Chapter and Verse (Run Report #169)

For the run report from our holiday parkrun, Run Director Brian Murphy reveals poetic talents that we had previously been unaware of.

'Twas the morning of parkrun, when all through Acredale Park
Not a creature was stirring, well, maybe deer or squirrels;
The finish chute was hung by the Paint Branch Trail with care,
In hopes that our parkrun friends soon would be there;
The Board and Brew were warming their pots of coffee;
While thinking of parkrunners enjoying cappuccino all warm and frothy;
And volunteers in their hi-vis, and I in my run director vest,
Had just settled our brains thinking no one had left,
When out in the park there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.
99 parkrunners arrived happy to gather,
It was time to join friends despite the cold weather.

[Bravo, Brian, bravo!]

CP-parkrun-169-16_web

We had such a great day at parkrun for our 169th outing. No one was really too sure how many we would see this week, with the holidays keeping people busy, the temps in the 20s to start the morning, … and the unexpected extra challenge of utility work blocking the main road to the park. Despite all this, we really had a wonderful turnout of new and old friends.

We got to celebrate a milestone on Saturday. Maia Swisdak completed her 50th parkrun! The Swisdak-Bernard family’s laundry just got a touch more confusing with all their red shirts. Congrats Maia! It’s great we get to spend so many Saturday mornings with you.

CP-parkrun-169-9_web

It’s always surprising to me when we get first-timers joining us on the sub-ideal weather days. I know why I come to parkrun, but when you have never been, it can be a leap of faith to join in the fun. That’s especially true, I think, on those days when it can be nice to just stay in the warmth of your bed. This week, on a chilly first day of winter, we had 7 first-timers. A big, warm, parkrun welcome to Andy Schmegel, Varun Suryan, Jeremy Rueter, Jonathon Defeo, Kate Potapova, Deb Bernard, and Dickson Mercer. Jeremy registered just that morning and decided to join us. I hope you all quickly saw why so many of us keep coming back week after week.

CP-parkrun-169-41_web CP-parkrun-169-53_web CP-parkrun-169-82_web

It wouldn’t be College Park parkrun without the PB bell being rung a few times. In fact, we had 10 PBs this Saturday. Malik Al-Jame, John Maneval, Andrea Solan, Kathleen Donavan, Joan Richards Gordon, Thomas Bigford, Steven Thurber, Chris Swain, David Lai, and Carleton Conant. Carleton and Cindy Conant are regulars at Kensington parkrun now, but joined us this week to make it a family affair with their niece, Erin. Andrea Solan has a nice PB streak going - this was her 4th parkrun and 4th time PBing! Chris Swain ran under 25 minutes for the first time on his 10th parkrun. Joan was late to the start of parkrun, because of the utility work blocking the road. However, she was determined. Even while starting after everyone had already set off down the trail, she still set a PB! Amazing!

CP-parkrun-169-37_web CP-parkrun-169-76_web

CP-parkrun-169-1_web

No PB for Sam Phipps this week, but he was so close! I’m sure he was happy to meet first-timer Dickson Mercer who, like Sam, ran from his house in Takoma Park to join us. I see a joint run to College Park in their future.

(Side note: Dickson is one of the brains behind RunWashington, the leading local online news source for runners. Check them out some time.)

CP-parkrun-169-26_web

Because it was the holidays, festive wear did not disappoint. Hats, sweaters, lights, socks, bells, you name it, the parkrunners had it on and it was great! A personal favorite of mine was Teresa Perdomo and her shark sweater, frilly red skirt, and fun socks. I wonder if we could pull off this kind of dress all year…

CP-parkrun-169-5_web CP-parkrun-169-67_web CP-parkrun-169-85_web CP-parkrun-169-102_web CP-parkrun-169-126_web

Of course, we could not have done any of this without our wonderful volunteer crew. A big thanks to Katie Hirsche, Trace Huard, Eddie Matus, Jen Murphy, Colin Phillips, Hump Plotts, Lloyd Rawley, Chris Roth, Valerie Silensky, Lisa Wilson, and Andrea Zukowski.

CP-parkrun-169-91_web

And let’s not forget, Lori Dominick. Lori retired one day prior after 31 years of service to the University of Maryland. She thought, what better way to spend the first day in retirement, than to help out at parkrun and be with all my friends. Thank you to each of you!

CP-parkrun-169-11_web

There’s lots happening the next couple of weeks. We have your regularly scheduled parkrun on December 28th, then a few days later, we are looking forward to the special New Year’s Day parkrun. There’s an opportunity to run a double on Jan 1 (and you get to celebrate Colin’s birthday with him)! Kensington or Leakin Park at 8:30am and Fletchers Cove or College Park at 10:30am.

NYD 2020 Flyer Square

Board and Brew after - they’ll be ready for a big crowd. We could see a few big milestones coming up in those events, too. Russell Dickerson and Jim Parsons will be wearing the black 100 sash soon, and Bonnie McClellan will have her 50th soon. We hope you’ll be able to join us for the fun.

For a full album of photos from this week's CP parkrun and from every other week, look here: College Park parkrun albums.

If you're not already signed up for Andrea's once-weekly email about CP parkrun news and volunteering, you're missing out. Do please add yourself to the list by updating your parkrun profile, by logging in at parkrun.com or by following the link at the bottom of any parkrun results email.

Brian Murphy
CP parkrun #169 run director

CP-parkrun-169-7_web

CP-parkrun-169-13_web CP-parkrun-169-19_web CP-parkrun-169-20_web CP-parkrun-169-61_web CP-parkrun-169-96_web CP-parkrun-169-122_web CP-parkrun-169-100_web

 

Carpe humidum diem! (Run Report #168)

My Latin is a little rusty. And it was never that good. But this is my best attempt at “Seize the wet day!”

CP-parkrun-168-16_web

College Park parkrun is different on rain days. We still love it, but it’s different. Smaller. Quieter. More intimate. In part because we huddle under the canopies that Andrea/Colin and Lisa/Hump bring along to the finish area.

CP-parkrun-168-11_web

For a city that sees almost double the annual rainfall of London, it is remarkable that this was the first rain day of 2019. And the rain turned out to be much milder than expected. A lot of colorful rain gear brightened up an otherwise very grey day.

Keaton Ellis is one who certainly seized the day. With many of our regular speedsters elsewhere or staying home he found himself in the unexpected position of leading the field of around 70 down the trail. Keaton is an internationally renowned Rubik’s Cube competitor, but he’s less accustomed to setting the pace at CP parkrun. So when Evan Hirsche (and barkrunner Sophie caught up with him near Hump’s Crossing, he was having none of it. This made for an entertaining sprint finish for the half dozen waiting volunteers.

CP-parkrun-168-50_web

As always we are so happy that so many different people step forward as volunteers each week, all taking their turn on making this community event thrive. Among many others this week …

Marc Swisdak arrived home at 3:30am from a work trip. And by 9am he was timekeeping at CP parkrun. Flawlessly, too. This made results processing easier than it has ever been before, with results emails in everybody’s inbox by 10:45am. As many of you know, we now do all timekeeping and barcode scanning using the parkrun Virtual Volunteer app, and that does tend to make things go more smoothly.

CP-parkrun-168-18_web

CP-parkrun-168-64_web

 

Larry Washington volunteered as a timekeeper this week because he was giving a final exam at UMD at 10:30, and that wouldn’t give him time to shower. So he volunteered instead. Perfect!

Chris Roth was a first-timer last week, and this week he was already on the volunteer crew. Chris is on a 6-month visit to the US from Germany, and we’re delighted that the CP parkrun community is helping him to connect to more people in the area.

We’re glad to see that Hump continues to recover well from surgery. This week Carlos Gough was his understudy, and both seemed to be happy with the arrangement.

CP-parkrun-168-19_web

We had one milestone that needed to be celebrated this week -- but we almost missed it. Stewart Mayhew volunteered for the 25th time, earning himself a free purple V25 shirt. This is very much deserved, as Stewart has become a stalwart of the DMV parkrun community in the little over a year since he first joined us. Congratulations, Stewart -- and Thank You! Oh, and as it happens it was also Stewart’s 25th time completing CP parkrun. That makes him the 158th member in our exclusive 25-timer club.

CP-parkrun-168-33_web

On rain days we’re pleasantly surprised if any first-timers join us, and so we were happy to meet 5 newcomers.

Anthony Benyarko came along thanks to his running club friend David Lai (PB!). And we learned that it is Anthony who keeps UMD’s (amazing) men’s lacrosse team in good working order.

