College Park parkrun is cancelled on 2021-03-06 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Light at the end of the tunnel (Virtual Report 46)

Last week everybody was telling us about ice and snow on their virtual parkruns. This week we heard so many stories about the milder, brighter conditions. Not only in the DMV, but in lots of places around the country.

We also heard other encouraging stories. More of you are starting to get vaccines (including Lisa Wilson’s 102-year old dad -- phew!). The sudden surge in infections at UMD that led to a sequester-in-place order one week go is now at least partly under control. And there are increasing signs of optimism that could even point the way towards us getting together again in person.

Increasingly, it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW CPVP WORKS SEE HERE

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A very welcome sight 

Facts and Figures

  • 166 virtual parkrunners
  • 700 miles covered
  • 1 first-timer
  • 0 new HIGH FIVE badges earned
  • 1 new TEN TIMER TURTLE badges earned
  • 3 new 25-TIMER badges earned
  • 12 barkrunners
  • 6 virtual volunteers

Stat(s) of the week: February participation stats! Despite a rather bleak month of Saturdays, 250 parkrunners (and barkrunners) recorded 676 runs and walks in February.

  • 102 completed all 4 February events
  • 46 3-timers in February
  • 29 2-timers in February
  • 72 1-timers in February

Did we see a drop in participation in response to the February weather? Let’s see …

  • Average weekly participation for all 46 CPVps = 169.06
  • Average weekly participation in February 2021 = 169.00

… Well, that’s pretty close. So it looks like the weather didn’t make much of a difference!

RESULTS TABLE FOR CPVP 46

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Louise and Anne were just 2 of the 102 ever presents at CPVp in February

Light at the End

It was a bit wet for folks who set out early in the DMV. But those who waited a little were rewarded with a glorious day when it felt like spring was just around the corner.

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The early birds got wet this week. Such as Gus in Glen Burnie

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Still a bit wet when Team Schneider headed out for their 5K. Samantha and Mary Clare paced mom Erin, who is on a comeback after foot surgery.

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There's the sun! OK, so this is cheating. That's Adrian and Stella Dover in the UK

Teresa Perdomo and Külli Crespin were happy to ditch the treadmill and enjoy the local sights in Hyattsville.

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Neha Joshi was exploring Little Free Libraries along the Trolley Trail in College Park.

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It was a bit more hospitable than recently for our social-but-distanced coffee meetup at the Discovery District Park in College Park.

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Even in northern Idaho there were signs of a thaw. Cindy Cohen was able to run on a clear road rather than getting out on skis for a change.

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In Columbia, Andres Mbouh did his CPVp together with a new running group that he has started with his church, encouraging others to stay active and connected (sound familiar?).

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Jackie Hayes was enjoying a longer run along the Capital Crescent Trail in Washington DC when she had a flyby from David Lai’s crew as they zoomed past.

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David's crew in Georgetown, ready to head up the Capital Crescent Trail

In Melton Mowbray, UK, Rach Cousen was enjoying some warmer weather, and appreciating the moonrise on a well lit evening.

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Full moon rising over Melton Mowbray

Kelsey Mannix wondered aloud (i.e., on Strava) whether she could do her CPVp in Fort Wayne, IN. Absolutely, Kelsey! You can do it absolutely anywhere.

Case in point: this week’s fastest 5K was by old friend of CP parkrun Lokesh Meena, who was running laps around his apartment building in New Delhi, India. Here’s the Strava plot of Lokesh’s run this week. And then a picture from when Lokesh joined us for our 100th regular event, back in Fall 2018. Lokesh was a DC-based diplomat at the time.

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Lokesh's route in 2021

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Lokesh in 2018

Yes, it’s “our” Stefano

Last week we highlighted some folks who are on track to complete a lot of virtual events, while having done few or none of our in person events. We mentioned a query about our friend Stefano Gazzano, who has joined us almost every week during the pandemic from Italy, sometimes with beautiful pictures of his travels, to brighten our pandemic inertia. We found one Stefano Gazzano in the parkrun database of 7 million names. This person had done 3 parkruns, a few years apart, all in Scotland, and always in late winter. We were not sure that this was “our” Stefano.

Clearly an astute reader of these reports, Stefano got in touch with us a couple of days later to explain that, yes, they were one and the same Stefano. And he explained the unusual history. Stefano is a rugby fan, and he has traveled a few times to watch Italy games in the Six Nations Championship, an annual tournament that is hugely popular in the UK, but largely unknown in College Park. A bit like the opposite of Big Ten Football. A big, big deal in these parts, but unheard of in Europe. (OK, so we’re barely aware of Big 10 football in College Park, but apparently it's A Thing.) Stefano did his first parkrun while visiting Edinburgh in 2011, which is why he has a really low barcode number. His most recent non-virtual parkrun was on a rugby visit to Cardiff, Wales in 2018. Mystery solved!

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Mystery solved! Stefano and Paolo Giulio at Edinburgh parkrun in 2015

Happy Birthday

We’d like to wish a very special Happy Birthday to Katie Hirsche, who turned 18 this weekend!

Katie holds our female course record of 18:35 (or thereabouts), set during the pandemic.

She has completed 74 “classic” parkruns, 69 of them at College Park. She attended the first ever parkrun in the DMV, in January 2016 at age 12. She first joined us in College Park in our 5th event, at age 13. She has also completed all 46 of our virtual parkruns.

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Katie en route to the first of her course records last October

Also, she has volunteered at 27 classic parkruns and 32 virtual parkruns. She is also our leading Strava cheerleader. If you’re in our Strava Club, you will have noticed.

And she’s now no longer a junior parkrunner. Congratulations, Katie! And we are really, really hoping that we’ll be able to get together and cheer you at an in person event before you head to college later this year.

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One of our favorite Katie pictures - her first sub-21 minute clocking, in 2018

What’s more, Katie wasn’t the only one with a birthday this weekend. Jeff Rosenberg, a regular member of Team Rosenberg, joining from Denver, CO, had his birthday on Saturday. How do we know this? We just know.

Milestones and More

This week we welcomed one new first-timer - Jamila Hinds. She’s no stranger to CP parkrun, as she has joined us in person a number of times, most recently last winter, shortly before the shutdown.

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Welcome Jamila! (This picture is from one year ago)

Amy Rice completed her 10th CPVp this week. She reports that between weather and kids she wasn’t able to get outside. But she was able to complete 6 miles on the treadmill. That seems pretty good to us!

We had THREE new 25-timers this week. Neil Jograj was walking near his new home in Bonaire, GA**. Melanie Barzik was running in Kensington. And Kristen Maneval was running in Gambrills, MD … where she also set a PB. Nice!

** Fun story related to Neil. For the past couple of months your report writer has been receiving occasional emails from a guy named Neil, who talks about adventures with his wife Jules. It seems to include a good amount of biking. Makes sense -- our parkrun friends Neil and Julie/Jules recently moved to Georgia, and we know that they enjoy biking. It was only this past week that it became more obvious that this Neil was in Australia. He has a neighbor named Colin Phillips, who he thought he was writing to. And meanwhile our Colin Phillips thought he was receiving messages from his friends Neil and Jules. Let’s just say that it was a little embarrassing to tidy that one up.

Among other achievements this week, Derek Symer’s CPVp also marked the completion of a 434 mile virtual race across New York State. Derek proudly displayed his finisher’s medal at Acredale Park on Saturday.

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434 miles in the book for Derek

Lisa Shiota completed an interesting virtual race this week: together with her team she completed the Virtual Desert Storm 218-miler, organized by the Marine Corps Marathon folks, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 218-mile journey across the desert that the Marines made from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait City. We know that some of our virtual parkrunners were involved in Desert Storm, so this must bring back strong memories for them.

Finally, a shout out to young Blaise Gieske, who got out for a park-stroll with parents Meghan and Ben. Meghan ran her fastest “post-Blaise” 5K (yay!), and reported that Blaise is growing up fast: “He just started walking, so we got him out of the stroller at the end for his first parktoddle. He made it about 10 feet before falling over (no blood, lots of tears until he got distracted by a dog and forgot all about it).” See, it’s not only the grownups who are being saved by the barkrunners in the pandemic.

Barkrunners

We already met young barkrunner Coney a couple of weeks ago. She’s little sister to seasoned barkrunner Walker, who teams up with Corey and Adam in Detroit, MI. Well, this week Coney completed her first full 5K. Nice job, Coney!

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First full 5K for young barkrunner Coney

Lizzie is very much the leader of her pack (Joanne, Clare, and Ginny). After a couple of weeks when the weather prevented them from getting together, replaced by unacceptable (to barkrunners) treadmill running, Lizzie was delighted to get the band together again.

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After picking across ice and snow last week, Shackleton and Angela had a fun time enjoying the spring weather on the Paint Branch Trail. Angela reports that Shack is being very accommodating as she slows down (pregnancy tends to do that).

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Tuffi was very tempted to celebrate the milder weather by leaping in to the creek. Scruffi earned the role of this week’s “tail wagger” by stopping to sniff everything along the trail, making for a leisurely 90-minute 5K.

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Tempting!

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This week's tail wagger

Eli continued his art explorations with Ellen and found this cool bus.

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Nice paint job, City of Hyattsville

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Barkrunner Nathan recovering from his 5K

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Pakora approves of Pratyush's marathon training plan

Virtual Volunteers

This week’s virtual volunteer crew was a seasoned team of regulars. Last spring it took a while to figure out how to get everything to work smoothly. Nowadays, it’s so much easier. Maybe unsurprising, as we’re approaching our 50th event. Thanks this week go to:

Katie Hirsche: results (Strava)
Tara Mease: results czar
Colin Phillips: results, report, and propaganda
Heather Sisan: results and cheerleading (Facebook)
Anna Tinnemore: results (form)
Andrea Zukowski: results, email and photos

We’d like to thank the folks who have reached out to offer their help for future weeks. It’s truly appreciated. Even if we now have worked out many of the kinks in the system, it’s still a time-consuming process every week, turning 150-200 reports of activities completed in different times and places into coherent tabulation and a report of our collective activities.

