Friends and Family (Run Report #163)

In the last year since finding College Park parkrun, I have been continually amazed at how parkrun brings families and friends together in a wonderful, supportive, inclusive community.  This is what keeps us coming back week after week. This week we had 128 finishers, of whom 114 were returners.

Last April, I learned that CP parkrun regulars Tara and Xander Mease headed up a team in Great Strides program at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Xander runs every day to manage his CF—parkrun on Saturday is his easy day!

This week, Tara and Xander completed their 100th parkrun. Xander, who just turned seven, is (by far!) the youngest person in the USA to achieve this milestone. Congratulations, Tara and Xander! Four generations of Xander’s family showed up in force to celebrate the milestone.

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Inspired by Xander’s example, I took this opportunity to learn a bit more about CF. I learned that part of the normal functioning of the human body involves a process where chloride moves to the cell surface. For those with Cystic Fibrosis, this process does not work properly, and without the chloride to attract water to the cell surface, the mucus in the body’s organs becomes thick and sticky. Among other things, this clogs the airways of the lungs, and makes a person susceptible to infections and respiratory failure. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation funds research that has significantly improved the ability of those with this disease to manage its complications, and is actively working toward finding a cure. Thank you Xander for inspiring me to learn more about the important work being done by CFF!

As another example of parkrun bringing families together—congratulations to Zoe Phillips, for earning two milestone shirts this week, volunteering for the 25th time and parkrunning for the 10th time.

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Zoe’s parents Colin and Andrea, event directors at CP parkrun, can’t contain their excitement about that. I understand that parkrun has inspired Andrea and Zoe to make plans for running a half marathon together in the Spring!

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On the topic of milestones, Nathan Widman and James Hudson also finished their 10th parkrun this week and earned milestone shirts. Congratulations!

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When I come to CP parkrun, everywhere I look I see family and friends coming together.

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Welcome to father/daughter first timers Marvin and Erika!

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Thanks to father/daughter barcode scanners Chris and Nina, and thanks to mother/daughter tailwalkers Yancira and Janete!

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CP parkrun is also a great place for reuniting with old friends, and meeting new ones!  Neil and Julie reunited this week with their friends from Connecticut, parkrun first timers David and Cindy.

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DC area parkrun regulars Terri and Sol reunited with their friend Tom, visiting from Telford parkrun near Birmingham, England.

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We were happy to meet Deep Run parkrun regular Randy, whose home event was apparently canceled due to a marathon. Come back any time!

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Thanks as always to the many volunteers who make this possible every week! A special shout out to our turnaround marshal Lisa for her 150th event!

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I’m so excited we have three more parkruns in November, including our special Thanksgiving day parkrun at 9am on Thursday 11/28. See you there!

Stewart Mayhew

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