They say if you can remember Woodstock, you weren’t really there (man)……
While that may be true about the legendary festival in the NY town of the same name, it’s most definitely not true when it comes to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller inaugural parkrun in Woodstock VT – the first in the state, the second in New England (vs 600+ in Olde England!) and the third in the Northeast
As the parkrun Ambassador who helped support the team in getting this event up and going, it was a real privilege to be there to witness the end result of month of work by Geraldine and Dominic, plus an array of supporters
Before I talk more about the day – wanted to highlight and thank the various people who helped make this possible, namely
- Marsh Billings-Rockefeller National park and their amazing rangers, who have been fabulously supportive and helped the team get a course and permit sorted
- Woodstock Economic Development Council who provided full funding in the form of a community grant
- North Chapel UU who provided food, snacks and a wonderful cake and have provided support in bringing parkrun to Woodstock.
- parkrun USA who support new event from idea through to launch and beyond
- Geraldine and Dominic for their tireless energy to drive the event forward
As for the day itself – well what a day it was! A beautiful morning with perfect weather, and amazing turnout of 60 participants, speeches and support from the local State Senator Alison and Member of the House Charlie lots of lovely snacks and drinks afterwards………and most of all a wonderful sense of fun, community and enjoyment which is what parkrun is all about!
The course itself is…….well, let’s be kind and say it’s not easy OK in reality it’s quite tough – for the first half a mile at least. The consolation to going uphill for the first half is that
Despite the toughness of the course, Aussie visitor Tim Grainger made light work of it, coming home in an impressive 19:15, a time that will stand for some time IMO. Tim had the benefit of checking the course out the night before with Dom and me as we put some signs out, and kept volunteering after the event by taking some excellent photographs! Thanks Tim
Summer Harvey set the female benchmark, and was one of a contingent visiting from the nearest parkrun to MBR – namely Jamaica Pond in Boston! Summer was accompanied by Colby Jenkins (2nd home) and Benjamin Birch who helped out on timing – the parkrun ethos follows tourists around! Other notable visitors were the Rosser family of 4 who came all the way from Torrens parkrun in Adelaide, and Suzie Bedo representing Southwark in London! (Oh and a couple of Murphys from New Jersey but they’re not important)
The stars of the show were the locals though, and you all came out in force to support the event. Not everyone had registered or brought their barcodes though – so try and remember for next week! You’ll never get a milestone Tee-shirt without your barcode! We hope everyone had fun, it certainly looked like it….
One of the most inspiring sights was how many families were there with their kids. The inclusivity of parkrun is a key part of the ethos, and it was certainly on display this week. And massive kudos to the stroller pushers – I didn’t envy them!
Aidan REED • Alexis-Maree REED • Benjamin BIRCH • Clare MURPHY • Colby JENKINS • Dominic LORD • Eric WARREN • Geraldine FOWLER • Katie HAMLIN • Linda PALMER • Rory MURPHY • Summer HARVEY • Tamica WARREN • Tim GRAINGER
MBR parkrun will need volunteers EVERY week – if you want to try a role you can
You can also “opt-in” to emails in your parkrun profile – all this means is that you’ll get a weekly email asking for volunteers plus sharing news, so worth doing as a reminder
All of the volunteer roles are very easy to do, require minimal training and are enormous fun! I would urge everyone to at least give it a go, to ensure Geraldine and Dom have a wide pool of volunteers to ensure the ongoing viability of the event
Finally, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made Clare and I so welcome in Woodstock. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit – including Trek to Taste after parkrun - and look forward to visiting again in the Fall
Here’s to the next parkrunday!