Not so calm before the storm – Eagan parkrun #90 Run Report

Saturday, 9 March, 2019

Six parkrunners(1)

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.)

Trevor shorts (1)

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 ( 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!

Rita and supporters(1)

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 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!


Broom Ball Anyone? – Eagan parkrun #75 Run Report

Another great morning for a run and this parkrun had a group theme.  All the way from Australia, the Australian Broomball Team was in Minnesota for a tournament in Blaine and stopped by to get a quick warmup before hitting the ice. They are joined in this picture by another visitor Josh from Australia who just happened to pick today to come to Eagan parkrun. Thanks for coming out!
Parkrun 75We also had Faculty members from the nearby Oak Ridge Elementary School who hit the trails and had a blast.  Thanks for coming out ladies of Oak Ridge on the Move! Parkrun 75

We also introduced our newest family member, Ruby to the parkrun family. She enjoyed watching the runners, smelling the grass and getting attention from the finishers! (She's the red one with four legs...)
Parkrun 75

Thanks again to our fantastic volunteers, we could not do parkrun without you! (Literally this time as Naveen showed up and helped keep some of us from trying to do two things at once!) Thank you to Steven COX, Melissa DAMRO, Michelle HORN, Scott HORN, Naveen KUMAR, Anita PAGEY, and Nancy WILSON.


Great times at Thomas Lake – Eagan parkrun #79 Run Report

Great morning for a post-Thanksgiving run to burn off some of that pie!  The rain overnight went away just in time for our 35 runners to enjoy very mild conditions.  (Hey, its almost winter in Minnesota.)  We welcomed back some stalwarts of our Eagan parkrun family and it was all lead by Daisy Islas who not only was our first finisher but also posted a PB!  Great job Daisy!  In fact, Daisy started a trend as our first four finishers and seven runners overall bested their times.  Congrats to Adam Burnett, Beth Claybaugh, Joshua Picotta, Isiah Picotta, Hayley Bujalski, and Tad Dolphay for their PB's.

We also had some first timers, including Michael Picotta and Samantha Damro, youngest child of Eagan parkrun founders Nate and Melissa.  Great job Sammy! Parkrun 79To keep things exciting (as if a PB wasn't enough), Josh Picotta ran the course while juggling, never breaking stride! Parkrun 79

Thanks to our outstanding volunteers, Scott, Michelle and Sophie Horn, Tom "Turkey" Anderson, Francine LePage, Linda Kaye, Skip Schaeffer and Naveen Kumar. Parkrun 79


GUEST RUN REPORT WRITER – THANKS EDEN! – Eagan parkrun #72 Run Report

Eagan parkrun #72

Eagan parkrun - Event #72 - 10/6/18

The saying “Minnesota Nice” is a very fitting description of the community at Eagan parkrun.  As a touristing parkrunner based at Roosevelt Island parkrun in the DC-area (with roots in Florida!), the chill in the air in early October caught me more off-guard than I care to admit, but the spirit at parkrun never fails to warm the heart.  The hot coffee before and after didn't hurt either!

At event #72, Run Director Andy welcomed all-comers and made the announcements while barkrunner Gus serenaded eagerly in the background.  A few minutes later, we were off to explore the peaceful, meandering course. The overcast sky created a beautiful contrast to the bright colors of the leaves, which were starting to transition to their autumnal glory.  

Eagan parkrun #72Due to an injury, I walked the course and was pleasantly surprised to be joined by a touristing parkrunner - Nikol from Renton parkrun in the Seattle-area.  The boisterous barkrunner Gus and his mama, a local parkrunner, completed our walking group. The best part about walking the 5k at parkrun is that you have more time to enjoy the journey.  Given I was touristing, I made a point to stop along the way to snap photos of the lovely trees and the stunning lake view. I also made a point to ensure the Eagan parkrun course was completed by Faux Foxy, the stand-in for my favorite barkrunner, Foxy, who didn’t make the trip.  You may know Foxy as the barkrunner correspondent for parkrun USA — if not, check out the parkrun USA e-newsletter more often :)   Eagan parkrun #72

While we were walking, many other parkrunners were pushing hard to the line. Congrats to all the parkrunners who achieved a personal best: Mark Lutterman, Michael Groskreutz, Christopher Prokop, Caitlin McMahon, Jordan Bowen, Francine Lepage, Melissa Howland, and Molly Hapgood.  And, a great big welcome to the parkrun family for first-timers Michael Haring and Brooke Paquette. We hope you had a fabulous time and join us again!


