Lillie parkrun, Ann Arbor is cancelled on 26 September 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

parkrunner spotlight: Ron L

Next up in our ongoing series of interviews is Ron L, a regular volunteer and walker. Contact us via the usual channels if you'd like to be featured in the spotlight!


Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ron Lochocki, age 58.  I grew up in Tonawanda NY, a suburb of Buffalo.  I’ve lived over half my life now as a Michigander, mostly in the Ann Arbor area.  I work in Milford.

Are you married or in a relationship? 

I’ve been divorced for 6 years and am the father of two daughters (college and high school). Elizabeth is 20 and Suzanne is 17.  Both sleep-in on Saturday mornings.


So… I guess what you are saying is, we shouldn’t expect to meet them at Lillie Park.

When did you start running/walking seriously? 

I ran regularly in the late 80’s but gave it up because I thought I was too slow and should do something else.  I didn’t have a basis for comparison and have since found out that I was doing just fine with my 9.5 minute mile.  More recently I wanted to find a walking community when I connected with Stephanie through Rajiv, and the original “Let’s bring parkrun to AA” Meet-Up gang.

It’s great that you were able to find parkrun.

Where is your favorite place to go walking? 


With all my new friends, at our parkrun.  Walking around my neighborhood is kind-of boring.

What do you like about Lillie parkrun?

The interesting community of people I meet walking the route.  I’ve had some truly interesting conversations.  I also enjoy coffee afterward.

The coffee is the highlight of many parkrunners. What’s your favorite volunteer role at parkrun?

Tail Walker followed by Run Director.  Set-up and take down are fun too.  I have some vision issues which prevent me from doing the other jobs well.


Any tips for parkrunners or first timers who are coming to visit Lillie parkrun?

Volunteering is a great way to meet people. After that continue growing the family we’ve all become. And help build the community of walkers so I have more company when tail walking!  Additionally, it has been nice to see how people have gotten so involved since our beginning.  And in ways beyond the basic infrastructure necessary to field our weekly 5k - in things like the softer roles such as this newsletter or 3D printing the barcode sorting rack.

Yes, parkrun does have a great group of volunteers. Have you toured at other parkrun events?

I’ve not toured elsewhere.  I’d like to do so.

Are there other activities that you really enjoy?

I shoot competitively and have been doing so since childhood.  These are very different sports in which everybody learns safety protocols and muscle memory techniques to keep safe.  I also teach people safe skills should they desire to learn.  When I became active in parkrun, I found the whole “cheering people on” as they run kind-of odd.  But I’ve adapted.


Don’t your vision issues hamper your ability to shoot?

Shooting is muscle therapy for the muscles that focus the eyes.  I have good central vision, but compromised peripheral vision.  It's macular degeneration in the retina.

 Do you have any hobbies?


I know my way around cars.  I have friends who restore or build race cars.  I usually have my code reader with me if your car is showing a “check engine.”  Just ask.  I also follow the work of Primal guy Mark Sisson and cold therapy guy Wim Hof. I say this because healthy lifestyle is a hobby of sorts.

I know that you have helped a few of our fellow parkrunners with diagnosing engine problems.

Do you volunteer your time anywhere?


These days it’s parkrun. In years past it was my children’s school, or my church and before that, Jaycees.  I’m a past president of the Ann Arbor Jaycees and a Past Michigan Jaycees Vice-President.  I have friends all over the state from this organization.  It taught me how volunteer organizations are built and maintained.

Do you belong to any clubs or organizations?

The Society of Automotive Engineers, and various shooting organizations.  And parkrun!

Do you have any pets?


My daughter’s bunny rabbit, Gimli, lives at my house.  He is a mini-Rex and is very quiet and friendly. He is litterbox trained and has the run of the living/ dining room, which are not furnished, except with hidy-boxes for him.  These are inverted cardboard boxes he "modifies" by ripping larger entry / egress holes.  Most rabbits chew something, he chews cardboard.  He can have all the cardboard boxes to modify that he wants.  There is an endless supply at Costco!   He greets me each morning and when I come home from work, like a dog but without the bark – running around in a very happy way begging for a treat.  Otherwise he sleeps a lot. We don't take him outside because if he ran into the forest we'd never see him owing to his natural camouflage.  And then he'd only survive 2 days thereafter (which is what the house rabbit people tell me).

