parkrun USA Newsletter 8th March 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we analyze the data, refuse to stop setting records, and journey to parkrun Singapore’s East Coast Park event.

parkrun is popular with the stroller set. Ben and Katie Muessig take turns pushing their two-seater at Crissy Field, which had three prams rolling down the course powered by proud parents at event #56 in February.

Run Directors, or RD, are a somewhat rare species in the wider parkrun world. With just one of us to 30, 40, or even close to 200 runners, there obviously aren’t as many of us around, which is likely for the best since we would all probably stress each other out. Furthermore, we tend to view events very differently when directing rather than running.

Using very specialized and technical equipment that shall remain nameless (because it doesn’t actually exist), we were able to tap into the brains of a random runner and a random RD just this last Saturday. The resulting data have been analyzed, coded, triangulated, siphoned, battered, fried, manipulated, then regurgitated below, roughly in the chronological order of any given parkrun event to simulate the thought process of a runner and a RD.

Friday night
Runner: Maybe I’ll go to parkrun in the morning. Where’s that barcode?
RD: What if nobody comes to parkrun tomorrow? What if a lot of people come to parkrun tomorrow? Which is worse? I have no idea. I need to sleep but if I try, I know I’ll just have nightmares about missing tokens and broken stopwatches . Did I charge the scanner?

Saturday’s pre-run brief
Runner: I’m ready to go! Okay, I’ll be patient and listen to the pre-run brief, even though I know all of this. Be sure to laugh politely at the bad jokes, even though it’s cold and I need to move.
RD: What did I forget? I know I forgot someone’s 50th event, or maybe it was a birthday? Say ‘barcodes’ really loud so they won’t forget their own or walk off with the finish tokens at the end. Say it again. And again. You know what? They are loving my jokes today! Maybe just a couple more…

10 seconds after ‘Go!’
Runner: I’m running!
RD: IS THE STOPWATCH WORKING PLEASE SAY IT’S WORKING DID IT START???!!!!!!!!?1!!? Oh, yeah. It’s fine.

During the run
Runner: This is soooooo tough and I really want to slow down but I know I can maintain my pace, even though I think my legs might fall off or my lungs might collapse. Why does that lady ALWAYS pass me right here? And why does it annoy me that her dog is a Yorkshire terrier and faster than me? Is this what death feels like?
RD: Is the watch still going? Look at the flowers and the trees. Those runners sure do look miserable.

The big finish
Runner: Wow! That was tough but I stuck with it. I even managed to pass that Yorkie, but I feel a little bad about sticking my tongue out at it. Shouldn’t I be able to breathe again now that I’ve stopped? Why can’t I breathe? Where can I go to bend over in misery until this death feeling passes? Who’s shoving their hand in my face?
RD: No, you can’t go dry heave when the volunteer is trying to give you a finish token. Get back here!

Afterwards
Runner: That was nice! A 5k under the belt, and now I’ll grab a coffee with everyone and get on with the rest of my day. It was nice to see the parkrun folks. Maybe I’ll volunteer next week.
RD: Where are the rest of the finish tokens? Do we have photographic evidence to show who finisher 27 was so we can track down the barcode? Why do we have more times on the watch than finishers? Thank goodness – that fabulous volunteer found 27. Okay, I found it, and it was in my pocket. Oops. I need coffee, then I’ll process these results. I’ll just stop the watch now because everyone’s finished. Uh oh. Is that another finisher?

At the café
Runner: I love parkrun.
RD: I love parkrun.

Download your parkrun thoughts after your next run, and get in touch!

Happy running!

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

parkrun USA in numbers – February 2016


A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:

Number of runners - 1023
Number of first timers - 354
Number of PRs - 175
Number of volunteers - 137

Another record-breaking month in the USA! February saw the highest ever number of PRs (the previous record for one month was 162) and volunteers (the previous record was 133). Both were set in August 2015.

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 650 parkruns around the world. This month, we turn up the heat and simmer at Singapore’s sole parkrun, East Coast Park parkrun. Set on a completely flat course, this out-and-back follows a picturesque trail along the Singapore Strait. Singapore started parkrunning on June 21, 2014.

This past Saturday, 77 runners crossed the line on the occasion of East Coast Park’s 88th event. A total of 1,271 runners have completed Singapore’s parkrun; their biggest ever attendance was 126, with an average attendance of 42.8 people per event. Due to the climate, this event starts at 7:30am in a seemingly vain attempt to beat the heat (see the picture below for further evidence of this). The post-run coffee routine is refreshingly familiar: the local Starbucks. Perhaps opt for a Frappuccino if you find yourself needing refreshment after such a sultry run.

East Coast Park has a sport for everyone, except winter sports enthusiasts. There’s beach volleyball, water sports, and cycling. Then, there are the beaches. Oh, the beaches! With hints of spring in the air for many of us, perhaps the promise of warmer days is enough for now. But when December rolls around again, it might be time to set your sights on a nice little 5k in Singapore. Just don’t forget your barcode!

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

On February 20, 2016, Clermont set a new attendance record at their 124th event when 193 runners crossed the finish line, up 24 finishers from their previous record of 169. Much of that boost came not from an influx of parkrun tourists but from right down the road in Eustis, Florida. Thanks to the students, parents, and teachers from Eustis Heights Elementary School for their enthusiasm and participation. We hope to see many of these young people reaching their 10th event by summer!