As always, we’re looking for new volunteers who can help out in the coming weeks. Drop us a line at collegepark@parkrun.com if you can help.

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Heather got the whole family outside, plus bikes, plus friends - perfect!
Then she volunteered for CPVp - even better!

Looking Back

On this weekend in 2020 we were getting really close to the shutdown of our regular events. But we had little idea of that at the time. A regular crowd of around 130 joined us on the Paint Branch Trail, and we were mostly looking forward to spring.

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We're not sure what was shocking Keaton on this day one year ago. But we had no idea what was about to hit us.

It’s interesting to see CNN’s coronavirus coverage from that day. At that point just a handful of covid-19 cases had been detected in the US.

On February 29th we were celebrating Leap Day. Stewart Mayhew dressed in frog green for the occasion. Jackie Hayes and her daughter Kayla were leading the show.

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It's not easy being green ... for Leap Day

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Jackie and Kayla in charge, one year ago

James Schneider was a napping infant in a back carrier. One year on, he’s literally finding his feet as a park-toddler.

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This guy is now a budding parktoddler

On this weekend in 2019 we were celebrating Sheilah Kast’s 50th parkrun.

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We're looking forward to welcoming Sheilah back to the trail

First timers from that day 2 years ago were Luther and Michelle Lemon. Luther and Michelle nowadays join us virtually almost every week. Kristen Maneval set a PB of 41:xx. This week in her 25th virtual parkrun she set a PB of 35:xx. Nice

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This picture is from one year ago. Michelle's little package now is a toddler.

In 2018 on this weekend we celebrated Andrea Zukowski’s 50th parkrun. She had said in 2015 that at a rate of 2 parkruns per year (on family trips to the UK) it would take her until she was 75 to earn her 50 shirt. She was only off by around 20 years on that prediction.

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Andrea's 50th, early 2018

We love this picture from 2018 of Nick Brennan, PJ Brennan, Lara Ehrenhofer, and Steve Hendrix. On that day Nick and PJ brought along their newly adopted son. Now they have two! Lara now joins us regularly from Berlin, Germany. And Steve now is the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Jerusalem, from where we occasionally hear or read his reporting on the Middle East, such as this piece in today's Washington Post about Israel's ahead-of-the-world vaccine rollout.

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On this weekend in 2017 one of our first-timers was Greg Ervin, visiting from Ohio. Greg continued to join us whenever he was in town, completing 10 in person CP parkruns. Now he doesn’t need to travel -- he has completed a dozen CP virtual parkruns. Another first-timer that day was Frank Filteau, who went on to complete over 150 parkruns in the 3 years before our extended pause.

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It's cool that Greg can join us remotely, though we'd love to see him again in person

We also found this nice photo of Hannah Russell and her parents Judy Barnes and Marvin Russell. On that day Marvin was completing the 11th of his 132 CP parkruns (and 44 virtual events). Hannah was still a UMD student. Judy was yet to complete her first event. In those days Judy would walk part of the out-and-back course while Marvin was running. It wasn’t until a couple of months later that Judy got a barcode and started covering the whole 5K. She has now done 142 5Ks (98 classic, 44 virtuals).

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That day we saw 84 finishers. At the time it was a Saturday attendance record. Nowadays we generally see double that number on a Saturday for a CPVp.

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This day in 2017. The PG Parks "Mobile Fitness Unit" joined us

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We miss seeing Trini Molina on the trail on a Saturday morning

Looking Ahead

There was big news this week for UK-based parkrunners. The UK government announced a roadmap for emerging from pandemic restrictions. A couple of days later parkrun HQ announced their own plans for the return of hundreds of events. The headline was the proposed return of 5K events on June 5th in England.

What does this mean, if anything, for us in College Park?

In some ways, not very much. But it does give us some useful pointers.

The UK plan applies only to England (around 85% of the UK population), and not to other regions of the UK, since they have independent control over pandemic measures. The UK government has outlined a staged rollback of pandemic measures, with at least 5 weeks between each stage. First, schools and limited social interaction. Then, some businesses and outdoor activities in stage 2. Then travel, and a much wider range of activities, including mid-sized sports events in stage 3, starting no earlier than May 17. The aim is to start 5K parkrun events at least 2 weeks after the start of stage 3 is confirmed. That’s how they arrive at the date of Saturday June 5th. Stage 3 will start later if key targets from Stage 2 are not met, delaying the start of parkrun events.

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Kristie is one of our regulars who has yet to do one of our in person events

For us to return to “normal” in person gatherings in College Park, there are four key enablers.

Local landowner permission. We cannot go ahead until Prince George’s County lifts restrictions on mid-sized outdoor gatherings, and until Prince George’s Parks is again allowing permits for events of up to 200-250 people. We suspect that this is the most important factor in the timing of our return.

We do not know when local restrictions will be lifted, but they are unlikely to change faster than in the UK. The current prevalence of the virus in Maryland is similar to the UK, but UK vaccination rates are ahead of us, as is vaccine uptake. Already 95% of people aged over 70 have had at least one vaccine shot in the UK. (We might never reach that level in the US.) Prince George’s County has taken a generally cautious approach to COVID restrictions. This in part reflects the higher impact of the pandemic on the county.

Permission from parkrun. Our insurance and IT are handled centrally by parkrun in the UK. We cannot operate without their blessing. We do not expect that to come earlier than the UK restart planned for June 5th.

The parkrun UK plans include an earlier return of their 2K junior parkrun events for children, starting on April 11th. Some junior events might start later than others. The junior parkrun events are more similar to North American events, because they are smaller, and because there is little “parkrun tourism” between events. Similarly, it’s very rare for US parkrunners to regularly visit other events.

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Carly is another regular who hasn't yet done a "regular" CP. This week she was taking it easy after getting her first shot (yay!). And Janel was getting some fresh air ahead of some big exams this week (good luck!).

It is conceivable that some other North American events might have local permission to restart earlier than others, especially smaller events in states with fewer COVID restrictions. But as the largest parkrun event in North America, situated in a state and county that have been more cautious around pandemic restrictions, we in College Park are unlikely to be first in line for a return.

Participants and volunteers: We can’t hold in person events if people don’t want to take part and don’t want to volunteer, because they feel unsafe. That would be an issue if we tried to restart right now (setting aside the fact that it’s currently disallowed). But this is unlikely to be a limiting factor by the time that we get the green light from the county and from parkrun in the UK. It *is* likely that when we restart in person events not everybody will feel comfortable taking part. That's understandable. But we don't expect to be held back by lack of volunteers or participants. (When we return we will almost certainly be operating under parkrun's COVID-19 framework. It involves some operational adjustments, but nothing that will be a major barrier for us.)

Local community: We don’t need explicit permission from the local community. But we can certainly generate resentment if we go ahead too early. We use public trails that we share with others. We hold events every single week. We won’t survive if we encounter strong community pushback. Strangely enough, we’re also the largest running/walking event in the county, with 8,000 - 9,000 participants/year.

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Sub 50 this week for Lori. Nice!

The unrolling of pandemic restrictions in 2021 is sure to create much tension. Some will be adamant that it is too slow. Others will be adamant that it is too fast. It’s just not possible to satisfy everyone. The best way to minimize this tension is to come back a little slower than others. If schools are back in session; if UMD is operating more normally; if fans are watching baseball or football games in person; and if restaurants are operating more normally, then College Park parkrun isn’t going to draw a lot of attention.

Putting this all together with the current trajectory of the pandemic and vaccine rollout, our best guess is that we might be able to restart in the second half of the summer. We see little prospect before Memorial Day. We would currently be disappointed if we’re still in virtual mode on Labor Day. But we should emphasize that we have no insider knowledge. We are just trying to calibrate expectations.

Next week: Watch this space!

Until next time!

Your CPVp Team

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See you next week. Soon the tunnel of trees will be bursting with spring activity.

 

 

When life gives you ice (Virtual Report 45)

They say that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade.

This week life gave us ice. So that sounds like an invitation to eat ice cream, right?

At least, that’s the interpretation that Mika Sauerland chose in Berlin this week. And she figured, correctly, that she could persuade her mom Kazuko Yatsushiro to do an ice-cream run for CPVp.

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When life gives you ice, eat ice cream!

Meanwhile, the rest of us found plenty of ways to make the most of a Rather Icy Day, wherever we happened to be. Some were searching for clear roads or trails. Some were making the most of grippy shoe attachments. Some were indoors on the treadmill. Some got moving on XC skis. Some were “skating”. The common thread in all this is that you wanted to get moving.

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW CPVP WORKS SEE HERE

Facts and Figures

  • 162 virtual parkrunners
  • 650 miles covered
  • 5 first-timers
  • 1 new HIGH FIVE badges earned
  • 4 new TEN TIMER TURTLE badges earned
  • 3 new 25-TIMER badges earned
  • 13 barkrunners
  • 6 virtual volunteers

Stat(s) of the week: This week Tim Keer pointed out that this was the 50th Saturday since the last time we were able to come together for a regular in person event, on March 7th 2020.

That last in person event was 348 days ago. A person who had first joined us that day could have earned a 50 shirt by now. In fact, Frank Filteau took just 350 days from his first time with us until he earned his red 50 shirt.

