welcome to the newsletter
In this issue, it's been an interesting few weeks weather-wise, parkrun Russia launches and I pontificate about parkrun, a few feedback from the field comments and we celebrate our parkrunner of the month.
Since November, I am sure you'll agree this winter has been a challenge with the relentless snow, ice, rain and cold. We've even learned a new winter term 'Polar Vortex'. While the weather has been less than desirable it has not dampened participating in parkrun events this winter. It takes a special kind of person to get up early on a Saturday morning in such conditions and come out to parkrun to run, walk or volunteer… Very, Very special!
parkrun offers everyone so many opportunities to become a special person to those in your community and to better yourself not only physically, but as important mentally and socially. Those new and somewhat reluctant parkrunners, having completed many a parkrun are now chasing new parkrun PRs, and those with just a bit more a few more years of experience are now transitioning their running to a new level competing in road races of all distances, cross country and track meets, swimming events in murky rivers, lakes, private and public pool clubs, and competing in triathlons. I've also had the amazing opportunity to run with my wife Lori, my nieces Olivia and Elizabeth, and my sons Drew, Alex and Adam. I have made new friendships with parkrunners and event managers from around the world. At the prompting of Livonia parkrun regular and ultra marathon standout Lynn Boven, I am even considering competing my first 50k trail race later this year. With the extreme snow, ice and cold I have canceled several Livonia parkruns due to the unsafe conditions. I have heard from a number of Livonia parkrunner's who are not shy about expressing their feeling of loss on those Saturday mornings. Even though parkrun may have been canceled they still meet for coffee and communicate an open invite to the parkrun community. My wife Lori and I have even been elected as race directors for a very popular local 5k road race later this spring. Without having parkrun in my life, I very much doubt I'd have experienced any of this.
I've made lots and lots of friends (and a few more friendly rivals). Twenty-fourteen looks set to be an even better year and parkrun USA will continue to be the catalyst for everything I plan to achieve… and I’m sure I won’t be the only one!
parkrun - always a run, never a race
Rick and Lori (get in touch)
your local event’s website
In addition to the all important 'latest results' list that we pour over each week there is a plethora of other information to be found on your local event’s very own website.
Each parkrun’s website contains useful tips about how parkrun works, course safety in general, a course map accompanied by a description, details of on-site facilities, any future cancellations, directions to the venue by various modes of transport and where to head for afterwards to join in the post-parkrun chat.
You can also view the volunteer roster, see who made parkrun happen for you as we thank our amazing volunteers each week and find out how you can get involved too.
Many events also upload weekly run reports, stats and photographs and some parkrun teams utilize the 'links' tab to inform their community of local running clubs, forthcoming local races and other local services of interest.
I want to share with you a commentary from Mr. Mark Thompson, Braunstone parkrun Run Director and parkrun UK Ambassador which appeared in the most recent parkrun UK newsletter. I am certain this rings familiar with many of you.
"While I’ve have a Facebook account, between Sunday and Friday I can very much take it or leave it. People living out every minute of their life, the same videos and jokes shared, and then getting hit by adverts for things that Facebook have decided I must want!
But on a Saturday, everything changes. Facebook suddenly comes alive! 95% of my news feed is stories about parkrun. Happy and inspiring stories. I feel like I know people that I have never met and love places that I have never been. I’m sure people will have had days where they feel a bit flat after parkrun, bad weather maybe, a bad run or volunteering challenges to overcome. If that does happen, then I urge you to look at Facebook, Twitter or parkrun event various Run Reports for a selection of positive stories from parkrun events. I’m sure that within minutes you will have found a story of happiness and inspiration that reminds you what a great community we are all part of. There is a theory that only bad news spreads quickly. I would suggest that parkrun day is proof that this isn’t the case and that great and positive news can spread just as quickly, if not more so!"
On behalf of Tim and Karen at Clermont, Julie and Martin at Durham, NC and Rick and Lori at Livonia we encourage you to share your parkrun experiences and stories!
Please check your event's news pages and email messages for the most up to date information including cancelations;
Whether you are new to parkrun, just keeping up with what's going on at your local event or doing some research before a spot of parkrun tourism it's a great place to start!
parkrun USA events are expected to be activated in several cities this spring including Brooklyn, NY; Boston, MA; Denver, CO and Washington DC
Welcome to parkrun Russia as our newest parkrun country. Two events have been activated just outside of Moscow. These are Kolomenskoe parkrun and Severnoe parkrun. Please visit parkrun Russia to learn more (http://www.parkrunrussia.ru) Dobro požalovat'!
feedback from the field
Harold Matthews, Plymouth, MI - "Livonia parkrun was well represented at the Super 5K on Sunday."
Kim Wisser Zamora, Livonia, MI - "These cancellations are throwing me off man!....just sayin'....that being said....I must admit having last Sat off and having a lazy Sat morning relaxing and doing something different for exercise - much later in the day I might add -- wasn't SO horrible.....I am going to quit typing now and plan my day out -- but I do NOT want to get used to this....looking forward to re-appearance of safe running and walking conditions! oh yeah...and to seeing more Livonia parkrunners and walkers also!
Elaine Bartlett, Sheffield, UK - "Great doing Clermont Waterfront parkrun again with you all today, we'll see you again at Christmas!"
Andrew Trigg, Trowbridge Wiltshire, UK - "Hi All, I'm travelling to Washington from UK at the end of the month and am hoping to be able to come and give you guys a visit at Durham NC parkrun before I return. Hope it warms up before then!"
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
parkrunner of the month
Name: Kelly Jones
Home parkrun: Durham, NC
Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
Number of runs: 10
Favourite volunteer role: Scanner, for now, although I haven't tried anything else yet!
What do you do at parkruns: Run; try to improve my time.
How has parkrun changed your running: The friendly competition has definitely made me faster. I'm also a bit more dedicated to runs during the week, because I have a goal time for weekend runs.
What do you like about parkrun: So many things! It's a fun time, friendly folks, free. I like that it happens every week. It's a great motivator to have something scheduled, particularly on those rainy or really cold days.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: The funniest moment was an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction, but the most memorable was probably the first one, just because it seemed like such a great, open group of people, and I was excited to have found a new group of runners.