Ode to the Lost Finish Token

Before event one, you arrived,
Perfect, plastic, shiny, and brand new.
— That didn’t last long, did it?
Week after week, event by event,
You lined up with your pals, ready for action.
— Would it be your week to be used?
Summer to fall, winter, and spring,
Whether sweaty hands or gloved, we grabbed you and smiled.
— Did it make your day too?
Then came the day — a cry arose from the sorting —
“Has anyone seen token number 12?”
— Or perhaps 35 or 52  you’re all well-loved.
"Everyone check pockets and search the ground!"
"Is it tangled in a hi-viz?" "Maybe the token is hidden in the kit?"
— We always remind them you aren’t a souvenir.
Perhaps, at a future event, someone will find you on the ground?
Or maybe one day you'll just show up, freshly laundered?
— We don’t mind if you sneak back in the box.
No matter where you are, dear token, parkrun must go on.
So, until you return, a stand-by shall hold your place,
And spread joy at many a parkrun completion.
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RI Run Report – Event #116 – 3/9/19

The 60 parkrunners and volunteers who turned up for the 116th Roosevelt Island parkrun dodged overnight snowstorms and traffic disruption because of the Rock’n Roll marathon taking place across the river.


Of course, the highlight of the day was the celebration of Michelle McCarten’s fiftieth parkrun! Michelle, helped by Ian Jerome arrived with specially printed T-shirts, a large event photo frame, and ‘50’ reminders for all to pin to running vests.  Well done Michelle, you were special today and, because of you, we all benefitted from one of Joyce’s special cholate cakes (to complement chocolate Koalas from Deb Shuffler).



Who was there:

But there was much more.  Run #116 attracted 10 RI registered first-timers in addition to the 31 RI regulars who had run the island before.  In addition, there were 17 tourists: 8 from the UK, 1 from Australia, and 8 from other US events (Anacostia (3), College Park, Deep Run, Fletcher’s Cove, and Durham NC).  This mix made for a rich blend of parkrun experience, promoting much pre-and post-run chatter. We should also add that our barcode scanner Wendy Law hailed from Australia. Wendy, thanks so much for helping us out.  And, one barkrunner led John Kendra round the course, taking 2 minutes off his usual time – good to have you back John!

RI gold:

We are always keen to welcome RI registered first-timers.  We trust you enjoyed your time with us and will build this into your regular Saturday morning routine.  Of the 31 RI regulars, 11 have each run fewer than 10 runs, 13 have 10-30 runs, and 7 have more than 30 runs. We expect the number of regulars to grow as more taste a regular RI Saturday morning island parkrun.

Muddy trails:

Weather-wise, it has been a miserable winter, and our precious Roosevelt Island, which is highly sensitive to wet weather, has suffered.  Parts of our trails have been closed because of serious ponding, or because our boardwalk has become wet and slippery. However, luckily, by 9 o’clock each Saturday morning, with a very few exceptions, the weather has been dry and there is always an alternative 5K island course for everyone to enjoy.  This week, rain and snow were forecast for Friday afternoon and night and duly dumped more water on our already saturated course. However, our early morning inspection confirmed that the normal course could be run, with all being given the appropriate warning on safe running during the RD briefing. As for last week’s run, all runners needed to negotiate a fallen tree that lay across the Upland Trail – due warnings were given, and it appears that all enjoyed steeple-chasing this minor obstacle.


Fallen tree and muddy trails did not stand in the way of PBs.  Seven PBs were achieved by runners with less than 10 RI appearances.  Congratulations to Kevin, Michael, Kira, Frithjov, Rebecca, Mary, and Nilima from RI and also to Sarah and Marie from Anacostia parkrun who had run RI previously (see the results tab at http://www.parkrun.us/rooseveltislanddc/).


And a big thank you to all our volunteers: Joyce Adams (tail-walker, etc., & cake); Michael Bevers (set-up & close-down); Jesper Frant (finish tokens); Mary Langan (finish tokens sorter); Wendy Law (barcode scanner); Tony San (timekeeper); Erik Witzel (set-up); Marianne Terrot and Victor Kralj (tail walkers); and Jason Kralj (timekeeper).

Volunteers PLUS:

This week, with many of our regulars out of town, it was challenging to get a full team of volunteers. Many local runners have stepped up to volunteer, and we are extremely grateful. However, largely because of our small size, there is a continuous need for parkrunners to pitch in.  In particular, we would welcome hearing from any of the more experienced parkrunners who would like to take on the responsibilities of Run Director. If you are interested, drop us a note at rooseveltislanddc@parkrun.com.  It is a rewarding activity, even in adverse weather.

I’ll be travelling to see family & new grandchild for the next three weeks and so I will miss three island parkrun experiences.  I wish you good park-running & walking! And DON’T FORGET YOUR BARCODE – just three ‘unknowns’ this week means progress!

Nick Young


Featured parkrunner – Elizabeth!

It is time for another article in our featured parkrunner series! This time, we introduce you to Elizabeth Sheridan. Elizabeth is a fabulous volunteer, brings out the pizzazz for our themed events, and always has a smile on her face. She tells us how she got started with parkrun and about her goal for this year!

