RI parkrun #101 – 10/20/18

Roosevelt Island parkrun 101. While we unfortunately did not have any Dalmatians to help us celebrate our 101st running, we did have barkrunner Foxy serving as leader of the pack and barkrun director this week (and lest I be accused of favoritism, a shoutout here to another fave barkrunner, Mia, who ran fabulously as always!).

The day was a little chilly and cloudy, but the RI parkrun community is strong and such weather can't dampen our spirits. We welcomed many tourists from around the world as well as local newcomers to Roosevelt Island this week. Of particular note is our guest from Bushy Park in London, Richard Fletcher, who celebrated his birthday with us and became our first visitor with over 500 parkruns to his name! Happy Birthday again Richard! We hope that all of our visitors and first-timers enjoyed their stay on our beautiful Island, felt welcomed and loved meeting others in the parkrun community, and will go home raving about us to friends and family (who we would love to meet too!).


A big round of applause and congratulations go to our parkrunners who bested their personal record at Roosevelt Island this week: Terry McLaughlin, Julia Taylor, Terri Snedeker, Marc Statham, Sol Stedeker, Hugh Torpey, Hillary Roberts, Mary Sugrue, Kara Witcoff, Rita Cronley, Mary Menendez, and Robert Bruce.


And another big round of applause and our heartfelt thanks to this week's volunteers. Kat M, Elizabeth Sheridan, and Nick Young arrived early to check the course and get it ready to go. Rosemary briefed our first-timers. When an injury side-lined his plan to parkrun, visitor Aidan Mullen stepped up to marshal us through the course. Kate Conant and Regine Francois brought up the rear as tail walkers to make sure everyone got safely around the course. Timekeepers Llewelyn Engel and Bill Powers encouraged us to the finish line, while John Kendra congratulated us and handed us finish tokens. Barcode scanners Brady Edholm and Mary Beth Spencer cheerily ensured we would all be counted in the results. Behind the scenes, our event directors Joyce Adams and Nick Young kept things running smoothly and coordinated our volunteers. Roosevelt Island parkrun is volunteer-powered, so we greatly appreciate your time and assistance to make our 5k happen!

This coming Saturday, come out and celebrate Halloween with us at our 102nd running! Costumes are more than welcome -- in fact, they are highly encouraged! And finally, some food for thought -- the movie 101 Dalmatians did have a sequel called 102 Dalmatians in case anyone wants to bring (or dress up as) a Dalmatian!


What to expect if you visit RI parkrun – Foxy’s perspective

Hey all, Foxy here. Today, I want to give you the skinny on what you can expect if you visit my home parkrun, Roosevelt Island (RI for short!) in Washington, DC. First, and most importantly, like all good parkrunners, the peeps at RI parkrun love their barkrunners. So, dress in your fave bandana or outfit, leash up, and be prepared to be appropriately adored.

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When you first arrive, direct your parkrunners across the fun little footbridge over the Potomac River, then take a right on the trail followed by a quick left up to the meeting point near the big man statue. The RI parkrunners call him Teddy. There is no need to bark at Teddy - even though he is crazy tall, I’ve determined that he is harmless. While you should definitely go snap some selfies, please be nice and save your marking for other parts of RI.

Before the 9 am start is a great time for meeting and greeting. RI regulars get there starting around 8:15 am to set up. RI also gets new parkrunners who may be nervous about fitting in as well as parkrun tourists who are probably missing their barkrunners back home — go give them some puppy love and let them know they are fabulous for coming out and are always welcome at any parkrun.

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Now, about the course. RI parkrun takes place on real trails, so there is dirt to kick up, small rocks to navigate, sometimes mud and big puddles to splash through, some uphills to charge up, and an awesome boardwalk through a swampland. Be prepared to get a little dirty and be mindful of your paws slipping as your navigate the course.

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Also, look out for wild animals like deer, turtles, birds, squirrels, and maybe even an elusive bunny! Finally, if you hear loud voices coming from the river, no need to stop and alert your parkrunner — the local crew teams are often out practicing on Saturday mornings and they seem to yell a lot. When you finish your barkrun, if your tummy can handle it, look for yummy doggy biscuits in the red wagon.

