So how cold was it? 16 degrees F, according to my car as I arrived in the lot. Irfan wore
shorts, but he always does when he runs here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him run in anything else.
So how cold was it? Patrick wore gloves. I’ve never seen that happen, although Patrick
says he wore gloves to parkrun once before. Patrick is closing in on his 500th lifetime road race/run, so he wasn’t going to stay in bed.
(Honestly, that picture is from this particular run. That runner behind Patrick says a lot about how warm a 16-degree run can be.)
Why show up on a day this cold? Because I came in 14th , and that’s my best showing to date. I count on days like these, when the weather is likely to deter the speedsters. Where else am I going to find a running event where I can place that high? (Let’s be franker: Where else am I going to find a free timed running event at all? Hosted weekly, at that.)
We had five first-timers at D&R in the crowd of 30 runners. Four out of five were here
for their first ever parkrun. One of that group was here from China. It’s beyond belief that, no matter how bad the weather, there will always be several (or more) runners who traveled thousands of miles with our local parkrun as a destination. Last week, South Africa took the prize for the furthest home base of our runners. This week it was China, with the UK also well- represented.
It gets me out of bed on the miserable days to think of the legion of volunteers whom we
know will be at every event, no matter what. If we had one runner, you know we’d still have the volunteer cohort at their stations on the course, cheering that runner on. So, thank you, volunteers.
It’s easier to run than to stand at a volunteer station on a day this cold.
At least we runners get to heat up as we cover the territory. After the first half-mile, I was overheating with my hood up. By the two-mile point, my fingers were too sweaty to keep my gloves on.
One of my goals is to beat the barkrunners. Layla should get her own doggy tee-shirt
for the number of events she’s run. Layla let me beat her at this particular event.
I hit 50 events recently and got the e-mail to claim my tee-shirt. The shirt is free. You just have to show up for the events to be eligible. I paid for shipping (only) from the UK. It arrived in a week and it’s actually quite nice. Frank wore his on the outside for this particular event, so it either wasn’t that cold or he’s not ever going to hide a milestone tee-shirt. My shirt arrived earlier this week, and I confess I had it on under my sweatshirt.
So how cold was it? Two runners had PBs: Michael Corathers, who came in 5th , and
Richard Lagg, who placed 11th . May I put in a plug for the 60-64 age group, which each of them represents?
I moved up from that category last week (New chance to move up on the age category place-holders! Oh, a solitary thrill of aging!), but I must say, for this particular
contingent of the OK Boomer group: There were seven of us out there representing the over-60 population (plus an additional five in the 50+ group), and we were moving rather well.
That third mile was the fastest I’ve run in over two decades. Maybe it was perfect weather.
For all the volunteers who stood in the cold: Thank you deeply.
This week's run report was kindly brought to us by one of our tourists Phil Benham - enjoy!
Well where shall I start - I always thought my home parkrun Upton House in Dorset was a friendly and helpful one but Delaware & Raritan Canal takes being friendly and
helpful to such a new level.
I mean let them know in advance and they will try to get someone (normally another parkrunner) come and pick you up from the train station which is a few miles away and bring you back - after a small detour to a lovely roadside cafe for breakfast after you run/walk, which is thoroughly recommended!
Happy parkrunners with their breakfasts!
But I diverge from the point at hand - the parkrun
Well 45 brave runners braved the cooler temperatures this morning including about 12 of us from the UK - Tracey and Julie from Aberdeen, Heidi the Tailwalker and her daughter Manai from Hartlepool, Kim & Gary from Silksmith near Sunderland and Myself (apologies to anyone I've missed(
We all listened intently to the run briefing and then made our way across the bridge to the start of the course with just a reminder about the 1 main hazard on course the Canal slipway.
I did what I normally do started off too fast, even with a bad cold but I settled down and ran most of the course with a charming runner called Kelly (Editors note: this is of course our regular Kelly Francisco ) who as we were chatting proceeded to let me know about all the wildlife that you can see normally along the run, what times of year they come etc - I didn’t even know you had turtles in the Canal ?
It was really enjoyable to find out so much in that short time she kept me going all along the towpath as I was trying to sweat out my cold - sadly I just missed a PB but Kelly had a new PB!
We also met a lovely character called Rory - definitely life and soul of parkrun ,so much enthusiasm and energy (Editor's note - I swear I did not add this in! :))
This is 1 parkrun I would put forwards as being friendliest - the scenery was good and I would think at certain times of the year it is spectacular with the Maple trees that line most of this course - and to quote Kelly it can be eerie when there’s a bit of mist hanging over the Canal and course
Would I come back ? Most certainly yes - just to see the course at other times of the year , and to meet the friendliest bunch of parkrunners I know ,oh and the Cafe after
EDITOR'S NOTE - We'd also like to mention that Dan Landau became our third "home-grown" member of the milestone 50 club so he got to wear to coveted sash! Congrats Dan!
Dan the FIFTY Man!
BEDEVERE: What is that man doing here?
ARTHUR: He is the keeper of the Bridge of parkrun. He asks each parkrunner five questions--
GALAHAD: Three questions.
