JPparkrun Celebrates Pride Month!

It's Pride Month!

To celebrate, Jamaica Pond parkrun is going to make a pride flag. Sign up for your color on THIS SHEET!

It's so easy, even Dan can do it

It's so easy, even Dan can do it!

All you have to do is take a photo of you before, after, or during your walk or run wearing your color and we will put them together to make a flag. Submit your photos to jamaicapond@parkrun.com and post your photos to instagram and be sure to tag @Jamaicapondparkrun! Make it a family affair: cats, dogs, and babies are welcome to participate too!

 

 

 

JP parkrun spotlight: Alone Together 24 Hour JP parkrun Relay Team

The Alone Together Relay was not canceled.  As Team Jamaica Pond Parkrun, on April 17- 18, the weekend that would have been Boston Marathon weekend, we ran together, we fundraised together, and we cheered together.  Despite running each on our own, for 24 hours, we were definitely not alone.  It happened on a Saturday, around Jamaica Pond quite a few times, and we ran at 9 am -- and the rest of the day as well.  

Alone together

The Alone Together Relay started with a few enthusiastic runners from Minnesota who wanted to bring runners together when they can’t physically be together.  It grew to a worldwide phenomenon, 41 teams total, representing 6 countries.  The rules were simple: The goal was to run for 24 hours straight, at least one mile every hour, or continuously, for the duration of the day.  Every team was limited to 10 members but could be smaller, even brave solo-runners were welcome.  Runners could run multiple shifts and for any amount of time, but they could not overlap with other team members.  Each team and its various members could run outside, on the treadmill in their homes, or even around a block in their neighborhood. Hand-offs between runners were all made virtually over social media. 

 

The Jamaica Pond parkrun team was comprised of 10 runners, Dan, Chrissie, Alex, Neil, Robbie, Summer, Colby, Rose, Zoe, and myself.  We planned ahead by assigning different shifts, each of us taking between 2-3 hours in the day.  Luckily, we had a parkrunner from the UK, Rose, to take the 2-4 am shift, which made assigning shifts easier.  Our target goal was about 150 miles, somewhere between 6-7 miles per hour, and while we would give it our all, no one was out there to break any records, it was all in the spirit of fun.  We also decided to keep track of how many laps around the pond our running would equate to, and of course how many parkruns that would equal.   

Alone together 2

The event got off to a momentous start, there was a Zoom and Facebook Live Opening Ceremony organized by Alone Together HQ, we took roll call by team and shared where we were from and Whitney Houston sang us off with her rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.  The Zoom party continued all night and throughout the next 24 hours as the runners continued to keep up the miles outside and on the treadmill. 

 

After a solid lead-off performance from Alex, 8.5 miles from 9 pm-10 pm, we were off to the races.  Between each leg, we did a text handoff, sent a selfie to show we completed the run, and the next runner was off.  And so it continued into the night.  Most of the team went to sleep early to prepare for the next day as the torch was passed from Alex to Robbie to Neil to Rose.  By the time it came back to Boston for Chrissie to run at 4 am, it was an all-out April Blizzard!

Chrissie in storm

For the next few hours, we kept ticking off the miles as the team woke up to a blanket of white snow over the yellow spring flowers we ran past in shorts earlier in the week.  Dan followed Chrissie and I was up at 6 am, ready to hit the slippery streets.  The wind whipped through my raincoat and ice melted into my eyes.  It was brutal.  The streets were silent, maybe because it was 6am on a Saturday, maybe because it was a full-on winter snowstorm on an April day. By the end of the two hours, the snow shifted to freezing rain as I charged on, ready to report back to the team at 8 am.  

 

14.5 miles later, I took my selfie and passed the baton to Zoe to continue the charge for the next hour.  Summer was up at 9 am, the same time parkrun starts for a two-hour shift.  The team was live with excitement as the first numbers starting coming in, posted by HQ on Instagram and were announced in the Zoom, we were in the top 3 for miles run so far.  Half-way through the relay, here we go park-runners!