CP-parkrun-168-3_web

CP-parkrun-168-29_web

Sabrina Zhou seemed to enjoy her first CP parkrun, and we are sure that the weather will be better the next time.

CP-parkrun-168-37_web

This week’s PBs included second timer Catherine Francoeur, Bill Snelling, JA Hinds, and Genet Haile. Genet deserves a special shout out, as in her 3 outings, starting at Thanksgiving, she has improved by EIGHT minutes. Wow!

CP-parkrun-168-71_web

CP-parkrun-168-57_web

CP-parkrun-168-39_web

We don’t often see parkrun tourists at CP parkrun, but we had one this week! Though not exactly from far away. Dan Owen is co-Event Director at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun downtown. He wasn’t able to be at FC this week because he needed to bring his son to a swim meet at UMD. So we were happy that he was able to sneak out to join us at CP parkrun instead.

CP-parkrun-168-93_web

Announcements for coming attractions …

  1. Tell all your friends and family about our College Park Resolution parkrun, coming up on 1/1/20 at the special time of 10:30am. Our New Years events are big and a lot of fun. And free, of course.
  2. If you’re feeling adventurous, then consider trying a New Years double parkrun. You can take part in either Kensington parkrun or Leakin Park parkrun at 8:30am before heading to College Park. This is the one day a year that you can do two.
  3. On NYD we’re also looking forward to a BIG post-parkrun brunch at The Board and Brew, with visiting parkrun friends from around the region.
  4. Before that we have two more CP parkruns in 2019. On 12/21 we’re looking forward to celebrating Maia Swisdak’s 50th parkrun. Excellent, Maia! If you feel the urge to wear something festive for this parkrun, you should go for it!

See you soon,

Colin Phillips
co-Event Director

CP-parkrun-168-97_web

CP-parkrun-168-85_web CP-parkrun-168-76_web

CP-parkrun-168-62_web

CP-parkrun-168-55_web

CP-parkrun-168-7_web

 

Heart (Run Report #167)

We did not expect to see Hump Plotts at College Park parkrun #167. It was just last week that we were wishing him well for his upcoming heart surgery. It is a testament to the wonders of modern medicine and the draw of this community that Hump was there in his regular marshal spot at 9am on Saturday, with Joel Goldberg on hand as his stunt double. The surgery went well, and his heart is in much better shape. Still a little raw and unable to leave his truck. But still checking on everybody as they come and go in either direction. Great to see you making such good progress, Hump!

CP-parkrun-167-7_web

Whereas Hump has been with us almost every week for the past 3 years, Chris Roth moved to College Park just a couple of weeks ago. But he has already found that CP parkrun is a great way to get to know the community. Chris is a German student who is doing a 6-month masters project at UMD. Already on his first visit he met a lot of different people and asked about how to sign up to volunteer. We love it! (Answer: follow the link in a weekly results email, or edit your profile at parkrun.com to opt in to Andrea’s once weekly news update email.)

CP-parkrun-167-22_web

This week 121 people walked or ran the full course at College Park parkrun and 19 people volunteered. A few people covered part of the course, and we had a good few barkrunners, stroller riders, and other friends along for the party. So, all told around 150 taking part on a brisk December morning with temps in the 30s. Not at all bad!

CP-parkrun-167-2_web

CP-parkrun-167-106_web

Two stories caught our eye this week about parents and kids at CP parkrun.

John Barnhardt and his young son are a regular fixture at CP parkrun. Normally John is pushing the stroller and junior is reading a book while speeding along the trail. This week I was surprised to see them roll up without the stroller. They were going to try out the course on foot together! And they did great. They made it to the bridges and back, which is a little over 2 miles. That’s really good going on young legs.

Sometimes the greatest achievements at CP parkrun are from people who don’t even appear in the results table.

CP-parkrun-167-50_web

Meanwhile, Robin Moon was another person who was running along the trail for the first time, thanks to a parent. But Robin is in the 60+ age category. And the parent is Tami Graf, an inspirational octogenarian runner who has joined us many times before. Tami explained that it was Robin who got her into running, when she was running in high school. Tami started running a few decades ago, and now she’s one of the leading 80+ runners in the region.

CP-parkrun-167-104_web

We celebrated one official milestone this week: Külli Crespin did her 50th parkrun. Külli has been a regular runner and regular volunteer, and she is always smiling. Currently she and parkrun friend Teresa are doing a tour of DC-area parkruns. They have recently checked out Roosevelt Island parkrun and Fletcher’s Cove parkrun. Next week they plan to visit Anacostia parkrun. But we’re glad that Külli was back at College Park for her 50th. (And we cannot deny that the donuts that she brought along were rather popular. Thank you, Külli!)

CP-parkrun-167-43_web

We are always so grateful for the volunteers who make CP parkrun such a pleasure to organize. This week Neil Jograj was back in the role of Run Director. That’s the person who is responsible for making sure that everything goes smoothly on the day. Today was almost exactly 2 years after Neil and his wife Julie first joined us. Last year they shared their inspirational story in a blog piece for parkrun USA. And it was so good that it was recently translated into German.

CP-parkrun-167-89_web

Whereas Neil signed up to be run director a couple of months ago -- that one role is coordinated on a roughly quarterly basis -- Lauren Filocco didn’t know that she would be volunteering at this week’s CP parkrun until around 30 seconds before the start.

CP-parkrun-167-80_web

Lauren runs College Park’s Open Barre studio, and she is a 2012 UMD grad. She’s one of the small business owners that is helping to make College Park an exciting place to live nowadays. She and husband Adam -- and their pup Freddy -- came along to check out our Saturday morning community. And when Andrea announced before the start that we needed somebody to hand out finish tokens, she immediately came forward. This put her right in the thick of the action, so she definitely got to see how we roll.

Thank you, Lauren. And good luck with the barre studio. I should probably do something like this to help with my own strength and injury prevention. Andrea has tried it, and she was very happy with the benefits.

Another source of joy for us at CP parkrun is the welcoming environment that you create for Zoe, our high school senior, who identifies as male. Zoe has been having a challenging time lately due to a functional neurological disorder that leads to constant motor tics. But after a couple of years of not wanting to join us at Acredale Park on a Saturday morning, CP parkrun has become something that Zoe looks forward to on a Saturday morning. Right now running isn’t really in the cards, but just coming along, helping with different volunteer roles, and chatting with different community members is a really good way to start the weekend. Thank you to everybody!

CP-parkrun-167-5_web

A related thank you to everybody who helps to make Isaac Scott feel quite at home at CP parkrun. We love this picture of him smiling on the trail this week. The 21-23 minute crowd at CP parkrun knows Isaac, and they make him feel very welcome.

CP-parkrun-167-24_web

Some people aren’t much into the cooler weather. But others really love it. This helped to fuel a bunch of PBs at this week’s event.

Emily Flamm beat a PB that she set almost 2 years ago. Nice!

CP-parkrun-167-41_web

Stewart Mayhew shaved seconds from his PB. Our favorite part of this is that Duane Rosenberg agreed to pace Stewart to a PB. Duane had given blood this week, and last time that he did this the parkrun didn’t work out so well. This week he finished up in one piece, and Stewart got the PB.

We were excited to see Elizabeth Cooper ringing the PB bell AGAIN. Elizabeth started joining us at the start of the UMD semester, and she’s now finishing around 10 minutes earlier than she was at the start of the semester. Nice!

CP-parkrun-167-90_web

We’re loving following Reece Madsen’s journey. Reece recently had a hip replacement, and now he’s running. And he’s getting faster all the time. Another minute and a half off his PB this week!

CP-parkrun-167-56_web

Similar for Stephanie Bean, who took 2 minutes from her PB!

CP-parkrun-167-52_web

Second timer Malik Al-Jame first joined us only last week, but already this week he was back and setting a PB.

CP-parkrun-167-20_web

I was super happy to pass Anna Damm running on the trail this week. Anna has been sidelined by injury lately and we’ve been seeing more of her in the volunteer crew while she recovers. She’s back to run-walking for now, and I’m sure that is a relief for her. I’m sure she will be back to her speedy ways before long, but for now simply being able to get active outdoors with friends is the best.

CP-parkrun-167-82_web

As always it’s great to see friends bringing friends along to join our community. As you probably know, our advertising budget is the same as the entry fee, i.e., $0. So the main ways that word spreads is through you.

CP-parkrun-167-68_web

CP-parkrun-167-75_web

CP-parkrun-167-48_web

Congratulations to the following people who are now members of our super-exclusive 5-timer club: Judy Meyer, Jessica Ek, Kim Lopez, and Jordan Yee Prendez. We’re happy to start Saturday mornings with you, whenever you’re available!

