parkrun USA Newsletter 6th January 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we head back to English class, get our hands on those neat tee-shirts that all the parkrun tourists wear, and visit a parkrun Down Under.

As a lifelong language pedant and a former English-language teacher, this daughter of a linguist knows a thing or two about grammar and syntax. Ask Ms. McKown who the best was at diagramming sentences in eighth-grade English class. Ask my beloved whose editing skills helped the brilliance in his reports to shine like the low, eastern sun early in the morning. Ask my friends on Facebook who won’t quit pointing out when they’ve used “your” instead of “you’re”. Now, ask who has insisted that Microsoft not ignore my spelling of “parkrun” but, rather, add it to the dictionary.

Spelling mistakes from this keyboard are rare as hen’s teeth, so I assure you that “parkrun” really is all one word and all lower case. It is not park run, nor is it Park Run. As a word, and as a concept, parkrun is small, simple, accessible, and uncomplicated. It’s about putting together two little words with gigantic themes into one little space on the page: parkrun.

Still not convinced? Let’s examine this compound noun’s constituent parts. First, we have “park”. To me, parks are about community. They’re about open, shared spaces where the flora and fauna can simply be flora and fauna and where we humans can go to stand amongst the bits and pieces of nature and feel a bit of peace in our otherwise hectic lives.

Next, there’s the “run”. It’s such a little word that escapes with the tiniest of breaths, although it requires quite a lot of gasping and huffing and puffing to actually perform. For some, it’s a goal; others see it as a way to reach a goal. For many of us, it’s a pendulum that swings wildly towards pain and away from pleasure before it goes reeling back in the other direction.

These are the little words that got put together, and now they mean something else. For some folks, this compound noun means no more sleeping in on Saturdays. For others, it means friendships. For some parkrunners I’ve met, it means a path to fitness, a way to stay strong during chemo, or a preemptive excuse for that impending cinnamon bun. But all of that is too much to say when you’re trying to do a 5k, so let’s just call it – and spell it – parkrun.

Happy running!

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

parkrun milestone club tee-shirts to be available worldwide


For those of you who missed the big announcement that came by email on New Year’s Day: parkrun tee-shirts are coming! These are not ordinary tee-shirts, like the kind you get for entering a race or buy in a shop. These are parkrun club tee-shirts that can only be earned by turning up and running. Again, and again, and again. Until you hit 50 parkruns. Then you do it again until you hit 100 runs. Then you keep on running some more till you reach 250 runs. Junior runners (those under 18) are eligible for a tee-shirt after completing 10 runs.

Up until now, this has been something that each country has arranged for itself. Now, we can all access these wonderful tokens of our perseverance, thanks to the sportswear brand Tribesports. Distributed through parkrun’s Wiggle site, you’ll be able to order your tee-shirt free of charge.

Here’s how it will work: When you reach one of these clubs, you will be alerted via the regular results email, or find the link to Wiggle on your private profile page. The tee-shirt will ship to your address within a few days. Please note that you will need to pay shipping and handling, which is completely understandable when considering that Tribesports expect to give away approximately 300,000 tee-shirts worldwide in the next five years.

And that’s not all! (I’m sorry to sound like an infomercial.) In addition to the 10, 50, 100, and 250 clubs, Tribesports are adding a 500 club (“I ran 2,500 kilometers and all I got was this shirt…”) and a first-ever volunteer shirt for those who help at 25 or more events. In addition to supplying the shirts, Tribesports wants to hear your input on what the shirt should look like, so vote here.

Last but not least, let’s talk timeframes. The first batch of tee-shirts will arrive at Wiggle in March 2015, at which time they will open the ordering process by adding links to those who reach the milestone clubs. Volunteer club tee-shirts will be arriving a month after the others. Those of us in the US who have earned a club tee but not yet received it will be able to order one once the tee-shirts are made available on Wiggle.

For those of you who have read all of this and can’t wait to earn your first club shirt, then I guess I’ll know where to find you next Saturday morning! And certainly #dfyb (don’t forget your barcode).

parkrun USA in numbers – December 2014


Number of runners - 300
Number of first timers - 75
Number of PRs - 63
Number of volunteers - 54

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This month, we head Down Under to the curiously named Curl Curl parkrun near Sydney, Australia.

Located in John Fisher Park just meters from the beach in New South Wales, this mostly flat course recently had its 88th event, which also saw it set a new record for participation with 247 runners crossing the finish line. Their 2,013 runners have run an average of 4.7 events each for a total of 2,103 PRs. The average time, for what the event directors promise is a quick course, is 27:19.