We didn’t start the virtual events until the beginning of May (what were we thinking!). But there are some who have never joined us for an in person event who are on track to reach their 50th CPVp this spring.

Anne L’Ecuyer is on track to do her 50th by late May. Joanne Smith is hot on her heels. So is Mary Clare Schneider - Mary Clare was already a regular at our in-person events, but she didn’t turn 4 until shortly after the start of the pandemic, so she never appeared in the official results. Stefano Gazzano could get to 50 sooner. (There’s somebody with his name in the parkrun database, but as they have only ever done a couple of parkruns in Scotland, we’re not sure that it’s “our” Stefano.)

Also related to 50: by the time of the shutdown 93 College Park parkrunners had earned red 50 shirts, across 181 weekly events. Such is the consistency of virtual parkrunners that there are roughly the same number who could earn CPVp 50-timer honors by the end of June. (Will we still be doing this in June? Hard to know, but we wouldn’t be surprised.)

RESULTS TABLE FOR CPVP 45

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"skating"

Ice everywhere

Some weeks we hear lots of stories from you about different topics. This week we mostly heard from you about ice.

In College Park, the Paint Branch Trail was covered in more ice than we have ever seen in 5-years of Saturdays. If we weren’t in a pandemic, we would definitely have had to cancel.

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It's more slippery than it looks

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This part was exactly as slippery as it looks

Some were happy to have grippy Yaktrax (or similar) to attach to their shoes, making it possible to run or walk on the ice.

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Have Yaktrax, will travel

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Lori was equipped for action

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Colin: it's like snow tires for shoes

Some wisely chose to take things more cautiously. This included Stewart Mayhew, who is back to running without his arm in a sling, after slipping on ice and fracturing his arm back in December.

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Look it! Stewart's arm is good for waving again

Some got chilly paws. And then needed to do some serious R&R.

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Many others saw the ice and decided to go elsewhere, in search of clearer trail or asphalt.

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David, Malik, Dami and crew did a long run in Greenbelt Park

Some had snow instead of ice.

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Seriously cold and snowy for the Mansfield, OH crew

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Looks exactly like New England!

Some were fleeing the ice. Last week Emma Keer shared a picture of a big icicle at her apartment in Ann Arbor, MI. This week she updated us: the snow and ice got so bad that her ceiling was falling in. So she was fitting in her virtual parkrun in between moving to a new apartment.

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Looks pretty. Until the ceiling caves in.

In one piece of important non-ice news, Danny Walker got a new puppy. Meet Valor! A future barkrunner, we hear!

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Welcome, Valor!

Milestones and More

This week we welcomed FIVE first-timers: Emily Friend, Kyle McCormick, and their barkrunner Sophie. Angela Gentile encouraged them to join us, and had to assure them that the trail is normally not so icy (or empty). Dave Roeder and Teecy Robertson are part of Gail Sockwell-Thompson’s regular weekend crew from Prince George’s Running Club, so they’re no strangers to the local trails.

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Barkrunner Sophie was adopted only last week. Welcome to College Park! (And Emily and Kyle, too)

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Gail's crew at Riverdale Park Station

Lara Ehrenhofer is this week’s sole earner of a CPVp HIGH FIVE badge. Lara was part of the early volunteer crew that helped CP parkrun get off the ground back in 2016-2017, so she’s no stranger to the Paint Branch Trail. Nowadays, though, she’s doing her CPVps in Berlin, Germany, where she recently started a new job. Congrats, Lara!

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Lara in late 2016, before we knew this spot as Hump's Crossing

We had FOUR new earners of our 10-timer turtle badge. Darrell Stanaford is a long-time friend of CP parkrun, and was the founder or co-founder of all three DC parkrun events (Fletcher’s Cove, Roosevelt Island, and Anacostia). Nowadays he can often be found on a Saturday morning running the NCR Trail north of Baltimore. Ben Gieske is a former CPp regular who now joins us regularly from he and Meghan’s new home in South Bend, IN. Dennis Wojahn (mayor Patrick’s dad) got out with Karen Wojahn for a spot of XC skiing in Fish Creek, WI. And in Ann Arbor, MI, Adam Hockley did his 10th CPVp as a break from escaping a collapsed ceiling.

We awarded THREE new 25-timer badges this week. Barkrunner Tuffi didn’t do so much virtual parkrunning in the hot summer months. But since the cooler weather arrived she hasn’t missed an opportunity to go run with Gloria Cottman. Terri Snedeker was running the trails downtown as usual. And in Mechanicsburg, PA Jessica Rosenberg became the FIFTH member of Team Rosenberg to earn a 25-timer badge.

Nice consistency, everybody!

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Tuffi celebrates her 25th CPVp in style

Virtual Volunteers

Please send warm thanks to this week’s crew of virtual volunteers. It’s a team effort every single week.

Katie Hirsche: results (Strava)
Tara Mease: results czar
Ellen Oberholtzer: results (Facebook)
Colin Phillips: results, report, and propaganda
Anna Tinnemore: results (form)
Andrea Zukowski: results, email and photos

A shout out this week to Ellen Oberholtzer, who was doing her 5th stint on the virtual volunteer crew. And that’s not counting all of the contributions that she and her barkrunner Eli have made to educating us about local public art. Thanks Ellen!

And the rest of the regular crew -- between them they have been virtual volunteers over 200 times already. Hats off to the regulars!

As always, we’re looking for new volunteers who can help out in the coming weeks. Drop us a line at collegepark@parkrun.com if you can help.

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Eli and Ellen visited the diversity mural at Riverdale Park Elementary School

Looking Ahead

Maybe we spoke too soon! In this column last week we were getting a little giddy about the fall in COVID cases and what that might mean for our future. As recently as Thursday we were posting optimistic messages in our social media feeds.

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Hope we didn't jinx it. A couple of hours after posting this, we heard about the new UMD spike in COVID cases

Well, we were right about the overall retreat in the virus. Since the peak on January 12th case counts in Maryland have fallen sharply, now down to 25% of the peak rate. Hospitalizations have halved in that time. And Maryland has now passed 1 million vaccine shots delivered. All encouraging!

We were also right that we’d soon face the risk of increased mistrust here in College Park, as it became harder to tell what was going on with the virus locally.

But we were wrong about the reason.

The past couple of days has seen a spike in COVID cases at UMD. After 5 months with an average of 5-10 new reports per day, from 2/16 to 2/20 there were 228 new cases, around 45 per day, almost all among students. (The fact that the cases are mostly among students is unusual. For most of the past year the campus cases have been a mix of student and faculty/staff cases.)

UMD has acted rapidly. On Thursday they issued an alert and moderately tightened restrictions. By Saturday morning they issued sharply tightened restrictions. Students on campus are instructed to remain in their room as much as possible for the next week. Going outside for fresh air is encouraged, but they should stay close to their building. Many reports highlight the pause in in-person classes. This is likely not such a big deal, as in-person classes are few in number, and account for so little of the current activity. Something that gets less attention in reporting is that only a fraction of the students currently in town are in UMD controlled housing. It’s harder to know what is happening there.

It is not yet clear what caused this rapid spike in cases at UMD. Based on what we see on campus and around town every day, there is no obvious change in behavior. It’s not hard to find cases of risky behavior, but there is also a LOT of sensible behavior. Testing protocols have become stricter since last semester. UMD uses a mix of swipe key and wifi access data to keep close tabs on everybody who visits the campus, and whether they have been tested recently.

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The world would be simpler if we were all barkrunners like Belle. For a start, we would be immune to the virus. Hopefully we'll all be like Belle soon.

Is the spike in cases a consequence of a slight increase in local housing density? Is it due to cold weather pushing more activity indoors? Is it due to increased complacency due to overall positive trends in virus cases and vaccination? Is it due to one of the new variants? Is it just the end of a run of good luck? We have no idea right now.

It looks like it’s worse right now at the U of Virginia.

What is already clear is that this creates heightened risk of tension, confusion, resentment, and physical and mental health challenges in our community. Students are an important part of this community.

We really don’t know how this will unfold. It may be a short blip on the overall decline of the pandemic. Or it could be the start of a serious new wave, like the one that overwhelmed the UK in January. But we hope that we’ll see a continuation of the broad goodwill, positive attitudes, and attention to safety and to community that we have seen over the past year.

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Looking forward to milder weather for our social-but-distanced coffee

Meanwhile, in the UK the government on Monday announced a staged roadmap for the gradual lifting of pandemic restrictions, which have been much stricter than ours over the past couple of months. We don’t know if it will work, but if it goes well, it might possibly see the return of UK parkrun events in the spring. While that’s not a direct trigger for the return of events like ours, it’s one of the things that makes our return easier.

We’re looking forward to milder weather in the coming days. Next week we may have our first above-freezing Saturday morning in the DMV in over a month. Spring is on the way!

Until next time!

Your CPVp Team

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Andrea Maas and her crew, with no ice in sight in Greensboro, NC

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Looking good, Matt

 

 

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You can always find Elmer on the trail on a Saturday morning

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Less ice next week, we suspect. See you then!

 

 

Glazed (Virtual Report 44)

A couple of weeks ago we recalled the weather events that led us to cancel College Park parkrun in the past. Twice we had a slick trail. Once we had a downed tree by Hump’s Crossing. We had never had an ice storm before this weekend! After a couple of weekends with snow warnings that turned out to be a letdown … just like most snow events in the DMV, this weekend the Saturday weather turned out to be worse than expected.