CP-parkrun-167-51_web

Looking ahead, we have just THREE more CP parkruns in 2019. But we’re going to be kicking off 2020 in style, with our fourth annual College Park Resolution parkrun on January 1st. Do make a note of this in your diary. A few things will be special about this one:

  • It starts at 10:30am on Wednesday January 1st. Later than usual.
  • It is possible to do a DOUBLE parkrun on that day only. Kensington parkrun and Leakin Park parkrun (Baltimore) are holding 8:30am events, and we expect that many will do one of those and then head over to CP for a second.
  • We hope to again be teaming up with Prince George’s Running Club as partners for the New Years event. They’re a super accessible and inclusive group of runners and walkers who serve many in our community.
  • Big community brunch afterwards at The Board and Brew, to be confirmed.
  • And a few of us are new years babies -- including me -- so it doubles as a birthday celebration, and you’re all invited!

See you soon,

Colin Phillips, co-Event Director

CP-parkrun-167-19_web

CP-parkrun-167-11_web

CP-parkrun-167-35_web CP-parkrun-167-37_web

CP-parkrun-167-54_web

CP-parkrun-167-72_web

CP-parkrun-167-77_web

CP-parkrun-167-91_web

CP-parkrun-167-95_web

CP-parkrun-167-105_web

 

 

 

A double helping (Run Reports #165-#166)

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays, because the focus is on bringing family and friends together. Ok, and we also like the cooking and eating, and we sometimes regret how much we enjoyed that part.

CP-parkrun-165-2_web

The other thing that we like is that Thanksgiving is the most popular day for running events IN THE WORLD. More than one million Americans take part in running events on Thanksgiving morning, via a thousand or more turkey trot events.

Everybody seems to agree that the turkey trot tradition dates back to the Buffalo YMCA Thanksgiving race, which started way back in 1896. It had 6 finishers the first year and nowadays participation is capped at 14,000. It has been operating continuously for longer than the Boston Marathon (est. 1897).

Various factors are credited for the success of turkey trots. One that often comes up is the warm, community vibe. They’re local, they’re fun, they’re about taking part rather than winning. They’re more of an annual family tradition than a bucket list item to train for once.

CP-parkrun-165-43_web

That’s where CP parkrun comes in. Those things that people like about turkey trots are what we are all about, and then some. Plus we’re free and community led. And we keep it up every single week of the year. Check out parkrun USA’s article: A year-round turkey trot. (Confession: I wrote it.)

Anyhow, one of the best things about this year is that we had TWO parkrun days, on Thanksgiving Thursday, and another two days later. This made for a busy, but fun, couple of days.

Thanksgiving Thursday

On New Years Day we got caught out. We were so focused on the cake that we forgot about finisher tokens #201-300. That made matters a bit complicated when 243 parkrunners showed up.

For Thanksgiving we were ready. With cakes AND with the full complement of tokens. And we needed them, as we welcomed a record crowd of 249 finishers.

CP-parkrun-165-22_web

The cake was in large part to celebrate our THREE new 50-club members: Debbie Levenson, Misha Bernard, and John Scott. All are valuable members of our community. Debbie was already a regular before CP parkrun was an official thing, in early 2016, and she was part of our initial core volunteer team, so she has seen quite the journey as CP parkrun has grown. Misha first joined us about 2 years ago and she and her family have been regular runners and volunteers ever since. John (and his son Isaac) found us more recently, and they have become an integral part of the community. Congratulations to all. You’re going to look great in red!

CP-parkrun-165-16_web

The volunteer crew handled the super-sized crowd exceedingly well, and we are very grateful to them.

Andrea led one of our busiest first-timers’ briefings ever. Normally she tries to keep it intimate and learn everybody’s name. This week, with maybe 70 first-timers. Sorry! But it was a party atmosphere.

CP-parkrun-165-10_web

Expert timers Katie Hirsche and Brian Murphy were exactly who we needed to keep everything in sync, together with the token team of Jorge Urrutia and Zoe Phillips. You might think it’s easy to just click a button whenever somebody passes and hand out numbered pieces of plastic. But at peak traffic times it can get a bit confusing. Especially when some folks miss the finish line, or come through as a family, unclear who covered the course. Or just speed through the finish and don’t pick up a token.

CP-parkrun-165-150_web

We needed a lot of scanning support. So, in addition to Steven Borunda, Tomas Marambio and Susan Whitney and Danny Walker all jumped in as scanners after running.

Win Persina was going to take a run, but she figured that it would be more fun to hang out with Hump at his marshal spot, and they had a great time cheering everybody on.

CP-parkrun-165-181_web

And Valerie Silensky and Rebecca White were our tailwalking crew, making sure that everybody was safe and nobody finished last. And they were suitably dressed for Thanksgiving, too.

CP-parkrun-165-68_web

One unusual feature of our Thanksgiving parkrun: we had a bunch of visitors from further afield. And by that, I don’t mean just Maryland, DC, or Virginia.

Nick Huang was back! Nick was last with us 6 months ago, having just completed his PhD at UMD, and about to get married and move to Connecticut. This week he was back, together with his wife Jessica, AND Jessica’s parents! And he was proudly wearing the shirt that we presented him with as a going away gift.

CP-parkrun-165-122_web

We had parkrun tourists visiting from London - Commeletia and Rosemary. And all the way from Sydney, Australia. Darren and Lucille are keen parkrun tourists, and Lucille has family in Northern VA, so they combined Thanksgiving with family with a couple of parkruns. AND they brought a box of Tim Tam cookies all the way from Australia to share with you all.

CP-parkrun-165-178_web

Rob Eveson zipped around the course as first finisher, also completing his 350th parkrun. Rob is normally based at Bushy parkrun in London, the original parkrun. But he has been interning in DC for the past few months, and has been checking out the various parkrun communities in the area.

CP-parkrun-165-34_web

… So where was our Sam Phipps, to give Rob a run for his (no) money? Well, Sam was with family in Houston, so he checked out Terry Hershey parkrun while he was there. And of course he both finished first and charmed the locals.

Personally, I was excited to see so many old and new friends. But there’s nothing quite like the surprise of a dear old friend who you totally didn’t expect to see rock up at parkrun. Welcome to John Whalen. So good to catch up. And results processing was just going to have to wait.

CP-parkrun-165-197_web

One other unique feature of Thanksgiving: our regular coffee spot was closed, so instead we checked out Bagels ‘n Grinds, in The Hotel at UMD. It was a good time, with lots of space, and fireplaces too. Thanks to the team there for making us so welcome!

CP-parkrun-165-200_web

CP-parkrun-165-196_web

Overall, it was a super fun morning, and we’re really happy to have done the extra event. Fun fact: for perhaps the only day EVER, College Park parkrun was the largest parkrun in the whole world on 11/28/19. (Of course, that’s mostly because there were only 12 events taking place. Normally, there are many South African parkruns with 1000+ finishers on a Saturday morning.)

Thanksgiving Saturday

We had barely caught our breath from the Thanksgiving extravaganza and it was time to head to Acredale Park again!

On Thanksgiving Saturday the temps were cooler and we welcomed a smaller and more low-key crowd. But it was just as much fun as ever.

CP-parkrun-166-21_web

As always we were super happy for the support of the volunteer crew. John Scott and Misha Bernard, whose 50th parkruns we had celebrated just two days earlier, were back as part of the volunteer crew. Mike McClellan volunteered while his wife Bonnie completed her 48th. Mike also entertained the crew with his harmonica while you were out on the trail.

CP-parkrun-166-31_web

Personally, I was thrilled to be able to run again. I’ve been sidelined by injury lately, and was making a tentative comeback. I enjoyed running with Xander, chatting about Thanksgiving fun and learning to fly. I also got to stop to say hi to Hump, and wish him well for his surgery (... it went well!).

CP-parkrun-166-23_web

It was great as usual to see so many people supporting each other in different ways. Such as Frank, who slowed down to run with Win as she returns from injury. Or Janet, who ran back down the trail to support second-timer Sharlene. And so many others.

CP-parkrun-166-87_web

And one of my favorite moments of the day. When Zoe’s dear old friend Alexandra showed up unexpectedly, home for a few days from college. The spontaneous joy is hard to beat.

CP-parkrun-166-13_web

I had better wrap this up, it’s almost time for the next CP parkrun!

