The saying goes that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. 2020 is like a cart full of lemons. So let’s think of College Park Virtual parkrun as a refreshing glass of lemonade.
Ok, so maybe we’re projecting here. Maybe it’s the heat. Or maybe we were inspired by the lemonade stand that Joe Fox visited on his virtual parkrun this week. Anyway, on a steamy summer day where Maryland saw its highest number of new coronavirus cases in months (ugh!) and with no prospect of normalcy anytime soon, there was plenty of lemonade making to be seen around the CPVp community.
But before we get into this week’s stories, here are the numbers, the honor roll of everybody who got out there this Saturday, and an important announcement about a new experiment for next week (Aug 1st).
Joe Fox chose this lemonade stand run by a couple of rising 5th graders as the turnaround point for his virtual parkrun this week.
Facts and Figures
- 150 virtual parkrunners
- 655 miles covered
- 3 first-timers
- 15 new TEN TIMER TURTLE badges earned
- 2 new HIGH FIVES earned
- 8 barkrunners
- 8 virtual volunteers
Live Coffee Returns!
We were excited to learn that The Board & Brew will reopen for outdoor service, carryout and delivery starting on Friday July 31st. We have really missed our weekly meetups, and TB&B has missed us, too.
So next Saturday (August 1st) we’re going to experiment with a socially-distanced meetup, in the pocket park directly behind The Board and Brew. There’s grass, trees, and a lot of morning shade. There are a couple of benches, but we’d recommend to bring a chair or a mat. You can order drinks or snacks from The Board & Brew or Vigilante Coffee (choices, choices!) via phone apps, or bring along your own choice of refreshments. Also, please bring a mask for when distancing is not feasible or if you need to step indoors. We can meet outside in full compliance with current state and county rules on gatherings. The pocket park is just across the footbridge from UMD Lot 11b, where parking is free.
Next week's non-virtual coffee meetup - in the pocket park right behind Vigilante and The Board & Brew. (This was also the turnaround point for Neha Joshi's CPVp this week. Smart choice.)
You could walk or run on the Paint Branch Trail, or you could head out from home and then stop by afterwards. We’re not going to be holding scheduled events on the regular parkrun course anytime soon, it’s still one of the best places in the area to get active: pretty trail, great shade, and a strong chance of running into other parkrunners. And the trail is never crowded.
What time? We’ll play this by ear for the first week. Andrea and Colin will try to roll in between 9:30 and 10:00 and then hang out for a while. Some like to get their activities in early these days. And the weather forecast for next Saturday is the best we’ve seen in weeks!
We have really enjoyed the weekly online coffee chats these past 3 months, especially the opportunity for folks to join us from far away. But we’re looking forward to seeing some folks in person while supporting local businesses that really need our help. If you're thinking of joining, we'd love to hear from you at email@example.com. Not required, but we'd like to give TB&B fair warning if there will be a big group.
We love seeing everybody online. Especially folks from far away. But we're looking forward to seeing a few people in person soon.
You “made lemonade” in lots of different ways this week, creatively compensating for the lack of our regular meetups.
Jen Matis is nursing her foot back to good health. So she and husband Travis took a walk on the Trolley Trail and picked up trash, a pastime known to Swedes as “plogging”.
Nice plogging, Jen and Travis
Neha Joshi and Yogarshi Yvas realized that one benefit of the virtual parkrun format is that you can design a course that has a Vigilante Coffee at the turnaround, and that has a finish line right next to your cat.
Malik Al-Jame has been making the most of being able to run a speedy 5K by himself AND run with his 7-year old nephew Isaiah. On his 3rd consecutive CPVp Isaiah took an incredible 12 minutes from his PB, from 42 minutes to 30 minutes. Looks like this is becoming less of an easy recovery run for Malik.
Keep up, Malik!
