College Park Virtual Resolution Run/Walk

Hands up if you hope to be a little more active, and a little more connected as we leave 2020 behind and head into 2021? The College Park Resolution Run/Walk on January 1st-2nd is all about getting started on that goal.

Join us! Better yet, encourage family or friends to join, too, whether they’re part of your bubble or in far away places that you can’t visit right now.

Our virtual events are free, sustainable, and led by community volunteers. Our approach has already helped hundreds of people to keep moving and keep connected through much of 2020.

Don’t worry that you’re “not yet fit enough” to join. If you can walk around the block, then you’re ready!

Friday January 1st: New Years Resolution Run/Walk (CP Virtual parkrun #37)
Saturday January 2nd: College Park Virtual parkrun #38
… and every Saturday after that, at least until the end of the pandemic.

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A virtual run/walk. Before the pandemic, College Park parkrun would offer free, weekly 5K events on the beautiful Paint Branch Trail in College Park, MD, every Saturday at 9am. We would always start the new year with an extra event on January 1st. On 1/1/20 hundreds gathered to kick off what we all hoped would be a year to remember. We were at least partly right about that!

College Park Virtual parkrun is a new free, weekly event that keeps us moving and connected during the pandemic. This community has come together -- at safe distances, from six feet to six thousand miles -- to provide support and encouragement. Unlike other virtual events there are no fees, no swag, and no prizes. The focus is on sharing stories, pictures, kudos, and motivation.

The community-first approach of College Park Virtual parkrun has been so well received that participation is even higher than in the regular face-to-face events, with 150-200 taking part every week. Most participants are in the College Park area and the DC metro region, but more and more regulars now “join” from as far away as Wisconsin or Berlin, Germany. Some locals also join when they are traveling.

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Light at the end of the tunnel. We have many reasons to enter 2021 with optimism. But the next few months could be hard. All the more reason to support each other in staying active.

Participation is super simple.

Run or walk. Go as far as you want, as fast as you want, wherever you want, any time through 8pm. If you want to share a time for 5K (or more), that's great. It's also great if you don't want to. "I walked 2 miles with my dad," or "My dog and I jogged 5 miles in the woods" are also perfect. You definitely do not need to run. CP Virtual parkrun welcomes almost as many walkers as runners every week.

Tell us about it. We want to hear about what you got up to, maybe see pictures that you took along the way. There are many ways to do this: comment on the thread on the College Park parkrun Facebook page, fill out our online results form, email us at collegepark@parkrun.com, or join the College Park parkrun "club" on Strava and tag your run as CPVp  or similar. (Note, activities recorded as walks might not appear in the Strava club feed, so we recommend to report through another channel.)

Read about what went down. We collect activities, pictures, and stories and share them  through our social media and website. Check out our 2020 in Review story to see how we roll.

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Encourage family and friends to take part. Got relatives in another state? They can take part too. See how many family members can "join" you to start the year! Maybe send us a selfie, and we can make a family collage.

Four legged family members, too! We love our "barkrunners", and we know that their support helps us to stay active. At College Park Virtual parkrun the pups have equal rights, and we include their activities alongside the humans in our weekly results.

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Looking for a quiet and beautiful 5K route? The Paint Branch Trail in College Park is a great place for a run or walk at any time of year. The College Park parkrun 5K route is flat, pretty, and accurately marked and measured. There is no official meetup, but the trail is available at all times, it's never crowded, and if you show up at some time during the morning there's a good chance of passing friendly faces along the trail.

If you visit the Paint Branch Trail, you might also find encouraging chalk messages. Or you might pick up a stick of chalk and leave encouraging messages of your own. Or you might see some cool new signs that we placed along the trail, featuring some of our community volunteers.

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Supporting local businesses. Each week we have a social-but-distanced outdoor coffee meetup. It’s a chance to safely chat with others while helping local businesses that could use our help in these difficult times. Winter Saturdays we use the Discovery District Park behind The Hotel at UMD, which is spacious and sunlit. The backup location, in case of rain, is the outdoor patio by The Board and Brew. Bring a mask and a warm jacket. Blankets recommended.

The fine print. There's more information on College Park Virtual parkrun in our blog post from Spring 2020: Introducing College Park Virtual parkrun.

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