Upcoming cancellations:
March 12, 2016 – Pig on the Pond Rib Run 5k will be using the course. parkrun will return on March 19.

Crissy Field parkrun

February was a busy month for Crissy Field. It featured sail boats, baby buggies, birthdays (see ‘feedback from the field’ below) and a little hometown party called Super Bowl 50. Event #54 had a bevy of sailboats almost obscuring the finish line view of Alcatraz. Thirteen first-timers along with the same number of regulars braved the football crowds on Super Bowl weekend for a sunny parkrun on the bay.

Durham, NC parkrun

On February 27, 2016, Durham, NC parkrun partnered for a very special event alongside local chapters of Black Men Run and Black Girls RUN!. Both groups were started to attract more African-American runners of all speeds and ages in order to promote health and combat chronic diseases, like heart disease and obesity, that disproportionately affect the African-American community.

The course was dotted with inspirational quotes from influential African-Americans, and the event was wrapped up with treats and lots of photos to mark the parkrun world’s first ever such event. We enjoyed celebrating Black History Month and welcoming lots of runners from both clubs, and we look forward to a long partnership with both organizations! They join a number of local running groups whose members come to parkrun.

Announcements:
Congratulations to Cameron Kelly on reaching his 10th event on February 20, 2016. Well done, Cameron! Now, go get that shirt and wear it with pride till it’s time to order your 50 shirt.

Congratulations also go to Gavin Finlay of Durham, NC for setting a new course record for the men on February 20, 2016. His 16:33 finish saw him squeeze past Fred Ward’s previous record by just two seconds.

Gavin on the left and Cameron on the right, both with new accomplishments waiting for them at the finish line. Congratulations to both of you!

feedback from the field


Hi parkrun USA,
Just wanted to say a massive thank you for the warm welcome today. It was lovely meeting you all.
Regards,
Darren Wood, parkrun tourist at Durham, NC
(See last month’s newsletter for Darren’s account of his parkrun USA experience.)


Hi parkrun USA,
Looking forward to running a U.S. parkrun one day.
Best wishes,
Bruce Fordyce, Country Manager South Africa


Hi parkrun USA,
Thank you, Dale, for a fantastic Crissy Field parkrun today. Everybody was so friendly and we got to eat amazing birthday cake.  Hayley, my wife, also got to eat a very nice gluten-free donut from the coffee Hut. Thanks, all; we will be back sometime.
Regards,
Robert Roche, parkrun tourist at Crissy Field


Hi parkrun USA,
I have to say thank you to everyone I met at Crissy Field parkrun this morning. You were all so friendly. You made my 50th birthday celebration parkrun really special. Good luck with your future parkrunning ambitions.
Regards,
Kevin Jones, parkrun tourist at Crissy Field

Kevin Jones celebrates his 50th birthday on his 249th parkrun finish on the occasion of his very first event at Crissy Field. Local parkrunner Mike Turner, also pictured above, celebrated his birthday with parkrun, too.

Hi Durham, NC parkrun,
Thanks for organizing the run today, and especially with the food - it was great to see the big crowd!
Now you mentioned it was #137 at the pre-run brief, and said it's not a very interesting number. In fact in physics this is a VERY interesting number! One over this number is almost exactly the value of the so-called "fine structure constant", which despite its name is the number which sets the size of the electric force in nature.
If this number was ten times bigger, atoms and molecules would be ten times smaller, and everything about chemistry and the world around us would change. Actually it's more drastic than that - basically the universe as we know it wouldn't exist because you can't tinker with the size of the basic forces in nature without having it all fall apart - couldn't even make atoms heavier than hydrogen. A famous physicist, Arthur Eddington, became at one point convinced that this number had to be exactly 137, and was widely ridiculed when it was measured exactly and found to to not be an integer, but 137.05, and different depending on what energy you performed your experiment at (it's also called "running coupling constant").
But it lives on as 1/137 for most physicists, and as one of the most important numbers in understanding how the universe is put together!
Regards,
Chris Gould, via email (after I mistook 137 as a less than thrilling number)


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:  Alexander Brauer

Club:  NA

Age:  16

Home parkrun:  Livonia

Occupation:  High school student, junior, at Livonia Stevenson High School in Livonia, MI

Number of runs:  33

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshaling or finish line

What do you do at parkruns:  I like to socialize with the other runners or walkers before and after the run. I’ve met so many new people from other countries who come to Livonia just for the parkrun experience. I like to encourage the other parkrunners as they get around the course either for their first parkrun or as they improve the personal best times.

How has parkrun changed your running:  parkrun has really helped me develop confidence in my running and for my racing career. I’ve learned to just relax, run, and have fun with it. parkrun has helped with my training as I know there will always be someone there on Saturday morning who wants to run hard and have some competitive fun. parkrun has really been a contribution for where I want to go with my running in high school and beyond.

What do you like about parkrun:  I really like the atmosphere, the new friendships, and the interesting people I’ve met. Going for my post-run frozen coffee drink is also something I look forward to after my parkrun.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  My most memorable parkrun moment was when I finished in first position against a parkrunner from Ireland who was visiting the area. That morning the parkrun course was very muddy, sloppy, and presented real challenges. It was great fun slopping along.