 

Nearly everyone had completed their first shift and it was time for round two.  The team shifted from casually competitive to “in it to win it.”  We were sore, but our text group filled with rain-soaked selfies and post-run rundowns blew up with new energy.  With each shift, the team got faster and faster, the miles ticked by into the afternoon.  By hour 20, it was announced we were in second place, just the freezing rain started to let up.  

Rain soaked selfie

We put in a couple of fast hours, 8-9+ miles per hour became the norm as we fought towards victory.  I was up at 6 pm for round two, legs heavy from 14.5 miles in a blizzard, but charged with the support of the team.  In that final hour, I ran sub 8-minute miles for nearly every mile, dropping to the 7:40s towards the end of the hour.  Unlike in a race, no matter how fast I went, the time ticked by slowly, an hour would have to pass eventually, but the faster I went the more endless it seemed.  22 miles completed over the course of a day and my shifts were complete.

 

Finally, it was off to Zoe and Dan to anchor the team.  Shout-out to our anchor (and parkrun co-director) Dan for running the equivalent of a sub-3-hour marathon in three separate legs.  Wow.  When all was said and done, the team ran over 186 miles in 24-hours, nailing a second-place finish.  That’s 128 loops around the pond and 60 parkruns for those keeping track at home.  We celebrated ith a post-relay Team Zoom and Bring Your Own Ice Cream.

Dan the man

It may not have been the Boston Marathon weekend in Boston we all envisioned a few months ago, but we agreed, this was the most fun we’ve had since quarantine.  We can’t wait to run together in real life, but until then, we’ll have to stick to being Alone Together. 

Results

 

 

JP spotlight on Paul Davies: JP parkrunners are accustomed to running in circles but this is ridiculous!

This special time of the year where one day can be blazing hot and sunny quickly followed the next day by snow and cold biting winds is also a time where we welcome hundreds of fellow parkrunners from around the globe as they descend upon Jamaica Pond to run 2 loops of our favorite course as a shake out run before tackling that historic course from Hopkinton Town Common to Copley Square. Sadly, in this current pandemic Boston Marathon 2020 was postponed.

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Scenes from last year's Boston Marathon weekend

The “HowWasYourRunToday?” podcast and the YouTube channel “Running With Cameras” teamed up and suggested celebrating Marathon Monday by doing some 26.2 themed activities but keeping it close to home and donating to a charity. So, for the #BackyardBostonMarathon event I mapped out a 2.62 mile loop around my house and ran 10 laps. My family joined in the fun, first my youngest son Ciaran along with our dog Chloe, followed by my other son, Aidan, and wife, Bronwyn, each ran one loop with me.

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It was a strange experience to witness the same part of my neighborhood 10 times, giving me snapshots of happenings during a 4-hour time slot. Neighbors doing some gardening gave me quizzical looks as I ran by them 3 times, and on two loops I saw a teenage birthday party at a house where close friends spilled out onto the streets but kept 6 feet distance from each other. On this 26.2 mile run there was no screech alley at Wellesley College or drunk BC/BU student cheering me on, but I did have a postman give me an encouraging yell “You’ve got a lot of miles to go, keep it going!”. On my penultimate loop I came across a bloody cyclist (not the British expression of endearment to our biker friends but actual body fluids) lying in the road so I stayed with him until he was able to stand and get going again.

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Although #BackyardBostonMarathon was organized a few days before Monday, I knew runners from 17 States and several countries that took part. It was great to feel part of some group effort again, a feeling that I would normally get running loops around JP pond on a Saturday morning.

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-Paul Davies, avid JP parkrunner

 

JP parkrun spotlight: Letitia Meenan

We miss seeing all of you every single Saturday morning! Until we can run, walk , and volunteer together again, we are going to feature some of our regular parkrunners here! First up is regular parkrunner, Letitia Meenan, matriarch of the Meenan clan. Letitia is personification of parkrun, she turns up with her family in every weather, ready to run and lend a hand. She is also a pond devotee and has been making weekly trips to Jamaica pond during quarantine. We can't wait to be back at the pond with her.

