welcome to the newsletter
In this month’s newsletter, we set some new goals, visit parkrun Italia’s first ever event, and meet a powerhouse of a runner at Clermont Waterfront.
At Durham’s 100th event last month, we welcomed the participants of Running Start in a graduation run that was the culmination of a 10-week ‘couch to 5k’ program. Besides graduation and celebration, there was another purpose: setting runners’ sights on a new goal. The hope was that, by introducing these new runners to parkrun, they could weather the transition more easily from group to solo running while having an outlet and structure to continue their training. (Stay tuned to find out if we succeed…)
It got me thinking about those of us who have been around the parkrun block a time or two or 50. Maybe we were once like the Running Start folks, and that first 5k was a big challenge that led us to set new goals in order to improve. And maybe, also like the Running Start grads, it’s time for a new goal. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not telling anyone to stop coming to parkrun. I’d rather eliminate white wine from my life than parkrun. But it can be a springboard for more and different running or a yardstick for those who have tried something new and want to see how they’ve progressed.
parkrun opened new horizons for me as a runner, just like it did for our parkrunner of the month, Anne McFarlane. For both of us, completing a 5k seemed as attainable as running to Alaska. But after dropping nearly 11 minutes in just 7 months of running, Anne is starting to realize that there may be other worlds that she is capable of conquering, which you can read about below.
While my running trajectory was not nearly as unstoppable as Anne’s, it started with that common thread of parkrun. It meant looking at my accomplishments at parkrun and not thinking, “Good job. Mission accomplished.” Instead, it became “If I can do that, what else can I do?” From there, it snowballs till one day, you find yourself at a finish line of a race, trying to use the finisher’s medal to weight everything down so you don’t burst with pride all over that nice volunteer handing out water.
parkrun gives us a glimpse of other goals we can reach with our running, if we let it. What will it be for you? A 10k? A marathon? Maybe you want to join a friend to try out 4 miles. Or you’ve heard it mentioned that sprints at the local track or hill repeats could bring that time down. Or you want to go dashing through the woods and pretend to be Katniss Everdeen. (I can’t be the only one who feels that way about cross country.)
For Anne and me, and surely for thousands like us around the world, parkrun has stripped away what used to seem impossible about running and made it accessible. It also made us want to take on new challenges and breathe new life into our running. Where will you let your parkrun passport take you?
Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)
parkrun USA in numbers – June 2015
A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:
Number of runners - 625
Number of first timers - 253
Number of PRs - 87
Number of volunteers - 85
Durham and Crissy Field both hit new attendance records in June, with Crissy Field managing to set or tie their own attendance record every Saturday last month. Well done on those strong numbers to Crissy Field and Durham!
what in the parkrun world…?
Here, we feature one of the more than 500 parkruns around the world. Last month saw us visiting an event on the cusp of launching in France. We’ll stay on the continent and head south to the sunny shores of Sicily to explore Uditore, parkrun Italia’s first event.
With 7 runs completed, this event in Palermo is still young and growing in a country that is very new to the parkrun family. Giorgio Cambiano is Uditore parkrun's Event Director and welcomes any locals and parkrun tourists that make their way to Uditore Park.
The route is flat with a nice bit of shade around the course, though it would still be a good idea to remember your sunblock. Runners complete four loops and can add a few blocks onto the end of their run to get to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Uditore parkrun’s highest attendance so far is 18.
Uditore parkrun, we join the rest of the parkrun world in welcoming you to our family and wishing you much success!
Clermont Waterfront parkrun
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
At Durham, NC’s 100th run on June 6, Carolina Godiva Track Club’s Running Start program joined us to hold their graduation 5k. Twenty graduates and 10 volunteer pacers joined Running Start coordinator Aline Lloyd in the culmination of 10 weeks of tough workouts. Well done, graduates, and thank you Running Start for making us part of your journey. We hope to see all of you again at parkrun soon!
Congratulations also to Gerty Ward for completing her 50th parkrun!
Lynn Boven and Kim Zamora have both reached a big parkrun milestone: 100 finishes! Congratulations, and here’s to another 100 parkruns and beyond.
feedback from the field
Hi parkrun USA,
Thanks for the honor of putting me up for being parkrunner of the month. All week when I wasn't running I thought “How goofy is that?”. Going today and talking with all the different Livonia parkrun people reminded me that parkrun is about more than the run. Thanks for all you do, Rick and Lori.
Steve Erickson, June 2015 parkrunner of the month
Hi parkrun USA,
Congratulations on tomorrow's 100th parkrun event in Durham, NC! I wish I could join you to celebrate the awesome milestone but am looking forward to running with you again soon.
Wishing you all the best,
Hi, I'm going to run Livonia parkrun tomorrow. Can't wait. See you at the start – Jakub Strzelecki Cirrus, a parkrun tourist from Łódź, Poland, on Livonia’s Facebook page
Had a great time visiting San Francisco and running the parkrun there. Many thanks. See you again soon, I hope. Back to St Anne's parkrun next week. – Dan Wallace, parkrun tourist 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: Anne McFarlane
Club: Not attached
Home parkrun: Clermont Waterfront, FL
Occupation: Support staff at Lake County Schools
Number of runs: 13
Favourite volunteer role: Handing out finish tokens because I get to see everyone finishing, which is a nice feeling.
What do you do at parkruns: I go to do the run and to socialize, too. The people there are so inspiring and they’ve encouraged me so much as a new runner.
How has parkrun changed your running: Being new to this sport, the only runs I’ve done are parkrun and one race. But something got hold of me, and now I can’t stop running. parkrun is helping me learn to pace myself, and it’s made me want to do longer distances. I plan to do a 10k soon, and there’s talk of a 15k after that. It’s also helped me with my fitness program and to reach my goal weight with Weight Watchers.
What do you like about parkrun: I like that we have top athletes – people that do triathlons and finish the course in 17 minutes – and we also have walkers. All of us at parkrun are there to support everyone from the first finisher to the last. I was nervous the first couple of times, but everyone’s so lovely so I’ve never felt that again. They make me feel so welcome and part of the club.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: My most memorable moment was when someone – I don’t remember who – congratulated me when I crossed the finish line and commented on how much I’d improved. I felt amazing!