Comeback Kids (Run Report #161)

A cool morning turned into a perfect day for a run or walk in the park! We had 99 finishers on the 161st running of our beloved College Park parkrun. It continues to be my favorite running event and something I look forward to week after week. It’s great to have a no-pressure, friendly jog or walk in the park with a wonderful community that is completely free! Here are some of the stories and milestones achieved this week.

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We had several “comeback kids” this time. Our parkrunners are not immune from injuries and ailments that keep them sidelined for a week or more. We are always thrilled to see them come back.

This week saw the return of Mike McClellan and Rebecca White after several months, with Rebecca marking her return with a PB! Mike is recovering from spine surgery, and he wasn’t sure how far he would get along the trail. So of course he went the whole 5K. It took him 30 minutes longer than his PB, but it was a mighty impressive achievement.

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Katie Hirsche returned after an almost two-month stint of volunteering (thanks!) to get a new PB of sorts as well. She enjoyed her first walking parkrun, which I encourage everyone to try. You get to enjoy the scenery and smiling faces for double the time of a typical run at no extra cost!

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We shared the trail with WABA’s Cider Ride. Lots more traffic on the trail, but all went off without incident. Thanks to all who called out warnings of passing riders.

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We also welcomed several first timers. Doug Dicks visited us from Indiana with newly local daughter Ashley. Their friend Cole Griffin visited from New Jersey. Other first timers included Haimei Jin and Charlene Shortte. Please join us again! You will be a regular before you know it.

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Thomas Parsons made his family the first to have four 50-timer shirts to keep track of and long-time College Park parkrunner Trace Huard made it to 50 as well. Congratulations, gents!

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Unofficial milestones include 5-timer James Whitehead who has come five weeks in a row and 10-timers Annika Dallmann and Kristen Wares who also got a PB. Dinah Cohen is now half-way to 50. It happens before you know it!

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Other PBs (there were plenty due in part to the perfect weather): Keri Pierce (after 41 parkruns!), Alanna Kempton cut seven minutes at age seven, Cirílio Perez is four-for-four with parkrun PBs and Natasha Oliviera has had five in a row! Angel Cejo and Lorelis Gonzalez both running their 9th have PBs almost every time.

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Finally, a thanks to those who made it happen this week: the volunteers! We had an almost-all-new finish line crew this week with Anna Damm and Violet Ridge both scanning for the first time and Cotter Rosenberg working as one of our timers. We had a great time at the finish with timer Brian Murphy and Catherine Madsen doing finish tokens. Duane Rosenberg and Russell Dickerson gamely sorted tokens and  Anna Tinnemore served as tail-walker.

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Colin Philips, Zoe Phillips, Hump Plotts, Lisa Wilson and Adrea Zukowski all did their regular part in serving as the backbone of this event.

It can’t happen without the wonderful volunteers. Try it! It’s fun!

Some coming attractions:

  • Lots more people to celebrate (of course!). This week four parkrunners completed their 99th parkrun, so it’s time to dust off the black sash. Duane Rosenberg and Dom Blom will be wearing black on Nov 9th, and Tara and Xander Mease on Nov 16th.
  • We have six parkrun days in November, so five more still to go!
  • And one of them is on Thanksgiving morning. Join us for the friendliest, freest turkey trot in all of College Park.

I very much enjoyed my 11th time as run director and look forward to participating again in the coming weeks. Run, walk, volunteer! We have something for everyone.

Clark Ridge

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