Runners and volunteers alike have to get up very early for the 7:00AM start. Given that it’s summer in Australia, and judging by the photos on their Facebook page, it looks like it’s still plenty hot despite the early hour. After running, runners head over to Penny Lane Café for (iced) coffee to swap parkrun war stories. The runners of Curl Curl seem to have a rich history of photo-bombing and hamming it up for the camera, so it’s worth checking out their page, particularly if the cold of winter is making you wish for a little fodder for sunnier daydreams.

in case of bad weather


The weather outside can turn frightful at any time of year. Please be sure to check your local event’s Facebook page or get in touch by email using the address on your event’s parkrun page to double-check whether a run will be going ahead in the event of inclement weather. Event directors will make every effort to alert runners to cancellations as early as possible.

parkrun: much more than just a run in the park book on sale at Wiggle.com


Debra Bourne, event director of a parkrun in the London suburb of Croydon, has put aside her writing day job to compile a book documenting how parkrun started with 13 friends in a park and developed into the worldwide, inclusive, and much loved running community it has become. Read about people’s own parkrun stories and the many ways that a simple concept in running came to resonate so deeply with so many people.

parkrun partnership with Strava


parkrun has a new partnership with Strava, an online network that connects athletes. The parkrun website allows parkrunners to connect their Strava account with their parkrun profile to help them find fellow Strava athletes through a badge in the parkrun results table.  Linking your parkrun profile and Strava account is completely optional, and you can choose to revoke it at any time. Interested? Click here to learn more.

feedback from the field


Dear Mrs. Lori, Merry Christmas! Thank you so much for setting the runs up! We LOVE running each week! It is so kind of you! We look forward to more parkruns in 2015! – A Christmas card received by Livonia event directors Lori & Rick Brauer


Hi Clermont parkrun,
It was fantastic! We love your parkrun and you are all such a lovely friendly group of people. I'm still smiling at my achievement. Now I need to conquer a sub-30 5k in Sheffield along with my first half-marathon. Thanks for your support. Enjoy the weather this weekend. We are now back in the UK and it's wet and cold. Hopefully, we’ll see you again in the not too distant future. – Elaine Bartlett, on Clermont’s Facebook page


Happy New Year from Scotland to everyone at Clermont parkrun, my favorite 5k in the world!! – Ewan Cameron, on Clermont’s Facebook page


Great way to start off the new year! – Philip Susann, on Durham, NC’s Facebook page


Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

parkrunner of the month


Name:  Tom Griffin

Club:  Carolina Godiva Track club

Age:  69

Home parkrun:  Durham, NC

Occupation:  Retired (former oil field services technology transfer specialist)

Number of runs:  15

Favourite volunteer role:  Photographer

What do you do at parkruns:  I have worked at almost all positions at Durham, NC parkrun and enjoy all of them. I have not run nearly as many as I would like due to injury and several surgeries.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Although I still follow a training routine during training runs, during parkrun events, I have learned to run more just for the fun of it.

What do you like about parkrun:  The thing I really like about parkrun is that it doesn’t matter how “good” or how fast a runner you are. All runners, or walkers, are welcomed and encouraged. I also like that parkrun events are very friendly and many runners hang around at the finish line to encourage those finishing after them. I think this is the essence of parkrun. Another thing that is unique to parkrun is the parkrun tourists. Not many weeks go by that we don’t have a tourist from some other country, many of them going out of their way to come to Durham just to participate in our event. And I have to say that I really look forward to the gathering at Foster’s Market afterwards and the grits bowl.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  For me, the most memorable moment at Durham Parkrun was the first anniversary party. Participants brought their favorite snack or breakfast food and everyone stayed around enjoying the varieties of food and the company of other parkrunners. Those reaching key milestones and memorable performances were honored.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 2nd December 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, no one is picking favorites, we go for a run somewhere over the rainbow, the first ever parkrun book goes on sale, and so much more. Read on!

Growing up, my two sisters and I were often competing with each other: who swam the fastest, who got the best grades, who could have the biggest hair (it was the 80’s, so don’t judge). It never seemed to end. During those few peaceful moments when we could bask alone in our mother’s love or while reading a bedtime story together, we all would invariably pose the same question on a fairly regular basis: Am I your favorite? And to her credit, my mother never wavered from her statement that she loved us all equally, and she never actually admitted it was me. But how could it not be?!

In a rather odd way, I look at this newsletter like my mother may have regarded my sisters and me. While I recognize that it may not quite be the same as parental affinity, it would still feel disloyal to hold one of the regular features in higher regard than the others. Readers, without the same loyalties that I am bound by, may choose their favorites and skip whole sections to get to what they deem to be the best part. But I give all of my sections equal attention and could never pick a favorite. Never. Never would I dote on the introduction. Never would the parkrunner of the month section get all of my affections. And certainly never would “what in the parkrun world…?” get the biggest piece of cake at dessert.

That said, there is one section – I swear I’m not calling it my favorite! – that has something unique that causes it to rise above, much like my oldest sister’s hair in 1989. That section is “feedback from the field”, and that special something is thankfulness. With Thanksgiving not even one week behind us, I’m still dwelling on gratitude and those things in my life that I’m grateful for. Life frequently seems overrun with problems and complaints and challenges. Diving into a pile of parkrun feedback, however, is the perfect antidote to all that noise.

