welcome to the newsletter
In this month’s newsletter, we got the beat, a technical tee is born, and Welsh kids are running amok at their very own parkrun.
Runners are not generally an empty-headed bunch. Their minds seem to go from one thought to another like a sprinter hurtling towards the finish line. For many, running is a space where we clear our minds, take stock of our lives, decide what’s for dinner, or admire the sights and sounds of nature.
Sometimes, though, what creeps into the silence of running isn’t just the chirping of birds. Instead, it can be you in negative, whispering unkindly, “You should stop now. You’re doing terribly and probably won’t finish. Go eat some pancakes instead.” Few are the runners who haven’t faced this sort of self-talk, but few, too, are the runners who haven’t developed a strategy for shutting it down. One of my favorite ways to combat my inner mean girl is singing. Obviously, hills and panting preclude singing out loud, so I stick with unobtrusive silent singing in place of my usual warble.
What, I recently started to wonder, about other people? What plays on their own personal radio station in their brains? The eclectic mix tape in my head (someone please explain to the under-30s and over-50s what a mix tape is and the pain of making one) surely is unique. After all, who else would opt for Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and Tiffany’s version of “I Think We’re Alone Now”? (Now you know my darkest secret.)
An unscientific survey on Facebook yielded a range of tunes that people turn to for that little extra something to get through tough runs. Some went for aural motivation that could remind them of their own strength, such as “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, ABBA’s “Super Trooper”, or a more modern selection like Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson also got the vote of one man, who conceded that it takes a lot to admit this sort of thing. Another contributor went for the nearly wordless but iconic Rocky theme song, “Gonna Fly Now”. One obscure yet apt choice was from the 1970 Christmas movie Santa Claus is Coming to Town, called “One Foot in Front of the Other”.
Not all of us turn to music. Following a recent pre-race chat with a fellow runner about Inspector Gadget, one woman commented that she might have to inject the occasional “Go, go, gadget legs!” into her repertoire if she’s needing a boost. At most parkruns, you can simply strike up a conversation with the person running next to you to take your mind off of the pain. Then there’s this month’s parkrunner of the month, Audrey, who says she simply tells herself to suck it up when times are getting tough.
What gets you through a run? What song or saying or role model do you call on for a bit of a kick? Email me below, and keep doing whatever you need to do to keep on moving.
Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)
parkrun USA in numbers – April 2015
A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:
Number of runners - 424
Number of first timers - 143
Number of PRs - 75
Number of volunteers - 76
club tee update
Club tees for those under 19s completing 10 parkruns and everyone completing 50, 100, or 250 parkruns are still on track to arrive by the end of June, along with the volunteer tees for 25 events.
While you’re patiently waiting for those to arrive, you might like to dive into some fascinating facts about producing these technical tees. For example, did you know they begin life as little baby tees then grow through love and affection? Actually, they start out as pellets, which is almost as neat as baby tees. Visit Tribesports’ blog for all the details and cool pics of gigantic machines.
what in the parkrun world…?
Here, we feature one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This month, we’re in Cardiff, Wales, to find out about junior parkrun.
junior parkrun is like regular parkrun, but it’s just for children between 4 and 14 years old. These parkrunners complete 2k, and these events take place in the same parks as the local parkrun. Children that participate are also able to run the regular event on Saturday mornings. Just as parkrun started at Bushy Park, so did the junior edition 6 years later in 2010. All junior parkruns currently are in the UK, with 43 locations hosting an event weekly or monthly.
Cardiff junior parkrun has had 13 events since February 8, 2015. Running every Sunday at 9:30 at Llandaff Fields, parents and guardians bring up to 200 (wow!) of their kids for this miniature parkrun. With up to 30 volunteers on hand each week, there’s plenty of help and lots of cheers for the kids. 11 girls and 8 boys have crossed the finish line first, with just a handful managing this feat on multiple occasions. Well done to all of the kids and the volunteers!
Clermont Waterfront parkrun
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
Summer parkrun time starts on June 6. The start time will be 8:00am through the end of September.
feedback from the field
Hi parkrun USA,
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for making me and all the other visitors feel so very welcome at yesterday's Clermont Waterfront parkrun. As well as great people, you are also blessed with a beautiful setting and a flat course that enabled me to achieve a new PR, so I also thank you for that. After the run everyone continued to be extremely hospitable; I really didn't want to leave! Thanks again for creating another fond memory of my first trip to Florida that will stay with me for a very long time.
Hi parkrun USA,
Thanks for the wonderful reception I got from all of you in Durham, NC on Saturday. A 730-mile round trip was probably totally mad for a parkrun, but the warm welcome made it worthwhile. The daylight journey home was also very beautiful. Please pass my thanks on to everyone and tell them that Durham, NC parkrun will always have its own little corner in my heart as my first parkrun outside of the UK.
Hi parkrun USA,
Thanks for your support in getting me and my daughter Rebecca, who lives locally, round the course yesterday at Durham, NC parkrun. It was a great experience, and I think I've got Rebecca hooked on parkrunning. She might be back soon and I might be over here again from England next year. Good luck with your 100th event.
Just want to thank everyone involved with Clermont parkrun, a fantastic free event organized by incredibly helpful, friendly people. I'd thoroughly recommend anyone in the area or holidaying in Orlando to give it a go. – Gary Fielding, on Clermont Waterfront’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: Audrey Perlow
Home parkrun: Durham, NC
Occupation: Attorney/compliance officer
Number of runs: 33
Favourite volunteer role: Bringing my husband to volunteer! He often runs to the event site from our house and volunteers while the rest of us run.
What do you do at parkruns: In the fall of 2013 I ran at parkrun to get a hard effort in, and in 2014 I incorporated parkrun into the middle of my long runs during marathon training. Now that I’m not training for a specific race I fight my inner blob daily and parkrun gets me out the door for some exercise.
How has parkrun changed your running: I’m newish to Durham and it’s nice to be a part of a community event.
What do you like about parkrun: Though we are just getting started, we have been to two other parkrun locations; my husband and I like parkrun touring. It is amazing that parkrun is a worldwide phenomenon. At my home course, I like that the course is an easy route to follow. No one is getting lost, kids and tourists included.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: In the winter of 2013-14 there was one parkrun held in the snow and ice that was ridiculously fun. The weather was horrible. It was the best.