Many heartfelt thanks to this week’s volunteers: Andy Borne, Seth Borne, Jacob Damro, Carol Ferrazzo, Tammy Fluto, Naveen Kumar (who hit volunteer milestone #10 today!), and Nick Rogers.  We couldn’t have parkrun today without your awesome support!

Eagan parkrun #72


Eden Gray



17 November, 2018 – Eagan parkrun CANCELLED due to ice

17 November, 2018 - This morning the setup crew immediately discovered that the main straight-aways from the parking lot to the finish line were covered with long stretches of very slick ice left over from the recent melting snow that had re-frozen on the blacktop running path.  We considered a quick set-up change to a three loop course, but too much of the inner loop was covered with ice.  Most of the dangerous spots covered the entire width of the path, and there was no "getting around" the ice for long distances.  Other icy areas were hidden beneath patches of wind-driven snow.  "The hill" also had many patches of incredibly slippery ice on the down-side leading to Thomas Lake Road.  The cancellation was relayed via the Eaganhelpers volunteer e-mail list, and also posted to the website, Twitter and Facebook by about 8:15 a.m.  Sorry to those of you who made the trip to Thomas Lake only to be told the bad news upon arriving.  We always try to make a cancellation decision as soon as possible in order to save everyone a trip.  You may wish to consider signing up for the "Eaganhelpers" volunteer e-mail (click on the "Volunteer" tab at the top of this page) as a good option for being informed of any future cancellations.  Please note that we do not cancel unless there are unsafe conditions.  Typically, cold weather will not be grounds for cancellation, unless it is extreme and unsafe, or during an active blizzard.  Participant safety is always our number one concern.

On a positive note, despite the cancellation, many who showed up today contributed to the Open Door food drive to end local hunger.  Thanks SO MUCH for your generosity and commitment to dropping off your donations!  All items collected will be delivered to the Open Door on Monday.  Your donations WILL help others in the area during the holiday season.

See you soon, and happy running!



Milestone Mania – Eagan parkrun #77 Run Report


Eagan parkrun 77

Well it was great to back at Eagan parkrun… even if it did feel like January out there.  Say "hi" to Hazel above... she helped run direct this last week.  Eagan parkrun #77 was a chilly one and for this Run Director, the first one I have been in charge of since the middle of July!!  Just a lot of conflicts piled up, but I’m never that far from parkrun, whether on the social media side, helping Run Directors or now working to get new parkruns going in some parts of the country.

I thought I would take some time to update our Eagan parkrun community on some happenings:

  • We are doing really well.  Year 2 has seen some good year on year growth, although, August, September and October have generally been down vs. prior year.  For the first 77 weeks, we have averaged 44 runners and the average time is just under 32 minutes at 31:56.  That's great and shows that we have and welcome all speeds.  Great to see some real speed demons, but also super to have walkers and other enjoying the time out in Thomas Lake Park.
  • Our course continues to evolve a bit.  Most recently, we had it certified as an official 5k distance.  This is important for some of you, less so for others.  Our goal is to keep it the same now and with these measurements and markings we can hopefully do this.  We also know our 1-mile, 2-mile and 3-mile marks now, so hopefully you will see some of those marketings out soon.
    • Of course, come winter, we have to keep a close eye on the course and may need to adjust due to conditions.  For instance, if we can’t run the hill due to ice, we usually try to make a 3-lap course of the eastern section of the park.  The other item we have done or used is that on very cold days, but not cold enough to cancel, we’ll reverse the course so that our volunteers can sit in their cars while waiting for the finishers or in between finishers.
  • We have continued to add Run Directors to our group.  We currently have 7 different directors, 2 that have pulled back a bit and one in training.  It’s great to have around 10 so we can share the load… if you are interested in this, please let us know.  It’s really pretty easy and there are others around to help you out.
  • Did you know Eagan parkrun has another Event Co-Director?  Back in summer, Tom Anderson joined me as Co-Director.  This is right for Eagan parkrun and also something that parkrun USA and Global are suggesting as a best practice… that is to have Event Co-Directors.  Thanks Tom!
  • Did you know that this Saturday, the 27th US parkrun will start in Tuscon, AZ.  You can see where they all are on this link:
  • Having a Co-Director has allowed me to spend a bit more time as a parkrun USA Ambassador.  This is a new role and a new group of about 12 people in the US that are supporting existing events, bring potential events forward and searching for the future Event Directors and locations as well.  If you’ve spoken to me in the past about this, you will know, I believe there could / should be 10 parkruns around the Twin Cities in the next 5 years.  We don’t quite have our second yet, but I have been speaking to a few communities in our area.  I’m hopeful we’ll see a second metro area parkrun in 2019.  Stay tuned!
  • Great to see all the milestones coming through Eagan.  We have Junior 10 runners, 25 Volunteer milestones and have now been hitting the 50 parkrun clubs as well.  By the end of 2019, I expect we’ll have a couple 100 milestones in our midst!  Great work.  Just so you are aware, when you hit one of those milestones, you get a cool little icon next to your time on the results page.  You also get a FREE (shipping not included) tech shirt in a color tied to your milestone.  They are pretty nice shirts and you should war them with pride.  The current clubs for volunteering are 25 and for running include Junior 10, 50, 100, 250 and 500!!
  • Communications – I’m sure you’ve seen some changes to some of our comms efforts.  We missed a few Run Reports (still may see those, but there are about 4 missing in the last couple of months).  It was bound to happen.  We’ll continue to try to recap the event each week.  We have been posting less on Social Media… kind of goes with the Run Report.  On the flip side, we have been trying to get out a weekly email to subscriber email list.  There are a lot of Eagan parkruners on this list and a lot of people that have registered, but haven’t made it out yet… I want all of them to hear what we are doing, what we are up to and that they are always welcome to join Eagan parkrun for a FREE, TIMED 5K!  Let us know what you like and don’t like about our  communications efforts.

I’ll leave the brief update at that.  I’m always happy to fill you in on Eagan parkrun.  Remember, it is YOUR parkrun, it is a community event put on by the community, for the community.  We are also always looking to improve, so if you have an idea, let me or someone know!

Oh ya, we have a parkrun last week.  17 parkrunners did a great job… it was darn cold.  Sisters Beth Claybaugh and  Maria Hauer did a super job motoring around the course and avoiding some icy spots from the storms earlier that week.   It was super to see ultra-marathoner Todd Millenacker and he brought along Mike Mondelli for his first parkrun.  It was thumbs-up afterwards, hoping we see you again Mike!

I mentioned some of the milestones above.  This week, Ed Anderson joined the growing group of 50 parkruns.  Ed has been a staple at Eagan parkrun since our start.  He has done a SUPER job putting up tons of PBs and getting much stronger as a runner.  Congrats ED!

Picture below is of Ed and last’s week’s 50 club member, Amit Parnerkar.  Amit got his 51st in this week and like Ed, has been a mainstay at Eagan parkrun.  Thanks to you both… you help make Eagan parkrun what it is!

Eagan parkrun 77

A final BIG milestone this week was Francine LePage and her 25th Volunteer Milestone - yep a purple shirt for you Francine and our unending thanks for your help in making Eagan parkrun possible!

Eagan parkrun 77

Don’t forget to join us this Saturday for Eagan parkrun #78 and also for our first food drive, in support of the Open Door Food Shelf in Eagan.  Hoping for a good turnout and a good haul for those in need.

As has been mentioned, I’ll be Run Director for a Thanksgiving parkrun, same place and time, just on Thanksgiving morning.  I have failed to clarify… we are still having a parkrun on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, November 24th.  The Thanksgiving parkrun is just a bonus, it does not take the place of the regularly scheduled parkrun on Saturday morning.  There are still some volunteer spots open for Thanksgiving morning if you want to help out as well.  It’s also not too early to start thinking about New Years Day… we’re hoping for another special parkrun that day… more details to follow.