Dan, Wali, and the Meenan Clan (Letitia, Chris, and Jarlath)

Dan, Wali, and the Meenan Clan (Letitia, Chris, and Jarlath)

For how long have you been coming to JPparkrun?
Since May 2018 (event  #9)

How did you find out about JPparkrun?
I was a keen parkrunner in Belfast before moving to Boston so I was watching out and delighted when a parkrun started so close. We couldn't make it for the first few weeks because of schedule conflicts (I'm looking at you Newton Youth Soccer) but started to come as a family as soon as we could.

How many JPparkruns have you done?
75

What is your favorite time of the year to do parkrun at the Pond?
Summer! 

How many times have you volunteered at JPparkrun?
16 

Do you like the original course or the arboretum course better?
Arboretum is beautiful but the Original is the Best

How many parkruns have you done besides JPparkrun?
49 across 6 other locations in UK and US

What’s your favorite thing about JPparkrun?
Where do I start? The wonderful volunteers working with so much enthusiasm and encouragement and humor and super-efficiently! Also seeing fellow runners/walkers, faster and slower, on my way round - the course works really well for that.

What’s your favorite volunteer role at JPparkrun?
First Timers Briefing with assistance from my trusty sidekick Jarlath, 12 year old parkrun regular who has happily inherited his Dad's running genes rather than mine

Letitia and Jarlath give a hysterical first-timers briefing

Letitia and Jarlath give a hysterical first-timers briefing

What parkrun that you have not yet visited would you like to do next?
JP parkun the restart, hopefully before we head back to the UK in the summer

What do you order at cityfeedandsupply after parkrun to treat yourself?
Lemon and poppyseed muffin shared (unequally) with Jarlath plus filter coffee for me and warm milk for him

How many people do you think we’ll have at our pre-Boston Marathon parkrun in September?
384 (better get those finisher tokens dusted off!)

 

 

JPparkrun Canceled through April 17th

Due to measures being taken to counteract COVID-19 in the city of Boston, and for the sake of the health and safety of our runners, walker, joggers, volunteers, and their families, friends, and coworkers, Jamaica Pond parkrun has been canceled through April 17th, 2020.

We do not yet know when JPparkrun will resume, but we do know that the run will be suspended through 17 April. If you feel the need to run around the pond in the meantime, please look into parkrun Freedom Runs, which allow you to record every time you run a parkrun route, whether on a Saturday or not!

We love and miss you all! See you 'round the pond soon enough.

Sincerely,

Dan Forward & Chrissie Connors

Event Co-Directors, Jamaica Pond parkrun

 

Jamaica Pond parkrun #106: Who Run’s the World? Girls!

The theme for this year’s international women’s day was #eachforequal to celebrate the radical idea that women and men are equal.

We have a long way to go to achieve true equality but there’s reason to celebrate progress and use it as a road map to make even more gains in gender equality.

Women were once thought not to be able to run more than 800 meters because it was not feminine and would cause our uterus to fall out. Well, we have learned that our uterus does not in fact fall out, and we don’t have to let men define femininity for us, we can define it however we like. And for me, I feel like finishing a 5K or a marathon is incredibly feminine, it is when I am most proud of my body and all it can do, and I am more concerned with what it can do than how pleasing the shape or appearance of it is to anyone else.

Women’s participation in running is increasing. A few days ago, the biggest field of women competed at the Olympic Marathon Trials, including our own Katie Kellner who crushed it. But there’s still a ways to go in the marathon. The men’s marathon is still more revered than the women’s and reserved for the last event of the Olympics. We still measure breaking huge running barriers based on the abilities of men (sub 4 mile, sub 2 marathon). If you google who has the American 10K record, you don’t get Galen Rupp AND Molly Huddle, you just get Galen. He is the owner of the 10k American record and Molly Huddle is the owner of the 10K Women’s record. We still qualify women’s achievements in a way we do not for men.

But more amazing things about women? Women dropped out of Boston 2018 at a lesser rate than men. Women were not deterred by difficult conditions, probably because we’ve encountered them before (its called history). And scientific studies show that women are better at pacing than men. Men are really talented at going out super hard and fading fast, and women are better at even pacing or running negative splits.

