BRRRRRR! Run Report, RI parkrun #62

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be better about posting the run report when I’m the Run Director, so here goes….

It was pretty chilly at parkrun o’clock on Saturday morning – official temperature was apparently 24 degrees, so I couldn’t have been more excited to see 10 hearty volunteers and 43 tough parkrunners appear for our final parkrun of the year. I did feel a bit bad, though, for Liz, Kate, and Jason, our Australian tourists who showed up an hour early, because they were frozen! (In Australia, most parkruns start at 8am…so, we’ve had a number of antipodean early birds.) On the other hand, the Mabifa family was visiting us from Canada, so they weren’t concerned at all by our unseasonably cold weather. Congratulations to all six of you – we were so glad you could join us!

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 62 - 30/12/2017

We were on the alternative course again, thanks to a beautiful coating of snow that had fallen overnight. Thank you to Paul and Nick who helped with set-up, putting out the signs and dimple cones. Rodger P. and Karen (a first-time volunteer!) were this week’s marshals – helping to keep our parkrunners safe and sound. Fred and Nick were this week’s timekeepers. Plus, it was a family affair for Fred; there were at least five members of the Fagerstrom extended family at parkrun this weekend! Alejandra (another first-time high-viz hero) was on scanning duties, Roger H. handed out the finish tokens, and Tony brought up the rear as tail walker. Finally, we once again have Travis to thank for his beautiful photos! (If you haven’t seen them on Facebook or Flickr, you must go look immediately!) And, of course, all of us got to act as cheerleaders, since one of the best things about the alternative course is that we get to cheer the parkrunners as they come around Memorial Plaza!

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 62 - 30/12/2017

It was great to see so many familiar faces for our last parkrun of the year! Simon drove over from West Virginia to complete his 99th parkrun. Kerstin was back after setting a new age group record at Anacostia parkrun (congratulations!). Kevin came back for a second week in a row with his dad Dennis – Kevin’s still running in shorts, because Marines are crazy tough. Sophie finished her fourth RI parkrun; Sophie, we’re glad you’ve adopted us as your new “home” parkrun, even if Tooting Common misses you! Lynda and Paul, I hope that your traditional New Year’s Eve Fairfax Four Miler went well after your nice warm-up runs at RI! Another one of our amazing volunteers (and chief wagon-storer), Rosemary, also got to run this week, since we already had such a great line-up of volunteers. Finally, a warm welcome goes to our first-time parkrunners: Nickolas, Dave, Jason, Kate, and Sheila. We hope you had a great time and look forward to seeing you again soon!

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 62 - 30/12/2017

We also passed out copies of the completely unofficial "parkrun USA challenge" scorecard - if you haven't gotten your copy yet, we'll have more at future parkruns OR you can download a copy from the parkrun USA Facebook group! OH! And then Nick, Rosemary, and I got interviewed by a news crew from NBC Washington (Channel 4) about what it was like to be out running in the snow! If you'd like to see the piece that they aired, it's available here! And, as a bonus, several of the RI crowd had the chance to take part in one or both of the New Year’s Day parkruns hosted by Leakin Park and College Park parkruns. Tony volunteered to hadn out tokens at CP and Simon did parkrun #99. Svetlana and Darrell were spotted at CP, after promoting parkrun at DC Mayor Bowser’s Fresh Start 5K near the Anacostia parkrun course. Tim wasn’t the tailwalker this week, but seemed to have a great time nevertheless. And Eden, Jason, and I all completed the double by running both parkruns.

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 62 - 30/12/2017

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at the Island this Saturday – we’re keeping a close eye on the temperatures and will be posting in the usual places (here, Facebook, Twitter, and via the mailing list) if we need to cancel for safety reasons. This might also be a good place for a plug – if you aren’t already opted in to receive the “volunteer appeal” (which is what parkrun HQ calls the mailing list that we use for our weekly newsletter and for rare, but important, special announcements like a cancellation), this might be a good time to put yourself on the list. To opt-in, simply follow the link in any results e-mail that you’ve received from RI parkrun. See you soon!