Colin Phillips
Co-Event Director

CP-parkrun-165-28_web CP-parkrun-165-84_web CP-parkrun-165-85_web CP-parkrun-165-92_web CP-parkrun-165-108_web CP-parkrun-165-126_web CP-parkrun-165-128_web CP-parkrun-165-134_web CP-parkrun-165-155_web CP-parkrun-165-183_web CP-parkrun-166-24_web CP-parkrun-166-57_web CP-parkrun-166-74_web CP-parkrun-166-105_web CP-parkrun-166-101_web

 

 

How magic happens (Run Report #164)

The magician shows us the inside of his top hat—clearly empty. With an “abracadabra” and a wave of the wand, to our surprise and delight out pops a white bunny rabbit!

It all happens so fast, the seasoned magician makes it appear effortless. We raise a cheer and laugh at the bunny. Seldom do we stop to consider the years the magician spent learning and polishing the craft, all that goes into smuggling the bunny into the hat and practicing the routine until it becomes second nature to pull it off without a hitch.

Nor do we ask—who cleans the bunny rabbit’s cage?

So too at College Park parkrun, there is so much more than meets the eye going on to make the magic happen every Saturday morning.

At the risk of spoiling the illusion, let’s take a peek behind the curtain and learn a bit of what goes on behind the scenes. Here’s how the magic happened for event 164.

Before Event Day: August-November

Co-event director and volunteer coordinator Andrea lines up a run director for each parkrun date. This typically happens somewhere between three weeks to three months before the event date. Andrea started in August lining up volunteers for run directors for all the dates in September through November. For event 164, Yancira Amaya volunteered. Thanks Yancira! She always does a fantastic job.

CP-parkrun-164-16

During the 5 weeks leading up to each event, members of our community sign up to be volunteers. Over 300 different people have volunteered at CP parkrun. You can see what volunteer roles are available for upcoming events by looking at the “volunteer” tab of the CP parkrun website here. If you wish to help make magic, the first step is to opt in to the CP parkrun email list from the link on your results e-mail. Or you can volunteer by sending e-mail to collegepark@parkrun.com. Don’t hesitate to reach out early and often to volunteer, and make Andrea’s job a little easier.  The mid-week email from Andrea has updates on the week’s happenings and news, plus volunteer needs for the coming week.

This week for event 164, we had a terrific group of volunteers, helping out in such roles as run director, event setup, first-timers’ briefing, course marshal, timing, tokens, barcode scanning, tailwalking, event take-down, token sorting, communications czar, and run report writer (that’s me, Stewart!).

collage_volunteers_web

A special thanks to Alyssa and Aaron for helping out with tokens this week. Great job!

CP-parkrun-164-12_web

CP-parkrun-164-130_web

Getting back to our story…

On Friday night, Andrea sends out an e-mail to make sure the run director and volunteers know who is doing what and how to contact each other in case of emergency.

Event Day: Saturday, November 23, 2019

8:19 a.m.  The run director, event directors, and a couple of volunteers arrive at Acredale Park to start setting up.

CP-parkrun-164-1_web

8:33 a.m. Setup is complete: the finish funnel has been built, equipment table is up, all the signage is in place, the run director’s step-stools and megaphone are ready and waiting. Andrea and Zoe pull out the colored chalk and get busy writing inspirational messages at the starting line.

CP-parkrun-164-3_web CP-parkrun-164-4_web

8:38 a.m. Course marshals Lisa and Hump arrive. Lisa says hello to the team then heads out to the turnaround point. Hump drives over to Hump’s Crossing to serve as crossing marshal. On her way out, Lisa checks the safety of the course, and messages the start line crew if there are any alerts. She also places dimple cones to discourage creative parkrunners from going astray.

8:30-8:45 a.m.  Volunteers make predictions of how many finishers we will have today. Winner gets gazes of admiration from other volunteers and a free timed 5K.

CP-parkrun-164-127_web

8:30-8:44 a.m. Members of the St. Francis International School running club arrive, exemplary in (1) their punctuality, and (2) reminding us the importance of dynamic stretching.

CP-parkrun-164-123_web

Is your school running club looking for a free 5K on a Saturday morning? parkrun may be just the ticket. Give us a shout, we’d be happy to give you the rundown.

8:30-9:00 a.m. Abracadabra!  Blink your eyes and Acredale park transforms from nearly empty to over 150 runners, walkers, and volunteers. Veteran CP parkrunners welcome the newcomers.

CP-parkrun-164-112_web

8:44-8:52 a.m. Numerous individuals are spotted confusedly trying to show anyone wearing a hi-viz vest a freshly printed page of six barcodes, asking where to sign in. They are kindly invited to … 8:53 a.m. Andrea’s first-timers briefing, She makes it sound completely spontaneous every week.

CP-parkrun-164-11_web

8:58 a.m. Run director Yancira gives a warm welcome to all the first timers and visitors. Then she lays down the law!

CP-parkrun-164-15_web CP-parkrun-164-17_web

9:00 a.m. exactly. (ok, maybe a few seconds of wiggle room there … minutes maybe if there are extra announcements or celebrations)

And we’re off!

CP-parkrun-164-18_web CP-parkrun-164-19_web

9:00-10:10 a.m. Tailwalker Ellen doubles as photographer, takes great action shots along the way…

First timer Marishka came with her dad, veteran parkrunner Lloyd. We hope to see you back again soon!

CP-parkrun-164-40_web

Welcome back Paul, visiting from Long Island, NY. Second time at CP parkrun.

CP-parkrun-164-45_web

More of Ellen’s action shots:

CP-parkrun-164-81_web

CP-parkrun-164-86_web

Start time + 16:47: Zoom! First finisher Chris crosses the line.

CP-parkrun-164-32_web

Start time + 18:50:  Tomas finishes second and volunteers to help take over as timekeeper.  Thanks Tomas!

CP-parkrun-164-62_web

Start time + 19:02:  Cotter sets a new Personal Best time on his 73rd parkrun, and rings the PB cowbell. Nice work, Cotter!

CP-parkrun-164-46_web

Start time + 26:56: Dylan sets a 5-minute PB!

CP-parkrun-164-74_web

Cotter and Dylan were just two of 18 PBs this week! Ring that cowbell, College Park!

Don’t let these numbers deceive you—CP parkrun is also for walkers. By walking, you start to notice a lot of magic that you might not see when flying past at full steam.

CP-parkrun-164-90_web

Start time + 1:13:28: CP parkrun veteran and frequent run director Anna completes her 73rd event. Great to see you, Anna!

CP-parkrun-164-136_web

Start time + 16:47—Start time + 1:13:36:  Colin takes finish line photos

Ever wonder why a volunteer takes photos at the finish line? They serve double duty. They make for nice pictures in the run report and other post-event communications. But these photos also serve as a backup to resolve discrepancies or ambiguities with the scanning. If something goes awry at results processing time, Colin’s phone is another rabbit we can pull out of the hat.

collage_finishers_web

Walking along the Little Paint Branch Trail can turn strangers into friends. That’s a kind of magic we can’t explain. But we love it!

CP-parkrun-164-124_web

Start time + 16:47—Start time + 1:13:36: Celebration with friends

Finishers scan their barcode and token to record their time. Nobody forgets to return their token  (ahem!). Some do a bit of cooldown stretching, some catch up with friends. Many cheer as finishers come in.  Some head down to The Board and Brew.

CP-parkrun-164-83_web CP-parkrun-164-87_web CP-parkrun-164-116_web CP-parkrun-164-120_web

Start time + 1:13:36: Tailwalkers Ellen and Joan cross the finish line.

CP-parkrun-164-138_web

Lisa has brought the pylon and dimples back from the course on her way back. The last token is scanned. Timekeepers stop the clocks. Timers e-mail their time files, and scanners e-mail their barcode files, from their phone apps to the CP parkrun e-mail account.

10:20- ~10:25 a.m. Volunteers take down the finish funnel, equipment table, signage, and pack it all in Colin and Andrea’s trunk. It really doesn’t take long, and the park is as clear and empty as it was two hours ago. We always aim to leave without a trace.

10:45 a.m.- ?  Colin, Andrea, and Yancira join many others at The Board and Brew, where parkrunners are enjoying breakfast and coffee. At one end of the table, volunteers sort finish tokens and double check that none are missing, making sure all is ready for next week. At the other end of the table, Colin and Yancira are busy processing the results. This means running a computer program that pulls in the time files and links them to the barcode files, then manually checking all the results and correcting any errors.

… for example, this week we noticed that one speedy parkrunner accidentally presented his girlfriend’s barcode, creating a PB that would have been hard for her to beat.