Lisa Wilson has been missing seeing you all at the turnaround point. But that allowed her to instead take a 5K walk with her dad, James Wilson. James is 102 years old, so doing a 2h38m 5K is perfectly good. Lisa said: “I carried 6 bottles of ice cold water I put them in the freezer when I first woke up this morning. He was awake about 6 this morning, so I fixed him a nice breakfast, and then he wanted to go for a walk …”
Lisa and James, 102 years young
Cindy Cohen took advantage of her last CPVp in cooler and mountainous Idaho before a return to DC, so she did another downhill 5K, again beating her all-time parkrun PB with a 23:12 clocking.
And Rebecca White used a 150+ lap course around her house to cover the full 5K distance, coming within a hair of her parkrun PB of around 70 minutes.
We're confident that Cindy Cohen picked these huckleberries *after* careening down a mountain for her virtual parkrun
As an interlude in this report, here is a virtual parkrun haiku contributed by Diana Gough.
runs through Hyattsville
wears purple parkrun t-shirt
dreams of popsicles
Appalachian Trail Tour
We continued our virtual Appalachian Trail tour this week, setting out from the 735 mile marker on the 2,190 mile trail, somewhere near Roanoke, VA. Our goal: to make it across VA, WV, MD, PA, NJ, and NY to close to the New England border by nightfall.
This week's route - Virginia to New York
Around the 1,000 mile marker we crossed the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry to enter the Maryland section of the trail.
Harper's Ferry - entering Maryland at the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail
By the end of the day we had made it to around mile 1,390, about to cross the Hudson River in New York. This leaves us with a target of around 800 miles for next weekend to complete the trek to Katahdin, Maine.
Impressively, this week’s CPVp included non-virtual runs or walks in almost all of the states that our virtual AT tour covered.
We had plenty of virtual parkrunners from VA, thanks to our friends from Roosevelt Island parkrun, who could mostly be found in the somewhat less bucolic surroundings of Arlington and Fairfax Counties.
Michael Bevers and Eve Fingerett represented West Virginia, running in Charleston, WV. Ironically, they were much further from the WV section of the AT than those of us in College Park.
We had no shortage of parkrunners getting active in Maryland, of course. As for who was the closest to the Maryland section of the AT, that’s probably a tie between Frank Snyder in Gaithersburg and Shelley Gough Lauffer in Mt Airy.
Representing PA was Keaton Ellis, who wisely headed to State College to visit Alyssa and enjoy some cooler weather.
Keaton did his run in State College, PA, which looked a lot cooler than College Park
We had a few representatives in NJ, including Mary Langan and her barkrunner Captain Jack.
And Derek Symer represented NY, though his run along Keuka Lake in the western corner of the state may have been further from the NY section of the AT than we were in Maryland. Derek has been busy covering the miles for a virtual crossing of NY State, and since starting on May 15th he has reached the final 50 miles. Way to go, Derek!
And for good measure, let’s throw in two more states on the AT. We traversed the far western edge of NC in last week’s tour. This week Meridith Phillips did her CPVp on the far eastern edge of NC, along the beach at Kill Devil Hills, NC.
And we had representatives in CT where we’ll be touring virtually next week. Nick Huang ran in Windsor, near Hartford, and Joan Heffernan was setting a 5K PB near the CT-MA line in Suffield, CT.
It has rained a lot recently, but that is not the Paint Branch. It's the Atlantic Ocean at Kill Devil Hills, NC
Speaking of Kill Devil Hills …
There’s a connection between Kill Devil Hills, NC and College Park, and a link to one of our regular parkrunners, mayor Patrick Wojahn.
Followers of our weekly CPVp Facebook thread may have noticed that Patrick generally does his Saturday run in the late afternoon, even in the heat of July. What is this son of Green Bay, WI doing in such harsh conditions? Generally squeezing in another activity in another busy day as mayor.
Many Saturdays Patrick starts off at the community food bank, where a few other parkrunners have been helping out. This week he also took in a visit to College Park Airport and Aviation Museum, where he got to meet Jessica Cox, the world’s first armless aviator. Jessica was marking the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and also the 80th anniversary of the Ercoupe airplane, which was built right here in College Park. (Have you noticed the small airplane in front of the Whole Foods in Riverdale Park Station -- that’s an Ercoupe.)