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The takeaway is that women are excelling in an area we were previously excluded from. Katherine Switzer was notoriously chased off the Boston Marathon course in 1967 but today women make up 44% of the field at Boston. We need to take our advancements in the running community and learn from them by forcing our way into other areas where we have been historically excluded, like, for example, the Oval Office.

If doors are not automatically opening for you, run through them and force them open and leave it open for the next girl behind you.

Lastly, women are socialized to do all the work and take none of the credit. But ladies, when you’re celebrating all your strong female friends, be sure to brag about yourself also. Whether it’s a new 5k PB, or a promotion at work. Celebrate yourself as well! You deserve it.

 

Happy international women’s day!

Chrissie Connors
Run Director and person who cares deeply about elevating women to every level of every sector.

 

Jamaica Pond parkrun CANCELED 14 March 2020

Dear parkrunners,

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we have decided to cancel parkrun this week in order to do our part to stem the spread of COVID-19. We will provide you weekly updates through our social media channels (see below) on the status of Jamaica Pond parkrun, and we encourage you to get in touch with us through this email address should you have any questions.

 

Facebook: facebook.com/jamaicapondparkrun

Instagram: @jamaicapondparkrun

parkrun news: https://www.parkrun.us/jamaicapond/news/

 

While Jamaica Pond parkrun is not officially being held, you may still get "parkrun Freedom" credit by running the course whenever you'd like (doesn't have to be Saturday, doesn't have to be 9 AM). More information on parkrun Freedom can be found at this link: https://support.parkrun.com/hc/en-us/articles/200565333-What-is-parkrun-Freedom-

 

We do not cancel parkrun lightly. We love seeing all of your every week, and we will resume normal operations as soon as we can. As we weather this storm, please remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently, sanitize things you touch often, such as your phone, and avoid large gatherings when possible.

 

See you soon!

See you soon!

Sincerely,

 

Dan Forward and Chrissie Connors

Event Co-Directors

Jamaica Pond parkrun

 

 

Leap day running at JP !

This weekend was a first for JP parkrun on a several fronts. For the first time all the parkrun grownups (Dan, Chrissie, and Wali) were away, supporting Katie, another parkrun regular, in Atlanta who was doing the US Olympic Marathon qualifiers, way to go Katie!!!  So back in Boston the juniors and fledgling organizers (Me, Junior Meenan, and James) were left to run things. We were not feeling any pressure or stress whatsoever to keep JP's immaculate 100% customer satisfaction record (zero refunds to date) oh no no no.

With that said we had a very welcome unannounced guest appearance from the JP parkrun Queen Laura (and Lachlan, heir to the JP parkrun throne, at least I think that's how it works?), who no doubt were checking in to ensure that standards were being maintained

A big thank you to our full ensemble of volunteers on Saturday, including

Deena ABRAMSON
Karen ATKINSON
Clara BAKKER
George BUTCHER
Mary BUTCHER
Lisa DAFFY
Paul DZUREC
Neil GUERTIN
Kent HIRSHBERG
Wes KENNY
Chris MEENAN
Jarlath MEENAN
Letitia MEENAN
Jeanette ROBINSON
Deb ROBISON
Cristina SMITH
James SMITH
Robert STEEVES
Sara TIAN
Balam WILLEMSEN
You made everything run like clockwork. A couple of notable performances by our volunteers. Firstly, Wes and Lisa (visiting from Ireland), demonstrated that awesome Irish work ethic by sorting the tokens as they arrived at the finish line!! There was zero token handling needed at City Feed, our 2nd first for this weekend I think?
Secondly, Jarlath who spent much of his 'volunteering' time collecting sticks and testing out their strength against nearby objects (say no more).

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Also thanks, Clara for being impromptu photo taker, and helping cover for this hapless run director's lack of photographer arranging..
And onto the run itself... Despite me thinking, 10 minutes before kickoff,  that word of Dan's absence must have got out as there was hardly anyone there, come 9am we had a great 115 runners ready for the off ! The weather was typical for JP this year, beautiful blue skies and not too chilly, which made for great running. Despite some last minute timing panicking (no idea how to reset the park run stopwatches, whoever designed those things must have been emotional scarred by a real bad timing result loss experience), we set everyone off using the magic of parkrun mobile phone app.
 
