parkrun USA Newsletter 30th December 2013

welcome to the newsletter

In this month’s newsletter Wood Creek Elementary School Woodchucks running at Livonia parkrun; Clermont Waterfront adds a Christmas Day parkrun we welcome 2014 and share some we've some amazing feedback from the field, and we welcome in 2014.

As we near the end of 2013, I am sitting in my living room reflecting upon the success parkrun USA has achieved despite no sponsor support and general lack of interest from corporate America. 2013 saw the launch of successful parkrun events in Clermont, FL and Durham, NC. parkrun USA also saw the first 50 and 10 club parkrun participation awards to Jennifer Greve and Alexander Brauer, both from Livonia parkrun. I fully anticipate several more 10 and 50 parkrun club awards in 2014 including Clermont and Durham.

As parkrun USA continues to grow, it becomes clearer and clearer that we are really more about community engagement than running, which although sounds odd for a running event and somewhat unintentional, is absolutely the case. Many parkrunners could or would run anyway, lots wouldn’t and I know there are thousands of amazing stories where we’ve been the difference between someone running or not but when I see the real differences we make to people’s lives it’s almost always about friendship and support through the creation of small but perfectly formed parkrun communities. Mr. Paul Sinton-Hewitt, Founder and CEO of parkrun was spot on with his comment of how life-changing parkrun will become to me, my family, the volunteers and those of you who join us every Saturday morning. It is my goal to see parkrun USA replicate the growth and sense of community enjoyed in the nine other parkrun countries. Here's a little something to keep you motivated over the winter months and to introduce one of your running / walking mates to the wonderful experience that is parkrun!

Here's wishing you all the best in 2014 and much health and happiness.

See you at a parkrun soon.

Rick and Lori (get in touch)

event news

Please check your event's news pages and email messages for the most up to date information including cancelations.

Livonia parkrun ( or

November 23rd saw Coach Charlie Garnett and the Wood Creek Elementary School Running Club venture out for their first parkrun experience. And what an experience it turned out to be as parkrunners were greeted with a sleet storm which quickly changed into a fast moving snow squall with blowing winds. Everyone looked forward to the hot chocolate and coffee after.

Clermont Waterfront parkrun Christmas Day 2013 prediction run

Clermont Waterfront parkrun has followed the parkrun UK tradition of adding a Christmas Day parkrun to their event calendar. A nice turnout for a brisk 5k run before heading home to enjoy Christmas treats. Special thanks to Toni Richardson and Jason Coulter for taking the times and calculating the results which allowed the rest of us to run. Not surprisingly we had no juniors today or overseas visitors and well done those who went to midnight mass and still managed to turn up at 7:30. A really nice event with Karl Riecken not only being the fastest but predicting his time better the rest of us. Karl predicted 18:00 flat and finished in a time of 18:22.

Please visit the Clermont Waterfront parkrun page for more news and results ( or

Durham, NC parkrun last Saturday before Christmas run

What a morning for a run! Not too cloudy, not too sunny, not too cold, not too hot: 54°F and great conditions for a new course record...

Congratulations go to Fred for being a first time Durham, NC parkrunner, for being first across the line, and for doing so in a faster time than anyone else has yet at Durham, NC parkrun with a time of 16:37; well done! Other first-timers included Larc, Michael, and Ben, though all have experienced parkrun overseas and already know the joys of a 5k with a lovely group of people. In other happy news, Kelly, Will, and Zoe all bagged new PRs, making it a nice day to smash some records. Now, on to the rest of the stats:

Men's placings:
Fred WARD (SM20-24) (Unattached) was first over the line in 16:37 - first appearance.
Larc WARD (SM20-24) (Unattached) was second over the line in 17:34.
Barton BECHARD (VM45-49) of Carolina Godiva Track Club, was third over the line in 18:12 - has been first to finish on 5 previous occasions.

Women's placings:
Kelly JONES (SW30-34) (Unattached) was first (8th overall) over the line in 24:50 - second time in 6 appearances.
Zoe PILLINGER (VW35-39) (Unattached) was second (13th overall) over the line in 28:22.
Gerty Cori WARD (VW50-54) (Unattached) was third (14th overall) over the line in 30:40.

