Renton parkrun hosts its 10th event!

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

This week belonged to the dogs at Renton parkrun! With ten park pooches and their human companions in tow, there were lots of smiles, belly rubs, and sloppy dog kisses on the course today!

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On the top left is Wilson with his human Tabitha! Sometimes we see Wilson with his uniform on as he’s an official service dog, but as soon as the vest comes off, he’s all puppy and loves cuddles! On the top right is Madalynn with her puppy Haley who is 6 months old. Today Madelynn came to parkrun following a soccer game but had to keep up with Haley who hadn’t been for a run yet that day. On the middle right is Susan with her boxer Beau! These two are a super friendly duo who’ve made parkrun part of their regular Saturday routine. On the bottom middle is Cindy with Kia and Oso. These two pups come as often as they can with their human family but poor Kia has a furless belly and sometimes needs to warm up inside her mom’s coat!

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But this week wasn’t all dogs — there were also quite a few humans too! 58 infact plus 10 volunteers! Many were joining us for the first or second time this week such as Jen and Annie on the top row. We also had a few regulars like Brian (top middle), Danny (center), and Chan (bottom middle). Chan in particular was full of smiles today with his wife Koy helping lead the cheer squad as he came over the finish line.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

Out on the course there were plenty of high fives to go around! Some of our first timers had a great time passing their friends on one of the out and backs.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

First timer Paul is part of a local triathlon group and remarked that the trail is deceptively challenging. Despite being paved and flat, the long and straight path can play tricks on your mind and make time move slowly.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

One of our core volunteers Molly was tail walker this morning with her daughter Faryn. Molly had her first “official” Renton parkrun finish today despite having been part of the team for many months.

Renton parkrun 1/13/18

We love seeing dads with their kids on the course such as Matt and his friend (name unknown), and Ryan who were all walking or running with strollers today.

Renton parkrun 1/13/18

At the finish line, run director Kortney was sharing stories with the other volunteers. This week we were happy to have Marcy, Wendy, Blake, Cathryn, Jeremy, Molly, Faryn, Kortney, and Leigh leading the event.

But you know what was really special this week? Not one parkrunner was a tourist. We are so excited to be growing as a community and meeting new locals every week. For those of you who haven’t been to a parkrun yet, join us next week!

Renton parkrun 1/13/18

 

parkrun, parkrun, Number 9…

parkrun, parkrun, number 9.
Running down the Renton line.
If timed results are what you lack,
do you want your money back?

Renton parkrun #9

This alternate version of a nursery rhyme (Engine, engine, number 9) alludes to the fact that we implemented the "no barcode, no time" rule this week. While it playfully suggests getting your money back, you should know by now that parkrun is always free! If you forgot your barcode this week, you'll show up as an "unknown runner" in our results list without a time, but bring it to the next event and your result will be visible!

While 7 of the 15 parkrun events in the US canceled due to frigid conditions and/or icy trails, we lucked out with a morning in the mid-40’s that was damp, but not rainy for our event. Many people would even call our conditions ideal for running! In fact, we accumulated quite a pile of jackets and sweatshirts as participants shed their layers as they looped back by the start/finish area mid-run. One thing people didn’t shed were their smiles! With a solid crew of 59 runners and walkers spanning ages 10-69, several parkrun pups and a solid stroller brigade, we kicked off the weekend with our second largest crowd yet. We're just chugging right along!

Welcome to our 17 first-timers: Tonja Reischl, Katie Ament, Chelsae Fornelli, Stacy Ballard, Catalina Cole, Mark Orzabal, Samantha Dohrman, Melani Orzabal, Pam La Follette, Curt La Follette, Beth Harris, Allyson Adam, Robert Sherrill, Jocelynn Ruelas, Lee Anna Bonds, Gracelynn Ruelas and Madelynn Ruelas. We know we had a few other first-timers but can’t name them here as they weren’t yet registered.

Renton parkrun #9Some memorable moments from parkrunday (also known as Saturday):

