Saturday, 9 March, 2019
As the 9:00 start drew near, and with a major storm coming later in the day, it was obvious that the gradually increasing wind was going to present a challenge for our hearty group of twenty-four. Unfortunately, more than one parkrunner today was deceived by the weather forecast, and dressed for what was anticipated to be the "nicest" day of the week. This may have included Trevor Luyt (below), who never complained, and almost looked comfortable in his...shorts! - which, I suppose, is not surprising for a 113-time parkrun veteran, but might surprise you when you learn that he hails from North Beach parkrun on the northeast coast of South Africa! Unfortunately, there is no Accuweather temperature index for running against the wind down a quarter-mile straight-away in an open field of snow. If there was, the warning might have read: "31 degrees, but feels like 50 below." (At least that was the sentiment from our winter course marshals today.)
With packed snow covering a large portion of the three-loop winter course, the track was arguably better than has been for the past few weeks. The snow storm that hit the Twin Cities later in the day, however, will likely cause that to change. In anticipation of thawing and freezing snow over the next few weeks, it would definitely be a good idea to check the Eagan parkrun website (www.parkrun.us/eagan) and social media for cancellations each Saturday morning before you make the journey to Thomas Lake. We will do our best to have any cancellations posted as early as possible on Saturday mornings.
We welcomed at least five* first-time parkrunners today, bringing our historical total of individual finishers to 979. One particular standout was Rita Johnson (below in black stocking cap), who deserves special recognition, and truly epitomizes what parkrun is all about. Her husband was overheard saying that today's event was Rita's "first." When asked if it was her first parkrun, or her first 5K, he simply said, "It's her first anything!" Apparently, Rita has been secretly training on her own for a while, and this week she was ready to knock out her first 5k. She had plenty of support on hand as well, not only from her husband and carload of friends, but from everyone present at the finish line when she crossed. In fact, her finish might have been the loudest ever at Thomas Lake to date! Congratulations are definitely in order. We truly hope you return soon, Rita! We promise Spring will get here...eventually!
With a little better snow pack on the course, and no stroller this time, Joe McCauley was back for his second parkrun at Thomas Lake. Under these improved conditions, Joe managed to shave a whopping 16:14 off of his debut time from just a few weeks ago. Also back for a second go at it was junior parkrunner John Lutterman (JM 11-14), who took a pre-event loop around the course with Dad (first finisher and barcode scanner Mark Lutterman) (above center) to warm up and inspect the course. John also achieved a parkrun PB, despite the strong winds and insane wind chill. We can't wait to see what both of these parkrunners are capable of this Spring when course conditions are even more favorable.
As always, a BIG THANKS to our volunteers this week: Nate Damro (course setup and timekeeper), Mark Lutterman (barcode scanner), Nancy Wilson (finish tokens), and Ed Anderson (tail runner and post-event clean-up).
*There may have actually been 6 first-timers today, but we are not sure. Our 18th finisher did not scan her finish token, so the mystery remains! If you are our mystery parkrunner, please send us an e-mail at email@example.com and let us know, so that we can add you to the results for Eagan parkrun #90! Also, if you happen to find the #18 finish token in your pocket, we would be elated to get it back! No questions asked!
Keep warm everyone. Happy running!