Run report #121: small, sweet, and sweaty

"Everyone talks about the weather, but noone ever does anything about it" - Mark Twain

So Mark Twain said that. It was before we had an understanding of climate change, so maybe we are doing something about it now. Your reporter wishes he'd said COMPLAINS instead of TALKS, because that's what we do. Your reporter even went so far as to create a Facebook page called The Weather Complaint Department during a particularly tough winter a few years ago. It's defunct now so don't go looking for it.

It wasn't hot. So a run in the park should have been easy, right? Not with DC humidity. Chris summed it up nicely with this face:

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Even with the humidity, Martin happily gave the thumbs up, and others had equally as large smiles!

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Ok, so it was sweaty. It was also small and sweet. We had 27 participants, perhaps because of competing events: the Kensington 8K and the launch of the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail parkrun ( It's a thing to go to parkrun inaugural events. You don't get any additional parkrun credit, but you do get the chance to show your support for the new kids on the block. Another thing is parkrun tourism, which is easy to do in the DC area. Skip Kensington parkrun and visit College Park, Fletcher's Cove, Roosevelt Island, Leakin Park, or B and A. If you visit another parkrun, try to get there a little early so can be certain of the course. One Kennie visited another parkrun, one that had been rerouted for the day, and accidentally ran a half marathon.

Of the 27 Kennies (our new name for Kensington parkrunners, and a bit of trivia: Kennie was the first name suggested for Buster, our yellow school bus at Puller Park), we had six newbies! Welcome to Naomi, Brooke, our two Elizabeths, Brad, and Katie. And congratulations to the six Kennies who clocked PBs: Eddie, Renata, Cory, Daphna, Caroline, and Justin.

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We had Amber, Anna, Chris, Courtney, Dan,  Enora, Judy, Lena, Lucas, Pam, Ron, Sally, and Sharon on volunteer duty this week. Courtney jumped in as our second photograph after she was sidelined with a bothersome knee. Smart move Courtney! One of this reporter's favorite aspects of volunteering is that she gets a chance to talk with other volunteers and with the runners. She is a slowpoke and spends most of her parkruns gasping for air or concentrating on how to make it to the end. Doesn't allow for much socializing except with her running buddy Sharon.

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We added a new page to our website this week. It's called News to Use, and you can find it at It contains bits of useful information about Kensington parkrun. It also includes upcoming events (Ding Ding Ding: check it out for info on Colleen's BA 5K If there is something you'd like to see on News to Use, let us know. Just shoot us an email at


So that's it for this week. We hope to see you this coming Saturday. Andy will be at the helm. If you plan on running Parks on Sunday, you can walk Kensington parkrun on Saturday to keep those legs nice and loose! Many Kennies and DMV parkrunners will be out at Parks, either running or volunteering. Gold star to the person who reports the most Kennie sitings!


So long for now!




News to Use

Kensington parkrun's News to Use page contains a wealth of information. It's a running list of things you may want to know. Want to know how to get our emails? Check here! Want to know if there are special events percolating? Check here! The entries will be curated every week or so. Some will stay around forever and others will disappear when they are no longer relevant.

Have something to add? Are there other things you would like to know? Email us at

 Upcoming community events

  • Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 is Colleen's BA 5K. Our own Kate Mitchel hosts this event each year (pandemic permitting) to raise funds for pediatric liver disease research and to honor the memory of her daughter. This year's race has a virtual option, and some of us at Kensington parkrun are planning on doing that. If you are doing the virtual option at Kp or you want to support the cause, please wear your 25 volunteer shirt or any shirt that is purple. If you would like to run it in person, you have permission to skip Kensington parkrun that day. Check out for more details and to register.

  The basics

  • We are Kensington parkrun, not Rock Creek Trail parkrun. Rock Creek Trail parkrun is in Oregon.
  • Did you inadvertently list Rock Creek Trail parkrun as your home parkrun? You can change your home parkrun through your parkrun profile, which you can access at Select Update to get to the right screen. Look for Home parkrun and change it to Kensington.