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.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 9th February 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we start with parkrun tourist and world’s most experienced parkrunner Darren Wood in a feature-length ‘feedback from the field’, and we finish with one of the world’s newest parkrunners, Mary Cheh.

Below is Darren Wood’s account of his recent parkrun tourism trip to Durham, NC. Darren has completed 546 runs worldwide, with over 500 of those achieved between Bushy Park (site of the first parkrun) and Frimley Lodge parkruns. Last Saturday, February 6, was Darren’s first time attending a parkrun USA event.

Dear parkrun USA,

Sent on a business trip at short notice, I recently found myself in Norcross near Atlanta, Georgia for 10 nights. There are not so many parkrun events in the USA, so what was I going to do on a Saturday morning? The two closest were Durham, NC and Clermont Waterfront, Florida. Either would mean a long drive or a short flight. A quick look at flights confirmed it was more than I wanted to spend, and my wife Becky would have been mad at me if I went that route.

Durham, NC looked to be the closest drive at 371 miles away. The hotel staff confirmed the drive would be around six hours. Having never driven in the USA, the journey from the airport to the hotel was scary enough. But to contemplate six hours in a car; that seemed crazy!

I decided to put a note on Facebook to get people’s thoughts on the matter. Some sensible people like Nick Pearson, parkrun CEO, suggested that it wasn’t safe to drive for that long, and perhaps I should give it a miss. However, many of my friends thought it would be nuts not to do it. I also messaged some local running clubs to see if anyone would like to join me to share the drive and see what parkrun is about. The only response was from Atlanta Track Club, who said if I didn’t go then I would be welcome to pay $10 and join their 5k event. I responded by sending them the parkrun link and invited them to take a look and see if starting their own parkrun would be of interest. (It seems that free events are a tough concept to grasp here, but I’m sure that it will catch on.)

Finally, I decided to give it a try. I booked a hotel in Durham and hit the road at 6:00pm on Friday. Just after midnight, I arrived in Durham after a long and tiring trip. With that, I set the alarm for 6:00am to allow plenty of time in the morning to get to the event.

Saturday arrived: it was parkrun day. I left the hotel at 7:00am to leave plenty of time for the 8:00am start. I had written down that it was in Southern Boundaries Park on Archdale Drive, but I had been driving up and down Archdale Drive for a while and could not find the park anywhere. I had a terrible feeling that I was going to miss it. How awful that would have been after driving all that way! I picked up the phone and frantically called Becky back at home in the UK. It appears that I’d written down the wrong address; it was actually on Third Fork Road. It is clearly stated on the home page with the correct address so how I’d missed that, I’ll never know.

With Becky’s directions, I arrived at 7:50 and was welcomed by volunteers Gerty and Audrey. Other than them, there were only a few people around. It was a beautiful crisp morning that reminded me of the early days at Bushy Park, when there were few signs that a 5k was about to happen. The start was marked in chalk on the ground. As 8:00am drew nearer, more people arrived. During the runners briefing, I was welcomed to the event. Many could not believe how many runs I’d done and were shocked to see a Tribesports 500 club T-shirt. Then, we were off. We ran along a lovely two-loop 'lollipop' course mainly on the pavement. The turnaround point was also marked in chalk. How simple is that?

After my run, I helped cheer in the other runners and chatted to a number of people. It was very clear how much parkrun is helping the local community and how grateful they are for the team of volunteers who put on the event every week. I was invited for coffee, and Pete kindly let me follow him to Foster’s Market (in case I got lost again).

It was really nice chatting to everyone over coffee. parkrunners are always so friendly, and it made the long drive well worth it. It turns out that I was not the only one who did long drives just for parkrun; Melinda mentioned over coffee that she and Julie had driven 4 hours up to Fletcher’s Cove parkrun a few weeks earlier for the inaugural event. Too soon, it was 10:00am and time for me to hit the road if I wanted to drive back in daylight.

Looking back now, I can only thank everyone who suggested that I should make the trip to Durham, NC parkrun and also to the volunteers. Without the volunteers, parkrun would not happen each week. It was lovely to meet everyone. I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of you for making me feel so welcome. This event just goes to show how simple parkrun can be and how it’s changing people’s lives. I would have only regretted it if I hadn’t made the trip. Weekends are just not the same without parkrun.

It looks like I could be back in the USA soon, so who knows which parkrun I will be at next? But until then, thank you for letting me join you at your parkrun.

Kind regards,
Darren Wood (A490)

In the photo on the left, Darren Wood is flanked by Durham, NC regulars Justin and Will at the starting line. The photo on the right captures one of the rarest parkrun sights to behold: a Tribesports 500 club T-shirt!

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

parkrun USA in numbers – January 2016


Snow and dogs? It must be the starting line at Livonia parkrun.

A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:

Number of runners - 1091
Number of first timers - 364
Number of PRs - 151
Number of volunteers - 132

Other important numbers:
50 - number of events run at Crissy Field parkrun as of January 2, 2016. Congratulations, Crissy Field!
166 - Fletcher’s Cove highest attendance to date was their inaugural run on 1/9/2016

Lots of bare legs in winter? It must be the starting line at Clermont Waterfront parkrun.

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 650 parkruns around the world. This month, we head due south from London to sunny Sussex by the sea and the parkrun-crazed city of Brighton & Hove.

