round number parkrunners last week as well. Tim Keer ran his 55th overall parkrun, while it was his 50th ever Livonia parkrun. Marty Povirk ran his 45th, Kathy Hall ran her 35th, Theresa Tonev ran her 30th, and Patrick Starr ran his 25th. After Patrick we only had four parkrunners with less than 25 parkruns under their belts. I am sure that low number will change as we hopefully welcome some much nicer weather in the coming weeks. Here is Ryan being congratulated by his parkrun friends. parkrun 2018-04-14-14

Let's here it for all the parkrun volunteers. Extra Kudos to the volunteers who came out to support our parkrun in the pouring rain. Thank you so much to Sam Bailo, Guy Bardsley, Lynn Boven, Charlotte Burke, Brookln Fhyre, Tim Gallagher, Spencer Greve, Ryan Keberly, Tim Keer, Max Lin, Scott Maxwell, Gloria Zhao, and to Bruce Hyde who volunteered for the 99th time with us, get ready for a Bruce close-up next week. Here is Bruce way early in the morning pondering the rain, and wondering if anyone will be crazy enough to show up. Bruce is always first or second to arrive to help set up as dawn breaks over Bicentennial Park.

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Now onto the first finishers. And we do have an interesting first finisher story to tell this week. Tim Keer, after a gifted first finish a while back at the Mansfield, Ohio parkrun, finally got that official, beat all comers, no doubt about it first finish at his home parkrun of Livonia no less. It took him 50 tries, but congrats finally to Tim! In 2nd overall and 1st for the ladies was Stephanie Evans, our 2nd British finisher with her 5th Livonia first finish. In 2nd for the guys and 3rd overall was Patrick Starr, representing the Stars and Stripes, and keeping the top results from being an all-British sweep. Patrick had the one and only new PB of the day as he battled against Tim Keer, even taking a fairly sizeable lead for a while mid-way through the run. Congrats on your PB Patrick! In fourth overall, 3rd for the guys was our 3rd British ex-pat, Chris Walker.


Rounding out the top finishers for the ladies were Theresa Tonev followed by Charlotte Burke. Charlotte was narrowly edged out by Tim Keer by eight one-hundredths of a percent for top age grade of the week. Tim ran in 68.21% of world record pace, although I am sure it would be a higher percentage if we looked at rain soaked world record pace. For example see last Monday's Boston Marathon contested in a torrential downpour with buffeting winds to boot which greatly lengthened the finishing times.


In tourist news we wish Stephanie Evans all the best as she competes in this weekend's London Marathon. Good luck Stephanie! When Stephanie gets back she plans on doing some practice runs out in Lille Park in Ann Arbor in May to see if she can figure out a great new Ann Arbor parkrun course. If you would like to be a part of that endeavour (British spelling) please get in touch with Stephanie on the "Let's bring parkrun to Ann Arbor" Facebook page. Here is Stephanie probably saying something very British to Guy, our guy with the British name. parkrun 2018-04-14-13

Last but not least, (this should have been in the top headline), PLEASE everyone come to parkrun this Saturday, April 21st. We need everyone plus their friends and relatives to come out to help us break the overall parkrun USA attendance record. If we get over 1,000 parkrunners at all 19 USA parkruns this Saturday, we will be over the moon happy and gleeful. See you all Saturday!

As a parting shot, here is Sam Bailo, who ran the entire 5K clutching his Lego umbrella. I am pretty sure he was none drier for it than the rest of us at the end.

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Livonia #287 – parkrun Men’s Day

Remember when the barber shop, or the corner bar, or even the racetrack had men's days and women's days? You got half off on something or some freebie just for being one gender or the other? I guess you have to be fairly old to remember this. Anyway this past Saturday we had men's day among our parkrun volunteers. Fourteen volunteers, great turnout, no complaints, but all fourteen volunteers were male. I would say all 14 were men, but we had Yuma as well, a young man to be sure. So our challenge is to get more ladies to volunteer, perhaps even have a ladies takeover day where the ladies do all the roles including Run Director, Results Processor, Run Report Writer, the sky is the limit. Ladies please email if you can volunteer. Men too of course. If anyone wants to be gender neutral that is fine as well, no objections, although I think parkrun registration makes you pick one or the other.