Take last week’s parkrun UK newsletter, for instance. There are letters of gratitude for time spent with family and friends and for a community that supports effort over results. Gratitude that parkrun’s inclusivity helps runners of all abilities to take part, and that it offers a place for healing through exertion and social connections. There’s gratitude for faster times and slimmer waistlines, and gratitude for an excuse to slow down and smell the flowers in a far-flung parkrun on the other side of the world.

It’s not just the UK that are thankful for their parkruns. The Aussies, Irish, us here in the US (check it out below), and Polish are all glad to have an excuse to roll out of bed on a Saturday morning and do something that makes their own lives that little bit better while, perhaps unknowingly, contributing a dusting of happiness to each other’s Saturday morning parkrun experience. So keep running, keep volunteering, keep hanging out at the finish line to cheer in every last runner, and keep telling us what parkrun means to you.

Happy running!

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

parkrun USA in numbers – November 2014


Number of runners - 370
Number of first timers - 94
Number of PRs - 77
Number of volunteers - 66

what in the parkrun world…?


This section of the newsletter features an introduction to one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This week, we look at Ardgillan parkrun at Ardgillan Castle and Demesne, Balbriggan, County Dublin.

Just 20 miles up the east coast of Ireland from Dublin, Ardgillan Castle is set within 200 acres on the Irish Sea and is within 25 miles of nine other parkruns. With a late sunrise in the winter months, Ardgillan start at 9:30 every Saturday. The course snakes through the grounds and keeps mostly to paths. It starts with an optimist-sounding downhill first kilometer, but we all know that going downhill generally means having to go back up that same hill later; the course description confirms this with the ominous words “follow the path all the way up to the finish”. It sounds like hard work!

Hard work it may be, but 876 runners have finished the course since it was first run on February 8, 2014. Through the end of November, they’ve run 42 parkruns with an average of 74.3 runners per week. Finishers have crossed the line 3,122 times, seeing 945 personal records. Their biggest attendance was 190 runners. Course records are held by Sonya Reilly (21:00), Kieron Peters (17:20), and Gerry O’Connell (79.91% age graded record). Check out the Ardgillan parkrun page for more run results, photos, and details.

Ardgillan parkrun at Ardgillan Castle and Demesne on the coast of the Irish Sea

in case of bad weather


The weather outside can turn frightful at any time of year. Please be sure to check your local event’s Facebook page or get in touch by email using the address on your event’s parkrun page to double-check whether a run will be going ahead in the event of inclement weather. Event directors will make every effort to alert runners to cancellations as early as possible.

Durham, NC on a day with no PRs in February 2014

parkrun: much more than just a run in the park book on sale at Wiggle.com


Debra Bourne, event director of a parkrun in the London suburb of Croydon, has put aside her writing day job to compile a book documenting how parkrun started with 13 friends in a park and developed into the worldwide, inclusive, and much loved running community it has become. Read about people’s own parkrun stories and the many ways that a simple concept in running came to resonate so deeply with so many people.

Also available through our online store is the limited edition commemorative tee-shirt marking the 10th anniversary of parkrun. All profits go back into parkrun to support our growth. Wear one and be parkrun proud!

parkrun partners with Strava


Last week, parkrun announced a new partnership with Strava, an online network that connects athletes around the world and in local communities. The parkrun website will allow parkrunners to connect their Strava account with their parkrun profile and help them find fellow Strava athletes by way of a badge next to their names in the parkrun results table.  Linking your parkrun profile and Strava account is completely optional, and you can choose to revoke it at any time. Interested? Click here to learn more.

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

Special events:
January 1 – New Year’s Day parkrun (7:30 at Waterfront Park)

Upcoming cancellations:
December 6 – Santa Fun Run Rotary 5K (8:30 at Waterfront Park)

Durham NC parkrun

Special events:
January 1 – New Year’s Day parkrun (8:00 at Southern Boundaries Park)

Livonia parkrun

On November 15, Livonia parkrun hosted the Woodcreek Elementary School Run Club from Farmington Hills, MI. Coach Charlie Garnett brought a strong showing of nearly 40 kids and parents from Woodcreek to add some young blood to Livonia’s event.

If you haven’t visited Livonia’s Facebook page to see the pictures, then log on (www.facebook.com), search for “Livonia parkrun”, then like them and check out the photos from this and all of their runs. Clermont and Durham also have photos and more on their Facebook pages, or check Flickr for a veritable cornucopia of Clermont pics!

feedback from the field


Thank you for welcoming us! – Dawn Smith, a Woodcreek Elementary School teacher, on Livonia’s Facebook page


I try to make it out for the Durham, NC parkrun every Saturday morning if I'm in town. A free, timed, weekly 5K with a very supportive group of friendly people, it's made a great addition to my running routine by having a softly scheduled weekly activity to keep me engaged and active. It’s a great way to move for about 3 miles and get my exercise out of the way before a lot of people even get out of bed! – Bill Harris on Durham, NC’s Facebook page


Thanks for another warm welcome at Clermont parkrun. Hopefully, we will be back some time next year and I will be aiming for that PB! – Kim Holmes on Clermont’s Facebook page


I really enjoyed the run this morning! Hope to see you all again soon! – Deborah Beckett on Durham’s Facebook page


parkrun! We had a great time at Durham parkrun this morning.- Adam Gimbert (aka The Selfie King) from Australia on Facebook after he and four friends made a post-NYC marathon stop in Durham as part of their great American road trip


Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

parkrunner of the month


Name:  Melinda Beaver

Club:  Unaffiliated

Age:  34

Home parkrun:  Durham, NC

Occupation:  Air quality scientist

Number of runs:  29

Favourite volunteer role:  My favorite volunteer role is barcode scanning. It's a great way to learn/practice the names of fellow parkrunners.