And what a run, we had 16 people who got PBs (and its not even Spring yet!) I think Cristina might have also have got a JP tail walker PB (ssssshhhh though cause that's not really a thing).
Also, and our 3rd first for the weekend, for all those that participated it was a leap day parkrun PB, so well done everyone! And its also safe to say that that PB won't be broken anytime soon in the next 28 years as that's the next time a parkrun will happen on a leap day (barring massive earth axis realignment relative to the sun due to asteroid collision or something equally catastrophic, like England winning the rugby world cup).And finally all our tokens were returned thank you Wes, Lisa and all our runners for being super awesome!
Next week is International Women's Day so encourage all your female and female-supporting friends, family, partners, etc. to come along. To top it all Chrissie will be run director, so we can all look forward to a super-smooth,  fun-packed parkrunning Saturday morning !
 

Barkrunner Interview: Murphy Olson

We at Jamaica Pond parkrun often hear great feedback from our runners, walkers, and joggers. We have a very vocal fanbase that spreads the news about us. But we noticed a problem: we were only hearing from human beings! So when barkrunUSA correspondent Foxy got in touch with us about interviewing Nathan OLSON's dog Murphy, who has often been the star of the show at JPparkrun because of his tendency to attack the downhill start and then take a break in the middle with a dunk in the pond, we couldn't say YES fast enough. Here is that interview below, translated from the Canine into English for the benefit of most of our participants:

 

Hey there all you fabulous parkrunners!  Your favorite Foxy here with the latest barkrunner interview!  Guaranteed to put a smile on your face, this week we meet the energetic and athletic Murphy from Jamaica Pond barkrun up in Boston, Massachusetts!!!!!

Murphy 2

"Time to sprint to the water!"

Murphy, tell us about yourself.

I'm "Dropkick" Murphy Olson, standard schnauzer, 12 years old. I live in the suburbs north of Boston on a street where I can bark at runners, walkers, dogs, and delivery-people out the window! My home parkrun is Jamaica Pond, which is excellent for swimming as well as running.  I'm an excellent guard dog, and I'm LOUD. I bark at people and dogs on the sidewalk, I bark extra loud at people entering the house (including my parents), and I watch TV to bark at the commercials, especially to bark at animals on the screen. 

Oh my BAE [barking at EVERYTHING!!!] - You and I would have a divine time critiquing the red carpet arrivals at a dog show watch party!  Ah, but let’s try to set the joy of barking to the side for now and chat barkrun. How did you get started, and why do you like it?

I started running when I got seriously impatient on walks at 5 months old. I dragged my parents along until they reluctantly agreed to let me run a half mile at a time, and we gradually increased to 2 miles over my first year because I had so much energy that I demanded to run.  My first summer, we were running past a stream in hot weather, and I had the brilliant idea to pitch myself directly into the stream to cool off, and my love of swimming was born. Running and swimming are inextricably linked, and I'm all for swimming whenever there isn't ice preventing me.  I go to Harold Parker state park in Andover, MA a couple times a week for trail running and pond swimming. 

I find parkrun exciting because there are so many people to run with! I love running in a pack, because I am a natural leader and want to put on a good showing for my pack. If I run with one human, I get distracted by fun smells to sniff, but with a pack I have to focus on leading them! Means more running, less stopping.

I bet you have a killer game face too!  So, how would you recommend a visiting barkrunner tackle the course at Jamaica Pond?

Sprint the first quarter mile!  Then relax and enjoy the pond. There are too many smells to sniff and water stops to drink at; can't be all running all the time!  Oh, and smile for the cameras. I'm a good model for the photographers. Everybody wants to get my photo, but usually there's no time for that. Too many smells to sniff!

Oh, yes, gotta give the parkrunners what they really want — lots and lots of fabulous barkrunner pics!!!!  Okay, without further ado, let’s skip to the lightning round!!!!

