This report is written by one of your visitors on Saturday, Roderick Hoffman. I'm a parkrun statistician so rather than say how wonderful the course and company was, though they were, I'm going to pour out a load of facts and figures. Most of the information below has been researched from the reports that are available from the parkrun.com website.
Des Moines Creek parkrun happens because a number of individuals volunteer to set it up and operate it, and because a regular number of locals want to run it. My analysis of the results doesn't say much about the volunteers because the existing parkrun reports don't either. I can see that about half of the volunteers this week have the same names as about half of the volunteers last week. The best way that we runners can say thank you to the regular volunteers is by also volunteering - not every week but to enable the regulars to take a break.
This was event number sixteen and the parkrun had 35 finishers. That is the highest number since the beginning of August. Des Moines Creek has only had more finishers on three occasions and the highest ever was only three more than on Saturday with 38.
Over the sixteen runs 197 different runners have completed the course. This means that next week's third new finisher will be the 200th runner.
Just over half, 18, of Saturday's 35 finishers have only ever run at Des Moines Creek. Leading the way (at Saturday's run) was Ken ROGERS who has run here on nine of the 16 occasions since the parkrun started. I'll also mention Casey SKEEN who has had the most number of PBs - six in her eight runs and also Sean MILLER who may have only run four times but he has secured a PB on every occasion. I wonder how long Sean will keep that record going? In total he has knocked 89 seconds off his original time and I also note that he claims to belong to an appropriately named club - "Raise the Bar".
There were nine runners making their first visit to Des Moines Creek parkrun. At the briefing two people claimed to be doing their first ever parkrun but the results do not show them - they are probably two of the six finishers who were unable to present a barcode to be scanned and so don’t have their times in the results. The message to the new runners is to go into the website, register yourself and print off your barcode for next time - don't use "not having access to a printer on Friday evening" as an excuse…Steve!
Of the 20 runners who were running for a second or multiple time at Des Moines Creek parkrun an impressive eight secured new PBs and the other 12 completed another run and in doing so beat everyone who stayed in bed.
In my view David FROST's achievement eclipses that of the two first place finishers. He achieved an age-grade result of 74.30% which was the highest on the day and also improves his own age grade record for his gender/age category, albeit by a single second! The first placed finishers were Shawn DAILEY in 22:01 and Rebecca ALEXANDER in 22:10. In both cases this was the fourth time each had achieved a first finish and I'll add that Rebecca was only five seconds behind her own ladies record for the course. Another ALEXANDER, Lucy, wasn't so quick - 40:52 but she was the youngest runner on the day, a JW10 (Junior Women aged 10 or below). But then again perhaps Lucy was handicapped by having to remain at arm's length from David ALEXANDER.
Molly BROWN and Peter ERNST were amongst those doing their first run at Des Moines Creek. Both have recently been regulars at the sister parkrun at Renton though in previous years had been regular runners at Bushy parkrun in the UK. Faith YOUNG was another who has multiple Renton parkruns in her record though this was her third consecutive run at Des Moines Creek so I suspect she has migrated.
A mention for Gaylene DONNER and Brian DONNER. This was the third parkrun for each and each had been at a different venue (Root44 in South Africa, Renton and now Des Moines Creek). I suspect that it will be difficult for them to continue their record of different parkrun venues - but I can tell them that if they make it up to 50 parkruns at 50 different venues then they qualify to join the "Hoffman Club" (named after me, though not by me). Worldwide this exclusive club has only ever had 21 members to date. Perhaps a bigger achievement on the day was Gaylene setting a new age category record for her age group - improving the previous record by the equivalence of two minutes (3.13%). David FROST and John PONTAROLO share the distinction of being the oldest participants on the day - though which is the elder, parkrun doesn't divulge.
Chris HUDSON and Angela HUDSON had come all the way from Orpington in SE London, UK to run at this event. They are well travelled with Chris having run now at 93 different parkrun venues. When he reaches 100 different venues he can claim to have completed a "Cowell". This is so named because the first to achieve this feat was Chris Cowell. Perhaps Chris will juggle venues about so as to achieve his 250th total parkrun on the same day as earning his Cowell - he is currently on an impressive 233 parkruns.
Bill POST and Frances POST had travelled from Clermont Waterfront parkrun in Florida. They are also well travelled and have done 23 different parkruns including parkruns in seven countries and 15 of the USA's 25 parkruns.
The writer of this week's report, Roderick HOFFMAN, is a very well-travelled parkrunner - I can claim to be the most travelled (in terms of mileage) though others can claim to have done more different parkruns and to have visited more different countries. My total is now 244 different parkruns in 15 different countries in my 314 total parkruns. My conclusion following all of these parkruns is that every parkrun is the same, and every parkrun is different.
This was my fifth USA parkrun so I thought I'd finish by telling you a little bit about each of the others I've done, so what makes each different. This should even be of interest to the Bill and Francis POST since my US parkruns include three of those they have yet to run.
- Livonia parkrun, established in June 2012, has the distinction of being the first parkrun in the USA. It starts in the middle of a large sports ground area so you have to choose which group you park next to else you may end up involved in a baseball or soccer game instead. The course is on grass and is 2k out, a 1k loop and then 2k back.
- Crissy Field in San Francisco has the distinction of having the best finishing line photograph of all the parkruns I've done - featuring the Golden Gate Bridge in the background - unless that is you have the misfortune to run there on a day when the sea fog rolls in. The course is flat with an out and back first towards Alcatraz, then towards the bridge.
- Fletcher Cove is in Washington D.C. and has a very flat out and back course alongside a disused canal. It was difficult to get to without a car.
- South Boulder Creek has a loop to start with and then an out and back. This is the only parkrun I've done where on the run I've overtaken someone on skis. It was the inaugural run and there had been six inches of snow the previous evening. The snow, and being at one-mile altitude, and having just flown in the night before, perhaps explains why this was my slowest ever parkrun time.
And I'll mention just one of the UK parkruns I've done - Ashton Court near Bristol. This has a similar profile to Des Moines Creek being 2.5km uphill to the turnaround and then 2.5km downhill to the finish. Ashton Court has a total of 100meters climb compared to that of Des Moines Creek with 65meters. So it is 50% steeper, nevertheless if you are near Bristol in the UK on a Saturday morning you should find that your regular parkrun practice should put you in good condition for Ashton Court - compared to other visitors who are usually more used to pancake flat parkruns. Oh, and when I say that all parkruns are the same, one of the things I mean is that they all accept the same barcode you use at Des Moines Creek to put your name into the results. Are you listening Steve?
Keep on running,