What do you do at parkruns:  My general approach is to start in the back, forget to start my watch timer, enjoy the notes/jokes that Gordon the chalker leaves on the course, wonder what my pace is, and celebrate when the last hill is complete!

How has parkrun changed your running:  parkrun has helped me become less of a 'fair-weather runner'. I know parkrun and its volunteers will be there no matter the weather, and I've gotten better at leaving the house in less than ideal conditions. Also, I ran my fastest half-marathon last fall, and I'm sure that challenging myself at the 5k distance during my training led to this improvement.

What do you like about parkrun:  I think parkrun is a great way to start the weekend - an opportunity to run a few miles, chat with parkrun friends, and fuel up with coffee and a grits bowl!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I really enjoyed Durham's one-year anniversary run. It was great to see so many runners come out to celebrate and support a growing local tradition.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 4th November 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we look at how the world celebrated parkrun’s 10th anniversary, journey to South Africa to discover a porcine parkrun, and learn what gets one Clermont runner out of bed for those early Florida starts.

It’s been a month today since we marked 10 years of parkrunning, so it seems a good moment to stop and look back at how everyone partied (hint: there was a lot of running involved). Our three runs in the US saw 114 runners join the festivities, with most of those at the ever-popular and much loved Clermont Waterfront event. Here they are below, smiles all around and ready to run!

From Poland to Ireland, South Africa to Australia and Singapore, everybody was celebrating the big 10. Around the world, a jaw-dropping 80,047 people got up on a Saturday morning, laced up their shoes, and had a trot around a park with their families, friends, and neighbors. South Africa’s army of parkruns saw over 11,000 people turn up, and Australia and Singapore had 14,716 runners and nearly 900 volunteers.

But the most amazing display had to have been where it all started, in Bushy Park, London. The tale of those first 13 runners, brought together by parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, has reached the status of folklore in the international parkrunning community. They and five volunteers showed up on that October morning in 2004 to run together as friends, never knowing what would unfold over a decade. So it must have been a special thing for all who made the pilgrimage to Bushy Park on October 4 to see all 18 of the runners and volunteers from that first event. But don’t take my word for it - go read UK Country Manager Tom Williams’ amazing first-hand account of that magical morning for yourself!

Here’s to the first decade of parkrun and several more to come!

Happy parkrunning!

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

parkrun and the IAAF


parkrun would like to announce that it has joined forces with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to become a Partner of Athletics for a Better World.

You can read more about this programme here.

Each week parkrun introduces more venues across the globe where people can take part in a free, fun filled, 5k run. In doing so we are delivering social change in all the countries that we operate in. As an example, last week we witnessed nearly 80,000 people enjoying a walk, jog or run at one of our friendly events, which is only made possible because of the commitment and generosity of 90,000 volunteers since parkrun began. This weekend’s events were brought to you by nearly 6,300 of our wonderful volunteers.

With over 1.2 million people registered and growing by over 14,000 new members each week, parkrun’s welcoming attitude and community focus makes it an ideal place for social change to take place. Each week we celebrate everyone’s achievements at each of our 500+ locations.

By introducing this partnership, the IAAF and parkrun accept that we have a global responsibility to use the power and reach of athletics to make a positive difference in peoples lives.

By Paul Sinton-Hewitt, parkrun founder

parkrun USA in numbers – October 2014


Number of runners - 245
Number of volunteers - 57
Number of first timers - 62
Number of PRs - 46

Halloween fun at Livonia parkrun

what in the parkrun world…?


This section of the newsletter features an introduction to one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This week, we look at (get ready for this) Piggly Wiggly parkrun in beautiful Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Those of us in the south east of the US or in a couple of select states outside of the south (along with fans of the film Steel Magnolias) know the Piggly Wiggly to be an oddly named chain of grocery stores. But it seems that it is also the name of a country village in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands town of Howick. According to their parkrun page, the Piggly Wiggly course runs over paths, grass, and dirt, looping around a vineyard one time to complete the 5K. Afterwards, runners go to Piggly Wiggly for coffee and breakfast, though there’s no indication that anyone has attempted to abbreviate the name to simply “The Pig” as happens with the US Piggly Wiggly.