But what of Kill Devil Hills? That’s where the Wright Brothers did their first powered flight in 1903. A few years later they were in College Park training some of the earliest mail pilots at the College Park Airport, which has been in continuous operation ever since.
And is Patrick done for the day after his late afternoon run? Not at all. Next he transforms into College Park's leading takeout food journalist. See this new article about how Patrick and his husband Dave have been supporting local restaurants during the pandemic.
Patrick with Jessica Cox, the world's first armless aviator, and an original made-in-College-Park Ercoupe airplane
Courses & Nature
Pete Poremba’s 7 mile run helped both with our Appalachian Trail goal, and also his personal goal of running “the entire Canal Towpath between his home and Lake Erie, 90 miles to the North.” Pete now only has “a few more segments to cover!” As a plus, he was happy to be running in weather in the mid 60s. Pete encourages everyone to visit the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation where there has been a lot of recreation development lately, making the corridor a “real gem.”
Pete wasn’t the only person to avoid the late July heat; Külli Crespin completed her parkrun in Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia, where the high temperature for the day was 68°F. We think it’s safe to say everyone in College Park is jealous!
Külli did her CPVp in Tartu, Estonia. Looks nice and cool!
Stefano Gazzano took the term parkrun tourist to the heart this week! He and his wife Daniela visited the ancient hamlet of Pitigliano in Tuscany, the so-called "town of the tuff," literally built into the Tufo rock. They arrived in the early morning so he could get in a couple runs before the tourists arrived. Then it was time for ‘cappuccino and cornetto’ (Italian milk coffee and cake -- not to be confused with the ice cream cones!). Most of us are staying closer to home this summer, but we’re vicariously enjoying some of Stefano’s travels.
Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy. Want. To. Visit.
Joan Heffernan stopped to enjoy sunflowers growing at Halladay’s Farm on the way back to her home in Connecticut. Joan doesn’t have a parkrun in her area so she has been “highly motivated by long distance friends that have graciously included [her], as well as others from afar, to join in on [our] virtual 5Ks.” She said it has been “just the push she needed to get back running especially in this hot, rainless, and humid summer!”
Dom Blom went for a walk on the Paint Branch Trail with husband Michael and barkrunner Roo, and they saw a big snake!
Barkrunner Shackleton was on strike this week. After the trauma of this week’s many thunderstorms, Shack made it clear that he was not going out for a run this week. So he left it to Angela and TJ to get in a combined 15K between them to make up for his absence.
Shackleton: "I'm staying right here. You go run!"
We have a lot of new-and-very-unofficial milestones to recognize this week. 15 new members of our ten-timer turtle club, all of whom have a cute turtle next to their name in the results table.
Dominique Lisiero, John Maneval, Kurt Wilson, Stefano Gazzano, Yogarshi Vyas, Robert Bernhard, Yancira Amaya, Misha Bernard, Erin Saddler, Enrique Jograj Jr., Rebecca White, Cory Kind, Eli (barkrunner), Ellen Oberholtzer, Foxy (barkrunner)
Dominique headed over to the Paint Branch Trail this week and put in an impressive 21:33 clocking. This is close to her parkrun PB set 2 years ago. And Dominique has been busy in the intervening time. A year ago she was finishing the 5K in around 31 minutes, because she was “running for two”.
One year ago Dominique's 5Ks took 31 minutes. This week: 21 minutes. She's back!
Cory Kind recently moved back to Michigan, but she was still able to join us for her 10th CPVp. It was cool to hear how she’s enjoying her new life in downtown Detroit. At the online coffee hour she told us about the work that husband (and fellow CPVper) Adam is now doing equipping needy kids in Detroit public schools with technology for remote learning in the fall.
Virtual paw bumps to Eli and Foxy, who now join Shackleton as our most seasoned virtual barkrunners. And they’re now tied with Shackleton on 10 CPVps.