*Abby Ruelas kicked off her birthday by running a PB and graduating to the next parkrun age group. She didn’t want a big to-do at parkrun, but we thought we’d give her a shout out here! We hope you have a GREAT year filled with health, happiness and lots of parkruns.
*Jarrad Doherty got to see his first bald eagle- it flew over the trail as he was flying down the trail!
*parkrun regulars Matt Wexler and Ryan McIrvin tried out volunteer roles and engaged in a lively debate about the merits and drawbacks of all things cold and/or frozen while waiting for people at the finish line.
*Robert Sherrill raved about the opportunity for some quality time with granddaughter Jocelynn Ruelas and they clearly had lots of fun on the trail, culminating in a playful dash to the finish.
*Tabitha Ryberg and her beautiful Golden Retriever, Wilson, came back after a few weeks away. As he wasn’t wearing his service vest, he was “just a dog” for the morning and therefore got lots of love from participants and volunteers.
*Cindy Ross brought not one, not two, but THREE new people with her to parkrun! And THAT is how you grow an event.
*Cam Kennedy absolutely blew her 2018 goal of a sub-40 minute 5K out of the water on her FIRST day cleared to run with a 36:57.
*Callie and Reid Vanderwiele drove 3 hours to come to our event and made a weekend out of it by visiting friends in Seattle. Callie modeled her parkrun 50 shirt for us, hopefully inspiring others to strive for their own.
*Samantha Dohrman set a new age-group record for Renton, 41:02 for SW20-24. This was the ONLY age-group record achieved at any parkrun US event this weekend.
*Co-Event Director Kortney Thoma got to participate for the second time today, and brought along her niece Allyson Adam, who helped chalk the trail before the event started and enjoyed a chatty 5K with her Aunt. She was literally running circles around Kortney as they approached the finish. Renton parkrun #9

Congratulations to those who achieved a PB this weekend (15 people):Jaxon Love, Daniella Love, Maria Eusebio, Koy Saechao, Chan Saechao, Tabatha Love, Kimberly Bonar, Regan Nolten, Cam Kennedy, Azhar Basit, Abby Ruelas, Jon Burby, Jeremy Moschner, Kortney Thoma and Jarrad Doherty.

Thank you to our volunteer team this week: Rebecca Adams, Diana Bourgeois, Cathryn Burby, Jon Burby, Blake Kennedy, Ryan McIrvin, Deb O'Connell, Leigh Stevens and Matt Wexler

Renton parkrun #9

Written by Cathryn Burby

 

December parkrunner of the Month- Nikol Gianopolous

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

Nikol was chosen to be our parkrunner of the Month for December, making her our first recipient of the honor in Renton! We asked her a few questions about her involvement, and her responses are below.

Number of Runs: 7

Volunteer Roles at parkrun: Tail Walker (1 time)

How did you hear about parkrun? Though the ‘I Love Renton’ Facebook page

How has parkrun changed your fitness/running? I recently moved back to the PNW after a 20+ year absence, and have lived in Renton exactly 1 year! A year ago I was seriously out of shape and suffering back pain so bad it hurt to do the simplest things like walking. I challenged myself to do yoga stretches everyday in 2017, and month by month I started feeling much better. I slowly started incorporating other exercises in my routine- so when I saw the parkrun invite on the 'I Love Renton' Facebook page, I took it as a sign that it was time to incorporate running - I also thought it was high time I started meeting new people!

What do you like most about parkrun? Its sense of community. People of all ages and abilities are on the trail. I am not a runner in the traditional sense- I think I’m a walker that runs intermittently, so I like that I can run, and when I have to stop and walk that its okay there’s no pressure by the parkrun crowd/volunteers to keep running or to hurry up and cross that finish line! I’ve made it a goal for 2018 to never miss a parkrun if I am in town. (I’ve missed one so far and that was because I ran my very first trail run race!) I only run once a week, but that once a week run is FUN and it’s made a difference- I can feel that it’s getting easier (and my timed results are proof) so I feel motivated to keep showing up week after week!

What is your most memorable or funniest parkrun moment? I don’t know that I have a memorable or funniest moment - yet. I will say that I am starting to meet people and that was one of my secondary goals of joining parkrun. So goal met! Oh, and I love that people recognize Leo more than they recognize me. He’s a great ‘wing-dog’.

 

Welcome 2018!

It’s been a big year for us here at Renton parkrun! We held four trial runs, launched our first ever event on November 18th with 81 finishers, and we’ve since seen total registrations climb to 276. Each week we meet new people, see strangers turn into friends, pet a few friendly dogs, and watch children experience the joy of exercise. Friends come for a walk and a talk, fathers run with strollers, whole families walk or jog together, tourists sample our beautiful Renton park spaces, and our volunteers experience the joy of giving back to their community. There’s so much to love about parkrun.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

In my heart, every week at Renton parkrun is special but I have to say this week might have broke the mold.

New Year’s Day is a special day for us around the globe. First, because it one of only two events we are allowed to host parkrun on a non-Saturday, and second because not every event holds a NYD run. In fact, of the 15 events in the US, only 5 actually went ahead on January 1st due to some uncharacteristically cold weather in the Midwest and East Coast. Just two days earlier in Eagan, MN, the team called off their December 30th event because the temperature with windchill was a shocking -37 degrees! We are so thankful that of our 8 parkrun events, we’ve only had 1 day with rain.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

But it wasn’t just the dry weather or running on a Monday that made yesterday special; it was the collective joy of being outdoors, of doing something fun with our loved ones, and an optimism that is contagious every year on January 1st.