Located in Brighton (or Hove, actually), Brighton & Hove parkrun takes place in Hove Park, where you can find some very English things, including a bowling green and a miniature railway. Started on November 3, 2007, Brighton & Hove parkrun has completed 435 events thanks to 13,552 runners with an average attendance of 292.2 runners per week finishing at an average time of 26:19. The course is 2.5 laps of the paved loop that edges the perimeter of this long park. With the start of Bevendean Down parkrun this past Saturday, the total number of events in Brighton & Hove is now at four, which drew over 900 runners in total last week.

While not excessively hilly, this course will throw up some challenges, particularly for newer runners. But that hasn’t stopped some very impressive runners from achieving dazzlingly fast times there. Record holders include Caroline Hoyte, who’s held the women’s record of 16:43 since 2009; Andrew Baddeley with the men’s record of 14:28; and Karen Bowler with the age-graded record of 94%.

Sharp-eyed readers who regularly run at Clermont Waterfront parkrun will recognize Karen Bowler as one-half of the team (along with husband Tim Bowler) who started Florida’s parkrun. In fact, Brighton & Hove has the singular distinction of inspiring the start of not one but two events in the US. Thanks to the inspiration of wonderful Event Directors at Brighton & Hove parkrun, Richard Carter and John Doherty, both Clermont Waterfront and Durham, NC have been going strong for over 100 events. Once you’ve run with and been part of the volunteer team at Brighton & Hove, one comes to realize that a parkrun-less existence simply won’t do.

Richard Carter on the megaphone (likely talking about barcodes) and John Doherty, with longtime volunteer Chris Carter just sneaking into the shot

event news


Crissy Field parkrun

Announcements:
Crissy Field celebrated its one-year anniversary run on January 23, 2016.  Max Metcalfe, who is the event’s founding organizer, fittingly finished first.  The first female finisher was Chloe Victoria May Ashcroft, who was also at our first event. The 31 finishers were treated to cake and an amazing rainbow that stretched across the San Francisco Bay from the Golden Gate to Tiburon.  Many thanks to Max and all of the volunteers who made Crissy Field's first year of fitness and fellowship a success.

As reported in last month’s newsletter, on January 9, 2016 Paul Martelletti set a parkrun USA and a Crissy Field parkrun course record of 14:59.  But did you know that Paul is also the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest marathon in costume (Spiderman) at 2:29:57?

Paul Martelletti pictured here on his way to a parkrun USA record-setting run of 14:59.

Durham, NC parkrun

Upcoming events:
February 27, 2016 – Durham, NC parkrun will cohost a special event alongside local chapters of Black Men Run and Black Girls RUN!. Both groups were started to attract more African-American runners of all speeds and ages in order to promote health and combat chronic diseases, like heart disease and obesity, that disproportionately affect the African-American community. We look forward to celebrating Black History Month and welcoming lots of runners from both clubs!

Announcements:
Congratulations to Jack Vail on reaching his 50th event, and on being our first under-19 to accomplish this feat. Well done, Jack!

feedback from the field


Hi parkrun USA,
I just to say thanks to everyone at parkrun for making the Brits feel welcome. Certainly, last week it felt like home with the bitter cold and strong wind!! Today was much nicer (I got my all-time, all-countries PR!) and my husband got over 80% age-graded. Everyone was very friendly and encouraging, and I love the course. Back to the mud and hill of our home course soon.
Cheers,
Sandy and Paul Sideway, parkrun tourists at Clermont Waterfront


Hi parkrun USA,
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of the people at Clermont. I ran your course in May and I would echo the comments made by many of your previous visitors: a lovely venue and lovely people!
All the best,
Slow (and getting slower) Steve Price of Shropshire Shufflers, parkrun tourist at Crissy Field

The Sigaran family of El Salvador visit Clermont Waterfront parkrun every chance they get. When they can’t visit, they’ll drop their nearest parkrun event a line along with a photo of family and friends enjoying a run almost as much as they would if they were at parkun.

Hi parkrun USA,
A great event run by great people. Thanks for letting my family participate in your 50th run.
Regards,
Peter Dean, parkrun tourist at Crissy Field


Hi parkrun USA,
Thank you for a FAB morning. What a lovely friendly bunch of people. I can't wait to come back next month.
Regards,
Cathryn Ramsden, parkrun tourist at Crissy Field


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


parkrunner of the month Mary Cheh in white and running alongside DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

Name:  Mary Cheh

Club:  N/A

Age:  65

Home parkrun:  Fletcher's Cove, Washington DC

Occupation:  Law Professor, DC Council Member

Number of runs:  3

Favourite volunteer role:  I look forward to volunteering with after-run snacks.

What do you do at parkruns:  Run, of course, and mingle with others.

How has parkrun changed your running:  It has rekindled my running, which was slipping away as I was doing more biking.

What do you like about parkrun:  It's healthy, fun, and provides a structured run on a regular schedule. And, actually, I just like watching neighbors getting out to enjoy being fit.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Being struck by the beauty of the run along the canal, with mist rising from the water, and feeling very happy.

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.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 12th January 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we get 2016 started with a brand new event and some brand new records, and we celebrate as a nonagenarian and a runner 80 years his junior both reach parkrun milestones on opposite sides of the world.

