Taking it all in our stride (Run Reports #141-#142)

Now that we’ve done this over 140 times, College Park parkrun has a deep and experienced volunteer community -- this week saw the *300th* different person volunteer -- and so the week’s volunteer crew can take more or less anything in their stride. The past two weeks Andrea and I were on the road, and we totally were not needed, but here are just a couple of things that happened as you were enjoying your free, weekly 5K.


On 6/15 the event started without the stopwatches, scanners, and tokens. No problem! Cool-as-a-cucumber Run Director Anna Tinnemore ensured that the volunteers had the new parkrun app ready to go, and dispatched somebody to go fetch the tokens. By the time the first finishers arrived you wouldn’t know anything had happened.


On 6/22 one of the barcode scanner apps in use turned out to not be the correct app. So a few finishers were not scanned. No problem! Run Director Jim Parsons and finish-line photographer Rebecca White had pictures of who finished when. For some finishers who they couldn’t identify they reached out to me and Andrea for help. That’s how I found myself stopped by the roadside in a windswept mountain pass in Iceland, naming parkrunners in pictures that Andrea was waving at me on her phone.


On 6/22 we were missing our much loved course marshal Hump Plotts. Hump was in the hospital and having a rough time of it. We’re happy to hear that he’s now back home, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery. Our other much loved course marshal Lisa Wilson was still with us, though. Seeing you all on the trail to start the weekend was the pick-me-up that she needed after a difficult week. Thanks to Anna Tinnemore for stepping into Hump’s role this week, after already being Run Director twice in June.


Between 6/15 and 6/22 there were 259 finishers and 29 volunteers at College Park parkrun. And that’s not counting the many barkrunners and under 4s who also joined in the fun. We never quite know who is going to show up every Saturday, but you can always be confident that there will be an enthusiastic crowd, and you won’t find yourself on your own, whatever your pace.


Thanks to all of the past two weeks’ volunteers: Amy Duan, Stewart Mayhew, Judy Mulusa, Firehun Necha, Win Persina, Colin Phillips, Meridith Phillips, Abigail Phillips, Hump Plotts, John Ramsey, Valerie Silensky, Janet Tate, Anna Tinnemore, Larry Washington, Lisa Wilson, Andrea Zukowski, Joel Goldberg, Mike McClellan, Brian Murphy, Jen Murphy, Jim Parsons, Darrell Stanaford, JJ SU, and Rebecca White.


One statistic of note: when parkrun USA Country Manager Darrell Stanaford joined us this week as timekeeper, he became the 300th different person to volunteer at CP parkrun. And 75 of those people have volunteered 5 or more times. That’s a rather broad, supportive community. Thanks, everybody!


A lot of you have been working towards milestones, and so we needed to have a stack of sashes at the ready this week. It’s impressive to see how many CP parkrunners are earning those free parkrun milestone shirts.

John Ramsey and Marvin Russell both joined the 100 club on 6/22. Marvin was first with us in event #3 in late 2016 and has been there most weeks since then, together with wife Judy, who is two-thirds of the way to the 100 club herself. We’re delighted to see that Marvin is overcoming injuries and finding his running mojo again.


In John’s case he was a 31:xx runner when he first joined us in April 2017 at event #27. And now he’s a 24:xx runner. That’s despite being a couple of years further into his 50s. Impressive! We love that John volunteered for a couple of weeks leading up to his 100th run, so that a parkrun friend could celebrate with him. We also love that John’s mayor, New Carrollton mayor Duane Rosenberg, was also there to congratulate him. Duane is on 81 parkruns himself, so a black 100-shirt is not too far in his future.


Crystal Bergemann completed her 50th parkrun this week. Crystal is one of our pioneers who was with us for CP parkrun #1 in October 2016. She was also one of our first parkrunners of the month. We love how Crystal has been with us in all weathers, from the hottest to the coldest to the wettest days.


Gloria Cottman also did her 50th parkrun and was a good sport wearing the red 50 sash. Gloria first joined us in summer 2017 on the day when the Wall St Journal was visiting to do a feature about us. 50 parkruns in less than two years means that she has been with us just about every other weekend, which is rather good going.


We expect to see a lot more action for the milestone sashes in the coming weeks, as there are fourteen CP regulars who are currently on 45-49 parkruns.