It’s been just over three months since Piggly Wiggly parkrun started on July 19, and they have since completed 16 events. There have been a total of 25 different male and female first finishers with course records being held by Luzaan De Wit at 21:15 for females, Owen Bengo at 17:39 for males, and Carol Alison at an age grading of 83.58%. 412 runners have earned 233 PRs and represented 34 running clubs. With a record attendance of 86 and an average weekly turnout of 59.3 runners, parkrun seems to have quickly become part of the Howick community. It’s great to know we have a Piggly Wiggly in the parkrun family!

A view of stunning KwaZulu-Natal from the vineyards bordering the Piggly Wiggly parkrun course

parkrun 10th anniversary tee on sale


To celebrate 10 years of parkrun, a limited edition commemorative tee-shirt is on sale through our online store. Available in both adult and junior sizes, all profits go back into parkrun to support our growth. Wear one and be parkrun proud!

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

Special events:
November 27 – Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) parkrun at 7:30AM

Upcoming cancellations:
November 22 – Clermont Turkey Trot (8:00 at the Historic Village)
December 6 – Santa Fun Run Rotary 5K (8:30 at Waterfront Park)

Durham NC parkrun

Volunteers wanted! If you’re staying in town for Thanksgiving and interested in helping out, please let Martin or Julie know on any given Saturday morning, or you can email them. There’s a free, dented can of cranberry sauce for all helpers.

feedback from the field


Greetings Clermont, this is Leicester, England, calling!
Just want to say how much I enjoyed my Clermont Waterfront parkrun debut at the weekend. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you all. Thank you so much for all your efforts in helping me get there, it was
very much appreciated. I hope very much to be back in the not-too-distant future. We visit Orlando at least once a year so I shall do my best to ensure a visit to Clermont is on my holiday itinerary from now on, though am expecting continued resistance from the Mr. who neither shares my passion for parkrun nor agrees with the early starts!  Thanks again for a wonderful welcome on Saturday and for all your help and kindness.
Hope our paths cross again soon.
Best wishes
Anne (aka Mrs. Bland!) xx


Thank you for the great photos on your Facebook page from today! I really enjoyed them, and they are some of the first of me running in a long time that I won't even be embarrassed to share! ;) - Steve Begin on Livonia’s Facebook page.


Sometimes it's not about a PB, but about running with friends. - parkrun Volunteer and photographer Tom Griffin’s note and photo (below) on Durham NC’s Facebook page


We want to hear from more of our runners, volunteers, and parkrun tourists! Get in touch with me, leave a note on a parkrun USA event’s Facebook page, or send an email via the event’s parkrun page.


Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

parkrunner of the month


Name:  Paris Davis

Club:  Black Girls Run Orlando

Home parkrun:  Clermont Waterfront

Occupation:  Educator

Number of runs:  41

Favourite volunteer role:  Finish tokens

What do you do at parkruns:  To be honest, I’m always running late for parkrun. I always leave a little later than I’d planned and have to rush to get there. Once I’m there, I usually do more walking than running.

How has parkrun changed your running:  When I first started going to parkrun, I couldn’t even run from one room in my house to another. It took me an hour to finish my first parkrun. But I kept coming back and have brought my time down about 10 or 15 minutes since that first run. I can’t run a whole lot, but I keep trying and am doing better. I hope to run the whole 3.1 miles and do it in under 45 minutes. Another goal I have is to finish a half-marathon in December.

What do you like about parkrun:  The night before parkrun, I find myself hoping and praying that it will be cold or raining in the morning so I can give myself an excuse to skip parkrun. But every Saturday morning, I still get out of bed and get ready to run. I even made myself go in the rain not long ago, even after giving myself an excuse to stay home. And it’s because of the people there: that’s why I get up and go. I just like going to hang out with the people, talking and being at parkrun.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  One memorable moment was the parkrun when I started running and I felt so good when I got started that I kept on going and didn’t stop until I’d passed the one-mile marker. I couldn’t believe I managed to run one mile in 12 minutes without stopping. But my most memorable parkrun was last year when I got a PR on my birthday. Like I said, I was taking an hour to finish when I first started. So to finish parkrun in 45 minutes on my 60th birthday was a really special moment for me.

.:  We want to hear your parkrun story! To be the featured parkrunner of the month in an upcoming newsletter, fill in your answers to the questions above and email them to me along with a jpeg image of you at your local event or on the road as a parkrun tourist.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 7th October 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we give volunteering the Hamlet treatment (to volunteer or not to volunteer), look at a UK parkrun community uniting in grief and remembrance, and hear from US parkrunners.

At parkrun, we love our volunteers. They show up early, stay late, freeze their fingers, fear a malfunctioning timer, and whatever else comes their way. They are integral to our weekly runs, writing run reports, getting new runners connected to local events, and starting new events. Without volunteers, parkrun simply wouldn’t exist. So if you think you can just show up, run a 5k, go get a coffee, then go home and wait for your result, then you’d be 100% correct.

What each of us wants from parkrun is different from what others want and is frequently changing. If you look at my parkrun history, you’ll see someone who, at times, was chasing a new PR and wouldn’t rest till I got it. At other times, my running wasn’t going so well and I didn’t want to face the clock but still wanted to see parkrun friends, so I’d skip the run and take pictures or scan barcodes.

