12/04/21 Lillie parkrun #103: BRRR

‘Twas a cold and frosty morning when parkrun ventured out

The set-up team sauntered in and in union did shout!

“The parking lot’s an ice rink, the course has icy spots too

Let’s hope the sun comes up before that sends someone askew”


We all showed up, we did 5K, and nobody was hurt

So we went down to Biggby’s for coffee with a squirt

Of cream or flavored syrup, though some just drank it neat

Eventually we warmed up and could feel our hands and feet.


This week, the last finisher was tailwalker Amanda S in a time of 1:04.31. She was preceded by seven first-timers -welcome Ann, Bailey, Nick, Abe, Kieran, Diane and Richard.


Ten parkrunners recorded personal bests -the sooner you finish the sooner you can get back to warm, cozy inside! Congratulations Alexandra F, Catherine A, Gabrielle H, John P, Liam A, Mark G, Noah A, Scott E, Steve H and Wafa M.

First female finisher was Ann P in 22.15, first male finisher was Ben W in 19.24, and first barkrunner was Bruno C in 23.49. The only finisher with a palindromic time this week was Derrick G, finishing second between Ann and Ben in 20.02.

3 parkrunners celebrated milestones this week -David B finished his 50th parkrun and Carol C and John P their 25th. Also pictured is Sara W, who celebrated her 50th parkrun last week. Stay tuned…. more coming up next week. I wonder who is going to take the picture of Photo Pharaoh Marie H as we celebrate her 50th parkrun phinish?


Lillie parkrun is entirely volunteer run. If you are feeling ready to get more involved, here is the sign-up sheet There are roles that allow you to run the 5K as well as helping to run the show, and roles that allow you to take a week off from the 5K. Don’t worry about not knowing what to do -there are many veteran volunteers ‘vailable to help you learn the ropes.


11/27/2021 Lillie parkrun #102 – LOOP redux

The bridge over Turtle Rock pond, like handshakes or going to crowded places without masks, is now only a potentiality—yes, it’s doable, but it’s probably not a good idea. The submerging and decay of our wooden friend spurred the Township to renovate an alternative route to complete the Lillie park route, and with it, Lillie parkrun now has a new permanent course!

(Um, Emma, maybe it’s time to update the Lillie parkrun website)

Same total elevation gain, different gradient, repeating the same hill three times remain our key feature. (And so does the occasional complaints from exhausted runners). Needless to say, everyone enjoys the new course at least as much as the old. But one question haunts the mind of the nerdiest among us—when and where am I being lapped by Josh?

You may remember this from two years ago. Now, the simulation continues…

Ben (not Josh!) was the first finisher today at 19:30, and our founder and matron of Lillie parkrun, Steph (who came to visit us from a faraway place called England), finished at 28:06. How many times did Steph get lapped by Ben, and when and where?

Again, let’s simplify the course with sticks (because we love sticks, don’t we folks?). 

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-27 at 6.06.27 PM

A is now the soccer field, and as we turn into B, we enter the woods. After three laps around the lake, we exit the roundabout at r. The total length is then A+B*11+C+D. If we simulate a dot going along the course at two different constant speeds, we can trace their X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) positions across time:


WhatsApp Image 2021-11-27 at 6.06.58 PM

From the plot, we can see that Ben and Steph’s coordinate overlaps at minute 17.3 (marked by the black dot)—this is roughly when Ben passes Steph, on Steph’s second lap. We can also estimate the location of the passing: around mile 0.46 of the 0.84-mile-lap, which is roughly at the location where Marie camps out to take her awesome photos!

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-27 at 6.06.27 PM (1)

“But what about me?” Reed asks. Fear not, my speedy friend. From this graph below, you can at least tell how many times you would get lapped by a fast finisher running at X pace if you run at a slower Y pace:

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-27 at 6.06.27 PM (2)

Looks a bit different from the old course, doesn’t it? The interesting bit worth pointing out is the rarity that you would get lapped twice: because 1) we enter the loop much later now, and 2) the entrance and exit are no longer at the same spot, so faster runners would exit the loop early and miss the walkers for the second time.

“Well,” I say to myself, “empirically I (Calvin) lapped Amanda P. twice today, but our time 22.5 min vs. 58 min doesn’t fall into the yellow region, what’s up with that?”

To that I answer (also to myself): welcome to modeling.


11/25/21 Lillie parkrun #101: parkrunning on a Thursday!

parkrun 101 5

When did we start wearing turkeys on our heads?

Although parkrun is predominantly a local event, we are all part of a global community of parkrunners in more than twenty countries, all walking, running and volunteering in our local parks on Saturday mornings. Every year, parkruns can take place on two extra days: New Year’s Day and a day chosen by each country.