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Sheridan and my home parkrun is Roosevelt Island, Washington DC. I was introduced to parkrunning by my cousin's husband, Nigel. Our summer plans intersected in London, June 2017, and he signed the family up and organized our barcodes (7 of us!). The first parkrun we were scheduled to run didn't happen as my dad planned another event. However, the following week, when we were vacationing in Devon, SW England, I found that the Bideford parkrun was only 20 minutes away. (Of course, I now know, that most places in the UK are within 20 minutes of a parkrun - but at the time it seemed like a sign!).
The Bideford parkrun was 2 1/2 laps of the park and on that morning in mid June, it had been chosen as the culmination run of a local "Couch to 5K" group, so it was more than usually crowded with a large contingent of supporters and......at the end, a table of homemade goodies! Now, I have a very sweet tooth, and one of the reasons I run is: I Love Cake! A run followed by cake....count me in!
Returning to Northern Virginia, I found Roosevelt Island was the closest parkrun. I began by just running, but as I arrived early for parking, I also started to volunteer for course set up. Going for coffee afterwards further cemented the community aspect and appeal of parkrun.
As a "freshman" empty nester, this year my parkrun goal is to run all the US parkruns before they become too numerous. Helped by the Government shutdown, during which time I ran 4 new parkruns, I have now run 11 of the 29 US runs. Up next: Durham NC and Pensacola, FL.

Good luck in your parkrun adventuring Elizabeth! Say hi to all of our fellow parkrunners in communities across the US from their friends at Roosevelt Island!


RI Run Report – Event #114 – 2/23/19

Given the forecasted rain, we were excited to see the numbers grow as 9 o’clock approached. The final number of parkrunners was 63, one short of our previous week’s total. We were pleased to welcome 4 new RI registered first-timers, as well as several other RI first-timers who unfortunately did not have their barcodes for scanning in. We also welcomed 13 foreign tourists, 2 of whom were returning for their second run along our beautiful island trails. Among the tourists was Helen Matthews who completed her fiftieth run, complete with cape. Helen runs mainly at Ashton Court, Bristol but has included a range of English West country runs that made this run reporter feel very nostalgic.
In addition, we were pleased to see 2 local tourists who had done most of their parkrunning at College Park. While we are very pleased to see fresh faces, we were delighted that 34 RI registered runners returned, knowing that they faced some pretty large puddles and muddy spots given the snow/rain over the last week. Twenty of these parkrunners had returned to RI for 10 or more runs!
Sadly, our results page omits 10 RI first-timers who turned up without their barcode and without reading the recent “#DFYB – Don’t Forget Your Barcode” poem on our RI parkrun webpage news tab. Sorry to all who didn’t get a time - we do hope you will come back this coming week or soon after to complete your first RI parkrun with your name in the results.
Run director Dominic White did an early inspection of the wettest parts of the course and, accompanied by his Brain Trust, decided that the normal course could be run as long as the approach to the flooded area was marshaled. Our biggest concern was that runners would take the opportunity of circumventing the RI Great Lake by running along a small, but potentially dangerous, wall that parallels the flooded course. Happily, our marshal Rachael Harb took on the role of ensuring that all took the safest and slightly damp route. Dominic's pre-run briefing duly advised all runners of this potential hazard and the need for strict adherence to the marshal’s guidance.
Despite the underfoot conditions, 9 runners managed a personal best, including the 2 returning tourists. Congratulations to RI registered Llewelyn Engel, Michael Ward, Monica Yasunaga, Gordon Smith, Mary Langan, Frithjov Iversen, and Kevin Silverman.
The other unique feature of event #114 was the relatively fast times overall - the Start/Finish team had completed its work just 38 minutes after the start, with the tail walker plus direction signs and dimples, arriving just 13 minutes later. You guys were not playing around out there this week! You must have had a super fun time splashing in the puddles, or else you wanted to beat the rain!
While this week's finish times were on the faster side, we hope you invite your friends and family to future events by spreading the word that parkrun is open to all who want to come out and enjoy some activity in nature. Our aim is to be inclusive, whether people describe themselves as speedsters, recreational runners, walkers, coming back from an injury, or even as ploggers (plogging, which started in Sweden, is running for exercise and picking up trash you find along the way!). Of course, well-behaved tail-waggers, whether large, medium, or small, are welcome at Roosevelt Island too!
Dominic faced several interesting challenges while results processing, one of which we still do not understand. By coincidence, 2 runners initially offered their store barcodes of similar appearance and size to the parkrun keyring barcode before realizing their mistake and offering the correct barcode. Oops - that was a first!!!! Interestingly, these errant barcodes were recorded, and one threw up the name of one of our core team members (Travis Helms!) whom we knew was running at another parkrun event on this day!!! Text file edits did not delete Travis, and we had to resort to manually cut his number from the processed results. We don’t think this error affected any of the other results but if it did, we apologize and ask that you please contact us for amendment.
Finally, thanks to the volunteers, Michael Bevers, Rita Cronley, Andrew Fichter, Rachael Harb, Roger Hipp, Kat M, Marta Sanchez-Reig Pardo, and Dominic White, some of whom doubled up on volunteering duties and one of whom was shepherded into service after being a late arrival! :)
Oh, nearly forgot! There were several barkrunners including the delightful Mia and our 2 returning retired sled dogs, Black Bear and Copper, from Alaska.

Good parkrunning and walking!

Nick Young


#DFYB – Don’t Forget Your Barcode


Black and white with lots of stripes,
Some may think that I'm all hype.
But parkrunners know a different story,
parkrunners see me in all my glory!
I'm your passport -- your ticket in,
A fun 5k with your new friends!
High-fives and smiles and "oh yeahs" too,
You can walk or run, even loopty-loo!
But best of all, I"m completely free.
Sign up online and get your own me!
Register once, and I'm all yours,
A number, some lines, but my power endures!
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Just print me out and take me along,
Or else risk singing a sad, sad song
When you complete the course and cross the line,
Only to hear, "No barcode, No time."


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