What a perfect morning we had for College Park parkrun’s birthday launch on Oct. 15th.
I’m Andrea, your Event Director, I want to welcome you to the newest parkrun in the U.S. We are only the 7th parkrun in the US, but our launch follows closely on the heels of two others just 10 miles from us (Fletcher’s Cove parkrun and Roosevelt Island DC parkrun, which both have lovely courses and even lovelier people—give them a try some time!). There are more new US parkruns in the works, and it is easier than ever before to set them up here. It’s wonderful to watch the parkrun spark spread!
Here are some highlights of our inaugural run.
Sarah Plotts and Lisa Wilson hold the distinction of traveling the shortest distance to parkrun. They live in the closest house to the park where we start. It will be hard to beat that record!
James Kemp traveled the furthest distance to our parkrun. James is the parkrun USA ambassador who was our guide through the process of creating the new event. To get here, he had to travel well over 4000 miles. That is impressive, but it’s a beatable record (just to throw out a challenge!).
Rory Murphy joined us from Baltimore, where he recently laid down roots after moving here from Ireland. Rory and James have helped launch many a parkrun in the UK and beyond, and they have seen it all. It was great to have their support and to introduce them to our course.
Some of our favorite stories are about the families that took part in parkrun.
Jen Murphy met up with her sister Jessica Gerbig and her dad Rob (Gus) Gerbig, who traveled from Baltimore. Jen has already sampled other DMV parkruns, but this was the first parkrun for Jessica and Gus. We hope to welcome you guys to College Park again!
The website lists Sam McGranahan is the inaugural course record holder in the JM11-14 category, with a time of 22:02. And it shows that this was Sam’s 2nd parkrun. What it doesn’t show is that Sam’s family has been one of the pillars of College Park parkrun through its 9-month incubation period. Sam has run in the heat, in the cold, and once in monsoon conditions with a broken arm in a carefully waterproofed cast. Respect!
Sam’s dad Chris McGranahan was a timekeeper for the launch and is one of our run directors. Sam’s sister Nina McGranahan and his mom Debbie Levenson are both among our regulars. Sam and his family logged their first ‘official’ parkrun in Newport, Wales in August! Now that College Park parkrun is official, the whole family will start racking up their run totals to work towards getting their free milestone t-shirts. Under 17s earn a shirt once they’ve completed 10 parkruns. The rest of us have to run 50 parkruns before we get a shirt. I wonder who will be the first runner at our course to celebrate their 50th parkrun...
Karen and Steve Crane came from Mansfield, OH to join us for our launch, and Karen now holds the age-graded record for our course, with an impressive 23:28. Look out for news from Ohio on what Karen and Steve have been planning.
We had a massive turnout at the Board & Brew for post-run coffee and treats. We love this tradition, and we welcome everyone to join us again after this Saturday’s run: 8150 Baltimore Ave. Just walk down the trail about 8 minutes from the start, and then head over to Baltimore Ave via the first bridge you come to.
See you for run #2 this Saturday! You know the time, you know the place. And remember: Don’t Forget Your Barcode!