He is adorable! Gimli sounds like a great pet – he acts like a dog, but you don’t have to take him outside when the weather is bad. 

Do you like to travel?

I do, particularly when the company is paying for it.  I’ve been to some interesting places on road trips in years past.  These days with one daughter in college and another heading that way, there’s not much in the budget for travel.

When you are able to travel, where do you like to go?

I have an affinity for Cedar Point's amusement park and hotel packages that lets you relax on the beach.


Ron, I would like to thank you for taking part in this interview.  I hope that were are able to see you at Lillie parkrun tailwalking and diagnosing engine troubles again soon.  Until then take care and stay safe.

Check out Ron's parkrun stats here (look at all those volunteer credits!)



parkrunner spotlight: Liam R

Please enjoy the latest in our ongoing series of interviews with Lillie parkrun participants. Many thanks to junior parkrunner Liam R for participating and to Marie Hamlin for coordinating. Contact us via the usual channels if you'd like to be featured in the spotlight!


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I am Liam – age 14 – from Ypsilanti. I went to South Arbor Academy for K-8 and am starting at Huron High School this fall (unfortunately, virtually).  

When did you start running?


I have been on the cross country team at my school since I was 9 years old (so 5 years). I am training with the Huron Men’s Cross Country team this summer, six days a week! Both of my parents are runners and have done a lot of races (my dad ran track and XC in high school and has done marathons and my mom has done half marathons, triathlons, and obstacle races). Even my brother is a cross country and track runner at Huron. He started running in middle school and is now the co-captain of the varsity cross country team. 

Where is your favorite place to go running? 

I like to run by my house on back country roads. Argo Park is another favorite spot. I have also hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail!

Hiking on the Appalachian Trail sounds awesome. What do you like about Lillie parkrun?


Running with my friends and really great people (and dogs!). Getting to PR (keep setting personal records)! My goal for this year is a sub 20 minute 5k and to do the DXA2 half marathon.

Just remember to have fun while setting those records!  What’s your favorite volunteer role at parkrun?

I helped at the Kids Run Lillie parkrun day – that was fun!

The Kids Take Over was my favorite parkrun! Any tips for parkrunners or first timers who are coming to visit Lillie parkrun?


Bring a water bottle! If you have trouble with the big hill after Turtle Rock Pond, chant, “I LOVE HILLS” 3 times and by then you’ll be at the top! Also, use your arms and lengthen your stride.

Oh!  I have been doing it all wrong…I chant I don’t like hills.  Thanks for the tip!

Do you have any hobbies?

Solving the Rubik’s Cube with various algorithms, unicycling (at Lillie Park), and being Dungeon Master for Dungeons and Dragons.

I remember someone recently pointing out unicycle tracks at Lillie.  I wonder if they were your tracks. Do you volunteer your time anywhere?

On my parent’s remodeling projects (they do lots of them)! 

That’s great that you help out with the remodeling.  Just remember who you can call when you are grown with a home of your own.

Do you have any pets?

Two cats, Rocky and Rosie (they are the best therapy for getting through COVID-19).


There is nothing better than a nice snuggle with your cats, to calm your nerves. 

Earlier you mentioned the Appalachian Trail. Do you like to travel?


Travelling is cool. The coldest place I’ve been is Canada where we sat in a hot tub outside when it was well below zero wind chill and the steam froze our hair into icicles! Other cool places I’ve visited are Mexico and Honduras (I got to play with monkeys at Gumbalimba Preserve).


Oh those do sound like great trips.  

Liam, thank you for agreeing to this interview.  I wish you luck with your first year of high school.  I know that you are disappointed that your freshman year will be starting off virtually. I hope that you will be able to attend classes on campus soon.  I also look forward to the day that I can see your smile and hear your “Good morning” greetings on Saturday mornings.  Until then, take care, stay safe, and keep on running.  

Check out Liam's parkrun history here


parkrunner spotlight: Lynn B

Next up in our ongoing series of interviews is Lynn B, a regular at Livonia and our Covid-era virtual #Lillienotaparkrun. If you'd like to be featured in the spotlight, contact us via the usual channels.