Here are our testosterone filled volunteers for the week. Thank you one and all to Sam BAILO, Guy BARDSLEY, Thomas BARYLSKI, Lynn BOVEN, Tim GALLAGHER, Bruce HYDE, Ryan KEBERLY, Tim KEER, Nick SCHULZ, Michael SMITH, Raghu T, Donald THEODORE, Yuma TSUBOUCHI, and Brendan FLAHTERY who volunteered after only his fourth parkrun.

Here are our intrepid parkrunners listening intently to a very interesting pre-run briefing:

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On to the rest of the run report. We welcomed three Livonia parkrun first timers. First Amanda Christine, brand new to parkrun, who found us through Steve Dancy's Century Club, which is a group of runners who pledge to run 100 miles a month. Second was Bernadette Dabrowski, who previously came with her partner Andrea Zelten, and volunteered for us but now ran parkrun for the first time herself. And third was Casey Wu, a veteran of two previous parkruns, one in Renton, WA and one in Chrissy Field, CA. Casey joins Sarah Gallagher with the distinction of having done 3 and only 3 parkuns, all in different states, or in Sarah's case, countries. Welcome all and we hope you will return.


In visitor news of a different sort we enjoyed following the exploits of the Styron family as they travelled down to Florida for spring break. Their first Saturday two weeks ago Josh, Adam, Henry, Rebecca, and Elena ran the Clermont Waterfront parkrun near Orlando, FL. And in the middle of their long drive back home to Michigan the following Saturday, the family stopped at the Durham, NC parkrun where Josh actually got his 2nd parkrun first finish! Congrats to you all! Josh said being parkrun tourists was one of the highlights of their trip. Here are the Styron's, first in Florida (we are envious of those palm trees!) and then here they are in North Carolina. parkrun 2018-04-07-24parkrun 2018-04-07-25


Here is Josh's description of both parkruns: Clermont Waterfront run on Mar 31.  It was a very comfortable 65F and breezy with lots of fast guest runners.  The course is a nicely-paved, out-and-back route along Lake Minneola.  They were definitely practiced at handling the large group.  The course was simple to setup with a single large cone and sign at the turn around.  They created a finish chute off to the side of the trail to collect/direct everyone just after the finish line.  The scanning station was set up on a picnic table under the shelter.   They had a divided plastic bin to help keep the tokens organized in groups after scanning.    


Durham NC run on Apr 7.  While it rained and misted most of the run, 55F temps were perfect.  This was a much smaller event, but nicely done in any case.  The course includes a very hilly loop in Southern Boundaries Park and a flat out-and-back section along the Third Fork Creek Trail.  When it’s raining, the out-and-back is much shorter due to flooding and the course is run 3 times instead of 2.  (We had the short course marked with chalk on the pavement.)  They were using the phone timing and scanning option.  --Thank you Josh!

On to the parkrun milestones of the week. Bruce Hyde had the highest round number of the week running his 190th parkrun with us. And Bruce volunteered for the 98th occasion too. Currently in a tie, both with 170 parkruns congrats to Jen Greve and Don Theodore. Charlie Garnett ran about 6 parkruns worth of miles last Saturday as he ran his 115th parkrun. Kathleen Lomako did her 55th parkrun. Two of our veterans, Thomas Barylski and Virginia Gerstner, completed 35 and 30 parkrun respectively. Scott Maxwell brings up the rear (at least in this category) completing his 20th parkrun. No official shirt earners this week, but stay tuned, there is very strong authority that we will have an official milestone this Saturday, initials R.K.