It is completely normal to ask parkrun to help us meet our individual needs at different times. Maybe there are times you want to run, and maybe there are times you want to lend a hand. Maybe you want to push yourself against the clock and that old guy who always seems to pip you at the post (how is he still so fast?!), or maybe you want to stay sweat-free but still need your weekly dose of parkrun. And maybe you never get the urge to volunteer. No problem! For me and for lots of parkrunners, it comes down to this: it’s called parkrun, not parkvolunteer. And the volunteers who do help we prefer to be just that: volunteers, rather than forced labor.

We need our helpers and couldn’t have a weekly event without them. And while I’ve gotten just as much from volunteering at parkrun as from running, I recognize that volunteering isn’t for everyone. So keep coming to your local parkrun and, to quote the kids, you do you. You want to run? Go for it! You want to help? Great! As long as you’re there, parkrun will be, too.

Happy parkrunning!

Julie from parkrun USA (and get in touch to tell me why you run, volunteer, or do both)

P.S. One way that everyone can help out without ever sacrificing a run: keep telling friends, neighbors, family, coworkers, running buddies, and complete strangers about parkrun. By being a parkrun advocate, you’ll help parkrun USA continue to grow.

Clermont Waterfront celebrated parkrun’s 10th anniversary on October 4, 2014. Next month we will look at anniversary celebrations around the globe.

Tear-free volunteering


Most readers probably fall into three categories when it comes to volunteering: “I’m not interested” (that’s cool; see above), “I LOVE volunteering!”, or “I want to help but have some reservations”. It’s you folks in the final camp that I want to talk to, so huddle up. I know what you’re thinking about volunteering, because I’ve thought it before, too. You think that the regular volunteers have it all figured out and they seem so dang happy that you might be stepping on their toes. You might also think that the equipment has a lot of buttons and something could go wrong.

Rest assured, the equipment isn’t so scary once you get your hands on it. IBT, or intimidation by timer, is a common but treatable condition. See your event director for the cure. And we have lots of patches in place to handle a missed barcode scan or an itchy timing trigger finger. As for those other volunteers, they may be wanting to run but feel they’d be letting the runners down if they didn’t help. (Event director’s note: You won’t! Go run!!) We’re always happy to have new helpers and another person to help us cheer the runners across the finish line. Now that those barriers are gone, when would you like to volunteer?

Volunteers of all ages and species welcome (Livonia parkrun)

parkrun USA in numbers – September 2014


Number of runners - 263
Number of volunteers - 58
Number of first timers - 67
Number of PRs - 54

what in the parkrun world…?


This section of the newsletter features an introduction to one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This week, we look at Hull parkrun in Yorkshire, England.

Running in East Park in Kingston-upon-Hull (or just plain Hull to the Brits), this corner of Yorkshire has had 239 events with an average attendance of 249. Since April 3, 2010, they’ve had over 12,000 PRs and nearly 60,000 5k’s completed in 28,000 hours of running. Their course record-holders have set a high standard with the women’s record at 16:56, the men’s at 14:46, and the age graded percentage at an astounding 93.38%!

Hull’s run on September 27 with 779 runners was not only a record turnout for this event, it was also the highest up to that date at any event outside of the original parkrun at Bushy Park in London. While an event’s biggest turnout is usually due to a celebration – an anniversary, or perhaps a 100th event – it was mourning and remembrance that shattered Hull’s record last month. Teen parkrunner Jack Bullement called on his classmates and friends to join him at parkrun to mark the short life of his friend and fellow parkrunner Will Shaw.

The response in this community was overwhelming. Hull recorded nearly 300 more runners than their previous highest turnout. With 72 registered in the Junior Women’s 11-14 age group and 54 in the Junior Men’s 11-14 age group – and likely many more unregistered runners in this age group – Will was remembered with a pre-run release of red balloons before Jack and his classmates joined the rest of the field for the run.

parkrun 10th anniversary tee on sale


To celebrate 10 years of parkrun, a limited edition commemorative tee-shirt is on sale through our online store. Available in both adult and junior sizes, all profits go back into parkrun to support our growth. Wear one and be parkrun proud!

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

Special events:
November 27 – Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) parkrun at 7:30AM

Upcoming cancellations:
October 11 – Miles for Meals 8K & 5K (7:30 at Waterfront Park)
October 18 – Floridian 15K and 5K plus Tri’s (10:30 at Waterfront Park)
November 22 – Clermont Turkey Trot (8:00 at the Historic Village)
December 6 – Santa Fun Run Rotary 5K (8:30 at Waterfront Park)

Durham NC parkrun

A 5k race will be taking place in Southern Boundaries Park on October 18 at 9:00 with registration at 7:30. parkrun will continue as normal, but please be advised that parking may be reduced that morning.

