welcome to the newsletter
In this month’s newsletter, we welcome a new event to parkrun USA, talk tees, look at the numbers grow, and head back to Australia for another helping of warm-running daydreams.
After a successful pilot last month and two official events, the newest member of the parkrun USA team is up and running. Welcome, Crissy Field parkrun!
Event Director Max Metcalfe got the California parkrun party started with 22 runners finishing the course at this inaugural event while taking in amazing views of the San Francisco Bay and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. In attendance were 10 parkrun “debutants”, who were warmly welcomed to this international family of runners; a couple of folks who got to sample parkrun while either on vacation or when living previously near a parkrun event; and some parkrun tourists who just couldn’t resist showing up for this once-in-a-lifetime parkrun first.
Among the tourists were David Duggan, who has done 16 different parkrun events worldwide but must surely be the first runner to have done all four parkrun USA events. (A thousand and one thanks to David for his fantastic photos and run report, which I have “borrowed” for this edition of the newsletter.) Also there, volunteering and taking a break from the worst of the British winter, was UK country manager Tom Williams, along with wife Helen, who was the first lady to finish, and their two children. Welcome to all of our parkrun friends who travelled all that way to support our newest event!
There were figurative fireworks (the good kind, not the kind when people yell angrily; that’s called “talk shows”, not parkrun) to be seen on this flat and fast course when first finisher Michael Hiscott set a course record with a blazing time of 15:22, thereby running the fastest parkrun time yet in the US. No one opted to follow their run with a refreshing January dip in the bay for a quick swim to Alcatraz. Perhaps next week.
It’s wonderful to see the parkrun USA family growing and to know that this fantastic, inclusive, and accessible event is taking root in another community in this country. Please take a moment this week to tell two friends about parkrun and help us keep growing. If your friends live near a parkrun, then you’ll know where to take them next Saturday morning. If not, have them get in touch with your local event director, and we’ll happily tell them how to plant some little parkrun seeds in their own communities.
Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)
parkrun milestone club tee-shirts to be available worldwide
parkrun milestone club tee-shirts are coming to parkrun USA! What, you wonder, is so special about these shirts? What makes them different from the others in that drawer full of tees? These are parkrun club tee-shirts, and they’re not for sale; you have to earn them. You’ll need to show up, run, and finish 50 parkruns to get your first tee. Then keep doing it till you eventually reach 100, 250, and 500 runs. Junior runners (those under 18) are eligible for a tee-shirt after completing 10 runs.
Thanks to the sportswear brand Tribesports, all parkrunners are now eligible to earn milestone club tee-shirts. Distributed through parkrun’s Wiggle site, you’ll be able to order your tee-shirt free of charge. (Please note that you will need to pay shipping and handling.) When you reach one of these milestones, you will be alerted by your results email, or find a link on your profile page. Tee-shirts will be available from March.
And remember: there’s only one way to earn these tee-shirts. We’ll see you next Saturday morning. #dfyb
winning parkrun volunteer shirt design
Tribesports will be supplying parkrun volunteers with their own milestone shirt, which will be for those who help at 25 or more events. parkrunners were invited to vote on their favorite color and design, and the winner is…
The logo won with a definitive 89% of the 28,000 votes cast. It was a bit more of a race to pick the color with this purple stunner just beating out yellow with 49%. All of those volunteers who were afraid it was going to be that (Warning! Editorializing ahead!) horrible brown color can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing they’ll stay fashionable in their prize parkrun apparel. Volunteers who meet this admirable milestone should start seeing a link to Wiggle on their profile page in April.
parkrun USA in numbers – January 2015
A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:
Number of runners - 467
Number of first timers - 147
Number of PRs - 62
Number of volunteers - 84
Despite two events being cancelled in Livonia due to bad weather, parkrun USA had its biggest month yet in January. Clermont Waterfront and Durham, NC both had New Year’s Day runs, Clermont numbers went crazy over the holidays with parkrun tourists visiting the local attractions and making time for their favorite 5k event, and the first two runs at Crissy Field parkrun in San Francisco all helped push us well above the 400 mark for the first time. First-timer numbers nearly doubled from 75 to 147 and volunteers jumped from 54 to 84. PRs held steady with 62 in January compared to December’s 63.
what in the parkrun world…?
Here, we feature one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This month, we head back to Australia and further up the east coast to Wishart parkrun in Brisbane.
Wishart is located on the south side of Brisbane and is one of a dozen or so parkruns in the wider Brisbane area. With 26 events under their belts, this young run has started strong, averaging 81 runners with a record attendance of 172. About two miles of the course is in tree shade, making it one of the cooler parkruns during those fierce Australian summers. To keep people's minds from thinking about the pain, volunteers put a joke at the 3-kilometer mark and its answer at the 4-kilometer mark.
At the pre-run briefing for first-time parkrunners, the volunteers give a short history of Wishart, especially aimed for the tourists. The suburb itself was named in 1967 after an early settler in the area.
Wishart parkrun was started by event director Adrian Royce, who began his running journey at Wynnum parkrun and migrated to the closer Minnippi parkrun when it opened. At Minnippi, Adrian became an event director until one day wondering why no one had opened a parkrun near his home at Wishart. He knew that he had to do it – and the rest was history!
in case of bad weather
The weather outside can turn frightful at any time of year. Please be sure to check your local event’s Facebook page or get in touch by email using the address on your event’s parkrun page to double-check whether a run will be going ahead in the event of inclement weather. Event directors will make every effort to alert runners to cancellations as early as possible.
feedback from the field
Dear parkrun USA,
Just read your January newsletter. Well said! Loved it! I'm an American living in Sydney, Australia, and I love parkrun! I'm a Run Director at Mosman parkrun and helped to get it up and running. We're just down the road from Curl Curl parkrun (or as the Aussies call it, "Curly"). We had a US parkrun tourist last Saturday which was awesome. We usually get the UK tourists or the odd South African tourist so it was great to have a compatriot join us. He got a huge cheer from me! I do travel back and forth, so next time I'm over that way I'll be looking to do some parkrun tourism!
Mary – Mosman, Australia parkrun Event Director
Dear Durham, NC parkrun,
Cool is nice, but these sub 30°F conditions are a bit much. You burn more calories in the cold, right?
Bill Harris, on Durham, NC’s Facebook page
Dear Clermont parkrun,
We'll be with you in 198 days! Not that I'm on a countdown or anything!!!!! Can't wait!
Wendy Ward, on Clermont’s Facebook page
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: Bill Harris
Club: Carolina Godiva Track Club
Home parkrun: Durham, NC parkrun
Occupation: Analytical Chemist
Number of runs: 20
Favourite volunteer role: I’ve only done finisher tokens so far...so we’ll go with that.
What do you do at parkruns: For me, it can serve multiple purposes. It’s a social outing, it can be “junk” miles to keep that running base up, or it can be an all-out effort. It just depends on who’s there that week and how I feel when I pull up to the starting line.
How has parkrun changed your running: It’s changed my mentality of thinking that running in a group setting is always a race. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.
What do you like about parkrun: Rain or shine, hot or cold, it’s dependable and always a go.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Being one of the slower runners (and I’m fine with that!), I tend to look at the crowd that week and see if there’s anybody new that I have a chance of beating. Last month a nice couple from Wales visited. They were in their 60’s so I figured the husband would save me from a last place finish that week...He finished in under 21 minutes. A week later he was back and broke 20! Impressive! The regulars are all great people, but I really like the tourists. They are always very friendly, and it’s enjoyable and educational to converse with them afterwards.