welcome to the newsletter
In this month’s newsletter, we wearily eye the big 5-0, dabble in a bit of Polish translating, and head to Florida to meet April’s parkrunner of the month.
parkrun gives a lot: Camaraderie. Getting to know who’s your speed, who runs at your “I’m the king/queen of the world!” pace, and who is just a marvel in motion, though you could never hope to keep up. Your alarm clock’s chance to fulfill its raison d’être for an extra day. Goals and motivation, even if the former is nonexistent and the latter has been attempting to escape for weeks. And when motivation is high, a free 5k to help you train for races and longer distances. All of this for the price of a bit of lint in your pocket.
parkrun’s flipside is that there’s plenty it won’t simply give you. Take those PRs: they’re not going to earn themselves. Then, there’s the annual points competition, which you can only enter by running or by volunteering. (If you don’t know much about the points competition, you can learn more here, then see where you rank by clicking on the points table link under the results tab of your home event.)
And what about those shirts? Why do we make it so tough to earn those shirts? I can pay for a race and get the shirt before the starting gun even goes off, so why does it take me 250km, copious amounts of sweat, and countless bad photos of me on my event’s Facebook page to get one red shirt with a big 50 on it?
The clue to unlocking the mysteries of parkrun is the very thing that defines parkrun: it’s not a race. Races (which, for the record, I adore) are where you pay, get your shirt, run, and enjoy a free half-banana. parkrun is different. Little of parkrun is about speed. At parkrun, it’s showing up that matters. Ignore that pesky Saturday alarm at your peril; sleep doesn’t earn a 50 shirt. Only the steady perseverance of running week after week is sure to gain you a place in the 50 club.
It’s no accident that parkrun isn’t a race, and it’s no coincidence that parkrun celebrates persistence over speed. Showing up and keeping going means something, whether you’re running or simply living your non-running life. The people behind parkrun and your local events are also focused on the long haul, and in showing up week after week in order to be there for those who want to run with us, whether for the first time or for the 50th time. Keep aiming for that 50.
Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)
parkrun USA in numbers – March 2015
A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:
Number of runners - 299
Number of first timers - 91
Number of PRs - 49
Number of volunteers - 80
Wiggle’s parkrun collection: not just for Saturday mornings
Check out Wiggle’s great new collection of parkrun tees and hoodies to help you bridge the gap from one parkrun to the next!
Wiggle now also have the limited edition parkrun photo book with images from the first decade of parkrun from around the world. Only 2,500 copies have been printed, and with over a million registered parkrunners… well, you do the math! Visit the link above for your copy.
what in the parkrun world…?
Here, we feature one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This month, we’re off to the beautiful city of Kraków, Poland. This former capital city (though it handed that title to Warsaw about 450 years ago) sits in the south of the country and has architectural, artistic, and natural beauty in spades.
Running in Błonia Park just outside the center of the city, Kraków parkrun offers a flat course of just one-and-a-bit loops and lots of trees to keep the wind at bay. Situated near the Vistula River, Wawel Castle, and the soccer stadiums of Kraków’s two biggest soccer teams (and biggest rivals), it’s a popular spot for locals and parkrun tourists to visit. A bus or tram is the best way to get there since parking in this city can be scarce.
At 96 events, Kraków parkrun is just weeks away from its 100th event. The record holders for the course are Ewelina Marcisz, who completed the course in 17:13, and Casper Piech at 15:40 just four weeks before Ewelina’s record run. Nearly 1,400 different runners have joined in the event and averaged a time of 23:54.
While the views from this course might not be quite as impressive as those at last month’s featured event in Aberdeen, Scotland, the easy access of this event to a castle and such Polish delights as pierogi (think ravioli), paczki (a Polish doughnut), and the “little water” (aka vodka) offer their own reasons to visit. Na zdrowie!
Clermont Waterfront parkrun
April 25 – Lake Minneola 1/2M, 12K and 5K
June 6 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #1
July 11 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #2
August 8 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #3
September 12 – Cool Summer Mornings 5K Series #4
Durham, NC parkrun
May 30 – Running of the Bulls 8k with local sponsor Bull City Running Co.
June 6 – Durham, NC parkrun’s 100th event
June 27 – Durham, NC parkrun’s 2nd anniversary
feedback from the field
Hi parkrun US,
I would just like to thank Clermont Waterfront parkrun for a great, friendly welcome this morning. I'm currently living in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, and loved seeing the Aussie flag flying. I didn't manage to get to parkrun in January, when I was over for the Disney Marathon weekend. So when I landed on Friday night, I decided that I needed to get up early for a 'holiday parkrun'. And 13 hours after arriving in the US, I was standing at the start of the Clermont parkrun. I hope to see you again at some point, but I would extend a welcome to you all if you ever came to Australia.
Aren’t we lucky in SE Michigan to have a parkrun… I thought they were everywhere! – Dawn Smith on Livonia’s Facebook page
Hi parkrun US,
I just wanted to send you a short message of thanks. My wife and I really enjoyed our first parkrun outside of the UK and, despite it having been a little on the chilly side compared to earlier in the week, it was great to do parkrun without leggings, long sleeves, hats and gloves! Hopefully we'll make a return one day and you guys at Clermont Waterfront (and parkrun US in general) will continue to grow. Keep up the great work.
Thanks, folks: sunshine, views and a friendly welcome. – John Matthews on Crissy Field’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: Toni Richardson
Home parkrun: Clermont Waterfront
Occupation: Dental Assistant
Number of runs: 18
Favourite volunteer role: Finish Tokens
What do you do at parkruns: I love to cheer on all the runners and walkers and show support for their efforts even when I'm running. It's always nice to hear someone cheering you on and keeping the motivation up.
How has parkrun changed your running: I run by how I feel and not by the clock so it's wonderful that parkrun keeps track of my time and all the other stats. I can see improvements as I look over my profile.
What do you like about parkrun: I like that I can push myself when I'm feeling great and trying for a PB or just chill at a relaxed pace when recovering from an injury. There is no pressure other than what I place on myself.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: I loved our big first anniversary celebration with all of the other parkrun runners. It was a very special occasion.