It can take a while to reach the official parkrun milestones, so we also have some shout-outs for folks who are reaching unofficial milestones along the way.

Carolyn Kelley and Adam Kiely both did their 25th CP parkrun on 6/15.


In the past two weeks Michael Laing, Dalila Jose, Noemi Mercado, Yogarshi Yvas, Firehun Necha, and Elena Bailoni all did their 10th CP parkrun. In Noemi’s case it was an official milestone, as she’s a junior parkrunner. Congrats Noemi! We look forward to seeing you on the trail in your nice new (and free!) white parkrun shirt.


Meanwhile, the past two weeks have seen ELEVEN new members of our unofficial 5-timer club: Veronica Jones, Patty Hall, Dmitry Pankratov, Aaron Lee, Taylor Nickens, Megan Winsor-Lovely, Luther Lemon, Jorge Urruita, Frank Byskov, David Kaplan, and Brian Krznarich. We’re happy to see all of you with us!



Both weeks we welcomed 15 first-timers to CP parkrun. We love meeting new people who come to check us out, and we’re grateful to all of you for helping to spread the word. Our advertising budget is the same as our entry fee, i.e., $0, so we are very grateful to your efforts in spreading the word and telling friends, family, and colleagues about CP parkrun.

On 6/22 Adoara and Jasper Saunders joined us for the first time. Adoara felt suitably proud to complete the 5K.


Mimi Veshi brought along her friend Sarah Saleh. And first-timers all set PBs, so they get to ring the bell.


On 6/15 the first-timers included Robyn Seabrook and Jolene Russell, who were back the next week and setting big PBs.


Other first-timers on 6/15 included Vidya and Hemant Joshi, who we presume are parents of regular parkrunner Neha Joshi, visiting from very far away. Welcome to College Park!

And Janel Niska, who also got the memo about ringing the PB bell.


As usual, we had a lot of PBs and speediness to celebrate.

Bonnie McClellan is approaching 80 years old and has done 37 parkruns, but that’s no barrier to setting a PB … all while smiling.


Regular runner and volunteer Brian Murphy didn’t set a PB, but he did finish first for the first time. And in doing so he helped pull Tomas Marambio to yet another PB.


Tara and Xander Mease set big new PBs on 6/15, of 25:26 and 25:22. Not to be outdone, Xander’s grandma Janet Tate was back on 6/22 to set a PB of her own … with 25:15. Anybody would think these folks were related!




Cameron McPhee cracked 30 minutes for the first time. And did so by a long margin. And Jackie Hayes continued her march towards 30 minutes with a PB in her 45th parkrun.


Both Matt Kaplan and Brian Koen scored PBs in their 20th parkrun. Both are now running waaaay faster than when they first joined us. Nice progress, gents!



Carly Mills got a PB in her 34th run, and we suspect that she’s steadily gaining on her sister Erin.


Kulli Crespin has clearly been doing something right, as she took almost a minute from her PB.


Rashawna Alfred took more than three minutes from her PB, still pushing a stroller.


… and there were so many more PBs, which you can find in the week’s results (June 15, June 22).

Since you were asking, what on earth were Andrea and I doing, *both* missing CP parkrun the past two weeks?

Well, on 6/15 we were in CT celebrating the wedding of Nick Huang, one of CP parkrun’s founding team. Congratulations to Nick! While we were there we managed to sneak in some parkrun tourism by checking out the new Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller parkrun in Woodstock, VT. What a beautiful little town and an amazing parkrun.


The event starts by a horse barn on the M-B-R National Historic Park, then climbs a steep forest trail for about a mile, before circling a beautiful pond called The Pogue and then descending the steep mile that you climbed to start. Not a place to set records, but such a cool place to visit. parkrun USA recently published a blog story about the event: What goes up …


On 6/22 we were further away, in Iceland. For a mix of work and vacation. There’s no parkrun in Iceland these days, but there briefly was one in Reykjavik from 2011-2012, and the signs for Ellidaardalur parkrun are still there, so we checked it out. Such a pretty route alongside a gushing stream!


What’s coming up this week? CP parkrun #143, of course. It’s looking like the DC summer heat will finally be with us, so we’ll be encouraging everybody to hydrate well and to save the PB attempts for another week.