Fave toy?  Fluffy soccer ball. Or really, any soccer ball. They're great for chasing, playing goalie, fetching, wrestling, tearing apart, and using as a pillow.  

How do you stay the life of the party?  Gotta greet everybody that comes to the party with barking, then act like I'm too cool for pets.  I can also catch treats with my mouth like 60 percent of the time if the timing is right!

Best spot at home?  Couch, overlooking the road.

Nice!  Mommy moved our couch away from the window for some reason….

Yummiest treat treat?  Snausages, pizza crusts, or really whatever the parents are eating that smells amazing. 

Oh, your parents are definitely catering our dog show watch party!  Mommy gives Foxy steamed okra and green beans as special treat treats, but I think snausages might tempt the taste buds even more!!!!

Thoughts on road tripping?  OMG - I love riding in cars! Anything with a good sound system that I can sing along with, and big windows so I can shout to my friends or really anybody that we pass by.  I sing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall whenever we go in the car. Parents wear earplugs but whatever, I'm loud and proud!  

Holler!  Say, who is your character doppelgänger?  James Bond and I both are pretty good looking and smooth with the ladies. 

What would be your human job?  With my good looks and infectious enthusiasm, I'd be a greeter!  And, I might act too cool for pets, skritches, cuddles, and kisses, but secretly I love them. Just don't embarrass me in front of my friends ok?

"Remember that scene in Casino Royale?"

"Remember that scene in Casino Royale?"

Oh, just lean in to the pets, Murphy, lean in!  Show them how it's done! Speaking of which, I think it is time you and I go show the world how wonderful and energizing barking is!  Thank you for chatting with me. You are simply super!!!!

Signing off,

Special Correspondent Foxy

Foxy 4

Foxy is a reporter and barkrunner-in-chief for parkrunUSA

 

 

 

 

Join Murphy and a lot of other dogs (who always start in the back so we don't have to worry about tripping over leashes) at Jamaica Pond parkrun every Saturday at 9 AM.

 

Jamaica Pond parkrun 104 consecutive park runs – no cancellations

Boston Jamaica pond Park run has now had 104 consecutive park runs thanks to the all the volunteers. As you know a cancellation would go down like a Led Zeppelin. Yes, we do run in the wind, the rain, the ice and snow as those who ran at this time last year can attest! Good times bad times(?)

Snow last year

Snow last year

Rain

Rain

This week 113 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 26 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 12 different clubs took part. No cancellations!

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Runners paying attention to the Run Director :)

Runners paying attention to the Run Director :)

 

Speaking of Led Zeppelin - George BUTCHER was rock and roll[ing] and managed to come in first [bron y aur] stomp[ing] his previous personal record with 17:53 minutes, while others rambled on in over the next 40 or so minutes.

Notable events include Lance DOHERTY who not only made 100 park runs this week but really is going to California next week. Congratulations Lance!

We are thankful to the Weather Gods for some very nice winter weather for great running conditions because we didn't sing the rain song, so we could't be fools in the rain.  The pond level was low so presumably a levee may have broken elsewhere but that did not prevent Boston Jamaica Pond park run continuing to operate. Whaaaat? No cancellations?

All brought to you thanks to the Boston Strong volunteers showing us a whole lotta love, every week without fail.  Here are this weeks crew.  IMG_20200222_090903_1 Letitia MEENAN • Chris MEENAN • Jarlath MEENAN • Adele HARNETT • Dan FORWARD • Chrissie CONNORS • James SMITH • Robert STEEVES • Kent HIRSHBERG • Kendra KOHANSKI • Ernest VIEL JR. • Katie KELLNER • Emily HARRIS • Beto SIERRA • Rebecca WATRISS.  Did I mention no cancellations?

Next week we have the Meehans stepping up for Run Director responsibilities while absent Dan FORWARD • Chrissie CONNORS who are climbing the [parkrun] stairway to [running] heaven in Atlanta.

For those of you who found this went over your head somewhat - time for a degree in classic rock (or Google Led Zep) .  Lastly, no cancellations [no quarter].

Your RD, James SMITH

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