December parkrunner of the Month: Cam Kennedy

Congratulations to Cam Kennedy, our December parkrunner of the Month!

As you can see in the picture below, Cam also got to wear the purple 25 cape the day she was awarded the POM certificate, as she was volunteering for the 25th time at parkrun, earning her special parkrun 25 volunteer shirt! The hat and tutu were her extra special additions to the outfit. :)


Cam has been with us from the start. She was a member of the core team that worked so hard to bring parkrun to the PNW and most people who have been to a few parkruns have had the pleasure of meeting her and basking in the warmth of her smile. Cam has a great story, so we'll get right to it...

How did you hear about parkrun?

I heard about parkrun from an Australian friend of ours back in 2014.

How has parkrun changed your fitness/running?

Oh this is a long answer... In the summer of 2015 I had a cryptogenic (unknown cause) stroke in my sleep after interval running at the gym for an hour the night before. I was about 3 months into Couch to 5k training at the time. In the aftermath I became really frightened to run, especially by myself, even after the cardiologist cleared me to run, because the two things had become connected in my mind. We eventually adopted a dog and I felt bit better going out to train with him but the thought that I could keel over at any time still haunted me.

It wasn’t until Renton parkrun got going that I really began to push myself in earnest because I knew if something happened to me on the course I’d be surrounded by other parkrunners. It finally felt safe to run again. Not having an answer as to why I had a stroke means I need to stay on top of all the potential lifestyle risks and parkrun is an excellent way to keep my cardiovascular system strong and healthy.

When parkrun started at the end of 2017, my run/walk time for a 5k was around 50 minutes and now I’m consistently in the mid 30’s. Just last week I ran my first parkrun ever without taking walk breaks and my big dream is to eventually post a sub 30 time.

What do you like most about parkrun?

The thing I like the most about parkrun is the social aspect. I’m a homemaker so I don’t really interact with many people during the week. One of the prescriptions they give you after you have a stroke is to build a strong social network because they know there’s a big connection between loneliness and longevity. Being a shy person I really couldn’t figure out how to go about that and my Australian friend urged me to look into getting a parkrun going. Reaching out to parkrun US and getting connected to the people working to bring parkrun to the PNW was really out of character for me but I’m so glad I did it. Believing in parkrun, in its transformative power in peoples lives helps me push past my introverted nature and do things I’d never imagined doing.

What is your fondest/funniest memory from parkrun so far?

At the end of 2017 I took on the role of run director for the first Renton holiday parkrun. I love the opportunities to get creative at parkruns, the special dress events are my very favorites so I dressed up as a lady Santa Claus and went for it. But I’d never ever spoken before a group and added to my anxiety about public speaking was that since my stroke I sometimes have difficulty finding my words especially when I’m stressed so I was shaking in my Santa boots. I didn’t sleep at all the night before and when Kortney handed me the run director clipboard I kept telling myself “just read, you can read, the words will be right in front of you, no searching necessary”.

So my time on the stump came and I read, and in my nervousness I read really, really fast, it was the fastest run briefing ever given I’m sure. And, when I was done we had to wait around to start because I’d said it so fast it wasn’t even 9 am yet. But you know I’ve done it three more times since and it’s become more enjoyable every time just like participating has and I can’t imagine my life without parkrun Saturdays and my awesome Renton parkrun family <3.


Run Report #61 – Renton parkrun 1.1.19

It was a beautiful morning for our second annual New Years Day Renton parkrun. We welcomed 66 participants which included 11 first timers, and 5 parkrun tourists. What a fantastic turnout!

Renton parkrun #61, New Years Day 2019

parkrun is such a fun place on Saturday mornings, I'm loving the parkrun photo prancers of late. Drea and I did our best to capture all the leaping action on our phones but I'm happy to say we have a designated photographer for the next event so get practicing parkrun jumpers, the leap to beat this week was Nikol with this epic jump.

Renton parkrun #61, New Years Day 2019

Some fun parkrun trivia stats for the day were that Becca DEVRIES finished in 2nd postion on her 2nd run at Renton, Madelynn RUELAS finished in 61st position at Renton's 61's event and Casey WU finished in 19th position on her 19th run worldwide.

Renton parkrun #61, New Years Day 2019

8 participants achieved new personal bests on the course, congratulations Casey, Charlie, Danel, Evie, Joie, Madelynn, Matthew, and Nicole.

Renton parkrun #61, New Years Day 2019

Our volunteers for the day were Abby, Myself (Cam), Drea, Greg, Max, Melani and Peter. There would be no parkrun were it not for parkrun participants taking turns as volunteers to keep the event running week after week. Thank you to my fellow volunteers for coming out for the New Years day extra, starting your year off with a generous act of service to our parkrun family.

Renton parkrun #61, New Years Day 2019

Renton parkrun #61, New Years Day 2019

The beauty of parkrun is it can be whatever you need it to be. Maybe like me it's the time you take for yourself. I often come alone, pushing myself against my own result times, enjoying the beauty of the course and the peacefulness the activity brings me, surrounded by warmth of my parkrun family. Maybe it's your chance once a week to visit with your friends and family, to walk or run together, catch up and support each others health goals. Whatever parkrun is to you, at it's heart it is a family, coming together every weekend, taking part, socializing and chatting, often staying til the very end to cheer for each and every finisher.

Renton parkrun #61, New Years Day 2019

The New Years day event also marked the first opportunity to check off a mark on the Make it to 8 Challenge for 2019. As we did last year, we'll be celebrating those who've participated in 8 or more parkruns either as runners, walkers or as volunteers, at a special festive event that will be held on June 29th, 2019. There's no time like right now to commit to making parkrun part of your healthy resolutions for 2019 and Make it to 8. See you Saturdays at 9am.