Fortunately, the virtual format gives us a lot of flexibility, so we were able to find many ways to ensure that you could still do your CPVp. Some headed out early to beat the storm. We “extended Saturday” (now THAT is a winning electoral platform) so that some could get in their activity on “second Saturday”. Some did their CPVp indoors on the treadmill. And others cleverly planned ahead by living in places like Hawaii or Costa Rica, ensuring that the weather would not interfere with their CPVp. Brilliant!

And with that, we ended up with a close-to-normal turnout, despite the ice storm.

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW CPVP WORKS SEE HERE

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Feels great once you get warmed up. Right?

Facts and Figures

  • 156 virtual parkrunners
  • 640 miles covered
  • 2 first-timers
  • 1 new HIGH FIVE badges earned
  • 3 new TEN TIMER TURTLE badges earned
  • 3 new 25-TIMER badges earned
  • 12 barkrunners
  • 6 virtual volunteers

Stat(s) of the week: This week we passed 50,000 km covered since we started CPVp last May.

That’s the equivalent of 10,000 times heading up the Paint Branch Trail to Lisa’s turnaround spot and back. Assuming that you say hi to Hump in both directions, that means that you’d get to greet him 20,000 times.

RESULTS TABLE FOR CPVP 44

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There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment. Shackleton is equipped!

Glazed

We might normally use the adjective “glazed” at CPVp in the context of donuts. But this week we were getting glazed everything in the DMV, thanks to the ice storm that started earlier than expected.

Ice storms occur when precipitation falls as cold rain, landing on cold surfaces where it quickly freezes. This can lead to a layer of ice forming on everything. It can be fascinating, and beautiful. But also dangerous. Roads and sidewalks can quickly turn to ice rinks. Vegetation and power lines can be weighed down so much by the weight of ice that they can cause extensive damage and power outages.

Fun fact: 30 years ago there was a devastating ice storm in Rochester, NY, causing $375M worth of damage. At the time it was one of the worst natural disasters in New York State history. It’s even listed in the Wikipedia page about ice storms, so it must be notable. Colin and Andrea were both students in Rochester at the time, and when Colin’s power went out he got to spend a lot more time at the house where Andrea was living. The rest is history, as they say.

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Rochester, NY in 1991

Many of you headed out early, hoping to beat the freezing rain. But it started earlier than expected, so we heard many stories about running and walking in the ice.

Tomas Marambio, back in College Park just a couple of weeks after enjoying summer weather in Santiago, Chile, described the experience of running in the ice storm as “new, but fun”.

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Still standing

Many made the decision to stay indoors, but didn’t want to miss out. So we had a record number of treadmill parkruns this week. In fact, this may be the first week that we had more treadmill parkruns than barkrunners.

That’s maybe a little unfair, since it was because of the treadmills that some barkrunners missed out. Some looked forlornly out the window. Others opted to take a nap instead.

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Barkrunner Lizzie missed her CPVp friends while Joanne worked out on the elliptical

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Divide and conquer! Anna did the treadmill part. Marlow was on nap duty.

Other people found alternative ways to do an indoor virtual parkrun.

Kristie Atwood ran laps of her apartment in Greenbelt, and sent us a video as evidence. We’re not sure how many laps this involved, but it was surely a lot.

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Try not to get dizzy, Kristie

Lisa Wilson had the smart idea to do her CPVp at Columbia Mall, where there is a lot of space to walk. Only problem is, the landmarks aren’t quite as distinctive as on the Paint Branch Trail. So it was hard to remember where she had parked.

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The weather wasn't going to keep Elmer inside

Alternate Weather

Not everybody was dealing with ice. Janet Grudzien John got some sun on behalf of all of us in Hawaii.

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Still not jealous of your weather, Janet. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Carlos Chaverri-Morales took in this beautiful vista for all of us, from around 2,000 meters of altitude in Cerro el Tablón, Costa Rica.

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Mountain views in Costa Rica

In other places it was colder and snowier. Karen and Dennis Wojahn -- parents of College Park mayor Patrick Wojahn -- were in snowy Green Bay, WI, where they headed out on XC skis for their CPVp. Also, congratulations are in order, as it was Karen’s 25th CPVp. Excellent!

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parkski!

Like many others, Dan Owen couldn’t leave the house this week. But for a different reason. He had made a trip back to visit his mum in England, possibly getting in just ahead of new travel restrictions from the UK government. So he’s quarantined for 10 days. And without his barkrunner Gifford. So he did 60 laps of the back garden.

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At least it looks like a nice back yard for all those laps

Special Events

We had various plans for special events this weekend. Oh well.

We promoted the College Park Dino Hunt, a cool city-wide scavenger hunt to help bring attention to local businesses. We were also looking forward to chalking dinos on the trail. Never mind.

Well, Judy Mason did see this plastic dino on her run in Garrett Park, MD.

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Somebody found a dino!

And although it’s not a dinosaur, barkrunner Shackleton did make a cool fossil-like discovery on his walk on the beach at Bethany Beach, DE. It’s apparently a dolphin vertebra. Cool find, Shack!

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Almost a dino fossil

We were looking forward to taking part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a global bird census event. Instead we were peering out the windows at CPVp Towers, watching as birds struggled to get ice out of their feathers.

By Sunday, things were a little better. Meridith and Matt Phillips found hawks, geese, ducks, and this majestic great blue heron on their jaunt along the Paint Branch Trail.

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And it won’t come as a surprise that Andrea Zukowski found a LOT of birds on her CPVp, in addition to some pretty ice formations. Her haul: pileated woodpecker, cardinal, white-throated sparrow, robin, kingfisher, grackles, seagulls, American coot, geese, pie-billed grebes, heron, hooded mergansers, hawk, northern shovelers, and a bald eagle.

These reports normally feature a lot of Andrea’s photos of parkrunners along the trail. This week not so much, because the weather was so bad on Saturday morning. So we get to enjoy some of her nature photography instead. Thanks, Andrea!

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Spring is comingandrea-zukowski-pileated-web

Pileated woodpecker, pecking through the iceandrea-zukowski-ice-web

Pretty ice formationsandrea-zukowski-heron-web

Who ya lookin at?andrea-zukowski-cardinal-web

Also, amid all the other excitement of the weekend, we almost forgot that it was Valentine’s Day. Clearly some of you remembered better than we did. A few of you got out for a 5K or more with your pandemic partner for February 14th.

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Valentines parkrun for Neha and Yogarshi

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Josh and Lara took a break from being weather superheroes (really, they had a crazy busy week as meteorologists) to get in a Valentines parkrun

Milestones and More

It was little surprise that we saw few first-timers this week. Or that our two first-timers were well outside the DMV. And maybe even that they were barkrunners. In any case, welcome to Captain and Buoy, a pair of barkrunners who enjoyed a walk with Team Feld in Cary, NC.

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Welcome Captain and Buoy!

We had ONE new 5-timer in Rebekah Benson-Flannery. Good job, Rebekah!

THREE more virtual parkrunners earned a 10-timer Turtle badge. Meghan Gieske was getting it done in the snow in South Bend, IN. Meghan surely wasn’t the only one who went digging for the Yaktrax this weekend. Marilyn Langley (Louise Godley’s mum) got in her walk in Chelmsford, UK. And Greg Ervin was probably running in Ohio.

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Snowy trail in South Bend, IN for Meghan Gieske

Finally, we had THREE new recipients of 25-timer cake badges. Congratulations to Karen Wojahn (see picture above), to Rebecca White (who did a treadmill CPVp during the ice storm), and to barkrunner Roo. Roo took a hike to Lake Artemesia on Sunday with humans Dom Blom and Michael Iati. It was a little muddier than expected, so Roo needed a bath afterwards.

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Roo earned a cake badge

This is the spot where we often report PBs and other notable feats. We’re not aware of any PBs this weekend. It just wasn’t that kind of weekend.

Virtual Volunteers

With our extended window of opportunity this week, our virtual volunteers were on deck for an extended tour of duty. Thanks to:

Diana Gough: results (Facebook)
Katie Hirsche: results (Strava)
Tara Mease: results czar
Colin Phillips: results, report, and propaganda
Anna Tinnemore: results (form)
Andrea Zukowski: email and photos

As always, we’re looking for new volunteers who can help out in the coming weeks. Drop us a line at collegepark@parkrun.com if you can help.

Looking Back

Looking back at our albums from this weekend in past years brought back good memories, as usual.

We were struck by finding rare pictures of current/former mayors Patrick Wojahn and Duane Rosenberg running together on this weekend in both 2019 and 2020. Probably no coincidence. They would have been resting up ahead of the traditional Presidents’ Day weekend marathon in Greenbelt.

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Patrick and Duane in 2020patrick-wojahn-2019-web

Patrick and Duane in 2019

On this weekend in 2019 Rebecca White completed her first 5K. That was a big achievement then, which she described in a story in this blog. Two years on, and the cool thing is that it’s not particularly surprising that her total of virtual and classic parkruns is fast approaching 50.

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Rebecca's first 5K. Now she's approaching 50 CP(V)ps

On this weekend in 2018 we were celebrating Frank Filteau’s 50th time. Impressively, he completed that just 350 days after his first time. Impressive. This Saturday Frank was out on the trail on Saturday morning, as usual. In shorts!

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February 2018. Frank's 50th. Exactly one year later he was wearing the 100 sash.

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February 2021. No sash. But shorts!

Going back 4 years to this weekend in 2017, we made one of our earliest parkrunner of the month awards -- to Gus Campbell. Across both formats, Gus has now completed over 200 parkruns. Not at all bad for somebody who reports that he restarted running after a break of many decades.

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February 2017. Gus was one of our first PoTM honorees

Looking Ahead

We’re cautiously optimistic about the progress of the pandemic. One month ago daily case counts in Maryland were at their peak, with around 3,000 new infections reported each day. Now they’re at around 1,000 per day. That’s still a lot. But a two-thirds drop in a month is better than we’ve seen at any point in the pandemic.