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I'm Lynn Boven, 63, born and raised in a rural area midway between Morley and Stanwood MI about 40 miles north of Grand Rapids MI. I moved to Livonia in 1976 to attend Motech Automotive Education Center with plans to further my education with what I could earn as an automotive technician.  That plan fell through when I was able to meet all of my financial needs with the skills that I had.  I currently work for General Motors at the Warren Technical Center, hand building pre-production vehicles.

You just recently celebrated a wedding anniversary.  How long have you been married?


Married 42 years.  I met my wife JoAnne when I walked next door in the apartment complex we both lived at and complained about how loudly she was playing her Supremes vinyl singles.

In reflection, it was a good thing she liked to listen to her music so loudly or you wouldn’t have stopped in the name of love. I crack myself up.

When did you start running?


I started running the day after watching the 1984 men’s Olympic Marathon.  The winner, Carlos Lopes, was more than a decade older than I was at the time so I felt that I would still have a chance to run a competitive marathon.  So I snuffed out my last cigarette, got a book on running marathons from the library and never looked back.

How many marathons have you participated in?

I have 20 paved marathon finishes (two at Boston, '96 and '97), six trail marathon finishes, two 50k finishes, and two 50 mile finishes. Last paved marathon was Free Press 2018, the 30th anniversary of my first Free Press.

Wow! I would venture to say that when you commit to something you go all in.

Where is your favorite place to go running? 

By far my favorite run every week was parkrun.  Now all my running takes place on Edward Hines Drive and the nearby trails.  The canyon lands in Utah and Arizona will always be holy places for me but are more spiritual than fun.  Best run ever, a double crossing of the Grand Canyon I completed with my daughter Carrie.  It is called the Rim to Rim to Rim.

Carrie and Lynn at the Grand Canyon

Carrie and Lynn at the Grand Canyon

Looks like you like backyard racing too! The readers are placing their bets on Jolynn for the win.

Lynn and granddaughter Jolynn

Lynn and granddaughter Jolynn

What do you like about Lillie parkrun?

No one was happier than me when Lillie parkrun came to life.  In all human endeavor, absence of growth breeds atrophy.  I was very relieved that my fellow participants living near Ann Arbor would have a shorter, safer drive on those nasty winter Saturday mornings.

What’s your favorite volunteer role at parkrun?

Pre-event set-up and safety check is my favorite.  I am grateful to all of the volunteers who perform the tasks that prevent them from participating, enabling Cooper and me to do so.  I am able to get in a nice warmup and Cooper gets to take care of his dog business before we run.


Any tips for parkrunners or first timers who are coming to visit Lillie parkrun?

Don’t forget your barcode.  I ran my one Lillie parkrun in the winter and just like Livonia there were no restrooms on site.  A stop before you get there if needed might be a good idea.  If possible, volunteer on your first visit; there is great honor in doing so.

Great advice!  I must admit I have been guilty of forgetting my barcode. If you’ve toured at other parkrun events, are there any tips or favorite memories you want to share?

I’ve toured Leakin Park MD, Mansfield and Sippo Lake OH; all great events.  Mansfield is a great racers’ course on a paved rail grade with a slight uphill on the out leg.  If you stand on it hard on the back leg it might net a PB.  Sippo Lake is constructed with my favorite surface of crushed limestone and has a sweet twisty hill.  Leakin Park is a great urban setting and has coffee at a great quirky little pub.

Oh!  A pub!  I will need to put Leakin Park on my list.

How many parkruns have you taken part in?


My parkrun totals are 316. 315 in the US, the most by an individual on US soil, and one international at Bellevue parkrun Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

This is certainly impressive, congratulations! When not running, are there other activities that you really enjoy?

Cycling, home maintenance, yardening, and grazing right from the garden.


That is one beautiful garden.

Do you volunteer your time anywhere?

Only parkrun

Do you have children? 

Two daughters Carrie and Kristen.

LB9Any grandchildren?

One, Jolynn.  Her name is a combination of my wife’s and mine.


She looks right at home tinkering on Grandpa’s car.  I love the matching outfits too. 

Do you have any pets?


Cooper Dog

Can you share a little about Cooper?