Now for the least emphasized part of the run report, the first finishers. We had Timothy Howse taking it to the house, with his 14th first finish, good for 7th all time on the Livonia list. Last week's BFF (before first finisher) was this week's 2nd finisher, congrats Steve Johnson. Clawing his way into 3rd was first timer (briefer) Tim Keer who almost didn't have any first timers to brief until the three mentioned above showed up about 8:55 a.m.


For the ladies our first finisher for the 2nd time was Beth Gilday. Beth also had the highest age graded result of the week at 74% of world record pace for her age and gender. Second among the ladies was 16 time previous first finisher Charlotte Burke, getting her mojo back. In 3rd was Yuma’s Mom, Sachiko Tsubouchi.  Here is Charlotte with a pair of Jen's, Jenn Budd and Jenny St. Peters. parkrun 2018-04-07-23


In other parkrun news Stephanie Evans is looking for people who would like to be involved with the new Ann Arbor parkrun. parkrun USA has announced another new parkrun on the horizon, this one in Tennessee, which will launch sometime after the upcoming launches in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Hope to see you on April 14th, but REALLY hope to see everyone on April 21st as collective we attempt to break 1,000 parkrunners on a single day in the USA. If you can tell everyone you know to join us on April 21st that would be awesome. Have a great day.


Livonia #286 – April Fool’s

Hello fellow parkrunners.  Mother Nature keeps fooling us.  We look at the calendar and think we should have some nice weather coming sometime?  Right?  When?  Where is it?  But no, not even some teases of warm weather, just more cold and now snow even, what's up with that?

But parkrun is always here, rain or shine, warm or cold.  And last Saturday the weather was good for running, where colder is better, up to a point.  We had 57 parkrunners join us, and 11 of us set a new personal best!  The cool temperature, plus no wind, along with our great winter course made for some excellent efforts by our parkrunners.

In addition to 11 PB's we had an amazing 13 first timers, wow!  We would like to extend a warm Livonia welcome to Candell Graff, Danni Franks, Tiffany Walker, Wallace Murray who was kind enough to register on site, Gloria (Qin) Zhao who volunteered before she ever parkran, Carrie Holland our first person to find us on Running in the USA, my dear neighbor Mikaela Carlson, Frida and Araceli Aguila originally from Queretaro, Mexico, Joy Kind and her daughter Cory Kind who lives in Virginia, Jack Gyr from Saginaw, and Rebecca Kakos daughter of Mike Kakos.  Rebecca please register, thank you!  Here is a reverse view of several of our first timers, welcome!



A big shout out to our volunteers this week.  Thank you always to our volunteers.  If you haven't volunteered, or haven't in a while please consider it.  We would love to show you how fun it is.  Thank you so much to Sam BAILO, Lynn BOVEN, Steve BOYAK, Steve DANCY, Tim GALLAGHER, Spencer GREVE, Bruce HYDE, Tim KEER, Max LIN, Kathleen LOMAKO, Donald THEODORE, Yuma TSUBOUCHI, Gloria (Qin) ZHAO, and her other son Vincent who had not registered.  2018-04-06_08-01-31

In terms of parkrun Milestones we have some round numbers to celebrate:  Our illustrious Co-Event Director, Lynn Boven, completed his 220th parkrun, most USA parkruns of anyone, anywhere.  Kim Zamora ran her 170th after arriving late.  Tim Gallagher ran his 130th parkrun.  Charlotte Burke was back with us running her 65th.  Ray Walsh ran his 60th.  Linda Lutz has run 55.  And John Tarkowski ran his 35th. Plus Steve Dancy shown on the right below, volunteered for the 25th time!


We had one record this week, from the Master, John Tarkowski, he set another Livonia parkrun record with the fastest ever time in the M65 category with a 20:37.  John also had the highest age graded run of the week, running over 81% of world record pace.    John was our 2nd finisher this week, flanking him were Steve Johnson with his 2nd first finish, and Dan Rabe, back from a long absence, finishing 3rd.