Livonia parkrun

Livonia is back to the fall/winter start time of 9:00 through April.

feedback from the field


Hi parkrun USA,
My first timed run was at Durham parkrun last August, and that’s when the running bug truly bit me. My YMCA running coach, Becky, had been trying to talk me into registering for a half-marathon and suggested I do parkrun to get some experience racing the clock. I was nervous but managed a PR. Becky was there and noted my time, which became the basis for my trainings. It was tough work, but I realized that I LOVED racing and running, and parkrun was the start. Since that first parkrun, I have completed eight more parkruns, a four-mile race, two 8k’s, three 10k’s, two ten-mile races, and six half-marathons. Within the next six weeks, I have another half-marathon and my first full marathon. I am extremely proud of all I’ve done and am excited to see what I can do with my running next. What a difference a year makes!
Thanks,
Matthew “MLT” Thompson


A great way to start off a Saturday! –Kathleen Hall, on Livonia’s Facebook page


Hi parkrun USA,
Thank you for welcoming me. I would have joined you all for breakfast if I hadn’t already made plans. Next time! Great job organizing parkrun Durham NC.
Regards,
Nicola Rushin


Hi parkrun USA,
You were so kind to respond to help me find my way to my first parkrun in Clermont, FL. It was so great and everyone was so friendly.  I am very pleased with my results and am looking forward to the next one which will be in December for me when I am in Florida longer.
Thanks again,
Sally Schade


Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

parkrunner of the month


Name:  Gordon Keeler

Club:  Carolina Godiva Track Club

Age:  59

Home parkrun:  Durham NC

Occupation:  Statistician

Number of runs:  27

Favourite volunteer role:  Timer

What do you do at parkruns:  Most days I show up early to mark the turns on the course with chalk. It gives me a chance to warm up my old bones and check the course for hazards (flooding, sand dunes, deer crossings, municipal workers with power tools, ice or snow). Then there is the pre-run meet and greet and we're off. During the run I'm thinking one of three things: 
1.) "You're anaerobic...slow down or blow up?" 
2.) "You're falling behind...why do my legs feel like lead?" 
3.) "Yes! Pick it up and you can still get a PB...No chance to get a PB".

How has parkrun changed your running:  In 2013, I had to stop running for 8 months because of plantar fasciitis. That was my first injury that completely stopped my running for an extended period. Although I picked up inline skating as an alternative, it couldn't replace the workout and camaraderie of running with my club friends. Once recovered, I was not making any progress with my running fitness. Then I came to my first parkrun and ran a humbling 5k in 29:38. I quickly became motivated as I watched my PB fall. I had reached a plateau of 24-25 minutes when the cooler fall temperatures help me get a new PB of 23:56.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love the friendliness and generosity of the people who come to parkrun. It all starts with the hosts (Julie and Martin), who make everyone feel welcome. I've always tried to be involved with running events that are open to all in the community (and free), and parkrun is a great model to meet that goal. I look forward to the day that parkrun explodes across the US.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  The funniest parkrun was last winter when we had about 6 inches of snow covered by an inch of ice. Everyone spent the whole run just trying to stay vertical. It was like running 5k on a short-track ice skating rink.  The most memorable parkrun moment was during the huge uphill finish sprint when I realized that I was never going to be able to beat my teenage son again.  Proud to see him grow into a runner.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 2nd September 2014

welcome to the newsletter


Monthly newsletter September 2014

In this month’s newsletter, we look forward to parkrun’s 10th anniversary celebrations, reflect on what parkrun’s growth around the world could mean for parkrun USA, and travel to New Zealand for a glimpse of parkrun life in the southern hemisphere.

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, parkrun will celebrate its 10th anniversary and, along with it, the hundreds of events (461), the thousands of runners (728,336), and the millions of runs (6,142,604) and miles covered (19,084,186) during the last decade. (But don’t take my word for it since these numbers are constantly changing. You can keep up with the worldwide stats here or the US stats here.)

While parkrun has taken off in a number of countries around the world, it’s still in its infancy in the US. However, I don’t doubt for one minute that we’ll grow and that parkrun will explode in the US like we’ve seen it do elsewhere. This belief is not steeped in an awkward optimism that makes people nervously seek to pacify me once I get into full "I love parkrun!" mode!” Rather, it’s because parkrun makes sense.

Think about it. How many times have you told a friend, coworker, or family member about parkrun? Ten, 100, 500? (If you’re like me, then this last number is about right.) And how many times did that person look at you and say, “That sounds like the worst idea ever.”? I’m guessing none. Now, how many times was the response akin to a light bulb turning on, followed by an “Ohhh” that isn’t like “ewww” or “ho-hum” but like “Ah-hah!” or “Of course! Why isn’t this already a thing?!”?

parkrun is a lot of different things to a lot of people: it’s a reminder that skipping those mid-week runs has consequences; it’s another opportunity to try for a PR; it’s a time to catch up with friends; it’s a “gateway drug” to 10k’s, running clubs, fancy watches that count ounces of sweat, and beyond; or it’s about doing something healthy for the mind and body.