  • When you register, you are automatically opted-out of receiving our emails. That means that you will NOT receive notification of important things like cancellations or volunteer opportunities. Would you like to opt-in? Next bullet, please.
  • Opt-in to Kensington parkrun emails: the easiest way to do this is to use your results email. At the bottom, there will text that reads something like "click here to opt-in to emails". Click there. The other option is to use your parkrun profile, which you can access at Select email options to get to the right screen.
  • Kensington parkrun typically sends out one email a week. That email is the volunteer appeal. It usually comes out on Wednesday night or Thursday. In addition to volunteer opportunities, it may contain late-breaking news, reminders, or fun info from the Kensington parkrun Event Team.

Bring your paper barcode. Leave the finisher token at parkrun.

  • Please bring a paper copy of your barcode with you. There are many ways to faux-laminate it. Put it in a ziploc baggie. Cover it with clear packing tape. Order a fancy one from Don't put it in your shoe or bra. That isn't going to work.
  • I belong to parkrun: Have you ever read the fine print on a finisher token? It says "I belong to parkrun". And it's true. Your finisher token WANTS to stay with the parkrun kit. It misses its token siblings when you take it home with you. Now, we all make mistakes, so if you accidentally take it home, let us know and bring it back the next time you visit. Your token will thank you. If you'd like free swag, please see us about refrigerator magnets.

Saturday morning volunteering

  • Volunteers rock, and we can't pull off a parkrun without them. Every week we send out an email asking for volunteers. If the roster is not fully by Friday afternoon (or whenever the volunteer coordinator for that week starts to get a little nervous), we send out another. You DO NOT need to wait for those emails to volunteer. If you want to secure your dream volunteer job before then, send us an email ( We can easily assign volunteer jobs weeks in advance! Volunteer 25 times and you earn the purple t-shirt!

Information for SSL students and other volunteers:

  • SSL form information: all the necessary info is at
  • Credit: You will earn 2 hours for volunteering at Kensington parkrun.
  • We recommend that you participate in Kensington parkrun before volunteering

Milestone t-shirts

  • I just completed a milestone! Where's my shirt? The Kensington event team will not have it for you. You will receive an email from parkrun congratulating you on your accomplishment. A few days later, you will receive an email that indicates it's time for you to order your shirt. Follow the instructions in that email. Milestone t-shirts are being distributed quite quickly these days. You can expect to receive your shirt within a week after ordering it. Please note that you will have to pay VAT/shipping for your shirt.

Post-parkrun gathering

  • La Gelatteria, 10414 Detrick Ave (really Knowles between Summit and Detrick). Parking in front and in the back. Coffee, tea, light fare, and gelato. We will sit outside on the patio until the weather becomes too cold.

Run reports

  • All the news that fits...Kensington parkrun run reports! Did you know that we publish a summary of each Kensington parkrun on our website? It's true! Want to know about first-timers? Want to see photos? Want to see PBs (personal bests)? It's all in the weekly run report. We try to get them out within a few days after Saturday's event, though some of our reporters are speedier than others. You can find run reports by visiting You can scroll, or you can select from one of the lists (Categories, Recent Posts) on the right-hand side of the page.


  • or We typically post those on Saturday. We tend to take a lot - at least 100 a week. Check them out. All photos are downloadable at the flickr site. If you have taken some photos and would like to share, please use the We Collect app or Create a board and send the link to us We'll upload them to flickr.


  • Yes, we are on Facebook. Like us, follow us, do whatever it is that people do on Facebook. We usually post our favorite photos from each parkrun, and sometimes they even have clever comments associated with them. We are @Kensingtonparkrun.

Technical problems

  • Problem with something of a technical nature? You can ask the Kensington Event team, but more often than not, we will tell you to contact


Great day to be alive & thankful – Run Report #120

This year, parkrun Saturday fell on 9/11, a somber day in the USA and especially so on the 20th anniversary.  While that day's events and the following 20 years brought about suffering that rippled far past NYC, Shanksville, and Arlington, the day can and should remind us that sharing emotions - grief, celebration, and everything in between - is powerful when done as a community. Like any other Saturday, we gathered together at Beach & Cedar, did our normal pre-parkrun routine, and mingled and met new people - and this Saturday, we reflected on the sacrifices others have made and sometimes just sheer luck and providence that allow us to do things together like parkrun.  The beautiful weather provided an exclamation point on that.


