Glass Half Full (Virtual Report 33)

“We got our feet wet at Tornado Alley, turned around at the small pond around the bend, went back the other direction, misjudged the distance, and ended up with a nice long walk on a beautiful morning!”

Anna Tinnemore’s summary of her walk with Bonnie and Mike McClellan pretty much captures the mood of CP Virtual parkrun #33.

Our favorite trail was flooded, leading to some cold, wet feet. A chilly wind had us reaching for hats, coats, and blankets. Some were dealing with ice and early winter storms. And the past 2 days saw as many new COVID-19 cases in Maryland as we would see in a typical 2-week period in late summer and early fall. Not so great.

But we basically never hear, “I wish I hadn’t gone out for a walk/run today,” whatever the weather. You only regret it if it gets you injured. And so many people were out there embracing the elements, finding the positives in the things or the people they saw. It was a glass half full kind of day.

And we have plenty else related to hydration in this week’s report. So read on and see what happened at CPVp #33.



Wet feet? No problem. Returning from injury, and looking forward to donuts - perfect!

Facts and Figures

Back to more manageable numbers this week, after last week’s Thanksgiving double.

  • 175 virtual parkrunners
  • 700 miles covered
  • 3 first-timers
  • 2 new HIGH FIVE badges earned
  • 1 new TEN TIMER TURTLE badges earned
  • 6 new 25-TIMER badges earned
  • 11 barkrunners
  • 8 virtual volunteers

Stat(s) of the week: With 33 CP Virtual parkruns under our belts, we have now held the same number of events during the pandemic as we held back in 2016 when we were getting this community started.

As we worked through the various logistical steps needed to make College Park parkrun an approved, insured, and supported event we gathered every Saturday at 9am for a super low-key 5-ish run. Average weekly attendance: 8.

We’ll have more to say in the coming weeks about those earliest days, as we’ll have some milestones to celebrate. But suffice to say that those early experiences helped to prepare us for keeping things going during this pandemic.



in honor of our 33rd CP Virtual parkrun ... and Lori's favorite Orioles player, we think


May 2016, one of our 33 proto-parkruns, with an unusually large turnout of 10

Glass Half Full

Heavy rains fell overnight in College Park, but cleared up by dawn, leaving flooding in predictable places on the Paint Branch Trail.

Some chose to splash through the Rather Large Puddles.


This was the smaller and shallower "water features" on the Paint Branch Trail

Many others took advantage of the new connector trail to the College Park Woods neighborhood. This week confirmed our suspicion that the new trail has excellent drainage. We look forward to using it in the future on days when the main Paint Branch Trail is inaccessible due to flooding or snow.


No problem. Try the new College Park Woods Connector Trail instead!


The new trail is in great shape, and well drained

We love the many improvements that have been made to our trails in the past year. We’d also love to see a couple of fixes that would remedy these frequent flooding spots.

Meridith Phillips was also enjoying her CPVp with a lot of water for company. Meridith has decamped to Nags Head, NC for a while, where she has the windswept beaches to herself.

Cindy Cohen is navigating icy roads in Idaho.


Cindy Cohen encountered another kind of precipitation in Idaho

And Joan Heffernan was dodging an early season nor’easter in Connecticut.

Stefano Gazzano continued his Etruscan tour, this time visiting the old town of Tarquinia. Legend has it the town was founded towards the end of the Bronze Age and became part of the Roman Empire in 204 BCE. It boasts a UNESCO-listed necropolis, and the best Etruscan museum outside of Rome (according to Lonely Planet). Stefano sent us some lovely pictures, including this one of Porta Castello (Castle Gate).


More Water Fun

Many of our running routes in the DC area follow the creeks that drain into the Potomac- CP parkrun’s Paint Branch flows into the Anacostia before joining the Potomac, and Roosevelt Island is right in the middle of the Potomac. Those creeks were raging torrents after the heavy rains. While runners were getting in their virtual parkruns along Rock Creek, kayakers were enjoying a little white water. Known for its winding route and fast-flowing waters, Rock Creek is a favorite for those looking for a bit more adventure. This weekend certainly delivered on that!


