This week saw the launch of Lillie parkrun as Michigans newest free, weekly, timed 5k. We were lucky enough to be greeted by bright sunny skies, and both participants and woodland creatures were out in full force, and some of our runners managed to spot deer crossing their path on our beautiful woodland course.
Our inaugural event had visitors from far and wide including Ohio, Maryland, and even the U.K. For those of you who are relatively new to these events, parkrun tourism is an excellent way to see more of a city you are traveling to anywhere in the world so get on the parkrun website before your next trip and see what you can find. Lillie parkrun has a grand total of 65 runners and 4 non-running volunteers. We also need to give a huge shout out to the 8 runners that stayed behind after their run to help out on the volunteering front.
Our first finisher was Jonathon McBride who recorded a time of 18:45, before sticking around to hand out barcodes to the rest of the runners, and our first female finisher was Karen Crane who recorded a time of 23:40 and also set an age-grading record of nearly 80%!!! Karen is an event director at Mansfield parkrun in Ohio and travelled up to Ann Arbor especially for our launch event. She also gave herself the title of bucket girl as she took on the role of collecting finish tokens at the barcode scanning station. Much to the delight of our youngest volunteer, token sorter extraordinaire Yuma Tsubouchi, helped by his mum Sachiko Tsubouchi, all of our event tokens were returned and sorted ready for use again next week. The all important marshaling positions were filled this week by Cathy Buiten who took on the important position of roundabout marshal, and Rajiv Kumar who took the lake bridge spot.
All in all the event was a huge success and we can't wait to go again this coming Saturday. This event wouldn't be possible without the support of our sponsors, the Ann Arbor Track Club, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, and Pittsfield Charter Township, and we were lucky enough to have representatives from all of them join us for our launch event. We also cant let this occasion pass by without thanking all of the people involved in bringing parkrun to Ann Arbor including Tim Gallagher from Livonia and our wonderful parkrun ambassador Andrea Zukowski (who was responsible for the incredible pictures here and on our facebook page), as well as event directors Stephanie Evans and Rajiv Kumar, yesterdays run director Ron Lochocki and results processor Richard Evans, all of which will become familiar faces at Lillie parkrun as part of our core volunteer team. It takes a village to run a parkrun, and these are your people!
Want to see more of our wonderful photos from this week? Check out our facebook page www.facebook.com/lpparkrun
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Lillie parkrun, Ann Arbor Results Page.