Of our 57 runners yesterday, 22 were joining us for the first time. Some of them were tourists like Kathryn Donkersley who was visiting from London where she is an avid parkrunner with 134 parkruns under her belt. After the run, Kathryn came up to me and said, “I would fly 10 hours all over again just to come back to this parkrun! It’s the best parkrun I’ve ever been to!” My heart might have grown two sizes.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

There were also first-timer families like the Koszegi’s who brought their three kids with them. Later that day, Kathy left a review on our Facebook page and our hearts grew even more: “My family and I attended our first Renton parkrun today and it was a great experience! The volunteers were so friendly and helpful for the first timers and I felt welcomed by everyone. The course is well marked, flat, paved and has a nice gravel shoulder. The run was also very kid-friendly. What I loved most about the run was how supportive the other participants were! There were many high-fives and words of encouragement all around. This run is great for new and experienced runners/walkers alike. We will definitely participate in more Renton parkruns. Thank you for bringing this to our area.”

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

And there were also first-timers with dogs like Tabatha Love. As she passed the halfway point, she said to our volunteers, “She’s only 8 months old and very afraid of hats! We’re working on it!” And though it took 4 or 5 false starts to get past the volunteers with their scary hats, Tabatha and her dog were doing great by the time they reached the finish line. (Even dogs can have new year resolutions!)

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

We also celebrated the new year with a few of our regulars like the Gano family. Ben and Oliver have been our regular smile igniters since our second trial run in September and we’re so glad they could convince their parents Cindy and Matt to join us too!

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

Second-timer Greg Nolten crossed the finish line with a bit of friendly competition at his side from Rae Taylor who drove 1.5 hours from Silverdale to be at parkrun yesterday morning. Later over breakfast, Rae said her favorite part of the course was the number of high fives she received and the constant encouragement she was given by every runner she passed on the two out and back legs of our course.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

Though we didn’t catch their names, our back of the pack party crew were all smiles from start to finish, proving that you don’t have to go to bed early or be a serious runner to enjoy the outdoors on New Year’s Day morning.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

And of course we can’t forget our incredible volunteer team who each week help new runners learn the finish line process. Yesterday Elizabeth Hoekstra helped keep us operational by manning the barcode scanner. Our community is truly a point of pride: over the course of our 8 events, we’ve had 38 people volunteer a total of 78 times. As an event director, I can’t thank you enough for your generosity!

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

Notably, we also recognized one of our community members who’s regularly attended parkrun and contributed as a volunteer. Nikol Gianopoulos has only missed one event since we started in November and lately she’s been attending with her lovely dog Leo. Nikol’s friendly smile and welcoming personality is exactly the kind of person who truly embodies and represents parkrun, and it was a great pleasure for me and Cathryn to present her with a certificate. You can find her photo on display as parkrunner of the month at Renton Peak Sports & Spine Physical Therapy.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

There is so much to be thankful for in 2017 and judging by the first day of 2018, we’re going to do great things. I predict more friendships, more PBs, more registrations, and more coffee! Whether yesterday was your first parkrun or your hundredth, we are so glad you could join us and we welcome you to come back again and again.

Renton parkrun 1/1/18

Written by Kortney Thoma

 

Goodbye 2017!

Renton parkrun 12/30/17

Renton parkrun 12/30/17

 The final Renton parkrun of 2017 saw 28 runners on the course, including 7 first timers and 4 visitors from Australia, London, Fletcher’s Cove in DC, and the soon to be launched Boulder, Colorado parkrun.  As a Renton native, I’m so pleased that every parkrun here so far has drawn people from around the globe to our little city.

Renton parkrun #7 went off without a hitch or a drop of rain and six runners even got new PBs.  This was the first run where both event directors, Kortney Thoma and Cathryn Burby, could take part because we had a full roster of volunteers. I took the role of Run Director, and it was a breeze thanks to Kortney’s wonderful organisation. I did not get to experience the full RD list of tasks, though, as the data from the timing app refused to be submitted. Where one technology failed us, another saved us as our amazing photographer, Blake Kennedy, extracted the capture time from each finisher’s photo. This meant a fair amount of extra work for Blake and for Kortney to enter the data, so a huge thank you to both of them!

Renton parkrun 12/30/17

Renton parkrun 12/30/17

Renton parkrun 12/30/17

Renton parkrun 12/30/17

Nearly half of the runners and volunteers made their way to the Whistle Stop Ale House after the event for a well-deserved breakfast, a great way to say good bye to 2017 and celebrate the first year of parkrun in Renton. Hope to see you on the trail in 2018.

Written by Molly Brown

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