Carpe humidum diem! (Run Report #168)

My Latin is a little rusty. And it was never that good. But this is my best attempt at “Seize the wet day!”

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College Park parkrun is different on rain days. We still love it, but it’s different. Smaller. Quieter. More intimate. In part because we huddle under the canopies that Andrea/Colin and Lisa/Hump bring along to the finish area.

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For a city that sees almost double the annual rainfall of London, it is remarkable that this was the first rain day of 2019. And the rain turned out to be much milder than expected. A lot of colorful rain gear brightened up an otherwise very grey day.

Keaton Ellis is one who certainly seized the day. With many of our regular speedsters elsewhere or staying home he found himself in the unexpected position of leading the field of around 70 down the trail. Keaton is an internationally renowned Rubik’s Cube competitor, but he’s less accustomed to setting the pace at CP parkrun. So when Evan Hirsche (and barkrunner Sophie caught up with him near Hump’s Crossing, he was having none of it. This made for an entertaining sprint finish for the half dozen waiting volunteers.

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As always we are so happy that so many different people step forward as volunteers each week, all taking their turn on making this community event thrive. Among many others this week …

Marc Swisdak arrived home at 3:30am from a work trip. And by 9am he was timekeeping at CP parkrun. Flawlessly, too. This made results processing easier than it has ever been before, with results emails in everybody’s inbox by 10:45am. As many of you know, we now do all timekeeping and barcode scanning using the parkrun Virtual Volunteer app, and that does tend to make things go more smoothly.

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Larry Washington volunteered as a timekeeper this week because he was giving a final exam at UMD at 10:30, and that wouldn’t give him time to shower. So he volunteered instead. Perfect!

Chris Roth was a first-timer last week, and this week he was already on the volunteer crew. Chris is on a 6-month visit to the US from Germany, and we’re delighted that the CP parkrun community is helping him to connect to more people in the area.

We’re glad to see that Hump continues to recover well from surgery. This week Carlos Gough was his understudy, and both seemed to be happy with the arrangement.

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We had one milestone that needed to be celebrated this week -- but we almost missed it. Stewart Mayhew volunteered for the 25th time, earning himself a free purple V25 shirt. This is very much deserved, as Stewart has become a stalwart of the DMV parkrun community in the little over a year since he first joined us. Congratulations, Stewart -- and Thank You! Oh, and as it happens it was also Stewart’s 25th time completing CP parkrun. That makes him the 158th member in our exclusive 25-timer club.

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On rain days we’re pleasantly surprised if any first-timers join us, and so we were happy to meet 5 newcomers.

Anthony Benyarko came along thanks to his running club friend David Lai (PB!). And we learned that it is Anthony who keeps UMD’s (amazing) men’s lacrosse team in good working order.

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Sabrina Zhou seemed to enjoy her first CP parkrun, and we are sure that the weather will be better the next time.

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This week’s PBs included second timer Catherine Francoeur, Bill Snelling, JA Hinds, and Genet Haile. Genet deserves a special shout out, as in her 3 outings, starting at Thanksgiving, she has improved by EIGHT minutes. Wow!

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We don’t often see parkrun tourists at CP parkrun, but we had one this week! Though not exactly from far away. Dan Owen is co-Event Director at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun downtown. He wasn’t able to be at FC this week because he needed to bring his son to a swim meet at UMD. So we were happy that he was able to sneak out to join us at CP parkrun instead.

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Announcements for coming attractions …

  1. Tell all your friends and family about our College Park Resolution parkrun, coming up on 1/1/20 at the special time of 10:30am. Our New Years events are big and a lot of fun. And free, of course.
  2. If you’re feeling adventurous, then consider trying a New Years double parkrun. You can take part in either Kensington parkrun or Leakin Park parkrun at 8:30am before heading to College Park. This is the one day a year that you can do two.
  3. On NYD we’re also looking forward to a BIG post-parkrun brunch at The Board and Brew, with visiting parkrun friends from around the region.
  4. Before that we have two more CP parkruns in 2019. On 12/21 we’re looking forward to celebrating Maia Swisdak’s 50th parkrun. Excellent, Maia! If you feel the urge to wear something festive for this parkrun, you should go for it!

See you soon,

Colin Phillips
co-Event Director

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