For the ladies we had Stephanie Evans finishing first for the 4th time, and breaking her own PB, which also would have been a Livonia record, except that our Irish ex-pat, Laura Frey, broke our British ex-pat Stephanie's record a couple weeks ago.  Sounds like a friendly rivalry.  In 2nd was frequent volunteer Charlotte Burke, followed by Stephanie's Uber driver, Theresa Tonev in 3rd.

In parkrun USA news we launched our 18th US parkrun in Jamaica Pond, Boston last week with 93 first timers!  And this Saturday our 19th parkrun will launch in Aspen, Colorado.   It will be the highest altitude parkrun in the world.  We enjoy seeing our parkrun children and grandchildren spread around the country from the seed first plant here in Livonia.  Closer to home, Stephanie Evans is in the midst of all the pre-planning necessary to start a new parkrun in Ann Arbor.  She is looking for people interested in helping or just finding out more information.

See you Saturday!



Livonia #285 – First parkrun of Spring

Last Saturday, March 24th, we had our first parkrun of the spring. The weather was decent, a little chilly. The course was terrific, no slippery spots. This Saturday be ready for a change as the signs closing the back half of the park to traffic are gone. Stay tuned for what this means to the course. Right now the trails are wet and muddy, and the grass has some big puddles. Our Course Director (similar to a Cruise Director) Lynn Boven, will be determining the best course in the morning.

As far as last week we had a nice group of 58 parkrunners. We had a great mix of veterans, tourists, first timers, funny accents, and even a couple of records were broken. Let's dive right in, shall we? First let's give a warm Livonia welcome to the first timers, who for them it was their first ever parkrun, Luke Mercer from Birmingham Groves High School, Steve Braverman, Michael Dineen, Jennifer St. Peters, and Andrea Bonder, originally from Germany. Andrea was our first ever Livonia parkrunner to find us through Welcome all new parkrunners. Here is 1st timer Luke with the now removed "Road Closed" sign.

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Then we had three parkrun tourists who are all parkrun veterans, but it was their first ever time at Livonia. First was Gail Jazmik, who lives in the U.K. with Glossop as her home parkrun. Gail and her friend Elise McMahon drove all the way from Fort Wayne, Indiana just to meet us and do our parkrun. Then we had Danny Webber and Lucy Corcoran, both also from the U.K., but now living in Canada. They both drove all the way from the Toronto area where Whitby is their home parkrun. Welcome to you.

In Milestone News this week we had no official milestones but a few of our friends hit some round numbers such as Chris Walker running his 125th parkrun, Karen Slayton running her 95th, Lucy Corcoran visiting us to do her 70th, Tom Kakos with 65 parkruns, Michael Smith did his 55th, and our own Grizzly Adams, Larry Barnett did his 35th. Congratulations everyone!

As far as new records go we had two of them. Ladies first, Beth Gilday from Downriver shot around the course, taking more than a minute off of her previous record time to reset the bar on the W55 record with a 23:03. Beth also had the highest age-graded score of the week by a long shot with 79%. Mason Montgomery shaved 9 seconds off of his previous record time resetting his bar in the M10 category with a 22:35. Congrats to you both!

Hats off to our volunteers this week. Without volunteers there is no parkrun.  As this report was being written, parkrun Global released brand new snazzy purple volunteer 25 symbols that will appear next to your name in the results once you have volunteered on 25 separate occasions. Here is our esteemed list: Sam BAILO, Thomas BARYLSKI, Lynn BOVEN, Jennifer BUDD, Tracey COHEN, Tim GALLAGHER, Spencer GREVE, Bruce HYDE, Tim KEER, Scott MAXWELL, Joshua STYRON, and Donald THEODORE. Thank you, thank you! Here are frequent volunteers Sam and Don. 058 - Copy


We can always use additional volunteers. It is a fun way to get to give back to parkrun, and meet new people (if meeting new people is your thing, if not we will find a hidden away spot for you to volunteer).