This was normally quiet Rock Creek on Saturday morning, as captured by Evan Hirsche


Some of you enjoy the puddles even more than others

And keeping on the theme of water, barkrunner Eli continued our education on local sights by checking out the mural dedicated to the Edmonston “Archimedes screw”. The first one used on the East Coast of the US, Edmonston’s Archimedes Screw was installed after a series of floods between 2003-2006. The ancient technology developed by Archimedes carries water up from low lying areas, allowing Edmonston to move water from the NE branch of the Anacostia into a reservoir as part of its levy system. The NE branch levy system is being raised as a result of increased flooding due to climate change, but the Archimedes Screws are still holding strong!


Eli keeps on educating us!

Some surprises

As happens in many weeks, co-event director Andrea left a chalk message and a box of chalk at the start line in Acredale Park and then set off with her camera in search of parkrunners and nature. She was surprised to find a new chalk message when she returned, pointing to a package left by the trail. What could it be?


Somebody must know where to find Andrea on a Saturday morning.


Perfect! A pandemic's supply of sidewalk chalk. (Thanks Lisa!)

Andrea isn’t the only CPVp regular with a birthday this week. John Ramsey turns 60 and enters a new age group on Tuesday. Congratulations, John!


New age category coming up for John Ramsey

Speaking of birthdays, we had an actual birth to celebrate this week. CP parkrun regular and member of the Anne Arundel parkrun development crew Jessica Gerbig gave birth to a son this week. Welcome to the world Nicholas, and congratulations to the whole family! This includes congratulations to Gus Campbell on a new grandchild and to Brian and Jen Murphy on a new nephew. Fabulous!

For a different kind of surprise, tune into the Washington Post’s "Post Reports" podcast for Tuesday December 1st (“Why was Iran’s top nuclear scientist killed?”). We were pleasantly surprised to hear a feature interview with CP parkrun regular Steve Hendrix, who is currently WaPo Jerusalem bureau chief.

Milestones and More

This week two people earned a HIGH FIVE badge for their 5th time with us. Mariángel Villalobos is a UMD grad student who this week did her CPVp while exploring the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda. Dennis Wojahn is honorary “first dad” of College Park. We’re delighted to see that he’s now joining us regularly from Green Bay, WI, where he joins his wife Karen for her weekly CPVp.

Kris Sooklal was this week’s one new 10-timer, exploring trails in Alexandria, VA.

And we had a strong crop of SIX new 25-timers: Luther Lemon, Brian Rosenberg, Neha Joshi, Anne L’Ecuyer, Carly Mills, and barkrunner Shackleton.

We love that this group brings all kinds of family connections to the community.

Carly had done a lot of CP parkruns before the pandemic, having found us via her sister Erin Munsell, who in turn found us via her aunt Cindy Conant. Shackleton has been to many CP parkruns in the beforetimes, but we’re not sure how many, because poor barkrunners were not independently counted. What we do know is that Shackleton’s human Angela was super close to earning a 50 shirt before the shutdown.


Shackleton is halfway to earning his CPVp 50 badge

Neha and Luther joined us a few times for the in person events, but they have become super regulars in 2020. Luther is typically getting out on a Saturday with a few family members. Neha is a UMD grad student who regularly does CPVp with husband Yogarshi Vyas, not infrequently with Vigilante Coffee as a well chosen turnaround point. And now her parents Hemant and Vidya have started joining us from Pune, India. Fabulous!


How to celebrate your 25th CPVp on a cold, windy day? Trip to Vigilante, of course!

Anne and Brian fall squarely in the “silver lining” category of people who we now look forward to hearing from every week but who we had never met before the pandemic. Anne started joining us regularly in the early summer when we were doing our virtual civil rights history tour. She has been out there almost every Saturday since then. Brian is part of the branch of Team Rosenberg in Pennsylvania. Brian is Duane Rosenberg’s nephew. HIs son Peter and wife Jessica are now regular CPVpers too, so we’ll have more cake badges to send to Mechanicsburg in the coming weeks.

Congratulations to all! With a few more months of the pandemic to go, we’re hoping to see many of these earning he next level of badge … including the as-yet mythical CPVp 50 badge.


If virtual parkruns always end at a playground, Daschiell is all in favor of the parents taking part every week.