We could yet be hit by a fourth wave of the virus, driven by one of the new variants. (We’re watching New York and surrounding states with interest right now.) But if the current trends were to continue, by mid-April we’d be seeing only one tenth of the number of cases that we’re seeing now. At that point it starts to become more difficult to distinguish the signal from the noise, when the number of true positives gets close to the number of false positives.

In fact, we may already be getting close to that level in College Park, based on the data we see from UMD’s mass testing of around 6,000 people per week. UMD is currently seeing around 0.5% positive tests. That’s close to the estimated false positive rate for PCR tests.

This is not to deny that the virus is out there or that it’s serious. It is definitely serious. It’s just to say that we may be headed towards a time where it’s hard to tell what’s happening around us. And ironically that’s because we’re in a college town, where we have a large young population that is less likely to show clear COVID symptoms, and that is being tested more than any other part of the local population.

Last August we were writing in this column about widespread local fear about the return of students to College Park. Six months later we have many reasons to feel proud and appreciative of what they have done for the city.

What does any of this mean for the return of in person events? That’s really hard to tell. This week Angela Gentile and TJ Hool did an in-person 5K in Bethany Beach, DE. Kris Sooklal did an in-person marathon in Oak Island, NC. Both of these used modified procedures to spread people out. And, of course, they were in different states.

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Chilly 5K in Delaware for TJ Kool and Angela Gentile

This week’s COVID-19 update in the parkrun global blog states: “We know that outdoor settings present a low risk of transmission of COVID-19, and given the urgent need to support and improve public health, we strongly believe that parkrun should be one of the first activities allowed back when restrictions are lifted.”

This is all reasonable, but it’s hard to predict how things will unfold for us in College Park. We suspect that if K-12 schools return to in-person instruction and somewhat regular sports, then that should create greater openness to restarting our in person events. We don’t see much prospect for large gatherings while thousands of local parents are still homeschooling.

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Congratulations to our Melton Mowbray friends

In the meantime, though, it’s full steam ahead with our virtual events, and we’re counting down the weeks now until our 50th event, coming up at the end of March. In fact, our virtual parkrun friends in Melton Mowbray, UK already reached that point this weekend. They apparently devised a clever plan for socially distanced distribution of their celebratory cake.

Until next time!

Your CPVp Team

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Scene on Adrien Harrison's run in Columbia, MD

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There was a layer of ice on Lori's cap by the time she was done

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Kazuko (and Mika) enjoying the snow in Berlinfoxy-web

Barkrunner Foxy enjoying the snow in Ohio

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Barkrunner Shannon, in Greensboro, NC, says, "See you next week!"

 

New Life (Virtual Report 43)

There were encouraging signs all around us this weekend. Some early hints that spring is just a few weeks away. Optimism as more community members begin to get vaccinated. Optimism in College Park as local businesses open up slightly and welcome a student population that has been mostly hiding away in a 2-week quarantine. And weather that was mild enough in the DC area to see some people reach for the shorts.

We did not expect to see one of the biggest crowds yet at CP Virtual parkrun, including some very fresh faces. More reasons to be feeling optimistic. So let’s see what went down at CP Virtual parkrun #43.

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW CPVP WORKS SEE HERE

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Shorts weather? Pratyush scores bonus points for optimism this week

Facts and Figures

  • 192 virtual parkrunners
  • 775 miles covered
  • 9 first-timers
  • 5 new HIGH FIVE badges earned
  • 1 new TEN TIMER TURTLE badges earned
  • 2 new 25-TIMER badges earned
  • 13 barkrunners
  • 7 virtual volunteers

Stat(s) of the week: Regular readers of these reports will know that the Rosenberg family has been using CPVp to help stay fit and connected during the pandemic, despite being spread across many states.

This week we were struck by a couple of timing coincidences.

Jessica Rosenberg, running in Mechanicsburg, PA, recorded a 5K time of 25:16, exactly the same time as her father-in-law Dave Rosenberg, who was running on his treadmill in frigid Bettendorf, IA.

Meanwhile, Jessica’s husband Brian Rosenberg recorded a 5K time of 22:24, exactly the same time as his uncle Duane, who was running in New Carrollton, MD.

Pretty improbable, right? We were confident that this is unlikely, but we were unsure how unlikely. We have an estimate, but let this be a challenge to some of you number nerds out there who may have better ideas.

It turns out this is a version of the birthday problem. For example, in a class of 30 children, what’s the probability that there are 2 children who share the same birthday? It’s surprisingly likely, around 70%.

This problem applies conveniently neatly to Team Rosenberg, as the 5 of them who run a full 5K most weeks (a few others join less regularly or choose different paces or distances), generally finish their 5K within a 6-minute range, from 21 to 27 minutes. That’s close enough to 365 seconds for us to treat Rosenberg finishing times as equivalent to the 365 days of the year for birthdays. So we can use one of the many birthday problem calculators available on the internet.

Among 5 Rosenbergs, the probability of any 2 of them finishing their CPVp in exactly the same time is roughly 2.7% or 1 in 37. Then the probability of 2 of the remaining 3 Rosenbergs finishing in exactly the same time is 0.8% or 1 in 122. So that makes a combined probability of .02%, or around 1 in 4,500.

So, it could happen. It’s just not very likely. Roughly once in every 90 years if we hold CPVp every week. (We hope that the pandemic will not last that long.) One key fact to know: Brian Rosenberg often sets out in the morning deliberately trying to match the time that his uncle Duane will run. Factoring that into our calculations is beyond our math skills.

RESULTS TABLE FOR CPVP 43

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How about running and math puzzles?

New Life

There’s nothing quite like the first time. Even if you sleep through much of it. This week we welcomed first-time virtual park-stroller Nick Gerbig, who got out for a 5K with mom Jessica.

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Welcome Nick!

Another very young parkrunner was 8-month old Felix, who took a stroll with mom Rachel Unger at Lake Artemesia. Long time followers of these reports may remember Rachel’s heroic park-waddles from our early virtual events last spring, when she was very pregnant indeed. Felix has come a long way!

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Felix looks so grown up!

Moving up the age scale, but only a little, 1-year old James Schneider covered an impressive half a mile park-toddle this week, as part of Team Schneider’s downtown adventure (more on that shortly).

We’re also seeing more and more reasons for optimism among our senior parkrunners, as vaccinations open the hope of a fuller life in 2021. In the UK Adrian and Stella Dover took a walk to celebrate their first shots. Kath and Derrick Phillips (Colin’s parents) walked a couple of miles after getting their first shots earlier in the week. With another grandchild on the way in the spring, they are very ready to be able to move and mix again. Meanwhile, Marilyn Langley (Louise Godley’s mum) has got a vaccine, got a walk, and stocked up on essential supplies for an approaching winter storm. That would be Cadbury’s creme eggs. We salute your preparedness, Marilyn!

We know that there will be a wait for many of us, but we love hearing from you about the hope that comes as you get vaccinated.

Other evidence of new life could be seen in early signs of spring. Heather Sisan saw crocuses starting to show themselves along her route in Kensington.

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Crocuses on Heather Sisan's run

(Edited: our expert proofreader assures us that these are daffodils)

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Snowdrops on Louise Godley's run

Andrea Zukowski was mostly watching parkrunners (and the occasional hawk) along her morning park-walk. But on her second parkwalk of the day she followed a pair of beavers at Lake Artemesia. Beavers don’t hibernate, so that’s not really a sign of spring. But they tend to stay warm inside their lodges for most of the winter, so seeing them felt like it ought to be a sign that spring is not too far away.

Just a few more weeks of winter to go. For some of us, at least.

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Still Winter

In other parts of the world, it was not looking much like spring.

Meghan and Ben Gieske braved the -11F windchill in South Bend, IN this week. They went slow to avoid ice, and managed to get a nice picture of the partially frozen St Joseph River.

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No sign of spring yet in South Bend, IN

The predicted snow in the DMV may have been (predictably) a bust. But the snow was very real in Sandpoint, ID. Cindy Cohen decided to go run on the treadmill in her building. But it was occupied. So she layered up and got it done outside.

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... nor in Sandpoint, ID

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Ann and her crew were getting it done in Mansfield, OH

Exploring

Team Schneider (Erin, Joshua, Mary Clare, and Samantha) did a “destination virtual parkrun” to check out the shattered glass portrait of VP Kamala Harris at the Reflecting Pool that was unveiled last Thursday. Made by delicately hammering safety glass to create a 3D style image, the portrait, created by artist Simon Berger, honors Harris and the countless women who came before her and their contributions to cracking the glass ceiling.

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The detail on the new shattered glass portrait of VP Harris is amazing

Dan Owen and barkrunner Gifford went 6 miles on the towpath from Glen Echo, MD. A recent Washington Post article shares some history of the Glen Echo street car line that ran from Georgetown out to the old Glen Echo Amusement Park. The trolley was unique in that it ran through the wilderness to get to its destination; supposedly conductors threw caution to the wind once out of the city and even allowed adventurous teens to take a try at driving. The Amusement Park began as a religious education retreat complex in the 1890s before being converted to an amusement park in 1907. The park operated until 1968, when a combination of safety concerns and competition with more modern parks, forced its closure. Over the next few years, negotiations over the land eventually culminated in the park being transferred to the National Park Service, who protect and operate it today.

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Gifford and Dan ran to Glen Echo

 

Multitasking

Sometimes you’ve got other stuff to do. One of the benefits of our virtual format is that you can combine your CPVp with other life needs.