Rarely do I find myself in the right place at the right time. The protests that gave women the vote were long gone before I arrived on the scene. All the tea was already floating in the Boston Harbor when I got there. And I wouldn’t have believed Steve Jobs’ and Steve Wozniak’s vision in 1977 even if I hadn’t been 8 months from being born.

Last Saturday was different. I was there at the right place and the right time to witness and even to aid in a revolution: Fletcher’s Cove, DC, at 9:00am. Maybe parkrun won’t change this country like suffrage for women or independence from tyranny, though it is certainly a vision whose time seems to be coming in our part of the world. But to be honest, I always knew that it would.

Well-meaning parkrunners from around the world have often said to me that they can’t understand why parkrun hasn’t taken off in the US as it has in other parts of the world. I never doubted that it would grow, just as I never imagined that it would happen overnight. Just like the parent who wishes to slow down a child’s aging so that she might savor every moment, I am content to nudge parkrun USA along even while I take the time to enjoy its infancy.

Many people were there to watch Fletcher’s Cove take its first giant step, which saw a massive turnout of 166 runners, including the Mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser; parkrun CEO Nick Pearson; and parkrun USA ambassador James Kemp. But so many of you weren’t there, so let me set the scene and fill in the details for you.

It was a cold and overcast morning. A plane on its way to Reagan National Airport interrupted the pre-run brief. Event directors Henry Wigglesworth and Darrell Stanaford were there, with their families and an army of volunteers to lend a hand. A nice lady who used to run at St. Albans in England was thrilled to see my 50 shirt since she was in hers and her husband was in his 100 shirt and, I imagine, it told her that she again would have that parkrun community that she’d missed since moving to DC 6 months earlier. I saw fast runners and slow runners and people glad to have been a part of this and eager to do it again next week. Just about the only thing that I didn’t see, when all was said and done, was barcode number 79 (may it find its way back to the fold one day).

I couldn’t think of a better place to spend last Saturday morning, or any other Saturday morning for that matter. Check your local event’s page so that you can be at the right place at the right time, too. #dfyb

The Fletcher’s Cove team, parkrun USA ambassador James Kemp, helpers from future events (stay tuned…), and if you squint, yours truly and Melinda Beaver, a fellow parkrun tourist from Durham, NC, in the background.

Happy running!

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

parkrun USA in numbers – December 2015


A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:
Number of runners - 584
Number of first timers - 135
Number of PRs - 79
Number of volunteers - 96

Other numbers in urgent need of discussion are:
354 - record number of runners at parkrun USA events on January 9, 2016
17:04 - new parkrun USA women’s record set by Lindsey Scherf at Durham, NC on December 26, 2015
14:59 - new parkrun USA men’s record set by Paul Martelletti at Crissy Field on January 9, 2016
0 - the number of typos in those numbers above (but they’re still hard to believe!)

Congratulations to Lindsey and Paul for helping us to punctuate a great year of parkrun in 2015 and to set us up for a year of firsts for parkrun USA in 2016!

They’re off to a great start in Livonia and around the country!

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 650 parkruns around the world. This month, we are back Down Under to celebrate a special milestone for an extraordinary parkrunner.

The place: Brightwater parkrun on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Located less than half a parkrun away from its nearest parkrun neighbor, Kawana, this event is just a stone’s throw from the beach and borders on the Mooloolah River National Park. The course is a mostly flat out-and-back with a lake, some bushland, parks, and a waterfront to distract from what may be a frightfully hot run during some times of the year. Their 983 runners don’t seem to mind, or they’ve simply adjusted after 63 events. Brightwater parkrun had record-breaking attendance on January 9, 2016. Would you like to know what brought out so many runners?

The man: Norman Phillips, or just Norm to his mates. Starting at nearby Kawana parkrun in 2014 before making his way to the newer Brightwater event, 92-year-old (that’s not a typo either) Norm celebrated his 100th parkrun last week, and nobody wanted to miss it. And why should they when Norm’s accomplishment makes him the oldest parkrunner to reach this milestone? Norm started running in 1986 in his native England and found a home with parkrun, thanks to his son. And slowly but steadily over the last two years, Norm has managed to make a huge impression on those who have met him and others who have only heard his story. He’s an inspiration, and we wish him all the best as he strives for his next milestone!

To hear this story from the man himself, check out parkrun Australia’s Youtube video.

event news


Durham, NC parkrun

Congratulations to Anne Vail on reaching her 50th event! (As you’ll see below, parkrun perseverance runs in the family!)

Fletcher’s Cove parkrun

parkrun USA’s newest event started with a bang and 166 runners. Congratulations, and welcome to the parkrun family!