Roosevelt Island DC parkrun, Event #61, December 23, 2017

What an event! We didn’t have time to poll the runners this Saturday, but I bet a great many of them completed 2.5k to 5k just getting to our starting line! About an hour before the event was to begin the George Washington Parkway was shut down completely, leading people to seek parking in alternative spaces in Rosslyn, or even go visit a different parkrun location!

Despite this inauspicious start to the day, we had 39 runners make it to the starting line, as well as 9 volunteers. Last year saw 9 runners at the start line, so it’s safe to say our community of locals, as well as our international visitors, know where to come every Saturday!

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 61 - 23/12/2017

Thankfully, the unseasonably warm temperatures helped the volunteer team to use the normal island course including the Swamp Trail boardwalk! Robin Regan was later joined by his family traveling from the Penrith UK parkrun at the finish line as the first finisher. Not long after, coming in 3rd and first female finisher Emily Hutchinson came blazing down the trail to create our newest course record! This was a 2 minute course PB since her first visit to Roosevelt Island during our inaugural run in 2016.

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 61 - 23/12/2017
Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 61 - 23/12/2017

With the holidays season our hearts were warmed seeing so many families. Besides the Regan family from the UK, we were visited by the Browning Family from near Egan USA parkrun, the Critters from Fulham Palace parkrun, the father/son duo of the McCanns, and the White family. Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 61 - 23/12/2017

We missed the name of the last pup through the line, but our barkrunners of the day were Boone and Gypsy, with Foxy acting as course marshal to cheer them along their way.

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 61 - 23/12/2017

At the end of the day, we welcomed nine new runners into the parkrun community, hosted nineteen tourists, and had another brilliant parkrun day.

Thanks especially goes to our volunteers this week, Race Director Rosemary, Santa Marshal Eden (and Foxy!), Timekeepers Travis and Paul, Finish Tokens Tony, Results Processor Svetlana, Volunteer Co-ordinator Joyce, and our stalwart volunteer turned Photographer, Nick!

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun # 61 - 23/12/2017


Event #60 – Tourist report! Richard from Banbury

Sitting in a coffee shop on Friday, I saw that my home Parkrun in Banbury was cancelled due to ice. Checking the Facebook pages of surrounding Parkruns during the day saw them all cancel one by one; Buckingham, Bicester, Northampton. Whilst sad for my fellow runners back home, I was delighted to be in DC for a short break and to see that despite a dusting of snow, the Roosevelt Island Parkrun was good to go, all be it on a modified course.

There is something comforting about knowing wherever you go in the world where there is a Parkrun, the format will be familiar and that you will be met with a warm welcome and encouragement all the way. So it was at Roosevelt Island. Arriving half an hour before the start, my wife and I took a stroll around the monument while the course was being prepared. A cheery 'hello!' from one of the volunteers setting up led to a conversation that in true 'the world is a small place' fashion, highlighted the coincidence that Nick Young's son is a regular at my home Parkrun of Banbury in the UK, and that Nick has run the course himself on several occasions!

Svetlana was Run Director for the day, and after the customary thanks to the high-vis army and greeting of the two first timers, it became apparent that there were also tourists from College Parkrun whose run had not been as fortunate with the weather conditions and had had to be cancelled. Chatting afterwards I found that there was also a family from New South Wales in Australia at the run.

The sky was clear and it was chilly so I was glad when we went to the start and we were off - 34 participants starting the run. I have a preference to start near the back, and heeding Svetlana's message to be careful, I took the run at a comfortable pace. This allowed me to really appreciate the beautiful woods that we were running through; it was difficult to believe I was running in a major city at all. As with all Parkruns, the field soon strung out as we found our own pace, and I tagged behind another runner who I trusted knew the course. Having said that, there were arrows at all the junctions and cheery marshals at crucial points. I like to thank each marshal as I go past, as we all know without them there would be no Parkrun. There are a number of points on the course where you meet parkrunners coming the other way, and the encouragement was frequently passed between runners in that great spirit that permeates the community.

The laps soon went past and the finish came in sight - line crossed, bar code and finish token scanned, I like to watch the other runners come in and join the applause and congratulatory shouts. Soon the tail walker crossed the line, and we were all home, with that buzz of happy chatter that can be found at the end of every run. Well done to Ciara Coffey and Colin Phillips who were first woman and man respectively to cross the line.