11:24 a.m. Results processing is complete. Participants receive e-mails with their results; volunteers receive thank you e-mails. Colin, Stewart, and Rebecca pose for a picture modeling the latest apricot parkrun fashion shirts.

CP-parkrun-164-140_web

After the event

Saturday afternoon: Communications team (Colin) posts a collection of 22 highlight photos on Facebook, with accompanying stories from the morning, as well as several highlight photos on Instagram.

Sunday and Beyond:

Colin assembles a larger collection of photos and places them in album accessible through Flickr or Facebook.

Tim Keer from Livonia parkrun in Michigan compiles a report with interesting summary statistics covering all events in the US, and providing interesting nuggets of information derived from each parkrun’s results tables. From this week’s report, we learned that 146 finishers is a new College Park record for the month of November! We also learned that parkrun USA had over 2,500 finishers and volunteers this week, within a whisker of the all-time record.

From the report we also learned about CP parkrunners on tour at other US parkruns. We learned that Larry Washington visited Byxbee parkrun in Palo Alto, CA; that Kathleen Gustafson visited Durham, NC parkrun; and that Külli Crespin and Teresa Perdomo checked out Roosevelt Island parkrun in DC. Nice tourism, everybody!

byxbee_20191123_larrywashington_web

Later in the Week:

  • Event directors replace any missing tokens.
  • Run report is drafted, edited, and posted on the CP parkrun website.
  • Communications team from parkrun USA culls interesting pictures and stories from all US parkrun events to create a weekly update online newsletter.
  • Communications team sends out additional posts on Facebook and Instagram to remind everyone what a great time we had, and get us thinking about coming next week.

I’m sure I missed a lot, but now we have a glimpse of how much goes on behind the scenes before, during, and after parkrun. After 164 events, it works so smoothly week after week. But there are many ways of helping out with the community -- drop us a line if you can lend a hand.

This week we have an extra event on Thursday, and then of course another event as usual on Saturday.  A million thanks to Colin, Andrea, and all the volunteers for all you do to make the magic happen each week at CP parkrun.

-Stewart

CP-parkrun-164-13

CP-parkrun-164-95

CP-parkrun-164-118

 

 

Friends and Family (Run Report #163)

In the last year since finding College Park parkrun, I have been continually amazed at how parkrun brings families and friends together in a wonderful, supportive, inclusive community.  This is what keeps us coming back week after week. This week we had 128 finishers, of whom 114 were returners.

Last April, I learned that CP parkrun regulars Tara and Xander Mease headed up a team in Great Strides program at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Xander runs every day to manage his CF—parkrun on Saturday is his easy day!

This week, Tara and Xander completed their 100th parkrun. Xander, who just turned seven, is (by far!) the youngest person in the USA to achieve this milestone. Congratulations, Tara and Xander! Four generations of Xander’s family showed up in force to celebrate the milestone.

CP-parkrun-163-162_web

CP-parkrun-163-15_web

 

Inspired by Xander’s example, I took this opportunity to learn a bit more about CF. I learned that part of the normal functioning of the human body involves a process where chloride moves to the cell surface. For those with Cystic Fibrosis, this process does not work properly, and without the chloride to attract water to the cell surface, the mucus in the body’s organs becomes thick and sticky. Among other things, this clogs the airways of the lungs, and makes a person susceptible to infections and respiratory failure. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation funds research that has significantly improved the ability of those with this disease to manage its complications, and is actively working toward finding a cure. Thank you Xander for inspiring me to learn more about the important work being done by CFF!

As another example of parkrun bringing families together—congratulations to Zoe Phillips, for earning two milestone shirts this week, volunteering for the 25th time and parkrunning for the 10th time.

CP-parkrun-163-23_web

 

Zoe’s parents Colin and Andrea, event directors at CP parkrun, can’t contain their excitement about that. I understand that parkrun has inspired Andrea and Zoe to make plans for running a half marathon together in the Spring!

CP-parkrun-163-25_web

On the topic of milestones, Nathan Widman and James Hudson also finished their 10th parkrun this week and earned milestone shirts. Congratulations!

CP-parkrun-163-26_web CP-parkrun-163-48_web

When I come to CP parkrun, everywhere I look I see family and friends coming together.

CP-parkrun-163-151_web CP-parkrun-163-115_web CP-parkrun-163-104_web

Welcome to father/daughter first timers Marvin and Erika!

CP-parkrun-163-8_web

Thanks to father/daughter barcode scanners Chris and Nina, and thanks to mother/daughter tailwalkers Yancira and Janete!

CP-parkrun-163-3_web CP-parkrun-163-152_web

CP parkrun is also a great place for reuniting with old friends, and meeting new ones!  Neil and Julie reunited this week with their friends from Connecticut, parkrun first timers David and Cindy.

CP-parkrun-163-173_web

DC area parkrun regulars Terri and Sol reunited with their friend Tom, visiting from Telford parkrun near Birmingham, England.

CP-parkrun-163-56_web

We were happy to meet Deep Run parkrun regular Randy, whose home event was apparently canceled due to a marathon. Come back any time!

CP-parkrun-163-65_web

Thanks as always to the many volunteers who make this possible every week! A special shout out to our turnaround marshal Lisa for her 150th event!

CP-parkrun-163-172_web CP-parkrun-163-36_web

I’m so excited we have three more parkruns in November, including our special Thanksgiving day parkrun at 9am on Thursday 11/28. See you there!

Stewart Mayhew

CP-parkrun-163-149_web CP-parkrun-163-135_web CP-parkrun-163-133_web CP-parkrun-163-127_web CP-parkrun-163-126_web CP-parkrun-163-109_web CP-parkrun-163-107_web CP-parkrun-163-91_web CP-parkrun-163-86_web CP-parkrun-163-84_web CP-parkrun-163-45_web CP-parkrun-163-39_web

 

Worth a Thousand Words (Run Report #162)

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m not about to test that here, but this picture from College Park parkrun #162 is my favorite because of the stories that it holds.

CP-parkrun-162-44_web

The scene is the Tunnel of Trees, possibly the prettiest stretch of the Paint Branch Trail at any time of year. And it’s at its fall peak, when the leaves make the light golden.

Heading towards us are the front of the pack runners. Sam Phipps is trying to outrun Steven Moore (it didn’t work), both pushing each other to fast times around 17 minutes. Sam always finishes and then stops around to cheer everybody else in, before typically running back home to Silver Spring. Steven had his whole family with him, and all four set PBs this week, with mom Amanda finishing to a gauntlet of high fives from her boys.

CP-parkrun-162-152_web

CP-parkrun-162-171_web

Heading in the other direction is a small group of walkers. They’re accompanying Ellie Elliott, great grandma of Xander Mease, who is walking along the trail, pushing her own wheelchair, going as far as feels right this week.

Of course, both the folks at the front and the folks at the back are just as much a part of this community, and I’m pretty sure that Ellie got a lot more cheers when she reached the finish than the speedsters did.

CP-parkrun-162-33_web

Happenings

It was an unusually cold morning for early November, with temps in the 20s when we loaded up our van to set out for Acredale Park. One of the things that has made Saturday mornings even more enjoyable this fall is that now Zoe always joins us and helps with setup before heading off to run.

CP-parkrun-162-2_web

We figured that the cold would keep more people home, but we saw the largest ever November crowd at College Park parkrun.

CP-parkrun-162-28_web

We had some big milestones to celebrate this week.

Duane Rosenberg and Dom Blom both joined the 100 club.

Duane became the first mayor in America to complete 100 parkruns. Duane is currently mayor of New Carrollton.

Dom became the latest member of Prince George’s Running Club to earn a black milestone shirt.

Teresa Perdomo did her 50th parkrun, just 14 months after she joined us for the first time! She and her friend Külli celebrated by running the trail together, then heading back out along the trail to meet up with the tailwalking crew and walk back with them. And then heading to The Board and Brew for a delicious brunch.

CP-parkrun-162-16_web

CP-parkrun-162-216_web

CP-parkrun-162-135_web

Speaking of tailwalkers, we were very happy that this week’s tailwalker was new volunteer Ellen Oberholtzer and her tailwagger Eli. They made sure that everybody was safe, and that nobody else finished last. And Eli enjoyed making lots of new friends.

CP-parkrun-162-5_web

A few people reached unofficial milestones this week …

Angel Cejo, Lorelis Gonzalez, Reece Madsen, and RJ Spalding all joined our unofficial 10-timer club.

