A hundred hundreds (Run Reports #113 and #114)

Lisa Wilson has been putting up an impressive streak of 100s lately at College Park parkrun.


Nov 24: brings her dad to parkrun, aged 100. First centenarian to complete a parkrun in this continent.
Dec 1st: joins the parkrun 100 club
Dec 8th: becomes the first person to complete College Park parkrun 100 times. Oh, and she finished in 100th position, too.
Dec 15th: volunteers for 100th time, as does her husband Hump Plotts


Not to be outdone, College Park parkrun this week recorded its 10,000th finisher since starting in October 2016. That’s 100 x 100 5Ks, completed by around 2,000 people. That’s quite a lot.

(Want to see more of our pictures: check out our Flickr albums.)

So who was the 10,000th finisher? Why, it was Lucy Bills!


That’s nice enough, but there were plenty of other things for Lucy to get excited about this week at parkrun. First, it was raining. A LOT. In fact, it was the biggest winter rain storm ever in DC, and it didn’t stop raining for 45 hours. So Lucy teamed up with fellow puddle-lover Violet and had a totally amazing time running through every puddle they could find on the trail. And there were a lot of puddles.


And then they had cake. And then they met up with more friends and went to play board games at The Board and Brew. Now if that’s not a perfect College Park morning, we don’t know what is.


The rain kept some folks away, but we still had our largest ever turnout for a rain day, with 68 finishers. Not many first-timers, though, for some reason. We made the most of our “indoor” start-finish setup, which involves 2 canopies erected on the trail. That was very welcome indeed, especially for the volunteers who were standing in the rain for an hour and a half.


The rain didn’t stop us celebrating, though. We marked Nick Huang’s 50th parkrun. Nick is one of the pioneers of College Park parkrun, and also one of our most prolific volunteers, having recently recorded his 50th volunteer stint. His skills were very welcome this week, as BOTH stopwatches had problems, and so we had to reconstruct all results by hand.


We also celebrated Kalonji Collins as the parkrunner of the Month for November (yes, we’re catching up!). Kalonji started parkrunning with us in early 2018, and he is already ⅔ of the way to the 50 milestone. He has set countless PBs along the way, and is also a regular volunteer. Thank you, Kalonji! The award comes with a (probably soggy) certificate and a gift card generously provided by our friends at The Board and Brew.


If this week’s parkrun was the wettest of the year, last week’s parkrun was the coldest of the season (so far!), with temps in the 20s and some wind for good measure.


We wanted to celebrate Lisa becoming the first to complete CP parkrun 100 times. But since she’s the first to start and the last to finish, most people just had a brief encounter with her at the turnaround. So we made a surprise for her on the trail, leaving lots of chalk messages for her to find when she returned. Turns out that we have some talented chalkers in our midst.



Despite the cold, we still had over 100 finishers. The lesson from this: you prefer cold over rain.

With the less than ideal weather these past 2 weeks, we saw rather more regulars than first-timers. In fact, there were only 5 across the two weeks. Welcome to Kelly Dunston, Shulamit Shroder, Grace Pooley, Sammie Buzzard (visiting from London, but soon to move to Atlanta), and Joseph Riordon. Do join us again some time. We can’t guarantee better weather, but it’s very likely.


In addition to Nick Huang’s official parkrun milestone, we had a few people reach unofficial milestones.

Lisa Wilson is the first person to complete CP parkrun 100 times.

We saw two new members of our CP 50-timer club: Chris McGranahan and Colin Phillips. Also, there are two new 25-timers: Francis Parks and Jim Cantwell.



(Fun fact: there are 39 people who have completed CP parkrun at least 39-times.)

We saw 5 new 10-timers: Tomas Marambio, Frank Snyder, John Tirador, Maggie Pooley, and Jessica Gerbig. We also saw 5 new 5-timers: Eli Scott, Terry Shin, Janet Tate, Chris Nichols, and Melanie Barzik. Whether you’re there every week or can join us only occasionally, we’re always happy to see you at Acredale Park on a Saturday morning.


In inclement weather we’re especially grateful to the volunteers who helped to keep everything working smoothly.

Neil Jograj took his second turn as Run Director on December 8th. Colin Phillips was RD for the 20th time. We’re always looking for folks who have a little experience of participating and volunteering who would like to join our rotating roster of RDs. Could this be you? The RD is the person who oversees the day’s event, helping the volunteer crew to operate as a well-oiled machine, and typically giving the pre-run briefing and processing the results. Some of our team are moving on in the coming months, and so we’ll need some new talent. And we’re always keen to have a diverse RD team (age, gender, speed, background, …) Training is provided, and ideally each RD would take a turn just once every couple of months. Get in touch if you’re curious about this. Anna Tinnemore and Yancira Amaya recently stepped up to join the crew, and we’d love to have you too.


The RDs were supported in the past 2 weeks by Yancira Amaya, Meghan Gieske, Ben Gieske, Saul Goldberg, Carlos Gough, Diana Gough, Nick Huang, Carolyn Kelley, Aileen Kroll, Tomas Marambio, Brian Murphy, Jen Murphy, Hump Plotts, Matt Pyle, Abdur-Rahman Quadri, Clark Ridge, Marc Swisdak, Maia Swisdak, Anna Tinnemore, Larry Washington, Lisa Wilson, and Andrea Zukowski. One of the many things that we LOVE about College Park parkrun is how many people come forward and help out as volunteers. 170 different individuals have volunteered with us in 2018 alone. If you haven’t tried out volunteering yet, we encourage you to give it a go -- it’s not a chore, and you get to share in everybody else’s parkrun fun for the morning. Highly recommended!



We have regular Saturday parkruns throughout the holiday period, as long as there are no safety issues on the trail. Got a Santa hat or reindeer antlers, then bring them out this Saturday for our start-of-the-holidays event.

On New Years Day we will hold our 3rd College Park Resolution parkrun, co-hosted with our friends at Prince George’s Running Club. This parkrun is special in a number of ways. First, it starts late, at *10:30am*. Second, you can do another parkrun beforehand if you’re feeling energetic. Both Leakin Park parkrun (Baltimore) and Kensington parkrun are holding events at 8:30am, coordinated so that you can do two. January 1st is the one day of the year when you can record two parkruns in one day. Fletcher’s Cove parkrun in DC is also holding a 10:30am event, so the options for mixing and matching are abundant. Third, we’ll be meeting up after parkrun for a big, fun New Years brunch at The Board and Brew, for the entire Maryland parkrun community. You are SO invited!

If you’ll be traveling over the holidays, then you might find yourself near one of the 48 parkruns in North America, or the 1300+ worldwide. If you do visit another event, we’d love to hear from you!

Happy holidays!