Several years ago, after a brief flirtation with Christmas Day (looking at you, Clermont Waterfront parkrun), the USA chose Thanksgiving Day for our extra day of parkrunning. This was a wise move, as Thanksgiving Day never falls on a Saturday, and so we never “lose” our extra event. Pity the nine countries who chose Christmas Day for their extra event, as Christmas Day falls on a Saturday this year. (Our neighbors to the north chose Canada Day. Is it too soon to start planning a road trip for Friday July 1, 2022? That would be a great way to start the long 4th of July weekend.)

Back in 2019, Lillie parkrun set an attendance record with 107 finishers on Thanksgiving Day. We had high hopes for another record this year but, alas, the weather did not cooperate. “Cold and rainy” is a polite description. Some people find that this weather is better than a warm summer day for the actual running/walking part of parkrunning, but this is not the best weather for getting yourself out of bed, driving to Lillie Park and standing around before the start. 66 hardy souls came to walk or run, and 18 hardier souls came to volunteer (with some people in both categories). Lillie parkrun is entirely run by volunteers. I am sure we all have different things to be thankful for at Thanksgiving, but a feeling of gratitude for our volunteers is something we surely all share. It is great to hear that sixty-six different people have volunteered at Lillie parkrun since we restarted six months ago.

Some of our First-Timers

Despite the inclement weather, eleven people completed their first Lillie parkrun. Welcome to Alex B, Brian W, Celina S, Christopher C¸ Elizabeth B, Elizabeth P, Emma W, Jeanne R¸ Marisa C (the 1,000th different finisher at Lillie parkrun!), Otis V and Tom O. If you live locally, we hope to see you again soon. And if you were visiting from out of town, we hope that out of town has a parkrun. We also had a first-time volunteer. Thank you, Jeremy W, for arriving early to set up the course.

First-timers are great, but second-timers are the future of parkrun. Anyone can stumble across, or be dragged to, a parkrun. But when they return for a second event, they are validating parkrun’s existence. Welcome back Madeline B, Mara R, Robert O and Roger H. We hope we see you again soon.

At the other end of the attendance spectrum, we celebrated three milestones. Rich E, Terese B and Vanessa C all completed their 50th parkruns.

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Rich was part of the team that founded Lillie parkrun in 2018. He and Steph have since moved back to England, but it was great to see them back at Lillie parkrun, on Rich’s birthday no less.

parkrun 101 3


Terese and her family are frequent parkrunners. Younger son David will celebrate his 50th milestone when he next finishes, husband Corey is close behind (46 finishes to his name), and elder son Sam, a frequent runner before the COVID pause, is now a regular volunteer, full of encouragement at the roundabout.

parkrun 101 4


Vanessa is one of our most frequent volunteers, often getting up at the crack of dawn to set up the course. She also writes a great run report (but not this one!) and, as we discovered yesterday, bakes a mean turkey cake.

Congratulations, Rich, Terese and Vanessa.  We look forward to seeing you in your red 50 shirts soon.

Biggby, our usual post-parkrun coffee hang-out was closed for Thanksgiving, and so our parkrunners brought assorted cakes, snacks and hot drinks. Much appreciated.

I could go on, but it’s the day after Thanksgiving and I need to get ready for another parkrun tomorrow morning. TWO PARKRUNS IN THREE DAYS. I love it!  9am. Lillie Park South. Every Saturday. See you there.


11/20/21 Lillie parkrun #100: 100 things to celebrate about our 100th event

(during which 101 beings ran or walked 5K --93 humans and 8 barkrunners self-propelled across the finish line)


6 Centeparkrunarians participated (it’s a real word, I’m sure…):


Left to right:

  • Results Guru Alex C who has completed 136 parkruns
  • Barcode Wizard Josh S, who has completed 143 parkruns and also volunteered over 100 times
  • Speed-walker Tim K, who has completed 165 parkruns and volunteered over 100 times
  • Parkrunner of the Month, Scott R, who has completed 101 parkruns, 85 of which were at Lillie -where he didn’t miss a single one until the covid pause!
  • Run Director Emma K, who completed her 100th parkrun last week
  • Lillie parkrun founder Steph E, who came back to visit us for this momentous occasion, and who has completed a whopping 226 parkruns.

That’s a total of 871 runs between them -not forgetting the countless times they have taken on non-running volunteer roles on a Saturday morning!

6 first-time parkrunners started out in style:

Welcome (in alphabetical order) to Angie J, Carly W, Dafna E, Elyse G, Ran Y and Takanori F! (pictured in the order they best fit into the collage ;) )


15 parkrunners recorded personal best times:

Congratulations to Alexandra F, Ben W, Chris G, Courtney I, Ellen R. Gabrielle H, Haven T, Henry S, Jennifer N, John A, Maroulla D, Nana F, Paddy O, Reed S, and Scott E!