Kevin Oriani and Zoe Phillips became 5 timers. That’s good going for Zoe, who completed the course for the first time on October 12th!

CP-parkrun-162-173_web

Volunteers

The records show that there were 18 volunteers this week. You might think that there was a big crowd waiting in the park while everybody else was enjoying the trail. That’s not really how it worked.

We had just 4 people at the finish line while everybody else was out running and walking. I, Colin, was Run Director. That wasn’t in the plans originally, but taking the RD role ensured that I didn’t make myself more injured by joining the parkrun. Xinzi He was primary timekeeper. Xinzi took a fall at last week’s parkrun and quickly decided to volunteer this week to help her recovery along. Ginger Wilkerson led barcode scanning, while mom and dad were both running their 41st parkrun. And Kerry Callaghan volunteered (again!) as part of a UMD School of Public Health class that she’s taking.

CP-parkrun-162-12_web

A few volunteers were out on the course. Hump and Lisa were in their regular marshal spots, welcoming you as you passed. Carlos Gough volunteered this week as Hump’s understudy. Ellen and Eli were tailwalkers.

CP-parkrun-162-37_web

By the time the clock had clicked past 18:30 we had two more of our finish line crew. Brian Murphy and Tomas Marambio both sped around the course, took a moment to ring the PB bell, and then jumped in as volunteers. And a few minutes later Susan Whitney arrived and pulled on a volunteer vest to help out as third barcode scanner for the busiest part of the finish, from around 25-35 minutes.

While you were all finishing Evan Hirsche was volunteering as photographer. He’s resting up ahead of a marathon next weekend, and so he and barkrunner Sophie took a break from parkrunning and instead captured some great shots from the trail.

CP-parkrun-162-155_web

Some more volunteers came into action at The Board and Brew, as Neil, Trace, Russell, and first-timer Boriana got all the tokens in order. As Run Director, it was my job to process the results, and normally this would be a bit slow and distracting. But thanks to the excellent volunteers and the joys of the parkrun Virtual Volunteer app, I set a results processing PB, and was able to enjoy chatting with lots of parkrunners and parkwalkers.

Friends, First-timers and Visitors

An extra shout out this week to The Board and Brew, who sold enough coffees that they put out a carafe of coffee for free refills for parkrunners. Be still my heart!

CP-parkrun-162-217_web

And another caffeinated shout out. Our friends at Vigilante Coffee have given us free drink gift cards to give to deserving parkrunners. This week, in recognition of the coldest parkrun of the season so far, the volunteers were surprised with a Vigilante gift card. Thank you everybody!

We welcomed a few first timers and visitors this week. Some local, some not so local.

Cory Kind is not a first-timer, but she’s a visitor from Roosevelt Island parkrun in Washington DC. She decided that she wanted to run to all of the DC parkruns from her home base in Arlington. So this week she set out early to run the 12 miles to College Park. Then, impressively, she was 5th female finisher. After which she had earned a hearty breakfast!

CP-parkrun-162-112_web

Greg Ervin is based in Ohio, but he tries to join us whenever he’s in town. In fact, he has come so many times that he’s practically a regular.

IMG_2600

Kim and Carlos are based in West Virginia, but they are in town and their friend Trace Huard told them about CP parkrun, so they came along to check what the fuss was about.

CP-parkrun-162-128_web

Tricia Cecil was this week’s first female finisher and a first timer. It was only when I finished the results processing that I realized that I had met Tricia many years ago, when we were both budding triathletes. Neither of us are now, life is too complicated. But it was a cool blast from the past. Welcome Tricia!

CP-parkrun-162-56_web

It was great to welcome Pamela and Pablo to CP parkrun for the first time. CP parkrun regular Jim Sebastian has known them for a long time, and he heard that they were looking to get in shape. So he recommended that they check out CP parkrun. We’re delighted that they joined us, and hope to see them again.

CP-parkrun-162-119_web

More first-timers: Austin and Adrienne, together with their passengers (see the picture above). If Adrienne looks a little familiar, that’s because she’s a cousin of CP regular Tara Mease. They were with us this week together with Janet and great grandma Ellie.

PBs and other speediness

Lots of PBs to feel good about, too!

The fast guys were really moving this week. Steven Moore dipped under 17 minutes for the first time. Wow. Sam Phipps was so close to a PB. Brian Murphy and Tomas Marambio both set PBs.

CP-parkrun-162-18_web

CP-parkrun-162-84_web

Rebecca White set another PB, walking the 5K in 1:10. We’re excited to see Rebecca progress, and we know there’s much more to come. She was joined this week by her son Joel, who also set a PB.

CP-parkrun-162-165_web

CP-parkrun-162-8_web

For Mike McClellan it wasn’t a PB, but it was a big step over his walking time last week. Mike is recovering from spine surgery. Last week he walked the 5K in around 1:08. This week he was back with his two walking canes and he set off with determination, finishing in 56 minutes.

CP-parkrun-162-206_web

Wayne Dunbar has now set 4 PBs in 4 visits to CP parkrun. And Celeste Pere has set a PB on almost all of her 9 parkruns!

CP-parkrun-162-125_web CP-parkrun-162-50_web

Andrew Widman’s string of PBs keeps getting longer. Now under 24 minutes!

CP-parkrun-162-103_web

Maria Cecil put in a strong finish to duck under 31 minutes for the first time.

CP-parkrun-162-147_web

Maureen Hewick returned for a third time, and took a few minutes from her walking PB. A few more weeks like this and she’ll be breathing down Judy Barnes’ neck!

Lorelis Gonzalez and Angel Cejo just keep on setting PBs. Out of 10 parkruns, they have set a PB or been within a second or two 9 times (see picture above).

Amy Rice set a nice new PB this week, possibly thanks to the enthusiasm of her barkrunner.

DSC07901

Coming Attractions

Lots to look forward to. Still 4 more parkrun days this month!

  • Don’t forget about our special College Park parkrun Turkey Trot on Thursday 11/28. Usual 9am start time. Tell friends and family! Especially walkers.
  • Next Saturday, 11/16, we’ll be celebrating a few milestones. Xander and Tara Mease will be wearing the black sashes for their 100th parkrun. They started joining us when Xander was 4, and he recently reached the ripe old age of 7. Also, double milestone for Zoe Phillips — 10th parkrun AND 25th time volunteering. We’ll leave it to Zoe to figure out how to juggle the sash and the purple superhero cape.
  • Looking further ahead, mark your calendars for our 4th annual New Year’s Resolution parkrun on January 1st. College Park parkrun will start at the special late hour of 10:30am. And you have the option of doing an additional parkrun at 8:30am in Kensington or Leakin Park (Baltimore). Followed by a big community brunch at The Board and Brew.

See you soon! I’m looking forward to running again soon, if this pesky achilles injury will go away.

Colin Phillips
Co-Event Director

P.S. Oops. The run report came in at more than a thousand words

CP-parkrun-162-198_web CP-parkrun-162-158_web CP-parkrun-162-126_web CP-parkrun-162-107_web CP-parkrun-162-62_web CP-parkrun-162-23_web CP-parkrun-162-7_web

IMG_8203

 

Comeback Kids (Run Report #161)

A cool morning turned into a perfect day for a run or walk in the park! We had 99 finishers on the 161st running of our beloved College Park parkrun. It continues to be my favorite running event and something I look forward to week after week. It’s great to have a no-pressure, friendly jog or walk in the park with a wonderful community that is completely free! Here are some of the stories and milestones achieved this week.

CP-parkrun-161-48_web

CP-parkrun-161-84_web

We had several “comeback kids” this time. Our parkrunners are not immune from injuries and ailments that keep them sidelined for a week or more. We are always thrilled to see them come back.

This week saw the return of Mike McClellan and Rebecca White after several months, with Rebecca marking her return with a PB! Mike is recovering from spine surgery, and he wasn’t sure how far he would get along the trail. So of course he went the whole 5K. It took him 30 minutes longer than his PB, but it was a mighty impressive achievement.

CP-parkrun-161-88_web

CP-parkrun-161-89_web

Katie Hirsche returned after an almost two-month stint of volunteering (thanks!) to get a new PB of sorts as well. She enjoyed her first walking parkrun, which I encourage everyone to try. You get to enjoy the scenery and smiling faces for double the time of a typical run at no extra cost!

CP-parkrun-161-99_web

We shared the trail with WABA’s Cider Ride. Lots more traffic on the trail, but all went off without incident. Thanks to all who called out warnings of passing riders.