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, fresh from completing her first parkrun, with James Kemp, all-around good guy and parkrun USA ambassador extraordinaire. Thanks to both of you for coming along to Fletcher’s Cove for the inaugural run!

feedback from the field


Hi parkrun USA,
Having just recently returned from a Christmas vacation with Mickey Mouse in Florida, I wanted to share how much I enjoyed Clermont Waterfront parkrun during my stay! I was lucky enough to take part in 4 runs over the Christmas period, and you guys were so friendly and welcoming at every one. It was a fantastic place to run with fantastic support! (Although the humidity was something to endure - the hotter it got, the slower I got! )
Thank you so much for a holiday highlight. I can't wait to return!
Regards,
Louise Brown, parkrun tourist from Northala Fields parkrun UK


Hi parkrun USA,
I had the most amazing parkrun day. A massive thank you to Max, Philip, and Dale. You all do an EPIC job, and I cannot wait to come back one day. 
All the best,
James Ball, parkrun tourist at Crissy Field


Hi parkrun USA,
I was a parkrun tourist for the first time last weekend at Crissy Field, San Francisco. Ironically, they don't have any hills on their course!
Many thanks,
Chris Walker, Durham, NC parkrunner on the road


Hi parkrun USA,
I can't thank you guys enough for your parkrun hospitality this morning, especially Dale for the ride back to our hotel!
Regards,
Emma Malcolm, parkrun tourist at Crissy Field


Hi parkrun USA,
As your visitors from across the Pond, my wife Jill and I would just like to say a big “Thank you” to all those who organised, volunteered at and ran the Durham, NC parkrun. The spirit of parkrun is alive and well in North Carolina! The run was a lot of fun, the course a good challenge and meeting everyone for breakfast afterwards made our day. If you live in Durham and haven't tried the parkrun then you're missing out. The four of us that made the journey from Winston-Salem, NC, (Jill, her father John, Malcom and me) all agreed that the outing helped make our Christmas. Lovely to meet everyone and thank you again.
Best of luck for 2016,
Christopher and Jill Convey


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:  Jack Vail

Club:  N/A

Age:  10

Home parkrun:  Durham, NC, originally from North Lakes parkrun in Queensland, Australia

Occupation:  Full-time student and Lego builder

Number of runs:  49 going on 50

Favourite volunteer role:  Photographer

What do you do at parkruns:  Run or volunteer, play with sticks, stretch on rocks, cheer parkrunners

How has parkrun changed your running:  parkrun started my running! I got involved in the local parkrun in Queensland with my mom and am glad to be back with it again in the USA. I like running in races and hope to run a half-marathon this year.

What do you like about parkrun:  That people of all skill levels can run and participate every Saturday. I like the community, running with friends and family. I’ve made great friends at parkrun, people that care about me and encourage and inspire me to do better. And breakfast!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  One of my early parkruns in Queensland was in pouring rain. There was a great picture of me and mom running that day. And then we had a heavy rain come down at one of our Durham parkruns. Splashing on the path, no one is going to come get you; you have to finish it out. I like running in the rain a lot! It’s fun. It’s also memorable seeing the wildlife on the course: kangaroos in Queensland and deer in Durham!

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.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 6th October 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we take liberties with the scientific method, catch up with Belfast’s oldest parkrun, and agree with our parkrunner of the month’s opinion of other parkrunners.

parkrun makes you happy. It can be easy to forget this fact when dragging yourself up a horrible hill or struggling to catch your breath in the middle of summer’s heat and humidity or winter’s bone-chilling Arctic blasts. Despite this and despite the aches, pains, and disappointments that can dog us runners, this simple little 5k makes us happy.

The evidence to support this hypothesis is indisputable and plentiful. It’s in the smiles when you cross the finish line, when you greet other runners who you haven’t seen for a while, and when you hit a new PR. Heck, it’s there when you narrowly miss a new PR since even just a taste of that kind of success is sweet enough to bring a smile to our lips. The most compelling piece of data that parkrun makes you happy is this: you keep showing up for it.

Surely some clever social scientist or another has found that happiness shared is happiness multiplied. (No citation available for that because I really am making this up as I go.) So why keep parkrun to yourself? If you haven’t already cornered your running and non-running friends and family and made them promise to get their own bar code and come for a free, fun community run, then what are you waiting for? Scientificevidence?

Furthermore, happiness sharing, according to a scientist who shall remain nameless because she doesn’t actually exist, should not be geographically biased. Have you, for example, told your aunt in Des Moines about parkrun? Your cousin in Seattle? What about your good-for-nothing son in Albuquerque? It’s time for you to tell all of them how you’ve been spending Saturday mornings. Bragging is acceptable. Feel free to taunt them because you have parkrun and they don’t. Nah-nee-nah-nee-nah-nah. Once the fog of denial, anger, and sadness lifts, they’ll realize that they need their own parkrun, too.

Aunt Martha, cousin Bob, darling Jimmy (that most neglectful of offspring) will want to know how. “How,” they’ll ask, “can we make this Saturday morning utopia a reality in our communities?” That’s when you send them to your local event directors, or send them to me. Then tell them that the happiness comes with a bit of work, but it’s incredibly worthwhile since they’ll be building and sustaining something so simple yet so grand in their communities. So spread the word, spread parkrun, and spread a little more Saturday morning happiness around the US of A.

Happy running!*

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

*This is a prime example of what “happy running” looks like.

parkrun USA in numbers – September 2015


A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:

Number of runners - 664
Number of first timers - 243
Number of PRs - 110
Number of volunteers - 80

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 700 parkruns around the world. This month, we dry our eyes and run our hardest at Waterworks parkrun in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Situated in North Belfast with the stunning Black Mountain looming in the distance, there have been 258 events at Waterworks, making it the oldest parkrun in the area. They will celebrate their third anniversary next month. Like the other 22 events in Northern Ireland (not to mention the Republic of Ireland and Scotland), they wait till they are sure the sun will be up and begin at 9:30am. They average about 159 runners per week, and the average time is 27:14. Waterworks parkrun is a two-loop course that involves a rather unpleasant-looking uphill (see below), though it means that runners also get to relish the downhill afterwards.

