Let them eat cake! Double New Year’s Run Report


What a fantastic weekend it was for our parkrun double header! The parkrun Weather Fairy provided us with back-to-back sparkly days, which gave us a great turn out and great photos to share.

At Sunday's New Years Resolution parkrun, we celebrated a Flurry of Firsts:

  • First parkrun of 2017
  • First time we topped 100 parkrunners (107!)
  • First parkrun milestone shirt earned (Ian Parsons, aged 11, earned his free ‘10’ shirt).
  • First parkrunner of the month at College Park (Lisa Wilson, who gives us at least 2 new reasons to love her every week.)
  • First time we had cake (it won’t be the last).
  • First time we partnered with the Prince George’s Running Club (we hope it won’t be the last—you guys bring wonderful enthusiasm and big smiles!)
  • First time we welcomed octogenarians at College Park parkrun. (Harold and Ann Freeman: Respect!)
  • First parkrunners with strollers, led by Rachel Lukens and her son Marty.


But also:

  • First time we lost more than 1 finisher token (we lost 2: check your pockets, please return them!)
  • First time someone took a wrong turn (Matthew Wolpert, if you are listening, we are sorry! We have now added a line to our pre-run briefing to warn people not to take any turns marked on the trail. New markings recently added without us knowing.)


Lisa Wilson, parkrunner of the month, embodies the spirit of parkrun. She walks the course, comes back week after week, is competitive about improving her own time, and is always offering to help. And she has cool hats.


Let them eat cake! Ian Parsons earned his "10" shirt this week. Sam McGranahan should earn his next week.


Big turn-out from the Prince George's Running Club on Sunday! These friendly folks offer group runs throughout the week, including Tuesday evening track workouts just a half mile from our starting line (great for speed work!).


Here are some Fun Facts and Figures from the weekend:

  • 130 different people ran College Park parkrun this weekend.
  • 69 people took part for the first time this weekend.
  • Now more than 300 people have run College Park parkrun since our launch in mid-October.
  • 9 people ran both Saturday and Sunday.
  • 7 more came on both days, and volunteered on one or both.
  • The Parsons family account for 31 of the 630 runs completed so far. (Impressive! And it would be higher, but they have been giving back by volunteering.)
  • Not 1, not 2, but 3 mayors (if you count former mayors) took part on Sunday. Big thanks to College Park mayor Patrick Wojahn (PB on Sunday!), University Park mayor Len Carey, and former University Park mayor Harold Freeman for joining us. Come back any time!
  • We also welcomed Prince George's County Council member Dannielle Glaros and family. College Park parkrun wouldn't have been possible without Dannielle's help.
  • Norm Driskell, a parkrun tourist from London, checked off College Park as the 200th place where he has done a parkrun. Out of those 200 places, he clocked his 5th fastest time ever at College Park. We are officially a fast course! Norm's wife Kate Driskell came too; she has run a 'mere' 128 parkruns.
  • 7 people set age-category records for College Park parkrun this weekend
  • And one person broke the female course record. (Congratulations, Laura Ramos! What’s more, she had one of the biggest smiles at the event on Sunday, despite some fierce competition in that department.)
  • An impressive 11 more people joined our unofficial College Park 5-club this weekend. Congratulations!
  • 4 more people joined the super-exclusive College Park 10-club this weekend. Kudos! (Sorry, if you're over age 17, you don't get a free shirt until you reach 50 parkruns; only time will tell who reaches that milestone first!)

New "5 Club" inductees (also two of your run directors--Andrea and Chris--but there wasn't enough space in the collage! Lisa and Thomas Parsons, Zoey Warecki, Carlos and Diana Gough, Patrick Wojahn, Marvin Russell, Julie Epstein, and Dominique Blom.


New "10 Club" inductees. Ken Leonard (and Scout, of course), Lisa Wilson, Gus Campbell, and Ian Parsons.


Laura Ramos of Montgomery County Road Runners, new female course record holder and best smile contender.


Tony Bell, from Prince George's Running Club, another contestant in the best smile competition.


We had quite a few unregistered people running on Sunday. You can still register for parkrun. Do it here (just once, and it’s free). And next time you come back, don’t forget to bring your barcode!

As always, we are indebted to the volunteers that make College Park parkrun free and friendly forever. We had our biggest weekend of volunteering yet. Hump Plotts, Nina McGranahan, and Lisa Wilson volunteered both days. Thank you! Diana and Carlos Gough (and Ruby the dog) were tailrunners on Saturday. Sean and Ken Leonard teamed up on finish duties on Saturday (and Scout helped too). Debbie Levenson, Chris McGranahan and Jim Parsons took care of timing on the two days. Zoe Phillips debuted as one of our photographers. And on Sunday we had a great team of volunteers from Prince George's Running Club: Mark Shroder, Rebecca Cormeny, and Valerie and Emily Rankin. Volunteering at College Park parkrun is fun - drop us a line if you can help out some time. (High schoolers can earn service credit hours too.)

As we kick off the new year, we welcome you to lace up your shoes, put on your warm gear, and come sweat with us at College Park parkrun, any or every Saturday at 9AM. We have a big tent, and we want you in it!

You can follow College Park parkrun on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, find loads of photos on Flickr, or join our Strava club. Or you can just show up 9am on Saturdays.

-Andrea Zukowski