1 parkrunner set a new age group record for Lillie parkrun: Ellen R (Female 18-19), who finished in 23:05.  Way to go, Ellen!

5 parkrunners clocked up “aesthetically pleasing" times:

Steph E and Sarah R clocked up 23.23 and 30.30, Gabriel T went for the round 30.00, but the stars of the number-nerd nook this week are Paddy O and Tiffany F, whose times were not only interesting individually and both numeric anagrams of Steph E’s time….. but also mirrored one another: 22.33 and 33.22.  Spooky!  Meanwhile, back in the real world……..

20 Volunteers got the show on the road this week. Thank you all. If you think you’re ready to don a hi-vis vest (or not, like a certain runner who had to make zero effort to dress in the theme color -black- this week), then sign up here: bit.ly/lp_volunteer Don’t worry if you have never done the role before, seasoned volunteers will be on hand to help and guide you.

pr100 Scott

26 Age Group categories were represented, with the men represented in all 16 categories between 10 and 79, and the women in all 10 categories between 18 and 64.

And last but not least ……

21 Participants from Lillie parkrun #1 participated in Lillie parkrun #100!


Bonus Trivia: Haven T was the 5,555th parkrunner to cross the Lillie parkrun finish line!


11/13/21 Lillie parkrun #99: Milestone Sandwich and Teens’ Takeover

Sandwiched between our 3rd anniversary last week and event 100 next week, this week we celebrated with Emma K as she joined the 100 club! 

Here's what her dad Tim had to say, in his role of run director of the day: Emma first attended parkrun at Livonia on January 28, 2017. She moved to Ann Arbor to attend UM in the fall of 2017 and found herself in a parkrun wasteland. But a year later, Lillie parkrun started and Emma has become ever-present. And not just as a runner: Emma has also volunteered 75 times. During COVID, Emma kept the Lillie parkrun community together by organizing quizzes, parkrun bingo, and then virtual parkruns. Emma is now one of our Event Directors, along with Rajiv, with overall responsibility for Lillie parkrun’s continued success. She is also a parkrun Ambassador, managing the parkrun USA Instagram account. Congratulations, Emma, and thank you for everything you do for Lillie parkrun and for parkrun USA! 

Of Emma’s 100 parkruns:

  • 60 have been at Lillie
  • She has run 20 different events in 3 countries: 13 US, 3 Canada, 5 UK. (20 different events unofficially earns one the title of "parkrun tourist.") (And if I recall correctly, Emma and her dad Tim ran at one of the parkrun locations in the Netherlands the week before their official start.) 
  • Her parkrun PB is 25:20 (at Beach Strip in Ontario) and her Lillie PB is 26:38
  • At one point in February 2019 she set the SW 18-19 record and exactly a month later set the SW 20-24 record. (From this you can deduce her birthday is in February or March...) 
  • She has 75 volunteer credits (often filling multiple roles in a week) 

Joining us in milestone sandwich week were 73 finishers, including 13 first-timers, 13 PBs, and at least 6 tourists visiting from Livonia to celebrate with Emma. The event was made possible by 16 volunteers.

new family

Welcome to first-timers Alex D, Scott E, Caitlin H, Chao H, Lijun Z, Courtney I, Paul S, Nana F, Melissa H, Valerie S, Noah A, Liam A, and Cora K. Well done to those improving their PB times: Paddy O, Luke B, Jennifer M, Alexandra F, Catherine A, Ryan R, Steve H, Bill G, Ana D, Mark G, Nicola N, Aldus Y, and Scott M. Tourists from Livonia were Steve D, Emily B, Scott M, Timothy H, Mark G, and Chris G. And thanks to the volunteers who help make it happen: Sam B, Alex C, Vanessa C, Steve D, Marie H, Tricia J, Emma K, Jeri K, Tim K, Rajiv K, Charlotte R, Abby S, Joy S, Reed S, Sara W, and Calvin W.

three teens and emily resize

Two weeks after kids’ takeover of the volunteer roles, this week we had teens’ takeover of the top spots. There was a battle of the high schoolers, with the first three spots going to Liam R, first-timer Alex D, and Aldus Y. Apparently their high school cross-country season training has paid off! Emily B (visiting from Livonia) was first female finisher and 6th overall, and set a new age category record for SW18-19.

Next week we will celebrate Lillie's 100th event, and we'll be joined by Steph and Rich Evans who started Lillie back in 2018. Black is the color of the 100 club t-shirt, so wear black to commemorate the day. See you then!

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