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.
We 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.
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.
We 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.
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.
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.
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.