No doubt about it, Cooper is way more interesting and popular than me. People from around the world have requested a photo with him, not me. Cooper is a rescue dog who was found lying on a sidewalk in Detroit by a cat lady who turned him over to Home Fur'ever Rescue. We adopted him from an event at Pet Smart. He has just turned 11 years old and has well over 200 parkruns under his belt, er...collar. At 11 he is just now starting to walk with me and not drag me. When younger he was able to pull me at under 5 minute per mile pace for the first 100 yards of a parkrun. Of course that meant I had to pull him for the last 1/2 mile. We genetically tested Cooper and he was listed by grandparents with one being American Staffordshire terrier, one was weimaraner, one was basset hound, and the other so diverse they would not make a call. Cooper's day job is protecting my garden from rodents (ground hogs).

Good boy Cooper, keep those pesky varmints out of the garden! I have to admit that I had heard of Cooper before I knew your name. He looks like a sweet boy. 

His largest claim to fame is his lovely singing voice that he likes to use when we are giving pre-run directions. I had to start keeping him in the car until after the start so everyone could hear the safety messages. (click on the photo below for video clip of Cooper's singing)


His singing got Charlie up and searching! Charlie is now a fan of Cooper’s too.

Not that you have much spare time, with all your various activities, but do you like to travel?

I love the adventure of travel but get too caught up in local activities.

Lynn, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be interviewed.  I hope that one day soon, either I will get to Livonia parkrun or you will join us again at Lillie parkrun, and then we can meet in person.  I will try not to spend the entire time chatting with Cooper – but I can’t promise.

Check out Lynn's US-record parkrun history here, stretching back to 2012!


parkrunner spotlight: Joanna C

Many thanks to newcomer Joanna C for stepping into the parkrunner spotlight this week. If you'd like to be featured, contact us via the usual channels.



Would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself?

Joanna Connelly, 29.

I grew up in Dearborn and moved to Ann Arbor for college. I spent a few years back in Metro Detroit before returning to my favorite town this past winter just before the pandemic started to be closer to work. I am a volunteer coordinator at Food Gatherers, the food bank for Washtenaw County.

We have a few Lillie parkrunners who volunteer at Food Gatherers. It is a great organization. I see that they will be taking food donations at the Gallup Gallop.  Will you be there?

Yes, I will be there. 

Wonderful!  I would like to ask all of the parkrunners, who are participating and volunteering at the G.G.,  to please bring a food donation, and introduce yourself to our newest Lillie parkrun member. 

When did you start running?

I used to run only during soccer and field hockey games, but my dad caught the marathon bug and got me to start running some races with him in high school. I ran my first half marathon in 2012 at the Panda Bear Night Run with my then-roommate (who spent some time on the U of M track team) and finally ran my first marathon this May on my own after all the races were canceled or postponed. You can see the route below, with its MANY turns. I ran by the homes of my friends and co-workers, who served as aid stations along the course.


Congratulations on your first full. How many half marathons have you competed in? 

I've done the Panda Bear Night Run, Ann Arbor Marathon Half, Detroit Free Press International Half, Dexter-Ann Arbor, Borgess Half Marathon in Kalamazoo, and The Trail Marathon Half. So 6?

Where is your favorite place to go running? 

On trails, generally. There’s an 8 mile loop I like to do starting at Argo and going through Barton, Bird Hills, and Kuebler Langford.


What do you like about Lillie parkrun?

Sadly, I’ve never been to a parkrun in real life, but the people are nice and I’ve been loving the virtual activities during quarantine.

I have been very impressed with your participation in our virtual events.  Any tips for parkrunners or first timers who are coming to visit Lillie parkrun?

I need the tips! I’m looking forward to joining when parkrun can start up again safely.

Yes, silly of me to ask, but something tells me that you will be a seasoned parkrunner by the time we can get back into it again. 

Do you have any hobbies?

I write bar trivia for Quizzo Detroit and review films for Mind on Movies. I am currently making my way through The Badass Feminist Coloring Book and about 5 different novels. I have participated in 8 Rubik’s Cube competitions. I also enjoy cooking vegetarian food, taking photos, and practicing Spanish on DuoLingo.