CP-parkrun-161-96_web

We also welcomed several first timers. Doug Dicks visited us from Indiana with newly local daughter Ashley. Their friend Cole Griffin visited from New Jersey. Other first timers included Haimei Jin and Charlene Shortte. Please join us again! You will be a regular before you know it.

CP-parkrun-161-50 CP-parkrun-161-60_web

Thomas Parsons made his family the first to have four 50-timer shirts to keep track of and long-time College Park parkrunner Trace Huard made it to 50 as well. Congratulations, gents!

CP-parkrun-161-13_web

Unofficial milestones include 5-timer James Whitehead who has come five weeks in a row and 10-timers Annika Dallmann and Kristen Wares who also got a PB. Dinah Cohen is now half-way to 50. It happens before you know it!

CP-parkrun-161-45

CP-parkrun-161-66_web CP-parkrun-161-65_web

Other PBs (there were plenty due in part to the perfect weather): Keri Pierce (after 41 parkruns!), Alanna Kempton cut seven minutes at age seven, Cirílio Perez is four-for-four with parkrun PBs and Natasha Oliviera has had five in a row! Angel Cejo and Lorelis Gonzalez both running their 9th have PBs almost every time.

CP-parkrun-161-95_web CP-parkrun-161-73_web CP-parkrun-161-57_web CP-parkrun-161-55_web

Finally, a thanks to those who made it happen this week: the volunteers! We had an almost-all-new finish line crew this week with Anna Damm and Violet Ridge both scanning for the first time and Cotter Rosenberg working as one of our timers. We had a great time at the finish with timer Brian Murphy and Catherine Madsen doing finish tokens. Duane Rosenberg and Russell Dickerson gamely sorted tokens and  Anna Tinnemore served as tail-walker.

CP-parkrun-161-56_web

Colin Philips, Zoe Phillips, Hump Plotts, Lisa Wilson and Adrea Zukowski all did their regular part in serving as the backbone of this event.

It can’t happen without the wonderful volunteers. Try it! It’s fun!

Some coming attractions:

  • Lots more people to celebrate (of course!). This week four parkrunners completed their 99th parkrun, so it’s time to dust off the black sash. Duane Rosenberg and Dom Blom will be wearing black on Nov 9th, and Tara and Xander Mease on Nov 16th.
  • We have six parkrun days in November, so five more still to go!
  • And one of them is on Thanksgiving morning. Join us for the friendliest, freest turkey trot in all of College Park.

I very much enjoyed my 11th time as run director and look forward to participating again in the coming weeks. Run, walk, volunteer! We have something for everyone.

Clark Ridge

CP-parkrun-161-102_web CP-parkrun-161-34_web CP-parkrun-161-26_web CP-parkrun-161-17_web CP-parkrun-161-9_web CP-parkrun-161-4_web

 

Pirate parrrrkrun! (Run Report #160)

College Park parkrun #160 was special because it was the parkrun before Halloween. Thanks to everyone who showed up in costume!

CP-parkrun-160-2_web

CP-parkrun-160-19_web

CP-parkrun-160-168_web

CP-parkrun-160-74_web

As a pirate-wannabe, I am happy to report that if you add up all the miles that we have covered in our College Park parkruns, we have circumnavigated the globe, not once, but TWICE!  That’s some mighty fine sailin’. Or runnin’.

The parkrunner who completed our second circumnavigation by finishing 104th, becoming the 16,030th finisher, came part way around the globe to join us. Lucy Parr visited this week from Yorkshire, England, together with mom Rebecca, dad Andrew, and brother George. The family normally does their parkrunning at Penistone parkrun. But for Lucy it was her first ever full 5K parkrun. Way to start out in style, Lucy!

CP-parkrun-160-137_web

I was hoping for 160 parkrunners on Saturday for our 160th parkrun - and I thought we had it, until the sorting of the tokens proved that we were ONE token short!  If you have token #45, please bring it back. No questions asked! You will not have to walk the plank!

CP-parkrun-160-193_web

Saturday’s parkrun had many milestones to celebrate, so let’s just get to it!

We celebrated our biggest group yet of official milestones.

  • 50-timers: Jim Cantwell, Sharlene Deskins, Neil Jograj, and Carly Mills
  • 100-timer: Steve Feld
  • 25th time volunteer: Cindy Feld

Steve and Cindy enjoyed their return to College Park. They first joined us on a rainy Christmas Eve in 2016. Steve was looking for a 5K race to complete his quest to do a race in every month, and found College Park parkrun. With miserable weather, it was our quietest day ever, with only 25 finishers. But Steve loved it! They kept coming back, becoming regular volunteers and team members. At the start of this year they moved to North Carolina to be closer to family. Now they’re regulars at Durham, NC parkrun. But they were happy to return to their “parkrun birthplace” for this milestone.

Jim and Carly both achieved the feat of setting a PB in their 50th parkrun. Nice!

CP-parkrun-160-7_web

CP-parkrun-160-12_web

Congratulations to the following people for reaching these unofficial parkrun milestones:

CP-parkrun-160-115_web

CP-parkrun-160-153_web

5-timers: Daniel Coile, Mariella McElhenny, Ed Pachico, Gwyneth McElhenny, and Theresa Catterton-Doherty

CP-parkrun-160-48_web

10-timers: Kathy McFalls, Louis Green, and William Grunow

CP-parkrun-160-39_web

CP-parkrun-160-126_web

25-timers: Brian Koen and Laurie Fisher

The parkrun bell didn’t stop ringing because of all the PBs!

CP-parkrun-160-79_web

It’s impressive to see 10-year old Violet finishing as 2nd female. She has come a LONG way since she started running with us in 2017.

Jessica Gerbig continues to get faster while pushing a stroller.

Kathy McFalls is making great progress — she has gone from high 40s to almost cracking 40 minutes.

CP-parkrun-160-92_web

Reese Madsen went from 41 to 38 minutes. Impressive!

CP-parkrun-160-174_web

CP-parkrun-160-175_web

Zoe Phillips — 2 minute PB. Dad can only dream of that!

CP-parkrun-160-81_web

Natasha Oliviera — quietly getting faster week by week. This was her 4th consecutive PB!

And Clarence Patterson has had 3 PB’s in three parkruns!

The things I like most about College Park parkrun, besides getting to wear my pirate hat, is the encouragement and camaraderie among friends and family. On Saturday, Chris Pruitt stormed around in 16-something. That’s pretty impressive, but what is really awesome is that his kids, Kara and Cole, finished their FIRST EVER 5K.

CP-parkrun-160-83_web

Whether you are finishing at the head of the pack, or finishing your 5K at your pace, getting out and having fun on the trail is what we’re all about.

CP-parkrun-160-108_web

CP-parkrun-160-155_web

Finally, I have to give a “shout-out” to all of the volunteers who helped on Saturday to make College Park parkrun #160 a huge success:

  • Golf course marshals: Hump Plotts and Matt Green
  • Turn around marshal:  Lisa Wilson
  • First Timers Briefing: Amy Duan  - Amy had her hands full with 22 first timers!  Wow!
  • Timekeepers: Erin Munsell (congrats on your marathon!!), Clare Imholtz
  • Finish Tokens: Cindy Feld
  • Barcode Scanners: Larry Washington, Tomas Marambio, and Janet Tate
  • Tail Walkers: Teresa Perdomo and Külli Crespin
  • Finish Line Photography: Katie Hirsche
  • Setup and Breakdown: Zoe Phillips
  • Token Sorters: Cotter Rosenberg, Duane Rosenberg, Alex Dystant, and Andrew, George and Lucy Parr.

If you’d like to wear a yellow vest and lend a hand at a parkrun, please reach out and let us know.

We're looking forward now to November parkruns. There's a lot to look forward to, as November will be our first ever month with SIX parkruns: that's 5 Saturdays plus our special extra Thanksgiving morning parkrun.

Lori Dominick

CP-parkrun-160-6_webCP-parkrun-160-51_web

CP-parkrun-160-13_web

CP-parkrun-160-103_webCP-parkrun-160-106_web

CP-parkrun-160-152_web

CP-parkrun-160-182_web

CP-parkrun-160-186_web

 

 

140 Flags (Run Report #159)

To celebrate the third birthday of College Park parkrun we decorated cakes and pumpkin pies with a flag for each College Park parkrunner who has reached a parkrun milestone over the past 3 years.

There were 140 flags in all. They filled 6 cakes. We really did not expect there to be so many.