Doing things together takes on new meaning when words like pandemic and quarantine pop up in our daily vocabulary.  Would you agree that it's a blessing to be at parkrun given all of that? You should read about how parkrun started in 2004 - founder Paul S-H was down on his luck and wanted to get together with friends and get some exercise at Bushy Park in London (hardware store washers were the 1st tokens).  And parkrun spread from there - to places like Kensington in Maryland, to prisons in the UK, and even to places linked to what happened 20 years ago like Camp Bastion in Helmand Province between 2011-2014.

Camp Bastion parkrun

Camp Bastion parkrun in Afghanistan

Paul S-H tapped into the same potent recipe of exercising & community that the Volksmarsch movement in central Europe discovered in the 1960s.  For a Volksmarsch, the whole town - old, young, strollers, wheelchairs - comes out and walks together.  It's not at all about how fast you get to the finish but the route along the way and who you do it with.  Our double out and back gives ample opportunity to do that!

This week, we had the pleasure of doing our parkrun with some folks doing parkrun, or Kensington, for the first time.


We were so happy to see several first-timers out with us last Saturday.  Brenda R, who worked at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is Germany, moved to to Montgomery County and did her 1st Kp after several in Germany (and some Volksmarschs too!).  Scott L was visiting from Bespoke & Harrogate parkruns in the UK, and Ariel A visited from our sibling parkrun at College Park. For Jack H, this was his 1st parkrun ever.  Same goes for Mark L, Jimmy T, Brian D, and Carmela La C.  Friends Abby F & Natasha T did their first parkrun together, and as additional proof we can accomplish more together than alone, Natasha exclaimed upon getting her token that this was the first time running a 5k without stopping.  Jimmy T said it was his first 5k since double knee surgery.  We know each and every parkrunner achieves something every week, some visible but most we keep to ourselves. We celebrate them all - known and unknown.


Rachel M, Derek R, and Amy M were on hand for Kp 120

One very visible achievement this week was Watal F completing his 10th parkrun.  For the under 14 parkrunner, that 10th parkruns earns him the white milestone T-shirt.  Watal completed his 10 parkruns all since the re-opening of parkrun, and is often seen running with his dad Takashi STakashi and Watal became our 127th and 128th parkrunner to complete 10 Kensington parkruns too. Congrats Watal!


 Watal shows his determination to finish his 10th parkrun


Susan K-H was a first time volunteer, and not only mastered the sometimes-finicky technical aspect of scanning of barcodes but embodied that welcoming vibe especially for our first-timers.  Scanning, btw, is a great way to get know your fellow parkrunners who you might recognize by sight but not by name.  Steve L and Dan H kept time, and did a quick analysis of some extra button hits that resulted in a smooth results processing later - thanks Steve & Dan. Omar Y handed out non-hardware-store-washer tokens and was like the metronome or cesium clock that kept any ambiguity in time-keeping splits anchored down. Chris S & Amber S volunteered as Near Marshals for a change of scenery, and Patti S was our Far Marshal.  Fran T was busy giving the first timers briefing.  Pam M brought and stored the equipment, which was an extra load this week for the remembrance table, flags, and supplies.  Tara M was our tail walker and Heather S captured it all by camera (check out the photos).  Greg G was Run Director, and was there to train John R on his 1st go at Results Processing.  Thanks to on-the-spot intra-parkrun mitigation efforts of Dan H, Steve L, and Greg G, and the savvy data management skills of John R, Results Processing went smoothly.


Kensington parkrun will happen next week - same time, same place, same vibe.  The Run Report Writer will unfortunately be out of town for the next 2 weeks, but fortunately there's a parkrun (Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation) where he's going.




Run report #118: The new fridge magnets are here!

Yes, it's true. The new Kensington parkrun fridge magnets are here!


Eddie B. models the latest version of our Kensington parkrun fridge magnet. 

For those of you who are curious...this is version 2.0 of KpFM. Version 1.0 had a lovely picture of parkrunners running up the hill that was at the start of our Puller Park course. The picture dates from sometime in 2018. The fridge magnet elves decided that it was time to have a magnet that represented our current course. And the rest is history.