Virtual Volunteers

As always, we could not do these events without a weekly crew of virtual volunteers. This week’s crew was:

Katie Hirsche: results
Tim Keer: results and cheerleading
Tara Mease: results guru
Colin Phillips: report and propaganda
Hannah Russell: report
Lisa Shiota: results
Anna Tinnemore: results
Andrea Zukowski: email

Thanks to Lisa and Tim for joining our team of regulars. Lisa is a local, who gathered activities recorded via Strava. Tim joined us from Michigan, and gathered Facebook activities. Tim is a regular at Livonia parkrun and Lillie parkrun, Ann Arbor, where his daughter Emma is the brains and the energy behind Lillie Virtual parkrun. Tim has visited College Park just a couple of times before, but he has made huge contributions behind the scenes to our understanding of how to build a healthy community.


Discover thyself!


Our barkrunners are full of wisdom on how to live a healthy, happy life, even during a pandemic. Lots of walks and runs are important. As are plentiful snacks. And don’t forget the naps. Rest and recovery is a key part of any successful training plan.

Shackleton was looking dapper in his Christmas bowtie this week. After running through puddles on the flooded trail, he enjoyed some well deserved rest on the sofa!


Shackleton wore a bow tie for the occasion. Not everybody dresses up so well when they earn a CPVp 25-timer badge. We approve!

Pakora also understands the necessity of naps after a 3 mile run.


Jasper and Whistler (whose humans are Tim Keer and Jeri Gallant Keer), skipped the run altogether and went straight to the comfort of a good sofa.


Shannon walked 2 miles with her human Brian Maas, a good distance for the 11 year old barkrunner!


Looking Ahead

CP parkrun will be back to something more like “normal”. Eventually. But that’s going to take a while yet. We’ll be happy if on Memorial Day weekend 2021 we are all gathering at Acredale Park, instead of holding what will otherwise be CP Virtual parkrun #59. We’re not counting on that happening.

In broader parkrun world there is gradual return of events. This weekend saw around 25,000 take part in 250 events, almost all in Australia and New Zealand. Our friend Mary Botto, a Marylander and Terp alum who is event director at Mosman parkrun in Sydney, can now look forward to a return to parkrunning in January. There are rumors of the return of junior parkrun in the UK early in 2021. But no changes are imminent in the US or Prince George’s County any time soon. And for good reason.

It is 100% certain that we will be parkrunning virtually through the next 3+ months of winter. So our top priority is to keep moving, to stay safe and healthy, and to stay sane over these tough few months, to take us to CPVp #50, which you can mark in your diaries for March 27th, 2021.

The single biggest factor in keeping this community active is you. Your encouragement of family, friends and neighbors makes a huge difference. And when you share your stories and support others, that keeps everybody going.


Here are some coming attractions over the next month.

December 12th: We’ll be holding a semi-virtual send-off for Neil Jograj and Julie Russell, who are relocating to Georgia. Few people embody the glass half full attitude as much as these two. Read their story here: Nobody left behind (parkrun USA blog).

December 12th or 19th: When we combine the distances covered in CPVp we are just 1500 km short of a complete circumnavigation of the earth, i.e., 40,075 km. 1500 km is a stretch for one week, but an easy ask for 2 weeks.

December 26th: The day after Christmas will be our 250th event since we started meeting at Acredale Park in January 2016. We plan to make a fuss about this.

January 1st & 2nd: Our New Year’s Day parkrun is traditionally our largest of the year. We have no intention of letting the pandemic stand in the way of celebrating the start of 2021. Safely, of course. And January 2nd is a Saturday. So we’ll have consecutive CPVp days, to give you an extra opportunity to work towards 50 CPVps.

So yeah, it’s going to be colder for a while. But that’s not going to slow us down.

Until next time!

Your CPVp Team


The days are short in December. Mood lighting for Louise Godley's CPVp.


If December brings dark days, then fight back with bright clothing! Good idea, Melanie!


Heather jingled all the way this week


Katie putting down this week's fastest CPVp in Rock Creek Park


Dave is pretty happy that his daughter and running buddy Alyssa is back from college


Dami and Andres ran a half marathon around BWI Airport. It was supposed to be around the perimeter, but a wrong turn took them to the terminal building. No problem!


When you can stalk deer on your virtual parkrun, life is good, according to Foxy.


When you pose a question, and the response comes in the form of song lyrics.


Ok, so Janet's weather for her CPVp in Honolulu was pretty darn tolerable


Keep on smiling, everybody. See you next week!