Down at the bottom of the Run Report, emphasizing its insignificance to parkrun overall, are our first finishers. Let's start with the Ladies, Beth Gilday, record setter, was our first female, and also became the 200th different person to finish first at Livonia parkrun, Congrats Beth! In 2nd for the ladies was Ann Arbor resident, Theresa Tonev. In 3rd was one of our photographers, Tanya Carson. Thanks for all the great pictures from your GoPro Tanya!  Here is Tanya taking a picture of another photographer taking a picture of Tanya.


For the Men, we had a very exciting not race for the 1st Finisher spot. Timothy Howse edged out Luke Mercer by one second for his 13th first finish. Just missing out on the fireworks up front was frequent volunteer Josh Styron in 3rd.

See you all tomorrow in our newly fully opened park!


Livonia #284 – St. Paddy’s Day parkrun

Hello fellow parkrunners, and welcome to another exciting Livonia parkrun run report. Racing the deadline again, just getting the report out Friday evening, hope you like it. We had 53 Irishmen, okay well actually 37 Irishmen and 16 Irishwomen join us for our St. Patrick's Day parkrun. It was a beautiful day for the last parkrun of winter. Lots of people dressed up and/or wore green to help celebrate our annual Irish heritage day.

We were thrilled to have 11 first timers join us to experience all that is parkrun. A warm welcome to Ryan Warner and his friend Ben Kaufman from Virginia, James Jean, originally from the island of St. Lucia, Kyle Goodman, another Tim, Tim Cassar, our Irish Vikings Brandi Wells and Porsche Fischer, Kate Dunlap, Cheyenne Quick and her Dad Ryan, and last but not least Kathy King. Welcome all and hope you return!


We also had two additional first timers among our volunteers. Gloria Zhao and her son Max Lin had both never been to parkrun and wanted to come and volunteer to check it out. Gloria did an excellent job as our photographer, here she is in her volunteer vest, while Max kept everyone on course as our marshal. Our other valuable volunteers were Sam BAILO, Lynn BOVEN, Tanya CARSON, Brookln FHYRE, Tim GALLAGHER, Charles GARNETT, Spencer GREVE, Carol HOFGARTNER, Bruce HYDE, Tim KEER, Joshua STYRON, and Raghu T, thank you one and all!  Here is Carol as our chief cheerleader!


In milestone news we had an official milestone as Dr. Maura Bradley became the 19th of our parkrunners in attendance to have earned her red 50th parkrun shirt, congrats Maura! Additional round number parkrunners were Sam Bailo who ran his 190th! Plus Mike Kakos who ran his 80th, and Yayati Watwe who ran his 25th.


In new parkrun news we are excited to announce that the future Ann Arbor parkrun has gone from a hope and a dream to another step closer to reality by receiving the blessing of the Ann Arbor Parks Department, and the likely support of the Ann Arbor Track Club. If you care to learn more about the Ann Arbor parkrun, or would like to get in on the ground floor, please join us this Sunday morning at The Common Cup Coffee House on 1511 Washtenaw Road in Ann Arbor at 10:30 a.m.

And way down at the bottom of the run report, totally not emphasized, we have our first finishers report. We had a tie this week, can you believe it? Not a tie for crossing the line first, but a tie between our male first finisher, Timothy Howse, and our female first finisher, Theresa Tonev. Timothy and Theresa have each finished first 12 times, putting them tied for 8th on the Livonia all-time list. In 2nd this week was Adam Styron followed in 3rd by his Dad, frequent volunteer Josh Styron. Josh also had the highest age grade of the week at 71% of world record pace. For the ladies in 2nd was our 50 timer, Maura Bradley, with two timer (not that kind of two timer) Lauren Schaible in 3rd.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy reading about our parkrun as much as we enjoy writing about parkrun. See you Saturday morning!


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