After parkrun at RI, the party moves up to Central Coffee Bar (aka CCB) in Rosslyn, which, depending on how much sniffing you need to get in, is about a 10 to 15 minute walk away. The folks at CCB love barkrunners too, and, while we can’t go inside (some health code mamba jamba), they have set up tables outside so barkrunners can join in the fun.

I hope you come visit us at RI parkrun soon as we’d love to hang with you! For more information, go to http://www.parkrun.us/rooseveltislanddc/ or look for us on Facebook! If you need tips on local puppy parks or other trails to explore around RI, I have those too - just let me know!


Last minute course changes, canines, toilet tankers, and incredible volunteers!


That was an excellent turnout for a day when the weather looked grim. But, as happens so frequently at Roosevelt Island, we were spared rain and just had to put up with that DC humidity. The heavy rain the previous day and overnight had implications for our course selection. A couple of weeks ago the north end of the boardwalk had been under the Potomac river, leaving a thin layer of mud which could be run when dry but turned treacherous when wet. A very early morning inspection declared that route unsafe. That same inspection revealed that our normal route alongside the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial was flooded. Consequently we turned to one of our alternative course which avoided both hazards. Last minute course setup was facilitated with the help of Casper Durandt, a parkrunner from Gilloolys, South Africa (average number of runners exceeds 1000!), who must have been a little shocked at our improvised approach to setting this course. Thanks Casper!
But it was barkrunner day, and we welcomed Rosie, Gus, Daisy, Luca, and Mia to our island (and Sugar, who as usual supervises our course setting). Rosie has three legs and so she supervised volunteers at the start/finish. Gus bravely did tail-walking, although we suspect most of his journey was in Kat’s arms (along with collected signs – thanks so much Kat)!

A couple of unprompted events caused anxious moments. First, at 8.30 am the NPS had sent along someone in a truck to mend a broken board on the boardwalk. Their access was via the course, but luckily they were off the chosen course for the parkrun duration. Second, and more concerning, was the entry of two large toilet cleaning tankers late in the run to get to the toilets on the finish section of the course. Apparently the toilet cleaning was an emergency so the finish cones were removed to allow them to proceed slowly to their destination, all without mishap!

A few statistics:

  • We had 76 participants, a number that has only been exceeded at RI on 4 previous occasions.
  • Congratulations to Sara Carioscia who achieved her PB.
  • We hosted 19 first timers to parkrun (their first parkrun anywhere) and 21 first time tourists (first time at RI). They came from Fletchers/Anacostia (3), Boston, Jamaica Pond (1), Australia (5), Ireland (3), UK (8), and South Africa (1). We had 6 tourists running with 100+ shirts and one ran his 99th with us.
  • 7 runners forgot their barcodes (we are following the No Barcode, No Time (NBNT) protocol).

Sundry RI stats:

  • In total we have had 3,935 runners at Roosevelt Island since our first parkrun on August 27, 2016. The person who picks up the finish token 0065 next week to take us to 4,000 wins a free run the following week.
  • The age category with most runners since the first RI parkrun is SW25-29, our average time is 30 minutes, and our average number of finishers has risen from 38 in 2015, to 63 so far this year.

It was nice to meet up with locals and tourists at Central Coffee after the run. Come & join us next week.

Finally, many thanks to all the volunteers and particularly to the tourist volunteers Louise Carter (Gungahlin, Australia, ACT), Samantha Scrivin (Southwark, UK) and Casper Durandt who enabled us to fill all necessary volunteer posts. Stephanie Goldstein, Roger Hipp, Kat Moore, and Richard Schwartzbard held things together at the finish, ably managed by Rosemary Schwartzbard who shared Run Director’s role for the second week in a row.

Let’s do it again next week. So nice to see all those smiles at the finish line!

Nick Young & Rosemary Schwartzbard

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