Please visit the Durham, NC parkrun web page for more news and results
Durham, North Carolina ( or

feedback from the field

Annie Moore, Livonia parkrun
"I'm a little chicken about this weather on Saturday morning. The biggest reason I am considering going is because of the Ugly Sweater contest. You know I would hate to miss a good costume party!"

Dawn Smith, Livonia parkrun
"Thank you for welcoming and encouraging Wood Creek Elementary School Run Club today! And thanks for the blizzard too! The kids will not forget this special day."

Philip Susann, Durham, NC parkrun
"Dan and I had a great time and thanks to the great volunteers and for the special treat at the end."

Penny Armstrong, Durham, NC parkrun
"Thank you for the warm welcome and thanks to Tom for the yummy treats. It was great meeting everyone, thanks for the insider travel tips."

Ady King, Clermont Waterfront parkrun
"Just completed the Clermont Park Run whilst staying in Orlando. A fantastic welcoming atmosphere and extremely well organized and a credit to the Park Run community. Despite being a relatively new Park Run this one sets the standard too how they should be run. I didn't set a PB but certainly had fun running the nice flat course.... The heat and humidity is tough for us UK runners and the water provided at the end if the race was most welcoming.... Keep up the good work."

Vicky Charlton, Clermont Waterfront parkrun
"Thanks so much for the warm and friendly welcome you gave me, my husband, and our daughter, this morning. What a beautiful parkrun you have, and fab weather too, a far cry from what we're used to back in the UK. If any of you are over in Scotland, be sure to come to St Andrews parkrun, where we can return the kind hospitality. Good luck for the future, and to the continued success and growth of your parkrun at Clermont."

Kevin Molloy, Canberra parkrun, Australia -
"Two weeks ago I ran my first ever parkrun at Ginninderra. My son had run two previously and was excited for me to join him. I had no idea what to expect since, these days, I only run 1-2 races (mostly 5 & 10K) a year. After running on Nov 23 and thinking about the event and the series ever since, I can honestly say that parkrun is the best thing that has happened to the running movement in decades, possibly ever. I sincerely hope it becomes more and more popular around the world and Australia. The stats seem to indicate that anyway. Most of the time I run by myself or in small group, 3-4 times a week, purely as a lifestyle choice. I basically stopped running races a few years ago for many reasons, but mainly because they take up too much time (hours for a 25 minute run), usually a pain in the bum to commute to and from, too much focus on bling and elite runners and too many newbie runners complaining about everything from cotton count in the t-shirts, to weakness of the sports drink, to age awards not going deep enough. parkrun is exactly the opposite to all of this hype. You show up 5 minutes before the start, you chat with a few others, you stretch (maybe) and then you run. The organizers only show up 30 minutes before the start and they all know exactly what to do. Finally you get your time, chat some more, have a coffee if you want, and go home. An hour later the results are posted and within 24 hours you receive an email with more running stats about your performance than any of the glamour events ever give you, and all for free. How good is that? What is even better is that newbie's are given a special cheer, disabled runners are encouraged, kids, strollers and dogs are even welcomed and it’s all on a trail or track, so no fear of encountering your typical angry motorist running 5 seconds late for a fast food pig out. The kid factor is wonderful. There are not enough regular distance events for kids in Australia. Clubs do offer some activities but clubs can be intimidating and only cover a tiny percentage of the population. A child can be introduced to a 5km (foundation distance for all distance races both on and off roads) in a non-intimidating format, run with their parents or guardian, so as to be encouraged along the whole distance. They are not crushed in the rush and receive great accolades when they finish. They can repeat this experience every week anywhere in the country and get used to the whole experience of a race including the feeling of discomfort at the half way mark. After doing this a few times they soon learn the hurt disappears as they get closer to the finish line. I have run marathons (including the Boston Marathon), I have started a running club in USA, started a 5km/10km event which grew to 3000 participants after ten years, and ran the City to Surf about 20+ times. I started a running web portal in USA in 1995 which grew to 300,000+ subscribers ( and all of this is great and good for bragging rights, but I’m more excited about parkrun than any of this. I wish the series the very best and hope to participate in the Ginninderra event every time I’m in Canberra as well as the Bulli event. I might even consider starting up one in Picton if we can find the critical mass. Cheers and great job!"

Russell Ellis, London, United Kingdom
"Thanks for a great run and such a hospitable welcome. We can't wait to come back to Livonia parkrun."

Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.


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Volunteering at parkrun

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Children at parkrun

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