Two new high five club members this week: Brian Rosenberg and Phil Wadsworth.
Brian was back to running in Mechanicsburg, PA, where he again laid down the fastest time of the week. This was not the most notable performance of Team Rosenberg this week, though. In Bettendorf, IA, Dave Rosenberg (Duane’s brother) this week edged a few seconds ahead of his (virtual, and possibly unaware) rival Larry Washington, who was innocently running laps of his local track in Rockville, MD.
Phill Wadsworth did his 5th CPVp on a treadmill. But at least the treadmill was in Burlington, VT, on the shores of Lake Champlain. Phil sent in this picture of the view, though we’re not sure if that’s the view from the treadmill.
Burlington, VT. Looks lovely.
And this week’s 3 first-timers were all family members of regular virtual parkrunners. Anna Weber is back home somewhere in the midwest, and she took a nice walk with her dad Dan. Their route was great for social distancing.
Tom Gentile, Angela’s dad, got in a walk near the Delaware shore. And Travis Miller joined his wife Jen Matis on the plogging expedition.
Somewhere in the midwest. Easy to socially distance.
This week’s CPVp was brought to you by 8 lovely virtual volunteers:
Joyce Adams: Roosevelt Island coordinator
Angela Gentile: results collection
Katie Hirsche: results collection
Tara Mease: results guru
Colin Phillips: scheming and propaganda
Hannah Russell: report writing
Anna Tinnemore: results guru
Andrea Zukowski: email, writing, proselytizing
This week we bestow a “perfect timing” award on Anna Tinnemore. A few days ago she sent us a mock-up of the new Google Form that we have added as one more way to share your activities with us. We thought, “Nice idea! Might be useful some time.” Then on Thursday runners across the globe were aghast to learn of the Great Garmin Meltdown. Garmin’s computers were the victim of a ransomware attack. And many parkrunners have been using Garmin sync to Strava to report their activities each week. So now we were like, “No problem! We have this great new Google Form that Anna made!”
If you can help as a virtual volunteer in future weeks, we’d love to hear from you. Two of the areas where we most need help are in writing and in coordinating sub-communities of parkrunners, in the way that Joyce does for Roosevelt Island parkrun.
The prospects for old-style in person parkruns in the US are pretty dim until we have a widespread vaccine for the novel coronavirus. This is not a statement of official policy, merely an observation on how poorly the US as a whole is managing the pandemic. So, if you want to know when we’ll be back to ‘normal’, we can do little better than pointing you to the Guardian’s handy Coronavirus vaccine tracker, which tracks the progress of the 177 (!) different vaccines at various stages of development and testing.
But we’re looking forward to two developments much closer to home in the coming weeks.
Next week, August 1st, we hope you can join us for our experimental outdoor coffee meetup/picnic. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. This is not required, but it will help Andrea give The Board & Brew a sense of how many we’re expecting.
And then later in August we’re looking forward to the swelling of the local population as UMD comes back to life. Ok, not everybody is so sure that this is a great thing. But we’d like to be one small part of the solution. We always like to welcome newcomers to our community each fall, and this year it is going to be more important than ever to do so.
Until next time!
Your CPVp Team
Team Schneider is back! (And they're looking forward to the August 22nd tutu day.)
Also matching a flower. From Valerie Silensky's CPVp in Mt Rainier
The Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania, courtesy of Lori Dominick. Yes, it's cooler, but not that cool right now. This is from February.
Emma Keer's virtual parkrun in Ann Arbor, MI. No comment needed.
Elizabeth Sheridan's birthday message left by co-workers
David Lai and crew got out early ... and fast
Colin arrived at Acredale Park as John Ramsey was setting off on his CPVp, so Colin joined John for the first mile. Despite the heat and humidity, John was mere seconds away from his parkrun PB. Colin was mostly excited to run with another human for the first time since March.
The American Tobacco Trail in Cary, NC (we think), courtesy of Cindy Feld. Looks like a lovely place for a shaded run