Big Family (Run Report #155)

Families look out for each other. And that’s exactly what we were doing at this week’s CP parkrun #155. In some cases it was our relatives, in other cases it was our parkrun friends. But we had each other’s backs.


It’s never too late

Kath Phillips is one of the most consistent readers of these reports. Despite living on the other side of the ocean. Why so? Because that’s what moms do. And she’s *my* mom

Anyway, Kath has been following us closely from Bristol UK over the past 3 years. And she had been looking to visit again -- last time she was with us was in CP parkrun #2, when we had around 40 finishers. At that time she volunteered, and wouldn’t have dreamed of trying to cover the 5K. But since then she has got two new knees. So she has been looking forward to joining us and trying to walk the course.

And that is exactly what she did! Accompanied by tailwalker Patty Hall, tailwagger Jude, and (on the return) turnaround hero Lisa Wilson. What’s more, this was the first 5K Kath has ever done. At age 75. We were a family of competitive boys, and she went to many, many athletic events in her time. But this was the first time that she has taken part.


Meanwhile, my dad Derrick also had his barcode ready. He did his first run in maybe 15 years, aside from chasing a young granddaughter down the street. He made it through remarkably well. Derrick is no stranger to running. He took part in the London Marathon a couple of times. But that was when I was in 8th grade. So, a little while ago.


I’m so proud of them both and happy that they took part

It also bears mentioning that Kath and Derrick joined in partly because they knew how welcoming our CP parkrun community would be. They live in the UK, where there are roughly as many parkruns as there are Starbucks (true fact!). They live around the corner from Little Stoke Park, where Andrea first got the idea of starting this little meetup in College Park. And they have been along to plenty of UK parkrun events as spectators. But they knew that they  would fit right in with us.


Looking out for each other

This week one of our senior parkrunners got lightheaded towards the end of the run and then fell hard on the ground.

Fortunately, help was close at hand. A group quickly came to his aid. We had a chair and a first aid kit at the ready. And thanks to a call from the volunteer crew there were paramedics from nearby Branchville VFD on site 10 minutes after the fall. The parkrunner was able to leave under their own steam. Stitches were needed, but we expect a return to running fairly soon.

We’re glad that this all worked out well, and we’re also very thankful that so many parkrunners were able to help out so quickly.

But we’re also aware that this could have happened further away from the park, where we would have been able to respond less quickly. Incidents like this are rare at College Park parkrun. But with growing numbers rare events could happen more often. So we’re looking to take steps to ensure that we can remain as safe as possible, especially for more vulnerable members of our community. To this end, we ask two things of you:

  1. Please continue to be the eyes and ears of the community when you’re out on the trail. If you notice somebody who looks like they’re in a bad way, do please ask.
  2. If there’s a problem out on the trail, try to find somebody who can help. One person can stay with the parkrunner in need, one can try to reach help. Our tailwalker generally has a small first aid kit, and course marshals Hump and Lisa always have phone contact information for the day’s Run Director and other volunteers. If you’re south of the bridges, then Hump is closer, if you’re north of the bridges, then Lisa is closer. Chances are the tailwalker is even closer. You probabaly notice where you typically pass them.
  3. Ideas for how we can improve safety? We’d love to hear from you. One thing we’d llike to do is to have more community members take part in CPR training, building on the mini tutorials that CP Fire Dept did a few weeks ago.

And thanks again for being a caring community. One thing we’re very happy about is that more and more seniors are joining us on Saturdays. This week saw more than ever. We hope to see this continue.


Moms and Daughters

This week Lisa Parsons completed her 50th parkrun on the same day that daughter Kiera Parsons completed her 10th. They enjoyed a nice run together on the trail. This now means that *5* members of Team Parsons have earned parkrun milestone shirts. Impressive!


Meanwhile, Team Hayes was at the helm this week. Jacqueline Hayes took her first spin as run director for the day, and everything went off very smoothly, despite the 911 call. And she was ably assisted by daughter Kayla Hayes, a seasoned parkrun volunteer. Thanks, Jackie and Kayla!


Some Notables


  • 25-timers: Yvette Tamukong, Jonathan Garcia, and Meredith Phillips all did their 25th CP parkrun. Halfway to the red sash!
  • 10-timers: William Scott, Kiera Parsons, and Jimmy Tancabel all now have completed ten 5Ks at CP parkrun. That’s a good kind of habit.
  • 5-timers: Ben Kaczmarski, Katherine McElhenny, V Senthep, William Grunow, and Jolene Russell are all joining the many people who keep coming back to our healthy community.

PBs. There were 30 PBs at this week’s CP parkrun. So many!

  • John Ramsey. How do you go and set 2 PBs in a row after 113 parkruns. Crazy!
  • Matt Kaplan is now finishing 10 minutes faster than he was at the beginning of the year. Wow!
  • John Maneval was finishing in close to 32 minutes when he first joined us. Now he’s pushing 23 minutes.
  • Louise Godley. 6 times at CP parkrun, and a PB almost every time. (One day it missed by 2 seconds, within the margin of error.)
  • Judy Barnes: on her 79th parkrun, she came so close to walking the 5K in under 40 minutes. Pretty much all of us have to run to keep up with Judy.
  • Lorelis Gonzalez and Angel Cejo: 4 visits, 4 PBs.
  • Sharyn Gordon: hot on Judy Barnes’ heels as one of our speed walkers.
  • Andrew Widman: what, another PB!
  • Sharon Chi: she took 1 second from the PB set in February. That works!






  • Natalie Sullivan was cheered in to the finish as she completed her walk, accompanied by Meredith Phillips. It’s an achievement for Natalie to do this, and her friends and family were all proud of her.



And don’t forget …

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH. MUGGLE QUIDDITCH DAY. While most of College Park is freaking out about the Friday night football traffic on 9/27, the busiest day of the year at Acredale Park is the day of the Turtle Cup, a Muggle Quidditch tournament. The parking lots at Acredale Park often fill up early, so you should expect parking to be a little more challenging than usual. Options …

  1. Consider biking, walking, or carpooling to reduce the need for parking.
  2. Park at UMD Lob 11b. It connects directly to the trail, and it’s a 5 minute walk to the parkrun start. Also, perfect positioning for brunch at The Board and Brew.
  3. Park at the College Park Lanes bowling alley, across Route 1 from the park. If you use that lot, please park at the edge of the lot, so as not to interfere with bowling customers.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 12TH. Big DMV parkrun brunch after CP parkrun at The Board and Brew. We will be hosting the parkrun USA “ambassadors” for the weekend, together with others from parkrun Global, and we’ll be inviting all to join us at B&B after parkrun. Come meet James Kemp, who’s job is to keep on top of operations for nearly 2,000 parkrun events worldwide every week.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 19TH. We’re turning 3 years old! Come celebrate with us!

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 28TH. THANKSGIVING PARKRUN. It’s the friendliest (and most affordable) Turkey Trot in the area.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 1ST. New Year’s parkrun double! CP parkrun starts at 10:30 am. You can sleep in … or you can squeeze in another parkrun at 8:30am.

See you Saturday!

Colin Phillips

Co-Event Director