Thank you to all who participated as runners or volunteers at Roosevelt Island, I absolutely loved my run with you and it will be one of my favourite memories of my visit to Washington DC.


Roosevelt Island DC parkrun, Event #56, November 11, 2017

Temperatures were below freezing yet the sun was out, and the atmosphere was buzzing at the start. Roosevelt Island was at its best for running and thankfully air traffic controllers at Reagan National Airport did not disturb the Run Directors welcome. We welcomed tourists from foreign lands which included strong UK and Australian contingents, as well as visitors from Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany. Several of those attending had heard about the event via a Twitter exchange at an international, conference in DC. Clearly, Roosevelt Island (and other local) parkruns should ensure that those attending future international conferences in DC are aware of our events. Thank you all for your entries in our visitor’s book, including those from Eastleigh parkrun, UK, who were part of the running the world group (#rtwflag).

The run statistics provide a startling picture. Thirty of the 51 participants were running for the first time at Roosevelt Island. Indeed 15 of those were running a parkrun for the first time ever, including numbers one and two in timing; Callum McClusky , a visitor from Ginninderra, Canberra, and Benedict Wild from Gottingen, Germany. Callum’s 16’ 23” was close to our record time, and his age grading was over 80% - a Roosevelt Island record.

Six parkrunners had completed more than 100 runs and Julian Desai has two more to go before his 200th!. Seven achieved their PB, not so easy on our Roosevelt Island course. Above all it was good to see our RI regulars enjoying the morning. Well done Corbin Buchwald and Tony Mick, the first locals home. And thanks to all the other local runners that support this event. Parkrun is still new in the US, so tell your friends and bring them along next time.

The post run coffee is an essential part of the parkrunners morning. We were joined by our Australian parkrun friends, Pete Parkinson and Melissa Brotherson–Clarke. They shared photos and experiences of the Shellharbour parkrun in Australia, which sent us all home to look out our passports to pay a visit. As usual, we convened at Central Coffee Bar, a short walk away in Rosslyn, where we were pleased to see that they have provided additional tables to accommodate us on a Saturday morning.

A big thank-you to all the volunteers who helped put this on – Paul (timekeeper and setup), Rosemary, Joyce and Mark (setup), James (finish tokens and token sorting), Will (barcode scanning), Peter (tail walker) and Travis (our intrepid photographer). Special mention should be made of Eden Gray’s marshalling. Eden and Foxy displayed motivational posters at the marshaling point, including ‘slow down, I am trying to count you’ (ignored by all front runners) and ‘Yes, you can give the dog (Foxy) a pat” (a welcome respite for those on their morning jog). And, many thanks to Joyce who is our volunteer coordinator and backup support on all tasks.

Unlike other parkrun events, we have been very flexible in giving times to those without barcodes. This involves extra work from our volunteers, so we do urge you not to forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). It is approaching the time when a forgotten barcode will mean, you won't get a time.

Parkrun depends on volunteers, please sign up for future events – see . It is very rewarding, so give it a go!

Well done everyone! See you next week.

Nick Young


new partnership with Potomac River Running Store

We are very happy to announce the partnership between Potomac River Running Store and Roosevelt Island parkrun. With the enthusiastic leadership and support of =PR= DC F Street Store Manager, Bronson Lee, and the Roosevelt Island volunteer team there is no doubt this partnership will be successful in prompting more people to get out and parkrun more often.

In addition to its parkrunner of the season gift certificates, Potomac River Running Store is now offering a whole series of discounts to parkrunners - from 5% off for first and second
time parkrunners, to gift certificates for parkrun club laureates: from $10 for junior parkrunners who complete 10 parkruns, $25 for those volunteers who earn their 25 volunteer purple t-shirts, to $50 certificates for those who earn the red '50' t- shirt by completing 50 parkruns!

Bronson and the =PR= DC Team are experts at assisting new parkrunners (and walkers) with shoes and other gear to keep them healthy and performing at their best. parkrunners can also look forward to stretching and warm-up advice designed to help keep muscles of all ages happy and healthy.

We thank Potomac River Running Store, Bronson, and =PR= Owners Ray & Cathy Pugsley for their support of parkrun!

The Roosevelt Island parkrun team

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