We saw Neha Joshi speeding down the Paint Branch Trail mid morning. Her 27:xx time was close to her parkrun PB. We later learned that this was because she was squeezing her 5K into a 30-minute lab break. Fortunately the lab is right next to the trail, so it was easy to slip out and be back in time.

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Neha didn't waste a moment

Susan Keller combined her CPVp with a trip to Home Depot to recycle plastic bags. (Yes, we didn’t know that -- that’s one of the few places locally where you can recycle those bags. And it’s conveniently just a short walk beyond Lisa’s turnaround spot.)

Anna Weber managed to walk a couple of miles while volunteering at her local vaccine clinic. Way to go, Anna!

And Dom Blom scores extra points for multi-tasking this week, combining a family walk, an upper body workout, supporting local businesses, AND cultural education. Dom, Michael, and barkrunner Roo did their CPVp by taking a walk down the Trolley Trail to Streetcar 82 Brewery, where they picked up a few quarts of locally brewed ale to help with their socially-distanced Superbowl enjoyment.

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Good multi-tasking, Dom, Roo, and Michael

Milestones and More

We welcomed NINE first-timers this week: Richard Griffiths, Minnie Wong, Theo (barkrunner), Eugene Kim, Crystal Walcott, Annika Olson, Kathy Kelly, Coney (barkrunner), Nellie (barkrunner).

Kathy teamed up with Susan Keller for a walk on the Paint Branch Trail. And we were excited to see Crystal join us again for the first time in a couple of years.

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Welcome Kathy (and Susan)

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Welcome back,Crystal (left) (picture from early 2018)

We had FIVE new 5-timers who all earned a High Five badge. Matt Phillips took a walk with CPVp regular Meridith. Lillian Symer celebrated her return from a month in the Vermont snow by doing a 5K with her dad Derek in Kensington. Hemant and Vidya Joshi got in a walk in Pune, India while their daughter Neha and son-in-law Yogarshi were fast asleep ahead of their CPVp in College Park.

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First finishers this week! Hemant and Vidya had the advantage of being 11 hours ahead of College Park

And Derrick Phillips earned his badge by taking a walk in Bristol, UK. (Whereas Colin’s mum is a regular reader and proof-reader for these reports, his dad is clearly missing out. When informed of this special award on the weekly Zoom call Sunday morning, he had no idea what Colin was talking about.)

This week’s one new 10-timer was John Cousen, running in Melton Mowbray, UK, where they are looking forward to celebrating their 50th virtual parkrun event next Saturday.

And our two new 25-timers were Dave Rosenberg (Duane’s brother) in Bettendorf, IA, and Carly Maas in College Park.

Just a few other achievements we noted this week.

Jeremy Rueter completed his first ever 10 mile run. Nice!

Zak Mellen paced Chris Van Vlack to a 5K PB.

Carlos Chaverri-Morales joined us again from Costa Rica, where he ran his first 10K in a couple of years.

Tomas Marambio is back from a couple of months of warmer weather at home in Santiago, Chile. This week he zipped around the streets of College Park in our fastest time of the day.

Stewart Mayhew headed downtown to enjoy the monthly meetup of the Roosevelt Island parkrun community. Their routine is to run or walk wherever, then to meetup by the Teddy Roosevelt Plaza at 10am and head to Rosslyn for outdoor coffee. Stewart pointed out that with 57 old-style parkruns plus 43 virtual parkruns, this was his 100th time. Nice going, Stewart!

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Stewart celebrated his 100th parkrun (all formats) with the Roosevelt Island crew. Stewart's in there, channeling Teddy Roosevelt at the back. And check out Joyce's double mask technique there -- Paddington Bear on the front, medical mask on the back. Neat!

Also among our 43-timers this week was Kazuko Yatsushiro, who joins us every week from Berlin, Germany. Kazuko was involved in the creation of Hasenheide parkrun in Berlin, which started in early 2018. She had completed 43 runs and also earned a 25-time volunteer shirt by the time they shut down last spring. She has never been to College Park, but now she has done 43 CPVps, and 2 other family members have earned turtle badges at CPVp. (What’s the connection to College Park, then? Kazuko is a language nerd, like half of the CPVp weekly volunteer crew, Colin, Andrea, Tara, and Anna.)

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Snowy morning in Berlin for Kazuko

Virtual Volunteers

Thanks as ever to our team of virtual volunteers, who keep the community humming each week. On deck this week were:

Katie Hirsche: results (Strava)
Tara Mease: results czar
Colin Phillips: results, report, and propaganda
Hannah Russell: report
Heather Sisan: results (Facebook)
Anna Tinnemore: results (form)
Andrea Zukowski: email and photos

In addition to the official volunteer roles, we’re grateful to everybody who helps to keep the community going by engaging with others online, with Strava kudos or Facebook comments, and to all of you who “volunteer” your stories about what you get up to each week. Sharing these nuggets from your pandemic life helps all of us.

As always, we’re looking for new volunteers who can help out in the coming weeks. Drop us a line at collegepark@parkrun.com if you can help.

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We know where to find this photographer on a Saturday morning

Barkrunners

Eli and Ellen visited a mural near Pizzeria Paradiso in Hyattsville painted by DC based artist Rohaun_paints.

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Our weekly postcard from Eli and Ellen

Cory Kind, Adam Gann, and barkrunner Walker were joined in Detroit by a new barkrunner. Welcome Coney! Walker showed Coney how it’s done.

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Walker shows Coney how it's done

Eden Gray and barkrunner Foxy explored the National Arboretum this weekend, complete with pictures of Foxy amongst the famous columns. Originally part of the Capitol building, the columns were removed in 1958 and moved to the Arboretum in the 1980s. Of the 24 columns, 22 now stand in the Ellipse Meadow, with the last two lying damaged on top of Mount Hamilton in the Azalea Collection.

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Enjoying the light at the National Arboretum

Emma Keer volunteered at the Humane Society walking dogs, where she met Nellie. She’s available for adoption, is super enthusiastic, and has lots of love to give! It’s a bit of a trek to Ann Arbor, MI, but maybe you know of a Michigander who could use a new four-legged friend.

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Nellie enjoyed her walk with Emma

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Shackleton has a spring in his step

And though it’s not strictly a barkrunner, Janet Grudzien John saw a water pup lazing on the beach in Kapolei, HI. That is one of the sights that we’re sure you’ll never see along the regular CP parkrun route.

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Not College Park

Looking Back

It’s fun to look back to see where we were this weekend in previous years.

1 year ago, we welcomed first-timer Joan Heffernan, who was visiting from Connecticut. At the time we couldn’t have imagined that Joan would soon be joining us every week from afar. Those were such innocent times.

joan-heffernan-2020-web1 year ago we were also enjoying one of our days with 2-way traffic along our tunnel of trees, because ice on the trail forced us to use our two-lap course. We love our single out-and-back route, but it’s fun on the days when we all get to see each other a little more often.

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2 years ago we were celebrating Judy Barnes’ 50th parkrun. Judy has actually joined us many more times than that, as she initially would come every week and walk part of the route while husband Marvin ran. Add to this that she has been stuck on 98 parkruns since last March. We are going to need to have a serious celebration on our second week “back” when we can celebrate Judy’s 100th.

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Also 2 years ago, the week’s first-timers included Laurie Fisher and Lucy Younes. Lucy was getting back into action after some health issues that affected her balance, and a walker-friendly running event was just the ticket. Nowadays we love that we still see Laurie and Lucy almost every weekend along the trail. Always smiling.

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Laurie and Lucy's first visit in early 2019

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Still smiling on the trail in early 2021

3 years ago we were celebrating birthdays. Ben Flamm brought donut treats to share for his birthday. Fellow birthday girl Violet Ridge was pretty happy about that. In return, Violet brought … herself. This meant that her dad Clark got to run with her, leaving Ben in first-finisher spot for his birthday.

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Birthday boy and girl in February 2018 (plus your weekly ration of donut photos)

Also 3 years ago Patrick Wojahn brought along a special guest to CP parkrun. His mom Karen. Karen was visiting from Wisconsin, and she’s another who now joins us regularly from afar. (Though this week it may have been just a little too cold and icy in the Upper Midwest for her normal outing.)

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Karen got to visit us for reals in early 2018

4 years ago, one of our first-timers that day was Cindy Feld, who has now completed 100 “classic” and nearly 40 virtual parkruns. These days she and husband Steve join us weekly from their new home in North Carolina. Another silver lining of the pandemic is that we get to hear from Cindy and Steve every week.

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Cindy Feld's first time with us, in early 2017

Also 4 years ago, it was only our 17th regular event. It was our 50th week overall of meeting up on the Paint Branch Trail. It was also the last week that we were worried whether the event was going to “work”. 42 joined us that day, similar to what we had seen over those first few months. For the rest of February we saw closer to 80/week at the park. That’s when we knew that the community was on a roll.

Looking Ahead

There is literally nothing new to report this week about plans for a return to traditional in-person events in College Park. It is now 11 months since our last big gathering at Acredale Park. We continue to suspect that a summer restart is our current best case scenario.

We are encouraged to see the sharp recent drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Maryland. The daily average number of new cases is now less than half of what it was in early-mid January. There’s a long way yet to go, but it’s the sharpest fall that we have seen at any point in the pandemic so far.

As for how things unfold from here on, there are a couple of useful indicators from the UK. The UK is currently well ahead of the US in terms of its vaccine roll out. They are on track to have vaccinated almost all seniors and some other key vulnerable groups by mid February, though they are achieving this in part by delaying second doses of 2-shot vaccines. A useful Guardian piece from Saturday on the UK’s likely COVID calendar breaks the timeline into 3 simple stages. Winter will be mostly about reducing deaths. Spring will be mostly about reducing hospitalizations. And summer will be when the biggest effect on case numbers should be seen. That’s because different groups account more for each of these impacts.