I’m sure I’ve gone on long enough.  As mentioned, great to be back at parkrun.  I’ll be back on Thanksgiving and hope to see a ton of you.  This Saturday, RD Skip will be putting on the show.  Come out for a parkrun and bring a friend!



Certified 5k, windy, damp, cold! – Eagan parkrun #74 Run Report

Today's parkrun began with Rick Recker measuring & certifying our course in Thomas Lake Park. Below, Rick marks the finish of our 5K.



Below, Skip and Rick review the numbers for a second loop... IMG_0143

Below: finishers at our NEW finishing line. They braved 40 mph gusts, with an air temp in the mid 30's.



Fall is in the Air – Eagan parkrun #72 Run Report

Another triumph!


Mark LUTTERMAN continues his amazing speed streak as our overall finisher, with a new PB! 21:12.

Thank yo volunteers: Andy BORNE, Seth BORNE, Jacob DAMRO, Carol FERRAZZO, Tammy FLUTO, Eden GRAY, Naveen KUMAR, Nick ROGERS


A Chill in the Air – Eagan parkrun #73 Run Report

parkrun#73 13102018
13 October, 2018  -  It was sort of strange this morning at Eagan parkrun #73.  Something was missing.  It wasn't the energetic atmosphere of our 32 runners/walkers - that never seems to be lacking.  It wasn't the encouragement and camaraderie of everyone who participated - because that, of course, is always present too.  What was missing was the rain...and NO ONE was complaining.  After a week's worth of windshield wipers, umbrellas and puddles, it was finally dry today.  The rain, however, was replaced with a definite chill in the air.  Although nothing was frozen yet, there was no doubt that our beloved short Minnesota summer was officially over.  We will likey enjoy one or two more "warm" Saturday mornings before Halloween, but the season of running pants and light gloves has definitely returned!
parkrun#73 13102018First to arrive this morning was Gary Salmon all the way from the U.K., where his home parkrun is Clapham Commons in London.  Although Clapham parkrun launched in March of 2018, it is already drawing an average of 500 parkrunners each week!  Gary and was in town while on holiday from his accounting position with Domino Records.  Just finishing the Chicago Marathon last week, he earned the Number 1 finish token today with a speedy time of 19:24, and was excited for Sunday to see the Vikings play the Cardinals (which, as it turns out, resulted in a 27-17 win for Minnesota).  Above, Gary poses for a picture with our volunteer barcode scanner Linda Kaye - who was awarded the honor of Eagan parkrunner of the Month for August 2018.  Linda volunteered every Saturday in August, and today was her 15th volunteer appearance in 2018.  In addition to barcode scanning today, she put in extra time this morning learning the pre-event setup routine.  Thanks for your dedication to Eagan parkrun, and your great spirit each week Linda!

Also in from out of town today was our good friend Aiden Mullen from Dublin, Ireland for his 7th parkrun at here Thomas Lake (his 118th total parkrun finish). And, making his second Eagan parkrun appearance all the way from Lake Macquarie parkrun in Sydney, Australia was Simon Carver.  Although it was only his second time at Eagan parkrun, today's run was Simon's 157th parkrun finish overall!  Very impressive Simon.  Finally, from this side of the Atlantic, we were thrilled to welcome Ben and Meghan Gieske (below) from College Park parkrun in Maryland.  College Park parkrun hosted their 104th run today.  Hope to see all of our out-of-town guests again soon!  Maybe in a few months when we have some below zero temps?
20181013_093922 (2)With 7 first-timers today, the total number of individual runners that have completed Eagan parkrun to date is 887 - bringing the total number of finishes at Thomas Lake Park so far to 3,237.  Thanks everyone for coming out each week, and for today, making Eagan parkrun part of your chilly Saturday morning!       3 picture collage - dated2
Don't forget that there will be a special "holiday edition" of Eagan parkrun next month on Thanksgiving morning (Thursday, November 22).  Of course, as always, this special event is at 9:00 a.m., timed, and FREE!  How many local turkey trots can say that?  Hope to see you there!  Volunteer positions are still available.  Just send us an e-mail at if you are interested.  For this week, a big thanks to the awesome volunteers that made Eagan parkrun #73 a success: Naveen Kumar, Linda Kaye, Rafe Jones, and Victoria Sharp-Jones.