Cam Kennedy, Volunteer Run Director of the Day

Make it to 8, Renton parkrun


Run Report #60 – Renton parkrun 12.29.18

Renton parkrun #60

The final Renton parkrun of 2018 once again had a respite from the Pacific Northwest’s rain and wind, and saw 28 runners, walkers and 6 volunteers enjoy a dry 60th event at Riverview park. Without an official photographer, photos from the event are more sparse than usual, but there are still plenty of smiles to share.
Renton parkrun #60
We welcomed visitors from Sydney and London, including a return tourist from London’s Highbury Fields parkrun. Hope you make it an annual event, Kathryn. Renton parkrun #60

For our locals, five runners achieved new personal bests. Kudos to Brian, Nicole, Steve, Megan and Joie!
Renton parkrun #60
It was a great atmosphere at the finish line with everyone cheering each other on. That camaraderie carried on to the Whistle Stop café afterwards, where over a dozen parkrunners joined our table and swapped stories while volunteers uploaded the run results.
Renton parkrun #60
As both event directors Kortney and Cathryn were out of town, I leaned heavily on Cam Kennedy who has worn the Run Director vest several times. Thanks to her support, and that of volunteers, Melani, Ken and AJ (along with Ava), today’s event went off without a hitch. Special thanks to last minute volunteer Jonathan, who graciously donned a vest to be tailwalker. A shout out also to everyone who volunteered for this coming Tuesday’s New Year’s Day parkrun, happening at 10 a.m. on January 1st. If you haven’t signed up yet, there are still a few spaces remaining, plus many roles to fill on Saturday, January 5th, when we return to our regularly scheduled start time of 9 a.m.I hope you had as great a time at parkrun in 2018 as I did. See you on the course in the New Year!Renton parkrun #60
- Molly Brown, volunteer run director


Run Report #59 – Renton parkrun 12.22.18

Renton parkrun #59
We had a beautiful, cool, dry morning to celebrate the second annual holiday parkrun. It was a sea of red and green, Santa hats, festive elves and reindeer, holiday sweaters, yummy treats, super sweet barkrunners and huge smiles as we came together to cheer each other on at Renton parkrun #59. Renton parkrun #59I'm so thankful for this amazing community who came out in droves to support the event with 13 total volunteers. Thank you Cathie Knox-Browning, Faryn Ernst, Jack Johnson, Kara Johnson, Kerstin Pepper, Kristen Hemke, Leyla Johnson, Marcy Van Winkle, Nick Johnson, Owen Johnson, Peter Ernst, with photography by the talented Ryan McIrvin. Also a big thank you to those of you who approached me that morning offering to volunteer on the spot and those who signed up to volunteer at future parkruns, you're all amazing! Renton parkrun #59During our briefing Cathryn, the Event Co-Director, took a moment to thank the November Renton parkrunner of the month, Ken Homan for his awesome attitude and contributions exemplifying the parkrun spirit.  Thank you Ken! Renton parkrun #59We had 32 participants with six first timers, welcome Alaina, Brendan, Colin, Evie, Luke and Peggy!  I love this photo above of Evie's mom giving her a congratulatory hug after her first run over a mile ever! Way to go Evie! We also had a whopping seven personal bests, kudos A.J., Charles, Deborah, Drea, Kim, Sandi and Steve! Was it the cool crisp air or the promise of treats at the finish line >.> ? But in all seriousness those pb's are hard earned, a big huge congratulations to you all!Renton parkrun #59
Thank you parkrun family for making my day as run director pure joy. I wore that huge smile all day, filled with parkrun happiness. Looking forward to seeing you all again Saturdays at the regular time and also at the upcoming New Years day event with a special late event time, 9:50 briefing / 10:00 am start.  Hope you can make it! Cam Kennedy, volunteer run director of the day.


Run Report- Renton parkrun #58 – 12.15.18

The morning drizzle gave way shortly after our runners and walkers took to the course and by the time we were packing up to go after our tailwalker crossed the finish, the sun had come out!

Renton parkrun #58

During the run briefing, our 5 newbie parkrunners were recognized and warmly welcomed.

Renton parkrun #58

Thanks to our awesome crew of volunteers this week, pictured above! From left to right, Marcy was our photographer who captured all of the pictures you see in this report as well as on our Facebook and event pages. Cathryn was RD and also timekeeper, Patrick handed out finish tokens, Melani tail walked, Nikol scanned barcodes and Ken was our first turn-around marshal.

Renton parkrun #58

We spotted our first locally-earned 10 shirt in person, claimed by Leyla earlier this year. We're so glad she's modeling it for the other would-be junior parkrunners, as it will surely help motivate them.

Renton parkrun #58

Congrats to AJ, Jordan and Tommy (pictured above with his barkrunner Peanut) who all claimed PBs this week!

Renton parkrun #58

We welcomed a few guests from London and as previously mentioned, 5 first-timers. Here's one of our first-timers, Brennan, who showed up a few minutes late but still managed to catch up and be our first finisher this week. We're glad you found us when you searched for "5K event near me" online! Tell your friends! Tell everyone!

Renton parkrun #58

It was a busy week for the barkrunners, as we had 2 on the volunteer crew and several more running or walking with their humans. Contreau accompanied Matt with an incredible amount of energy!

Renton parkrun #58

It was nice to see Meghan and Devon back at parkrun this week, running side by side and catching up on life!

Renton parkrun #58

See you next week for our festive holiday themed parkrun! Here's a sneak preview of Cam who was dressed up this weekend as a warm up to her gig as RD next weekend. :)

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