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We look forward to when we'll see all of Elmer's smile

There are also reasons to be concerned. The UK was overwhelmed in late 2020 by the spread of the new B.1.1.7 variant of the virus, which spreads more rapidly. They were pushed into a worse situation than we have yet encountered in Maryland. It’s now coming under greater control, but only after another hard lockdown. A new report in today’s Washington Post highlights that the UK variant is picking up steam in the US. Estimates are that over the past month it has gone from less than 0.5% of US cases to 3.6% of cases. As we have repeatedly been reminded over the past year, exponential growth is not to be taken lightly. We are not helped by the woefully limited genetic testing in the US, which lags far behind the UK.

Here in College Park, the UK variant of the virus may present our greatest threat in the first half of 2021. UMD has welcomed back thousands of undergraduate students (grad students have mostly been here all along). This brings renewed energy to the city, and it is encouraging news for many local businesses that have struggled over the past year. The campus already had robust monitoring systems in place and it has doubled the frequency of mass testing. UMD may soon account for 15-20% of all COVID-19 tests carried out in Prince George’s County. (As a result, this reduces the county’s overall test positivity rate.)

The UMD COVID-19 dashboard is useful. The Diamondback COVID-19 dashboard is even better in some regards. The Prince George’s County COVID-19 dashboard has more information, though the data tends to be a bit delayed.

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Maybe by this time next year we'll be enjoying coffee indoors again

Encouraging news so far. But there appear to be no provisions for increased genetic testing of COVID-19 cases at UMD, and hence no ability to test whether this is affecting the campus. Measures that proved effective at slowing the spread of the virus in crowded student residences in October might not work so well when faced with a more contagious strain in February and March.

One thing that will certainly help is that UMD has the ability to monitor cases closely and act more quickly than anywhere else in the county. In the past couple of days the university’s monitoring picked up an outbreak in La Plata Hall, a student dorm next to the main recreation center, and imposed tightened restrictions to control this. Residents were given just a couple of hours to decide whether to move out for 10 days or to agree to restrictions on movement. Campus surveillance uses a combination of wifi and swipe card monitoring to know who has been where. This makes it possible to respond quickly to alarm signals. Let's hope that proves sufficient.

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Heather experimented this week running with a double mask

So we’ll keep on trucking for now. Staying active, connected, and safe as much as we can.

Dinosaur hunt! We were excited to learn about the College Park Dinos event on February 13-14. It’s a great way to encourage folks to get moving around College Park in a family friendly way that also highlights local businesses.

This fits so well with what we have been doing throughout the pandemic that we would love to be a part of this event, and to incorporate the Dino Hunt into CPVp on Saturday 2/13. So we would LOVE to hear from you if you can help with things like dino chalking or signage on local trails. Or if you have other dino related skills or knowledge. The organizers are also keen to draw more visitors to North College Park, so that the whole city is represented. Proteus Bicycles and POSH fitness studio are already involved. If you know of other organizations from Berwyn northwards who might be interested in participating, do let us know.

Until next time!

Your CPVp Team

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Those heavy buckets were part of David's training plan this weekend

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Track day for Michelle Lemon

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Speedy run for Frank Filteau on the Paint Branch Trail

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Colin was excited to run the whole 5K this week. Very cautiously.

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Possibly this week's last finisher. Andrea found Dave Heintzelman headed to Lake Artemesia at dusk on Saturday.

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See you next week!

 

 

 

Let it snow – soon (Virtual Report 42)

We don’t often get much snow in the DMV. And when it comes it often turns quickly to slush, and creates commuting nightmares or school closing confusion. But this weekend’s promise of the first honest-to-goodness snowfall in a couple of years brought clear excitement.

With most schools still closed and so many people working from home (or enjoying an easier commute while others work from home), we don’t face the normal travel worries. And it makes a nice change from focusing on a pandemic, the erosion of society, or the fact that a bunch of internet bros upended the financial markets this week.

Yes, a snow day is the innocent excitement that we can use right now!

The prospect of snow seemed to put many of you in an especially positive frame of mind this weekend. It was an unusually cold Saturday, but so many people told us, “You know, it really wasn’t so bad!” Many others were happy to get out for some exercise ahead of the snow. Others were looking forward with excitement to running or walking in the snow.

So read on for more of this week’s adventures. And also for news about coming attractions. Involving dinosaurs. And sled dogs. Have we got your attention yet?

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW CPVP WORKS SEE HERE

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Elizabeth and Janel weren't going to let a little cold dampen their spirits

Facts and Figures

  • 169 virtual parkrunners
  • 750 miles covered
  • 1 first-timer
  • 1 new HIGH FIVE badge earned
  • 2 new TEN TIMER TURTLE badges earned
  • 3 new 25-TIMER badges earned
  • 9 barkrunners
  • 7 virtual volunteers

Stat(s) of the week: In January we have had SIX opportunities to do a CP Virtual parkrun. And a LOT of you made the most of those opportunities.

6-timers: 84
5-timers: 32
4-timers: 24
3-timers: 39
2-timers: 46
1-timers: 87

Altogether this amounted to 1,061 activities by 312 people, covering 7,000 km. That’s the first month ever that we have seen 1,000+ participants at CP parkrun. Great work, everybody!

Let’s do a reset, and see how many people (and pups) can get active on the 4 Saturdays in February.

RESULTS TABLE FOR CPVP 42

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Malik is one of 83 who completed all 6 CPVps in January

Family Time

One of the ways that we collect your activities each week is via our online results form. The URL is easy to remember. https://bit.ly/cpvirtualparkrunresultsform Typically about 20-25% of weekly activities reach us via this route. When we checked the form mid-morning this week, we were surprised to see that it was almost all Rosenbergs! Spread across Maryland, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, Team Rosenberg is irrepressible.

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Early birds

And although we don’t include wheeled activities in our weekly results, here’s a shout out to another Team Rosenberg member, Diane David (Duane’s sister), who this Saturday completed her first 100-mile bike ride in South Florida.

As usual, we were happy to see so many families getting active together in CPVp.

Some families were getting moving with young children. We were happy to see Ben and Katie Kaczmarski pushing a double stroller along the Paint Branch Trail. We were even happier to see that at the end the stroller was lighter, as one of the kids wanted to hop out and run with mom to the finish line.

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Great to see Team Kaczmarski on the trail this week

Team Schneider was out early on the trails of Hyattsville, and it looks like young James is getting to be a proficient parktoddler.

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Samantha and Mary Clare supervise James' parktoddling

Luther Lemon went out for a run in Washington DC with his son. Impressive to see him running a 75-minute 10-miler while pushing a stroller.

Other families were getting active together while apart.

Diana Gough and her sister Shelley got out in different parts of Maryland. (Diana combined it with a bagel run.)

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You might even think these two were related

Emma Keer and her dad Tim continue to have fun with the City Strides app, which tracks your progress as you cover every single street in your town. That’s how a route like this one gets to be somehow “fun”.

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Interesting route choice - Tour de Ann Arbor

And sisters Adrien Harrison and Meridith Phillips were getting moving in Maryland and North Carolina. Meridith and husband Matthew were collecting treasures along the beach in Nag’s Head. Meanwhile, their aunt Mickey Langan was getting in a 5-mile walk in Central Florida.

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Treasures from the beach in Nags Head, NC

The longest distance family ties this week were a close call. Robin Phillips made up a transatlantic Phillips-Zukowski team. Robin was running on his treadmill in Bristol, UK, wrapping up the last day of his COVID quarantine. But they were edged out by Louise Godley and her mum Marilyn Langley. Louise was a little further west than the P-Z clan, finishing up the RED January Challenge for mental health awareness in Takoma Park, MD. And Marilyn was about 150 miles further east than Robin, taking a walk near home in Chelmsford, UK.

Got more family members that can join you in future weeks? We’d love to hear from them.

Hunkering Down

Yes, we have had a bit of a “donut thing” going on in these reports recently. (And if you’ve been following along, Jen Matis ran 8.55 miles this week, her longest ever. Go Jen!)

But this week’s CPVp Facebook thread generated the most excitement about a rather attractive looking loaf of banana bread, which “magically appeared” in Trace Huard’s oven. Perfect comfort food for a snowy weekend.

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Yum!

Meanwhile, Neha Joshi was celebrating her first time back to running after hurting her ankle, and she was making serious snow prep, involving hot chocolate and cat therapy. We approve!

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Snow day companions

Local Legends

Colin Phillips was feeling a bit dejected after an encouraging run turned into a re-injury at the mid point of the CPp course, and so he had to walk back to the park.

But after uploading his activity to Strava, he was surprised to get the following message. Seems reasonable.

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… but then on Sunday morning Strava greeted him with another message. Stewart Mayhew had gone out and wrested the title. That’s actually great news, as Stewart is now able to run again, sans sling, for the first time since his fall on the ice in December. And he’s already talking about fall marathon plans.

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He's baaack!

Milestones and More

We weren’t too surprised to see just one first-timer this week. But we were really happy to see who it was. One year ago perennial speedster Sam Phipps was celebrating a speedy 16:55 PB. This weekend he instead did his parkrun by taking a walk with his grandma in Annapolis. Welcome to Sam’s gran! Sam also stopped by the social-but-distanced coffee meetup this week, so it was great to see him for the first time in months.

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Great to see Sam at the coffee meetup this week

Cat Woodard was this week’s one new 5-timer. Or maybe there were two. She commented that her baby bump was announcing itself, so she backed off a little. How exciting, Cat! We see more parkstrollers and parktoddlers in the future!