Hope you can make it next Saturday for Eagan parkrun #74!
Happy running,


Great Day for a Run! – Eagan parkrun #70 Run Report

Eagan parkrun #70 22092018Great weather was predicted for Eagan parkrun #70, and Mother Nature did not disappoint. Leading into Saturday 22 September, 2018, we had rain, rain and lot more rain.  Eagan had nearly five inches of rain in the four days prior to Saturday, but a combination of sunny and clear skies, a slight breeze, and a cool 50F degree temp made for a glorious and picture-perfect start.  If you've never signed up for the Pre-Event Setup volunteer position, I would strongly recommend it.  Walking the course and setting up the signs and cones as the sun comes up is extremely peaceful and invigorating. Thomas Lake Park never ceases to surprise me.  Deer, geese, and even a fox have been sighted by the setup crew just this past summer alone.  This morning, the sun was just starting to rise as I pulled into the parking lot and headed down to the finish line to begin setting up.  I caught this view of the morning sun highlighting a slight mist hanging over the nearby pond.
Eagan parkrun #70 22092018

The running wasn't that bad either!  Let me rephrase that: it was perfect!  This week, among our 37 runners and walkers, we were happy to share the morning with eleven newcomers, and we recorded eight PB's.  Just before the start, when we thought we didn't have anyone joining us from out of town, Louise & Wade Murphy-Norrie from Sydney Australia pulled in with only seconds to spare.  After the run, both were overheard seeking directions to the (apparently world famous) Eagan Premium Outlet Mall.  We hope you found something Minnesota-fashionable to bring back to North Wollongong parkrun!  Hope to see you again!

Newcomer Zack Farr arrived with Dad (below), ready to run.  He finished in the Number 2 position at a speedy 23:20. We hope to see Zack back again soon as well.

Eagan parkrun #70 22092018

Below, Stephanie Olson hit a PB this week, absolutely killing her previous parkrun best by over four and a half minutes.  Congratulations on a truly impressive accomplishment Stephanie!  Anytime you'd like to share the secrets of your success, I am sure you will have the attention of a lot of people!stephanie_olson PB finish - cropped

Another very important event to note:  Eagan parkrunner Michelle Pahl (below) hit an impressive milestone today - logging her 50th parkrun!  Of Michelle's 50 parkrun finishes, 48 of them were here in Eagan!  Hope to be there for your 100th as well!  And, in case you are wondering, the anonymous hands in front of Michelle are CLEARLY indicating the number "50."  From all of your good friends at Eagan parkrun, CONGRATULATIONS Michelle!

Eagan parkrun #70 22092018

Of course, Eagan parkrun is a fantastic activity for the whole family, whether running or volunteering.  This week was no different.  Jeremy Fleischmann hit his 10th parkrun mark today with the whole family (below top) cheering him on.  Could the kids (Calvin and Quinn) be any cuter?  Victoria Sharp-Jones (finish tokens) and little sister Isabel (moral support) helped keep Dad Rafe Jones (time keeper) and Naveen Kumar (barcode scanner) on track at the finish funnel (below bottom).  Eagan parkrun #70 22092018Eagan parkrun #70 22092018

A few first-timers, and a "31-timer" (Nick Rogers) (below) all enjoyed the GORGEOUS morning at Thomas Lake!
Newbies and Nick

Finally, it's only fitting to end this week's run report with a shot of our Tail Walker/Runner Amit Parnerkar.  Who would have known that his stroller (and child inside) would have come in so handy for picking up the signs?!  Thanks to all the volunteers this week on a fantastic job!  Eagan parkrun #70 22092018

Happy running, and I hope to see everyone again next Saturday at 9:00 a.m. for Eagan parkrun #71.


⇐ Newer Posts in Category