We love seeing our healthy community continue to grow, with more people walking and running, more people trying volunteering, and more bringing along friends and family. This week temperatures were around 30 degrees lower than last week, and there was snow in the forecast, though it did not materialize in College Park. But still there were over 100 people enjoying the trail together for CP parkrun #174.
If you’re looking to make CP parkrun a regular part of your week, we suggest two things that help.
First, try to join us at least 5 times. If you can get to that point, then there’s a 90% chance that you’ll be back for more.
Second, try out any of a few things that are really good for getting to meet others in our CP parkrun community: try your hand at volunteering, join us for coffee and brunch at The Board and Brew, or just introduce yourself to somebody that you see at the park.
We saw plenty of all of these at this week’s event.
There are now 6 new 5-timers at CP parkrun, taking the total count to almost 700.
Laura Beckert joined us for the fifth time, and this week she brought along first-timer Erv (welcome!).
Chris Roth did his fifth run with us - he has also volunteered a number of times already - and this week he brought along his roommate Paolo as a first timer (welcome!).
Jeremy Rueter did his fifth run with us, and this week he brought along his son Luke for the first time (welcome!).
Do you notice a pattern here?
Jen Matis was another of this week’s fifth timers. So did she bring a first-timer, too? Well, walking with Cameron doesn’t count, as it was Cameron’s 42nd time with us. But they did bring along a first-timer. Barkrunner Ranger walked further than he had ever walked before, and he had a great time. Cameron and Jen had been planning to volunteer, but we had a full crew already, so they chose to take a walk instead.
We hear that Ranger slept all afternoon after his long walk. Nice job, little guy!
Maggie Gill and JA Hinds (PB!) were this week’s two other new 5-timers. In Maggie’s case it is her first visit in a couple of years, so we were super happy to see her back with us, zipping around as first female finisher this week.
Meanwhile, John Larsen joined Jim Parsons’ veteran crew of volunteers, and discovered what many before him have discovered, that being part of the volunteer crew is fun, and a great way to become more connected to the CP parkrun community. Thanks John!
It sounds kind of backwards, but we suspect that one of the best things that you can do for your running or walking experience at CP parkrun is to do a spot of volunteering.
The rest of this week’s volunteer crew was a seasoned bunch. The finish line crew supporting RD Jim were Trace Huard, Joel Goldberg, Mike McClellan, Lori Dominick, Andrea Zukowski, and Zoe Phillips. The on the course crew was Külli Crespin and Teresa Perdomo (tailwalkers, cheerleaders, photographers), and Lisa Wilson and Hump Plotts. And Colin Phillips was managing propaganda from someplace far away.
A few milestones and other notables to celebrate this week:
Frank Snyder wore the red sash for his 50th parkrun. For the record, Frank is in amazing shape for a 76-year old. Frank had, in fact, already completed around 49.99 parkruns before this week. At a late summer event he stumbled and fell shortly before the finish. Thanks to helpful parkrunners and fast-arriving EMS he was soon patched up and able to walk away, but he did not take a finish token that day. So we have been especially happy to see Frank back in strong running form.
We also saw the return of the parkrunner of the Month award, which was presented to Teresa Perdomo. This award is given roughly monthly (when we remember) to individuals who embody the spirit of what CP parkrun is all about. Teresa is a regular runner and volunteer, and she has introduced many others to this community. Thanks, Teresa!
A shout out is due for Hump Plotts, who volunteered at his eponymous crossing this week for the 150th time. Wow. As regulars know, CP parkrun wouldn’t be the same without Hump. And we are thrilled that he is now healthy and able to still join us on a Saturday.
Finally, in finishing in 52nd position, first-timer William Aquino had the distinction of becoming the 18,000th finisher at CP parkrun. Welcome William! (And also his brother (?) Bryan, also a first-timer this week.)
On a chilly day we expect to see a higher proportion of super regular parkrunners on the trail. This week there were 38 50-clubbers who completed the 5K (and another 5 who volunteered). But we were also pleasantly surprised to see a strong turnout from newer participants. 31 finishers this week had joined us 4 times or less before.
Germaine Donnelly was back for a second time (yay!), and she both set a PB, and brought along her husband John as a first-timer. Double win!
Also, Alyssa Heintzelman came to parkrun with a parent. That’s not so unusual, as she’s routinely there with her dad Dave, when she’s not away at College. But this week it was her mom Joanne, who was joining us for the second time (yay!). And Joanne’s 55-minute walk earned her a ring of the PB bell. Nice!
Shayla Chelliah was with us for the 3rd time this week, but this time she brought along her dad Santosh and her brother Sanyaj for the first time. Welcome!
CP parkrunners on tour
There’s no place like home, but we love hearing about your travels to other parkrun communities, in the US or abroad. This week was a week of weather contrasts.
Kathy Gustafson was in Florida, where she joined Clermont Waterfront parkrun on what looks like a beautiful 68-degree morning, where she was one of 177 finishers.
Slightly different weather and crowds welcomed Stewart Mayhew and Colin Phillips, who were on tour in the Midwest. Stewart was one of 9 finishers in the snow at Heritage Harbor parkrun in Ottawa, IL. Stewart was sporting his shiny new red 50 shirt, which goes rather nicely with HH’s apricot colored tourist sash (nice idea!). The one person ahead of Stewart at HH parkrun was the remarkable Juan Leg -- if you haven’t read his story, we highly recommend it.
Meanwhile, a little further north Colin Phillips was visiting Howard Temin Lakeshore Path parkrun in Madison, WI, where he was one of just 6 finishers on a rather snowy morning. HTLP parkrun has much in common with College Park parkrun. Out-and-back route next to a Big 10 campus. It launched only at the end of this past summer, so it’s just starting to develop a local following. But it is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. They start right next to the UWM student union, overlooking Lake Mendota. And for the winter months they hold the pre-parkrun briefing indoors, inside Der Rathskeller, a college pub that is styled after a big German beer hall. And the winter finish line is right by the door to Der Rathskeller, so that parkrunners and volunteers don’t need to spend too much time waiting outside when the winds come in across the lake. The distance from the finish line to your post-parkrun coffee spot is barely 20 feet. Highly recommended. And on a small, snowy day, almost the entire crew of parkrunners and volunteers stayed around for coffee.
Finally, we cannot leave without noting that we found a number of parkrunners doing a little dance at the turnaround or at the finish at CP parkrun this week. High fives to Saul Goldberg and Kent York. But it’s hard to compete with 3-year old Mary Claire, who recognized that reaching Lisa at the turnaround is, quite literally, the high point of any CP parkrun.
See you next week!
Tamesha and Jay
Sheilah's happy to be back
Mike zoomed around in 16:48. Speedy!
Sophie always wants to lead her pack
It's great to meet new friends at CP parkrun