Many years ago, this park was an actual waterworks until demand overtook supply in the 19th century. The park was a swinging hub of water activities in the 1920s and 1930s, with fancy-schmancy things like row boats, swimming and diving galas (meets with gowns and tuxedos, perhaps), speedboat racing, and model yacht sailing. All of that fun ended in the 1950s when the reservoirs were filled in for boring old safety reasons. The main modifications since then include the addition of small islands to encourage waterfowl to – eh hem – build families and trout for locals to fish.

This hill, which must be climbed twice by parkrunners, is surely the reason for this event’s name.

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

Upcoming cancellation:
October 10 – Miles for Meals 5K
October 24* – Great Floridian Triathlon
November 21 – Toyota of Clermont Turkey Trot

*An alternative 5K for October 24 is the 5th Annual Spartan Spooktacular 5K Run/Walk at East Ridge Middle School. Click on the link for more details and to register.

Durham, NC parkrun

Announcements
October 31 – Halloween falls on parkrunday this year, so this is the excuse we’ve all been looking for to dress in a ridiculous costume and run around a park. Go crazy and get dressed up for this extra-fun parkrun!

Congratulations to September parkrunner of the month Chris Gould for completing his 50th parkrun!

One loop down and one more to go in Durham, NC

feedback from the field


Hi parkrun USA,
As a previous Clermont parkrun runner, I just wanted to say how heartened I am to see that your numbers have doubled since I ran last January, and justifiably so – it is a great event in an unforgettable place. Cheers to you and everyone who makes it happen.
Regards,
Kevin Jones (Cardiff parkrun)

Durham, NC volunteers aren’t all work and no play.

Hi parkrun USA,
I am very grateful to Livonia parkrun event directors Lori and Rick for your three years of dedicated service.  I too am shocked that this amazing idea has not caught on in other cities across the USA, or even in Michigan.  The Detroit area alone I feel could easily support 4-5 weekly parkruns: Downriver, Belle Isle, Ann Arbor, Warren, Rochester, Livonia.  I am so glad that you guys have done this fantastic thing for our community, and I want to do my part to make sure it continues for eternity. 
All the best,
Tim Gallagher (Livonia parkrun)


Hi parkrun USA,
What a lovely friendly parkrun at Clermont Waterfront! I was really impressed with you guys this morning. Thank you very much for a brilliant event. Next time I visit, if you could just turn the humidity down a touch I would be most grateful.
Many thanks,
Garry Palmer (Wolverhampton parkrun)

The sun, a new megaphone, and the obligatory Livonia dog (they always seem to have at least one in attendance) get ready for another event.

Hi parkrun USA,
Thank you so much for Livonia parkrun; it really has been an very enjoyable, big part of my life and something I look forward to participating in every single Saturday that I am in town. It has been a great thing and I sure hope it continues to be forever!
Regards,
Kim Zamora (Livonia parkrun)


Hi parkrun USA,
Clermont Waterfront parkrun has to be one of the most mentally and physically hardest parkruns I have ever taken part in, but I’m so glad I got to be a parkrun tourist for the day! Two weeks of indulgence in beautiful Orlando has certainly slowed me down. However, roll on next week back at my home parkrun in Sligo, Ireland. Thank you, Clermont parkrun, for being so welcoming to us tourists!!
Regards,
Maoilíosa Ni Duacháin Birn (Sligo parkrun)


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:  Harold Matthews

Club:  N/A

Age:  62

Home parkrun:  Livonia, Michigan

Occupation:  Computer Analyst / Retired Police Officer

Number of runs:  73

Favourite volunteer role:  Course Marshall, as I enjoy shouting words of encouragement to fellow runners.

What do you do at parkruns:  I run, help when needed and socialize with fellow runners.

How has parkrun changed your running:  parkrun has taught me how to run outdoors throughout the harsh Michigan winters. Knowing there are other runners willing to be out there running in the cold and snow makes me get out when otherwise I might elect to stay in.

What do you like about parkrun:  The people. I have found parkrunners to be the friendliest people you could ever meet.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Most memorable parkrun moment was when a deer ventured out of the woods and stood and watched as I ran by on my way to the finish line.

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.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 8th September 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, a control freak gives a new writer/her husband a chance to show his stuff, summertime is record-smashing time, and the fight for good and evil is played out in a pretty park in St. Petersburg.

Being a relatively new transplant to this country, I never really though too much about Labor Day. After some rudimentary internet sleuthing, I found that Labor Day is a “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country”.

The words “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” really resonated with me and, being one for silent introspection, got me thinking about the contributions parkrun has made to my personal strength, prosperity, and well-being. This may sound like a tenuous link, but there are many things that parkrun has contributed to my life that deserve a tribute.

Being an alien to this great country brought great challenges. parkrun in the UK was not just a part of my Saturday or even my week; it was part of my life. Having this anchor in the USA, my new home, really helped me adjust.

The obvious differences in weather aside, running 5k in Durham, NC is not so different to running 5K in Hove, England. We cheer on finishers in the same (with slightly different vocabulary and accents) and the post-run stories are almost exactly the same (more talk of the final hill in Durham, though). So parkrun grounded me and gave a sense of well-being that I needed at that time in my life to make the move more manageable.

