welcome to the newsletter
In this month’s newsletter, parkrun is knocking, a record month in the USA, and parlez-vous parkrun?
“It’s not a race.” “It’s you against the clock.” “You go at your own speed.” All of these are things we say about parkrun, and they’re all true. But it doesn’t feel like the whole story. Perhaps we’ve left something out. After all, parkrun certainly isn’t a race, but it most certainly is an opportunity.
Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Running is difficult. Some of you may have forgotten that, but it is. If you don’t believe me, ask a non-runner. Or listen to your lungs when midway up a tough hill, and they’ll tell you what your brain may have forgotten.
Runners are optimists, and they fit Churchill’s theory to a T. Whether we started running in our school days or took it up later in life, we have all sized up the challenges that running has presented and replied with an emphatic “yes”. We continue to chant yes with every lacing of the shoes and every stride and every bead of sweat.
The opportunities of parkrun are for each of us to define for ourselves. It needn’t be a new PR. To run again after injury, to keep running through illnesses small or life-changing, to accept that life’s demands can turn running into an infrequent luxury, to support a parkrun friend with her/his own challenge, or simply to have a place to go where you are bound to see friendly faces: it’s not for the clock or the barcode to decide such opportunities.
We and our opportunities will see you on Saturday morning. #dfyb
Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)
parkrun USA in numbers – May 2015
A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:
Number of runners - 660
Number of first timers - 246
Number of PRs - 98
Number of volunteers - 101
This was our biggest month yet for all of our numbers. We saw an increase of 194 runners from our second highest month in January 2015, we doubled our number of first-timers from last month, and we had over 100 volunteers for the first time ever in the US. Thank you to all of the runners and volunteers for continuing to support parkrun and for helping it take root and grow!
milestone tee-shirts update
The wait is nearly over. In case you haven’t seen the latest update on milestone tees from Tribesports, you can find the answers to all of your questions here.
Those runners who have already reached the 10, 50, or 100 milestone but have not received a shirt will get theirs sooner, with those who have been waiting the longest nearer the top of the list. A message in your profile will let you know that it’s time to claim your shirt. To check your profile page, just click on the link in any newsletter or results email that you receive.
what in the parkrun world…?
Here, we feature one of the more than 450 parkruns around the world. This month, we’re dusting off our high school French to visit the first parkrun France at Les Dougnes in Cubnezais, near Bordeaux in western France. Starting by the skate park, they’ll make three clockwise loops along the main trail that encircles the park.
Granted, this may be a bit premature since the newest parkrun baby isn’t actually due until Saturday, June 6. However, it would be a shame to pass up this chance to celebrate the debut of a new event and the launch of parkrun’s 11th country. Be sure to write a quick “Felicitations!” on their wall on Facebook, and add another event to that “parkruns I want to visit” list. Good luck, Les Dougnes!
Clermont Waterfront parkrun
The southernmost parkrun in the US celebrated their second anniversary on May 9, when they presented the owner of their post-parkrun hang out spot, Cheeser’s Palace Café, with a plaque to show their gratitude for all the support they’ve given parkrun in the last two years. Then it was the turn of event directors Karen and Tim Bowler to receive a signed picture from parkrunners thanking them for bringing parkrun to Clermont. Congratulations on your first two years, Clermont Waterfront parkrun!
June 6 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #1
July 11 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #2
August 8 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #3
September 12 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #4
For a list of running and triathlon/duathlon events taking place throughout the summer and fall in Clermont, the Clermont Waterfront parkrun volunteers have compiled a very useful list on their website. Click here to learn more.
Durham, NC parkrun
June 6 – Durham, NC parkrun’s 100th event
June 27 – Durham, NC parkrun’s 2nd anniversary. Join us for the annual points competition and volunteer awards, provided by local sponsor Bull City Running Club, along with door prizes donated by other local partners. The theme is “bring and share”, so bring something to share after the run for breakfast. And while you’re at it, bring a friend and share parkrun with them!
June 6 – Livonia’s 3rd anniversary. So many celebrations for parkrun USA in May and June! On June 6, Livonia will celebrate its 3rd parkrun anniversary. Congratulations to event directors Rick and Lori Brauer, and to all of the Livonia runners and volunteers! Further congratulations are in order for their record turnout on May 30, when they hosted 99 finishers. Keep running, Livonia!
Change to summer start time
Summer parkrun time starts on June 6. The start time will be 8:00am through the end of September.
feedback from the field
Hi parkrun USA,
My holiday is now over and we are back home to some chilly weather here in England. I would like to thank you for hospitality at Clermont Waterfront parkrun on Saturday, 16 May. My wife and I really enjoyed the morning and to run in your event was a real treat for me: the best parkrun ever for location! Hopefully, we will be back next year to do it all again. Once again, many thanks. It was a pleasure to meet you all and I would recommend any British park runners do it if they get the chance.
Anthony Foster, Bolton parkrun
Hi parkrun USA,
Thanks for a great event this morning in Durham, NC. I just checked, and there is only 5 metres of elevation difference at our home parkrun...unlike 35 metres at Durham! We are now home to a cooler and less humid (and flat) Peterborough. We'll be along every time we are in NC!
Laura Conway and Lee Whitton, Peterborough, UK
Thanks, parkrun, for again welcoming our elementary school run club. We were 25 kids plus adults strong today! – Dawn Smith, on Livonia’s Facebook page
Thanks again for a great welcome this morning - we loved our run. I hope you continue to attract tourists but also locals as the word spreads! Thanks also for the cakes and drinks. – Katie Tween, on Crissy Field’s Facebook page
Thank you from the Wood Creek Run Club to all the parkrun volunteers and regulars who made sure none of us got lost today! This was our club's fourth parkrun. We are so proud of our runners and grateful for parkrun's support! – Charlie Garnett, on Livonia’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: Steve Erickson
Home parkrun: Livonia, Michigan
Number of runs: 34
Favourite volunteer role: The finish line, where we cheer everyone in.
What do you do at parkruns: Run, talk, run. And talk some more. It's as much social as it is athletic.
How has parkrun changed your running: It’s increased my consistency on the weekends.
What do you like about parkrun: The fellow runners and volunteers.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Being passed at the end of the Halloween run by a Wheaties cereal box!