Fridge magnets are available (for free of course) every week at Kensington parkrun as well as locations around town. Find them at La Gelatteria. Find them at Sweat Shop. Soon they also will be at Anytime Fitness, and maybe even at the Kensington Park Library. The elves are working on new fliers too!

We have magnets for three reasons. First, who DOESN'T love fridge magnets? Second, the elves are particularly fond of fridge magnets and even has metal boards to display the overage, as the space on the fridge is finite. And third, the elves like to get the word out about Kensington parkrun. So the elves put the magnets in public locations. If you have a public location that you frequent and would like to put some magnets there, let us know and we'll give you some. Just make sure you ask permission first. The fridge magnet elves' favorite thing are fridge magnets, but their second favorite things is manners, politeness, and, while we're at it, kindness.


In addition to fridge magnets, Kensington parkrun had 55 attendees. We had 12 first timers. We send out a warm welcome to Matthew R, Evan H, David R, Jeremy R, Dylan H, Chandler C, Anna R, Rachel M, Sommer A, Patrick P, Alec H, and Debi H. Riley K, Michaela P, Daphna S, Belen E, Erika C, Renata H, and William R all had PBs. We also had cupcakes, thanks to Jeanette N.

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We had 14 volunteers this week: Mary CGreg GAnna HHenry H, George, husband of Renata H Dan HLiang HNeil HPam MMatt P and kidsLucas PTim RHeather S, and Omar Y. Our volunteers are so special that they glow!

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Have a great week...stay cool...and keep on parkrunning!

#loveparkrun #kensingtonparkrun #fridgemagnetsrock



Run report #117: Celebrate good times, come on! Let’s celebrate!

celebration kandthegang

If you have no idea what's on the left, ask your parents.

Kensington parkrun #117 was a time to celebrate for two of our parkrunners. Pam M. and Ron C. each did their 50th parkrun. To be honest, it was no different than whenever we have a milestone. We always celebrate the accomplishments of parkrunners, whether it's a Junior 10, a 50, a 100, a 250, or a volunteer 25. But this felt a little different to this journalist, because she was one of the two milestoners. She never thought it would be emotional. But she found herself looking back on the 4+ years it took her to earn it. It wasn't a piece of cake. Injuries, puddles, course changes, parkrunners leaving, kids going off to college, and of course the pandemic. She perservered, and she may be tired, but she is proud. And to celebrate, she jumped out from behind a sign at #117. When you reach a milestone, don't be surprised if it means something more to you as well. And do something kooky to celebrate!

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You know what's better than a milestone? Two milestones! And even better than that is getting to have your milestone with one of your dearest parkrun friends.

We had a guest and celebrity run director for #117. Darrell S, former US Country Manager and regular at Leakin Park. was at the helm with the new megaphone. Darrell is on a mission: he's attending and volunteering at every DMV parkrun! What a great idea. Not only do you get to take a road trip and give something to different communities, you get to make new friends and see your old ones too.

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Darrell delivers the run briefing from our start/finish chute. We had a number of VLiPs...Very Little our usual run briefing spot. We hope that VLP, may he rest in peace, is not reincarnated, and if he is, he DOES NOT come to visit us. 

We had 51 attendees at #117. Eight were first timers; we welcomed Aaron L, Patrick G, Andrew W., Gianna C (who was our first female finisher), Mika F, Abagail M, Cory R, and Courtney G. Steve K, William R, and Susan KH all achieved PBs.

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As usual, we had a fantabulous volunteer crew. In addition to Darrell, we thank Michael B, Rinat B, Dave H, Riley K, Elma M, Lena M, Enora M, Kate M, Lucas P, Daisy R, Amber S, Chris S, Nicholas S, Caroline S, Daphna S, and Nish Y.  

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We all know that parkruns are magical. And this week we prove it by linking you to the run report from a future parkrun! We managed to procure Run Report #119 and there is a ton of useful information in it. Check it out at

Until next time...keep on parkrunning and celebrating!

#loveparkrun #kensingtonparkrun #volunteersrock


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