I didn’t realize that the Rubik’s Cube was so competitive.  Can you explain the different types of competition – 2x2, 3x3, pyramid…?

They're different sized or shaped puzzles. The standard Rubik's Cube that everyone knows is the 3x3; there's 3 squares across and 3 squares down each face. I've also competed in 2x2, Clock, Pyraminx, and Skewb. They also do up to 7x7, and 3x3 blindfolded and one-handed, but I haven't attempted those!

Do you volunteer your time anywhere?

Typically I like to volunteer at RF Events’ races and at various locations with the U-M Club of Greater Detroit and the Dearborn Young Professionals Kiwanis Club.

Do you belong to any clubs or organizations?

Bad Decisions Track Club, Michigan Field Hockey Club, bike-in Ann Arbor



Recently Adam H. mentioned some wacky race that the Bad Decisions Track Club participates in. The runners have to drink a beer while running a race.  Would you mind sharing the details with us?  

BDTC did our annual beer mile recently. To be official the beer must be at least 5% and you drink 4 cans of beer--one before each lap. If you throw up, you have to run an extra lap (but thankfully no extra beer). My time was impressively bad but I will say I did finish under an hour. I need to work on my drinking.

It sounds like it would be fun to watch!  Well…except for the throwing up part.

Do you like to travel?

Yes! I am bummed to not be travelling this year. Usually I take a big 2 week trip in late spring with my favorite travel buddy. We’ve been to Germany, Austria, Japan, and South Korea together and even drove all the way to the Grand Canyon last year with her dog, Bourbon.


Was this picture taken at the Grand Canyon?

The picture was taken on our way to the Grand Canyon. That night we were at Pinegrove Campground in Arizona and it got down to 28 degrees!

Brrrrrrr!  28 degrees makes getting the fire going a priority, or perhaps it calls for putting a little of the drink, your companion’s pup is named after, into your morning coffee. 

Joanna, I want to thank you for taking part in this interview.  As I mentioned earlier, I am so impressed with your participation in the virtual events. You have been a regular in the #lillienotaparkruns, Bingo, and have reached out and commented on other’s interviews.  I want to welcome you to Lillie parkrun and can’t wait for the day I get to see you running around Lillie Park and meet you in person. Now that you've been to all 163 of Ann Arbor's parks, we look forward to seeing you at one of Pittfield Township's parks. 


#Lillienotaparkrun week SEVENTEEN: Oh Baby!

Happy last weekend of summer vacation! This will be short but sweet to give a little recap of #Lillienotaparkrun number 17.

We had 40 parkrunners and at least 2 barkrunners, yet sadly no meowrunners (Calvin, Amanda, Sara, and other cat owners - we're looking at you for this one!). We definitely had Baxter and Tui join us yesterday, and possibly even Cooper from Livonia!

Most notably, we've had a new parkrunner join our family! Tiffany unfortunately didn't join us this weekend to parkrun because... She had her baby on Thursday! And we think that's a pretty darn good reason to take a rest week from parkrun.

tiffany trophy week 17

Our average finish time was yet again just around 40 minutes, this week clocking in at 39:42. As we all know, slower parkruns are more inclusive and even though we're in virtual form, we're killing it! Our fastest finisher was Josh S and our virtual tailwalker was Joanna, both right here in Ann Arbor. Yesterday marked the day that Joanna has officially been to every single Ann Arbor park, all 163 of them! Whoa!

joana week 17

We had plenty of out of state tourists, 4 from North Carolina (Ben, Bailey, Joyce, and Brooke) and one from College Park, MD (Colin!). All five of them had some pretty rainy parkruns, dealing with the remnants of Hurricane Laura as the storm made its way back out to sea.

colin photo week 17


We've had 9 parkrunners yet again who are at top of the "most virtual parkruns completed" leaderboard, you guys know who you are, keep it up! Our latest member of the Big Ten Badge club is Henry S - Henry also just moved into the dorms at the University of Michigan for his freshman year so we're calling this a double Big Ten Badge today! Go Blue! And have fun in Bursley!

josh and henry week 17

Read up on all the results here and we'll see you next week for the first virtual parkrun of September!! Until then, enjoy this adorable selfie of Kristine and Tui - that is one photogenic pupper - and she knows it!

tui week 17

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