What about the other two items in the quote? Well, financially speaking, I won’t make my millions (and quite rightly so) by volunteering, but prosperity from friendships abounds here. Runners are a quirky breed, and I have met some superb specimens from parkrun: true friends that have allowed me to prosper in this strange land called North Carolina.

The final point to unpack is strength. For the first time in my life I broke 21 minutes at parkrun. This was no mean feat for me. I really thought that this was beyond me, and if it were not for the support and encouragement of my fellow parkrunners, I doubt I would have done it. parkrun provided me with one of the happiest and proudest moments in my running career, and it gave me the strength to pursue and achieve my PR.

One of my favorite parts of parkrun is after the event, hearing and seeing all of the happy stories and faces. parkrun has offered me a lot, though it is unlikely that it will have its own official holiday. Until then, we will have to settle for celebrating it 52 times a year.

Happy running!

Martin, event co-director from Durham, NC parkrun (get in touch) (durhamncoffice@parkrun.com)

Would you like to share your parkrun story? If so, get in touch with Julie from parkrun USA

parkrun USA in numbers – August 2015


A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:

Number of runners - 1110
Number of first timers - 449
Number of PRs - 162
Number of volunteers - 133

parkrun USA, we’ve done it again – and we’ve done it even better than last month! July’s numbers showed a record-setting month for our events for numbers of runners, first timers, and PRs. In August, we again set records for these categories, and we’ve seen our volunteer numbers reach their highest level, too.

Our previous record of 815 shot up 36% to 1110 for total attendance, while the newbie number jumped 29% from 348 to 449. Personal records were also up nearly 30% from 124 to 162. Our volunteer record was set in May 2015, and we raised that by 36% from 101 to 133 (Thanks, volunteers! You’re the best!!)

Congratulations to the two events who set new attendance records, Crissy Field and Clermont Waterfront. Clermont managed to set two attendance records in August, and Crissy Field has hit records four times in two months. Keep growing, and keep running!

Volunteers at Clermont parkrun, helping the parkrun world to keep turning, one barcode at a time

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 600 parkruns around the world. This month, we head east or west and just keep going till we hit Sosnovka Park in St. Petersburg, Russia.

St. Petersburg is a major European cultural center and an important port on the Baltic Sea. Due to the intricate web of canals, St. Petersburg is often called the Venice of the North. Situated in this Russian metropolis (St. Petersburg is the second largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants) you will find many parks with the largest of them being Sosnovka Park.

The park is one of the most beautiful in one of the most beautiful cities in that part of Russia; the art and facilities in the park also makes it one of the more popular places for tourists and locals alike. Perhaps the most interesting monument is the Jangseung Spirits. It's believed that these 15 wooden guardian spirits measuring four meters high radiate positive energy and frighten demons away.

The parkrun course is also a work of art with two loops taking in a variety of areas of scenery. Sosnovka has welcomed 232 individual runners in its 35 events, with its biggest turnout being 48 finishers. Nina Zarina is the female course record holder with a time of 20:16, and Paul Altysh holds the male course record with a time of 16:39.

One note of caution: be careful if you are planning to visit and run in August, when hundreds of people dress as zombies and roam around the park for the annual Zombie Walk. They invade the park, looking for ‘survivors’ (and tasty parkrunners). Being chased by the running dead could be a good way to achieve a PR, or perhaps just hang out near the Jangseung Spirits. Schastlivy vypolneniya (happy running)!

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

100th event was on 8/22/2015 – Clermont parkrun set a new record with 169 despite muggy conditions. Locals and a large number of visitors (bringing tally to over 1100 since they first started) helped them set their new record. Congratulations, Clermont!

Upcoming cancellation:
September 12 – Cool Summer Mornings 5k Series #4

feedback from the field


As I watch runners, I think that some of those that finish later are exerting more effort than those "fast" runners seem to be. All are congratulated on their effort, not their time! – Tom Griffin on Durham, NC parkrun’s Facebook page


Great course and fun people. See you again soon! – Laurel Wright Lindh on Livonia parkrun’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:  Chris Gould

Club:  Carolina Godiva Track Club

Age:  71

Home parkrun:  Durham, NC

Occupation:  Physics Professor

Number of runs:  49

Favourite volunteer role:  Operating all that fancy high-tech scanning equipment and shouting encouragement to the runners

What do you do at parkruns:  Jog a mile and half over to arrive just before the start, and then run as fast as I can! Or else run along chatting to catch up on the news from other CGTC members.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Having all the data stored makes me pay attention to how my running is going by the month and by the year. Although keeping up the Saturday morning schedule is sometimes difficult if I’m in long-run marathon training mode, getting speed work on a regular basis definitely helps me.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love the mix of people and the way everyone encourages everyone else out on the trail. Fast, slow, young, old, just starting or veterans – everyone is welcome and welcoming; great way to start the weekend!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Since we are running through a flood plain, there are plenty of birds hidden in the trees. Mostly we see them in winter or spring, before the leaves come out. One time we ran by noisy flight lessons for fledgling pileated woodpeckers who were being instructed on how to make it from one tree to the next. Another time deep in winter we ran by a totally unperturbed blue heron standing in the ice waiting for something tasty to show up (not us!). It was a reminder that 100 yards from a Walmart you can get away from it all just fine if you know where to go.

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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