Our volunteers are awesome! (Run Report #130)

Wowie! Did we have some absolutely stunning spring weather for our 130th event! This winter has seemed to drag on a bit with the cold (and especially damp) weather, but Spring was out in full force with some beautiful weather. We took full advantage of it, too. 148 smiling finishers taking a bit of extra time hanging out with their extended family at the finish line and really enjoying themselves. Plus a strong showing at the Board and Brew for post-parkrun coffee, too!

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When planning for this event started on early Saturday morning, we had a crew of 6 volunteers lined up - course marshall extraordinaires Hump Plotts and Lisa Wilson, first timer briefing from Andrea Zukowski, Danny Walker and Sam McGranahan as our timing crew, and myself as run director. A stellar crew, for sure, but a few shy of what we needed. Now that we have done this 130 times, I have learned to not stress if the volunteer roster is a bit short. The community proved me right again. Jen Murphy was happy to jump in to give out finish tokens. Then we had Sharlene Deskins come up and ask if we had anyone as tailwalker. She was wonderful and took great photos of everyone along the way. Janet Tate asked me a little before we started if we needed more volunteers and gladly took on the job of barcode scanner. We still needed a couple more. That’s where JJ Su and Ben Gieske jumped in. And they still got to run! JJ took some excellent finish line photos and Ben filled the role of second barcode scanner. With the big attendance and one of the scanners acting up, we needed that second scanner!

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The PB bell rang a lot on Saturday! Some rang it reluctantly, unsure if their time was a PB, but were pleasantly surprised as results were processed. A few notable rings were from JJ and Ben who must have been so excited to get back to volunteer that they achieved a PB in the process. Sam Phipps also came through with a new PB, then waited at the finish line and cheered every single finisher. We love the support, Sam! Right behind Sam was Rex Ledesma with a shiny new PB and a ring of the bell. John Ramsey was among the uncertain bell ringers, and he was happy to see at breakfast that he had tied his PB! Great job, John! A few additional PBs from Saturday, did I mention the bell rang a lot, Oscar Mercado returned and set a PB on his second time out with us, Genevieve Coen, Anne-Marie Gorman, Ellen Oberholtzer, Amy Rice, and Sawyer Rice also set PBs. In total we had 24 PBs. I like to think it was the weather and the bright smile of all the volunteers.

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Well deserved recognition with some awards to start. Juan Saavedra earned his 10 milestone shirt a few weeks ago, and we were happy to finally recognize this accomplishment! Enjoy your new shirt, Juan! Lori Dominick was awarded this month’s parkrunner of the Month award. Lori is an amazing member of the community in her encouragement and welcoming nature. She is one of the reasons why this community has grown and is as strong as it is.

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It was great to welcome a bunch of first-timers this week. A couple of regular runners brought along a friend and walked the trail with them. Thank you for helping to welcome newcomers to our community! And we were happy to be joined for the first time by Sarah Byrne, the brains behind the Route 1 Fun newsletter that keeps us abreast of all kinds of cool things happening in the Route 1 corridor. Sarah - we hope you'll join us again some time.

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A special shout out to first-timer Vincent, who recently turned 4, making him old enough to get his own parkrun barcode. He walked the 5k with proud mom Teresa. Great job, Vincent!

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I’m already looking forward to our next parkrun! Don’t forget that from April 6th we will have FREE Yoga in the Parks, every Saturday at 10am after parkrun, a partnership with our friends at Prince George’s Parks. And on April 13th we will be teaming up with PG Parks and the University of Maryland again for post-parkrun trail and stream maintenance and tree planting, as a part of the University of Maryland’s Good Neighbor Day. Last year we had a huge crew of volunteers for this event, and we hope that you’ll be able to join us for it this year.

Brian Murphy
Run Director