Pluviophile - (noun): a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.
I’m not sure how many actual pluviophiles there were at College Park parkrun this weekend but there was rain, joy, and even peace of mind to be found.
We knew by the forecast there would be rain Friday night into Saturday morning but we had hoped the rain would be gone, leaving only puddles and perhaps cloudy skies for our weekly, timed, free event. The set up crew was faced with a continuing light rain so the canopies were unloaded and set up to help keep dry the volunteers and as many runners and walkers as possible.
Close to 100 runners and walkers (two and four legged) came prepared for the weather in various attire including umbrellas, hats, and boots!
Shortly before the starting time Lisa set out to her usual turn around and sounded the alarm - we have a river overrunning the trail!
Okay, that may be hyperbole but the trail was flooded and our usual route had to be changed. With experience gained through 174 previous events this was quickly and efficiently dealt with and an alternate route was laid out and the 175th College Park parkrun began without delay.
Colin explains the alternate course with its many twists and turns. Run director for the day, Neil Jograj, looks on. Good luck with that!
By the time the first finishers were coming back, the rain had stopped. The rain was gone leaving behind puddles, mud and high water to be enjoyed by those who were inclined to puddle jump, or get muddy!
Clark and Violet have finished their 5K, and they head off in search of puddles!
For many participants the benefits of parkrun extend beyond exercise to social. This week offered many opportunities for interaction. Having to walk or run the shortened trail twice meant we saw lots of each other. That made for at least 3 times the high fives, cheers and smiles as we shared our joy.
And of course there is always the opportunity to socialize before parkrun as we await the start and afterwards as we pause to visit and cheer on those who finish after us. Joy could be seen on the faces of visitors from the other side of the world. The Barnes family visited us from Newcastle, Australia, as the final leg on a US tour.
Joy was also found in seeing the unexpected as a small group of kayakers took on the “rapids” of the Paint Branch stream.
The camaraderie always continues at the Board and Brew. This week’s post-parkrun group was happy to be someplace warm, dry and comfortable.
Peace of Mind
Peace of mind, at a 5k event? You might think I am crazy. But, there is a peace that comes to me and I think many others while participating in CP parkrun. There is the satisfaction many find in volunteering, whether it be weekly like Lisa and Hump or occasionally like myself.
Peace of mind is also found when we realize we are doing something good for our bodies. But College Park parkrun offers more. College Park parkrun takes place in a beautiful area. We run and walk along a path that has woods, wetlands, a stream (this week it was more like a small river), three bridges and a golf course.
Although we are in the midst of a highly populated area we can take a few minutes to pull away from that chaos. Though some choose to listen to music or a podcast while parkrunning, for others it is a time away from the noise and demands of our devices which can prove to increase our peace of mind even if only for the 18, 40, 75 or more minutes it takes from start to finish.
So, whether we define ourselves as a pluviophile or not, College Park parkrun #175 did give us a chance to find some joy and peace of mind within a community of like-minded runners, walkers, volunteers and puddle jumpers.
See you next time!
Editor's note: thanks to Rebecca for penning this week's run report. We love having new voices in this column. Let us know if you can help with some future week's report.