TWO people earned their 10-timer turtle badges this weekend. Andrea Solan did this by completing her 6th CPVp of 2021 already, run-walking on the Trolley Trail in Ellicott City. Awesome! Uli Sauerland came out to run with his wife Kazuko Yatsushiro in the snow in Berlin. This was after Kazuko had already done a 5K walk in the snow with daughter Mika. Between Kazuko, Mika, and Uli they have completed 11 CPVps in 2021 already.

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That's not Kazuko, or any of her family members. But it was seen on their run in Berlin

THREE earned their 25-timer cake badge this week: Dottie Jograj, Danny Walker, and Dave Menusan.

We got to know Dottie via her son Neil and daughter-in-law Julie. Dottie is an ever positive Jamaican woman who quickly got to know many others in our community. Neil and Julie recently decamped to Georgia, but we’re not surrendering Dottie so easily, and we can’t wait to again welcome her to Acredale Park on a Saturday morning.

Dave Menusan is part of the North Carolina wing of CPVp, where he regularly runs with CPVp regulars Steve and Cindy Feld. This week they ran and walked on the American Tobacco Trail, a 22-mile multi-use trail that passes through Cary, NC. The ATT is a part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3000 mile route aimed at bikes and pedestrians that extends from Florida to Maine. As it happens, the ECG also passes through College Park, via the Northeast Branch Trail and Lake Anacostia. (... this is giving us ideas for a future distance challenge).

Meanwhile, there are now 48 of you who have completed at least 40 CPVps. We’re counting down the weeks until we can start recognizing 50-timers. We’re hatching special plans for that.

Most of us are happy to just get moving at this time of year. But some of you are out there setting PBs.

10-year old Peter Rosenberg set another PB this week in Mechanicsburg, PA. It looks like he sprinted ahead of mom Jessica this week. With the running genes that Peter has inherited, we suspect that we’ll be hearing about more PBs in the not too distant future.

We were super happy this week to see that Jackie Hayes went and ran her fastest 5K ever, beating her best parkrun time from over a year ago. Jackie has a sub-30 clocking in her sights, and this year may be the year!

Virtual Volunteers

Thanks as ever to our team of virtual volunteers, who keep the community humming each week. On deck this week were:

Katie Hirsche: results (Strava)
Tara Mease: results czar
Colin Phillips: results, report, and propaganda
Carly Maas: results (Facebook)
Heather Sisan: photo management
Anna Tinnemore: results (form)
Andrea Zukowski: email and photos

Welcome this week to first-time results team member Carly Maas. It’s hard to believe that we first met Carly only in September, when she moved to College Park to start grad school. Now she’s joined us for 24 CPVps, and we’ve also got to know her family back in Greensboro, NC. We’re so glad that Carly sent us that Facebook message last August, asking about places to run in the area.

As always, we’re looking for new volunteers who can help out in the coming weeks. Read on below for an opportunity for something a little bit different a couple of weeks from now. Drop us a line at collegepark@parkrun.com if you can help.

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Thanks for volunteering, Carly!

Barkrunners

Cold weather? No problem for our barkrunners! Snow? Even better!

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Teresa Perdomo completed 100 miles in January on the treadmill. With her fan club watching admiringly.

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Shackleton leads the way

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Tuffi and Scruffi are ready for their weekly 5K (they get to do 1, Gloria gets to do both)

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Pakora is turning into quite the running dog. Pratyush is pretty happy about that.

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Eli found this Testudo at Riversdale Mansion. Looks like it needs a bit of a paint job.

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New piece of trail art for Eli to check out some week. Anybody know the story behind this heron on the new connector trail?

Looking Back

This week’s snow got us thinking back to the times when we’ve had snow days at CP parkrun in the past. One benefit of having a well organized set of photo albums is that it’s easy enough for us to jog our memories.

As far as we can recall, we have only ever needed to cancel twice for snow and ice. Oddly, both of those days were the same weekend in mid-December. Both times there was little snow, but the trail was too slippery to be safe. By December 2017 there were 3 other parkrun events in the DMV to choose from, and so some CP parkrunners were able to quickly change plans and head to other local events that had safer trails.

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December 2017. CP parkrun had to cancel. So Colin and Andrea enjoyed a run around Roosevelt Island instead. It's a fantastic place to run in the snow.

The biggest snow that we ever saw was in January 2016, when we were just getting started. It was our second informal meetup when the Snowzilla storm hit. We had not yet settled on the Paint Branch Trail as our forever home, and the trail was inaccessible anyway. So we met up to run the streets of University Park instead.

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Snowzilla parkrun, January 2016. Diana, Nick, and Lara all joined us this weekend, though Nick is now in Connecticut and Lara is in Germany.

They weren’t our biggest snowfalls, but our coldest ever snow days were at the start of 2018, when our New Year’s event saw temperatures in the teens and the following week we had temperatures in the single digits. (For those of you outside the US who are used to more sensible celsius scales, that translates to “just don’t ask”. For those of you in Michigan or other northern states it translates to “normal winter day”.)

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January 2018. Despite temps in the single digits, Clark Ridge still wore shorts.

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That was THIS week in Connecticut. Joan still got it done. And she did some chalking too.

We had a couple of days (March 2017, January 2019) when we almost had to cancel, due to some sections of trail that remained snow covered, including the bridges. On both of those occasions some Friday night shoveling by CPp volunteers ensured that we were able to go ahead.

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January 2019. Clark and Andrea shoveling the bridges.

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March 2017. Clearing a path through the icy snow.

(Fun fact: this is how we also discovered that the bridge under Route 193 is high enough for a minivan to drive through. We had parked our van by Hump’s Crossing to go prepare the trail. Then we were caught unawares when the gates were locked at dusk. The only way to get out was to try to drive down the trail to Acredale Park in the dark. Exciting!)

And one of our favorite snow days was this weekend two years ago when we were able to run and walk on a carpet of freshly fallen snow. That was the same day when the Ridge family pulled off the feat of reaching 4 parkrun milestones on the same day: 100 (Clark), 50 (Violet), 10 (Calvin), and 25-time volunteer (Clark). Lilly and Felix were there, too, and they all shared a wonderful cake with us. Wonderful memories!

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This weekend in 2019. Frozen cake!

Looking Ahead

There’s no real news this week about plans for parkrun event re-openings or for restrictions on outdoor gatherings in Maryland to be changed. Basically, schools need to open first. Then we can start thinking more about fun outdoor gatherings.

We do see encouraging signs that point towards a return to normal. COVID hospitalizations are down around 25% relative to the early January peak (Maryland COVID dashboard). New infections are down by around a third. But this puts us back where we were around Thanksgiving. There’s still a way to go to get back to where things stood in early Fall.

On Friday there was a small step towards reopening of indoor dining in Prince George’s County. Our friends at The Board and Brew are now able to open at 25% capacity. They have a big space, and are able to spread people out. This is good news for their business, and we know that they have been super vigilant about COVID management in their team. Owner Ben Epstein told us that he’s optimistic. This time it feels like it could be the final push. We hope that’s true.

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Vaccination rates are up in Maryland. Last week the state gave 150,000 shots, up from 117,000 the previous week. That’s a move in the right direction. But it’s not fast enough. The state needs to deliver around 10,000,000 shots in total. With around 500,000 already delivered, a rate of 150,000/week will get the job done 63 weeks from now, i.e., in April 2022. Clearly, there’s a need to accelerate further. One encouraging sign is that the federal government hopes to have secured 600 million doses of the two currently approved vaccines by the end of summer. If that happens, and if the doses are delivered, then things will be a lot better later in the year.

This all depends, though, on the impact of new and more contagious variants of the virus. Worryingly, a case of the South African variant was detected in Baltimore this weekend.

Special events!

With little prospect of imminent changes in our regular meetups, we’re focusing on steps that can help us to stay active through the winter. Mostly it’s your simple acts of getting out and encouraging others that makes all the difference. But we have a couple of fun challenges that we’re looking forward to.

Dinosaur hunt! We were excited to learn about the College Park Dinos event on February 13-14. It’s a great way to encourage folks to get moving around College Park in a family friendly way that also highlights local businesses.

This fits so well with what we have been doing throughout the pandemic that we would love to be a part of this event, and to incorporate the Dino Hunt into CPVp on Saturday 2/13. So we would LOVE to hear from you if you can help with things like dino chalking or signage on local trails. Or if you have other dino related skills or knowledge. The organizers are also keen to draw more visitors to North College Park, so that the whole city is represented. Proteus Bicycles and POSH fitness studio are already involved. If you know of other organizations from Berwyn northwards who might be interested in participating, do let us know.

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Renton parkrun in Seattle, Halloween 2018. We don't expect to see any dinosaurs running the trails in College Park on February 13th. But you never know!

Virtual Iditarod! We enjoyed the distance challenges that we organized as part of CPVp last summer, and would like to try some more. We’re looking forward to trying a virtual Iditarod challenge as part of our CPVp on March 6th, to coincide with the start of the real Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska. Of course, this one is especially interesting for our barkrunners, who will get top billing. The real Iditarod is around 970 miles long, so that will be a serious challenge for a single day total. We have covered 900+ miles only 4 times since the start of CPVp last May.

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Pakora is clearly training for the Virtual Iditarod

If you have more ideas for things that will help to keep us all moving, we’d love to hear from you.

Until next time!

Your CPVp Team

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All smiles among the PGRC crew on Saturday mornings

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As if running a long way isn't enough, David Lai's crew was also dragging tires this week!

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Elmer Hernandez was one of the first on the trail this Saturday

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Looking good, Dave and Gail

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See you next week!

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