  • 70 red 50 shirts
  • 41 white 10 shirts (for juniors)
  • 11 black 100 shirts
  • 18 purple V25 shirts (for volunteering)

We’re grateful to Andrea, Hump, and Misha for baking cakes and pies. And to Andrea, and to my parents, Kath and Derrick Phillips, for helping to make all the flags. Making the flags turned out to be quite fun, as each name gave a chance to think about the person and their story and how they came to be a part of this community.

CP-parkrun-159-6_web

CP-parkrun-159-8_web

We had Thanksgiving-themed pumpkin pie to go along with Andrea’s theme of “gratitude” for the anniversary event. At her pre-parkrun briefing Andrea thanked many different people who have helped to build the community over the past 3 years.

andrea_20191019

PBpalooza!

Among this week’s 163 finishers were **47** PBs. We were sure that must be a record for CP parkrun. But not quite. There were 48 PBs on Sept 15th last year. … And there’s a connection.

About half of this week’s PBs came from the DeMatha High School cross-country team, who joined us for the second time this week. We didn’t know that they would be coming -- at parkrun you just show up (with a barcode) -- but we were happy to see them. They previously ran with us on 8/31, and their training must have been working out well, as almost all of them were faster this time out.

CP-parkrun-159-29_web

The day with 48 PBs was similar. It was when Elizabeth Seton High School cross-country team made a return visit a few weeks after a pre-season time trial.

Among the DeMatha PBs was Ian Parsons, who dipped under 20 minutes for the first time, on his 76th parkrun. Nice job, Ian! Ian’s older brother Thomas didn’t quite reach his PB, but it was his 49th parkrun, so next time out he earns a nice red parkrun 50 shirt.

CP-parkrun-159-65_web

Jayden Keels almost lost his age-group record last week to middle-schooler Nathan Widman. So this week he went out and took another minute from his record. The 11-14 record is now 18:06. Wow.

CP-parkrun-159-55_web

And kudos to Stephen Camarano, who first joined us in early 2017. This week he not only set another PB, he also did his 9th parkrun. So next time out he earns a white parkrun 10 shirt.

CP-parkrun-159-70_web

I cannot deny that I was feeling pretty good about the three PBs from Team Phillips. Zoe and his grandparents ALL set PBs this week. My parents have been traveling in Montana and Wyoming since they visited us one month ago. So it was probably the altitude training that made the difference!

CP-parkrun-159-149_web

CP-parkrun-159-157_web

CP-parkrun-159-193_web

Ada Lee was impressive, taking a whole minute from her PB on her 27th parkrun.

CP-parkrun-159-114_web

And Frank Filteau must be doing something right, as after two years without a PB, he has set a new PB twice in the past couple of weeks. That’s after 131 parkruns.

CP-parkrun-159-78_web

Kudos to Jessica Gerbig, who achieved a rare feat. On her 17th visit to CP parkrun she beat the PB that she set waaaay back in our first event, 3 years ago. Better yet, this PB was set pushing a stroller. Normally we’re unsure whether an earlier time was set with/without a stroller. But in this case we’re fairly confident, as the PB is substantially older than the stroller passenger.

CP-parkrun-159-135_web

And it’s not just the speed demons who were setting PBs this week. Judy Cantwell and her friend Ana Rivera joined us for the second time this week. We’re not sure whether they were concerned about PBs, but they both walked faster this time than last time out.

walkers

And Reese Madsen and Elizabeth Cooper both had the distinction of setting a 1-second PB on their 7th time with us. Every little counts!

CP-parkrun-159-148_web

First-timers and Visitors

There were 14 first-timers this week, to add to the nearly 2,500 people who have taken part in College Park parkrun since we started.

Kerry Callaghan has already volunteered a few times, but this was her first time running the course. She’s part of the crew from UMD’s School of Public Health that is trying out different roles at the event over the course of the semester. It turns out that Kerry’s a fairly speedy runner!

CP-parkrun-159-127_web

Harvey Baker is the new Chief of Police in the Town of University Park. A couple of days ago he was quietly going about his business in town when he found Andrea, out on one of her nature walks. By some complete coincidence College Park parkrun came up in the conversation, and Andrea talked Harvey into joining us. We were very happy that he came along, together with his wife Zanetta. We hope that they will join us again!

CP-parkrun-159-169_web

One of our first-timers this week brought along a first-time barkrunner. Hector Serra is another of the UMD SPH crew, and his mom Hilda came along this week, together with what one parkrunner described as “the perfect dog”. Welcome both!

CP-parkrun-159-32_web

The DeMatha boys might have accounted for most of the earlier finishers this week, but it was first-timer Karen Kautz who hit the highest age-graded run of the day. Karen is in the 75-79 age group and she proceeded to take *12 minutes* from the previous age-group record, finishing in slightly over 30 minutes. Wow.

CP-parkrun-159-81_web

Unusually for us, we had THREE parkrun tourists from the UK this week. Brothers Chris and John Smyth have done over 200 parkruns between them in the London area. This week they were visiting their cousin Maureen who lives in Bowie, MD. So imagine their good luck to find that CP parkrun was nearby. And they persuaded Maureen to come along too, and she enjoyed a walk on the trail with my mum.

CP-parkrun-159-4_web

We also had a visit from Rachel Brown, who is based in Littleport, near Cambridge, UK. I know that part of the world fairly well, as it’s close to where I grew up. Let’s just say that our course may have seemed hilly compared to that area.

CP-parkrun-159-87_web

One more visitor came as a very pleasant surprise. Vancouverite Susan H. has joined us a good few times over the past 2 summers while working at NASA. So she had never visited in the months with nicer weather. She is in DC for a short stay and she heard that it was our birthday, so she biked out from DC to join us. So good to see her again!

CP-parkrun-159-177_web

Volunteers

Amy Duan tried out a new volunteer role this week, leading the first-timers briefing. This is a good role to try out if you want to volunteer and also run. Main role: make sure that everybody feels as welcome as possible.

CP-parkrun-159-17_web

Debbie Levenson and Chris and Sam McGranahan have volunteered many times before -- they have been part of the CP parkrun team since the very beginning. It’s great to have their experience on hand. Sam tried out timekeeping with the parkrun Virtual Volunteer app. We’re hoping to switch more and more to using that, so that we can eventually dispense with dedicated hardware and wired connections. Garrett Day and Hector Serra were the UMD SPH volunteers this week. And Tomas Marambio wisely decided to volunteer instead of running this week, as he recovers from last week’s Chicago Marathon (big PB!).

CP-parkrun-159-40_web

Misha Bernard and Külli Crespin were our tailwalkers and smile catchers. Abdur Rahman-Quadri also brought along his camera and took some great shots. Hump and Lisa expertly carried out the roles of being Hump and Lisa. Nobody does it better. Cotter Rosenberg, Alex Dystant, and Russ Dickerson sorted tokens while sipping coffee.

CP-parkrun-159-37_web

And Andrea Zukowski led the show as Run Director for the umpteenth time. She thanked everybody else, and we all owe big thanks to Andrea for taking the initiative to create College Park parkrun.

What’s happening soon?

October 26th: We’re expecting a few milestones to celebrate in the coming weeks. As of now there are 6 CP parkrunners who have done 49 parkruns, and this week 4 people did their 97th.

CP-parkrun-159-146_web

One celebration that is in store for next week is a double milestone for Steve and Cindy Feld. Steve and Cindy first joined us around the end of 2016 and became key members of the community, running and volunteering so many times. They later retired and moved to North Carolina, to be closer to family. But they will be back with us next week, when Steve will complete his 100th run, and Cindy will be volunteering for the 25th time. Yay!

November 3rd: yes, that’s a Sunday. We’ll be holding a meetup in the afternoon for parkrun teams from around the DMV region, to discuss ways that we can build on the existing parkrun communities to do more to serve the region, including new events, new connections, and broader collaboration. If you would like to take part, please drop me an email. My address is firstname.lastname@parkrun.com.

November 28th: Thanksgiving parkrun! Freest, friendliest turkey trot in the area.

January 1st: New Years parkrun. At the special time of 10:30am. Kensington parkrun will be going ahead at 8:30am, and you can do both if you are so inclined!

So much to look forward to!

Colin Phillips
Co-Event Director

CP-parkrun-159-9_web

CP-parkrun-159-184_web CP-parkrun-159-180_web

CP-parkrun-159-172_web CP-parkrun-159-170_web

CP-parkrun-159-142_web CP-parkrun-159-126_web CP-parkrun-159-115_web CP-parkrun-159-112_web

CP-parkrun-159-49_web CP-parkrun-159-28_web CP-parkrun-159-11_web