Just as the people of the UK, Australia, Ireland, and a host of other countries have come to realize all the ways that parkrun can be their own, this simple but fantastic idea is taking hold here and it’s spreading. Have you had a good time at parkrun? Tell people about it, and plan to join us to celebrate the first 10 years of parkrun while looking forward to many more years of it to come.

Happy parkrunning!

Julie from parkrun USA (and get in touch about what parkrun means to you)

Livonia parkrun in Michigan

parkrun USA in numbers – August 30, 2014


Number of runners - 99
Number of volunteers - 19
Number of first timers - 21
Number of PRs - 23

what in the parkrun world…?


This section of the newsletter features a brief introduction to one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This week, we look at Cornwall parkrun in Auckland, New Zealand.

There have been 110 runs at Cornwall parkrun since July 2012. On August 30, they had 140 runners show up for the 8:00 start; their biggest attendance was 179 runners. Six volunteers helped out in what was described in the most recent run report as an event with a cold, bitter wind (that’s August in the southern hemisphere for you). The run report also mentions cows mooing the runners along the course, though they neglected to mention the chickens clucking their encouragement, as seen in one of the photos from a recent event. Cornwall parkrun is an out-and-back with mixed surfaces. Well done to Lian and the Cornwall parkrun team for putting on such a great event!

Cornwall parkrun in Auckland, New Zealand

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

Please mark your calendars for the following special events at Clermont:
September 20 – Time change to a 7:30 a.m. start for the autumn and winter.
October 4 – International parkrun 10th anniversary worldwide event at 7:30 a.m.

Upcoming parkrun cancellations at Clermont:
September 13 – Cool Summer Morning 5K at 7:15 at Waterfront Park
October 11 – 8K & 5K Buses to Backpack (time and location T.B.A.)
October 18 – Floridian 15K and 5K plus Tri’s at 10:30 at Waterfront Park
November 22 – Clermont Turkey Trot at 8:00 at the Historic Village
December 13 – Santa Fun Run Rotary 5K (time and location T.B.A.)

Clermont Waterfront parkrun in Florida

Durham, NC parkrun

October 4 – International parkrun 10th anniversary event at 8:00 a.m.

Livonia parkrun

October 4 – International parkrun 10th anniversary event at 9:00 a.m.
October 4 – Start time changes to 9:00 through May

The three parkrun USA events will certainly be marking a decade of parkrun in their own way, even though we may be doing so several hours behind the rest of the parkrunning world. Are you wondering what your event directors have planned for the big day? Do you want to get involved? Just let us know, and we’ll gladly put you to work!

feedback from the field


Good luck to all at Clermont parkrun this week. Loved the last two weeks there running in the heat but back in good old , grey sky , damp, cold UK. -Brendan Handrick


Thanks for welcoming the McAdam family to Durham Parkrun, we had a great time! -Alan McAdam


50 and 10 T-shirts sorted, barcodes ready & alarm is set!! The Evans family are visiting from Ipswich parkrun (UK) tomorrow morning. Picking up the hire car in about half hour so we have some transport to get to Clermont parkrun from Disney. Excited!!! -Jennifer Evans


The bad part of being out of town is missing parkrun. -Kathleen Hall, on Livonia’s Facebook page


Thanks to Julie and Martin for organizing Durham, NC parkrun and for making it happen every week, rain or shine, hot or cold, or flooded course. –Tom Griffin


We want to hear from more of our runners, volunteers, and parkrun tourists! Get in touch with me, leave a note on a parkrun USA event’s Facebook page, or send an email via the event’s parkrun page.


Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

parkrunner of the month


Name:  Martin Warters

Club:  Carolina Godiva Track Club

Age:  35

Home parkrun:  Durham, NC

Occupation:  online education designer at WebMD

Number of runs:  105

Favourite volunteer role:  Timekeeper. I used to be scared of this but love it now.

What do you do at parkruns:  Chauffeur Durham, NC 's event director to the course, wear a yellow high-visibility vest, and run whenever I get the chance.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I started in the UK at Brighton & Hove parkrun in 2008 and was hooked. I wasn't really a runner before, though my preferred sports (football/soccer, rugby, cricket) included lots of running. parkrun taught me the meaning of “runner’s high” and opened the door to my first marathon.  It has also grounded me in the US – 5k is 5k no matter which continent you are on. Setting a new PB (or PR, as the locals say) feels the same, whether in the Bull City or Brighton.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love to share everyone's runs – new PRs, first timers, etc. Seeing what this run means to people, especially the less confident runners, and giving something back by volunteering is a privilege.  What I like the most, though, is that it is so inclusive.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  100 was special for the obvious reasons, but Durham’s first was my most memorable run ever. I’ve had a lot of funny parkrun moments: my first experience of the NC humidity (not especially funny but I had to laugh or risk crying); seeing hair and sideburns and beards freeze during our very cold winter; or my funniest moment ever at parkrun in Hove when dry-heaving in front of a disgusted-looking Nick Cave after a hard run. It is a moment I will cherish, and no one can take that away from me, or him.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.


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