ARTHUR: Three questions. He who answers the five questions--
GALAHAD: Three questions.
ARTHUR: Three questions may cross in safety.
ROBIN: What if you get a question wrong?
ARTHUR: Then you are sentenced to a 5K every Saturday for all eternity.
ROBIN: Oh, I won't go.
GALAHAD: Who's going to answer the questions?
NARRATOR: 61 brave parkrunners proceeded to step forward, cross the bridge, and enter into the ominous fog of that Saturday morning.
Of the 61 participants, 13 were first-timers to D&RC, and 6 were first-time parkrunners altogether. Four different clubs were represented.
Both first finishers were guests from across the pond: Lucinda GIBBS (home base: Burgess parkrun) and Raymond HUGHES (home base: Elgin parkrun). Raymond set his own parkrun personal best sneaking under 18 minutes and, in the process, setting a D&RC age category record.
Britt JOHNSON-BROACHE and Phoebe BROACHE (home base: Durham NC parkrun) were among the morning’s visitors. Britt has now completed four different parkruns in the USA.
Tara MURPHY (home base: Poolbeg parkrun) completed her sixth D&RC parkrun and her 100th overall! Big ups on the milestone!
Kudos to RD Megan KUBEK for shining in her run director debut on this final D&RC. Thank you to everyone volunteering to make this weekend’s event possible: Thomas AUSSEM, Lorrie DEL CASALE, Michael DRISCOLL, Kay HALLENBECK, Liz KIESCHE, Megan KUBEK, Brenda LANDAU, Rory MURPHY, Irfan SALOUDEEN, Charlie STONE, Brett ULRICH. If you are interested in volunteering for a future event, you can sign up via e-mail, FB direct message, or the whiteboard posted on any given parkrun morning.
Of note, in the month of December, D&RC parkrun reached several milestones: 1000 registrations, 1000 different attendees, 100 different volunteers, 3000 total 5Ks. Zip code 08873 (Somerset) is currently three registrations shy of being the first 100-registrant zip code for this chapter.
Check out the complete photo album on the D&RC Facebook page. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020 full of free, weekly, timed 5Ks.
-Wali Sabuhi (guesting from Jamaica Pond)
When my husband and I started to plan our honeymoon I wasn’t too bothered where we went, as long as there was a parkrun! So when he mentioned New York I knew we’d be able to do our usually Saturday morning thing and get up really early and go parkrun touring. Little did I know it was marathon weekend and that we’d be part of an attendance record.
Fast forward a few weeks and I went onto the Delaware and Raritan Canal parkrun Facebook page to seek a lift from the station in New Brunswick. This was when Rhys popped up saying he was going to organise a bus transfer. After convincing my husband to send money for the bus to a complete stranger I’d met on the internet, our journey to Delaware and Raritan Canal parkrun had started!
The morning of parkrun arrived, we got up early to watch the rugby, which sadly didn’t go the way we had hoped, but we needn’t worry. The best was yet to come!
We caught a cab, drove through Times Square and met fellow parkrun tourists outside the New York City Public Library. As Rhys had said “parkrun tourists are the most organised people in society” no one was late and all 53 of us made the bus and headed to New Jersey.
It was my favourite kind of autumn morning. There was a crisp chill in the air, with a frost on the ground, the sun was shining, the sky was the perfect colour blue and the leaves were all different autumnal colours that made that amazing crunch sound as you walked over them. Absolutely stunning.
After I managed to peel my jumper off, we listened to the fabulous first timers briefing and made our way over the bridge to thestart.
A quick 3, 2, 1 and we were off. The course is completely flat. You run out for 1.5 miles and run back for 1.6 miles with the canal on either side of the path. I love these kinds of parkrun routes as it gives you a chance to tell other parkrunners words of encouragement, which is exactly what we all did.
A record 111 people took part which broke the previous attendance record by 23 people. This included 71 first timers, which is amazing. 8 people got a PB, which is fantastic as the conditions were perfect for it
The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:
Rory MURPHY • Kay HALLENBECK • Martin BLACK • Rhys PIPPARD • Katie DAVISON • Barnaby NORMAN • Jessica PERKINS • Catherine WEIMER • Frank FALOTICO • Tom WEIMER • Michael DRISCOLL • Irfan SALOUDEEN • Charlie STONE
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Delaware and Raritan Canal parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Shamiso SISIMAYI who recorded a time of 20:22 on 3rd November 2018 (event number 12).
The male record is held by Robert MOULTON who recorded a time of 16:53 on 20th April 2019 (event number 36).
The Age Grade course record is held by Patricia RONKSLEY who recorded 82.93% (22:45) on 26th October 2019 (event number 61).
Delaware and Raritan Canal parkrun started on 18th August 2018. Since then 899 participants have completed 2,709 parkruns covering a total distance of 13,545 km, including 490 new Personal Bests. A total of 93 individuals have volunteered 567 times.
As always, I’d like to thank parkrun, the volunteers, who without parkrun just wouldn’t work. To the cafe on the corner for being so welcoming to all us parkrun tourists and finally to Rhys and his new wife Angela, for being so friendly and restoring my faith in that sending money to strangers on the internet isn’t always as bad as it seems!