parkrun USA Newsletter 6th October 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, we take liberties with the scientific method, catch up with Belfast’s oldest parkrun, and agree with our parkrunner of the month’s opinion of other parkrunners.

parkrun makes you happy. It can be easy to forget this fact when dragging yourself up a horrible hill or struggling to catch your breath in the middle of summer’s heat and humidity or winter’s bone-chilling Arctic blasts. Despite this and despite the aches, pains, and disappointments that can dog us runners, this simple little 5k makes us happy.

The evidence to support this hypothesis is indisputable and plentiful. It’s in the smiles when you cross the finish line, when you greet other runners who you haven’t seen for a while, and when you hit a new PR. Heck, it’s there when you narrowly miss a new PR since even just a taste of that kind of success is sweet enough to bring a smile to our lips. The most compelling piece of data that parkrun makes you happy is this: you keep showing up for it.

Surely some clever social scientist or another has found that happiness shared is happiness multiplied. (No citation available for that because I really am making this up as I go.) So why keep parkrun to yourself? If you haven’t already cornered your running and non-running friends and family and made them promise to get their own bar code and come for a free, fun community run, then what are you waiting for? Scientificevidence?

Furthermore, happiness sharing, according to a scientist who shall remain nameless because she doesn’t actually exist, should not be geographically biased. Have you, for example, told your aunt in Des Moines about parkrun? Your cousin in Seattle? What about your good-for-nothing son in Albuquerque? It’s time for you to tell all of them how you’ve been spending Saturday mornings. Bragging is acceptable. Feel free to taunt them because you have parkrun and they don’t. Nah-nee-nah-nee-nah-nah. Once the fog of denial, anger, and sadness lifts, they’ll realize that they need their own parkrun, too.

Aunt Martha, cousin Bob, darling Jimmy (that most neglectful of offspring) will want to know how. “How,” they’ll ask, “can we make this Saturday morning utopia a reality in our communities?” That’s when you send them to your local event directors, or send them to me. Then tell them that the happiness comes with a bit of work, but it’s incredibly worthwhile since they’ll be building and sustaining something so simple yet so grand in their communities. So spread the word, spread parkrun, and spread a little more Saturday morning happiness around the US of A.

Happy running!*

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

*This is a prime example of what “happy running” looks like.

parkrun USA in numbers – September 2015


A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:

Number of runners - 664
Number of first timers - 243
Number of PRs - 110
Number of volunteers - 80

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 700 parkruns around the world. This month, we dry our eyes and run our hardest at Waterworks parkrun in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Situated in North Belfast with the stunning Black Mountain looming in the distance, there have been 258 events at Waterworks, making it the oldest parkrun in the area. They will celebrate their third anniversary next month. Like the other 22 events in Northern Ireland (not to mention the Republic of Ireland and Scotland), they wait till they are sure the sun will be up and begin at 9:30am. They average about 159 runners per week, and the average time is 27:14. Waterworks parkrun is a two-loop course that involves a rather unpleasant-looking uphill (see below), though it means that runners also get to relish the downhill afterwards.

Many years ago, this park was an actual waterworks until demand overtook supply in the 19th century. The park was a swinging hub of water activities in the 1920s and 1930s, with fancy-schmancy things like row boats, swimming and diving galas (meets with gowns and tuxedos, perhaps), speedboat racing, and model yacht sailing. All of that fun ended in the 1950s when the reservoirs were filled in for boring old safety reasons. The main modifications since then include the addition of small islands to encourage waterfowl to – eh hem – build families and trout for locals to fish.

This hill, which must be climbed twice by parkrunners, is surely the reason for this event’s name.

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

Upcoming cancellation:
October 10 – Miles for Meals 5K
October 24* – Great Floridian Triathlon
November 21 – Toyota of Clermont Turkey Trot

*An alternative 5K for October 24 is the 5th Annual Spartan Spooktacular 5K Run/Walk at East Ridge Middle School. Click on the link for more details and to register.

Durham, NC parkrun

Announcements
October 31 – Halloween falls on parkrunday this year, so this is the excuse we’ve all been looking for to dress in a ridiculous costume and run around a park. Go crazy and get dressed up for this extra-fun parkrun!

Congratulations to September parkrunner of the month Chris Gould for completing his 50th parkrun!

One loop down and one more to go in Durham, NC

feedback from the field


Hi parkrun USA,
As a previous Clermont parkrun runner, I just wanted to say how heartened I am to see that your numbers have doubled since I ran last January, and justifiably so – it is a great event in an unforgettable place. Cheers to you and everyone who makes it happen.
Regards,
Kevin Jones (Cardiff parkrun)

Durham, NC volunteers aren’t all work and no play.

Hi parkrun USA,
I am very grateful to Livonia parkrun event directors Lori and Rick for your three years of dedicated service.  I too am shocked that this amazing idea has not caught on in other cities across the USA, or even in Michigan.  The Detroit area alone I feel could easily support 4-5 weekly parkruns: Downriver, Belle Isle, Ann Arbor, Warren, Rochester, Livonia.  I am so glad that you guys have done this fantastic thing for our community, and I want to do my part to make sure it continues for eternity. 
All the best,
Tim Gallagher (Livonia parkrun)


Hi parkrun USA,
What a lovely friendly parkrun at Clermont Waterfront! I was really impressed with you guys this morning. Thank you very much for a brilliant event. Next time I visit, if you could just turn the humidity down a touch I would be most grateful.
Many thanks,
Garry Palmer (Wolverhampton parkrun)

The sun, a new megaphone, and the obligatory Livonia dog (they always seem to have at least one in attendance) get ready for another event.

Hi parkrun USA,
Thank you so much for Livonia parkrun; it really has been an very enjoyable, big part of my life and something I look forward to participating in every single Saturday that I am in town. It has been a great thing and I sure hope it continues to be forever!
Regards,
Kim Zamora (Livonia parkrun)


Hi parkrun USA,
Clermont Waterfront parkrun has to be one of the most mentally and physically hardest parkruns I have ever taken part in, but I’m so glad I got to be a parkrun tourist for the day! Two weeks of indulgence in beautiful Orlando has certainly slowed me down. However, roll on next week back at my home parkrun in Sligo, Ireland. Thank you, Clermont parkrun, for being so welcoming to us tourists!!
Regards,
Maoilíosa Ni Duacháin Birn (Sligo parkrun)


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:  Harold Matthews

Club:  N/A

Age:  62

Home parkrun:  Livonia, Michigan

Occupation:  Computer Analyst / Retired Police Officer

Number of runs:  73

Favourite volunteer role:  Course Marshall, as I enjoy shouting words of encouragement to fellow runners.

What do you do at parkruns:  I run, help when needed and socialize with fellow runners.

How has parkrun changed your running:  parkrun has taught me how to run outdoors throughout the harsh Michigan winters. Knowing there are other runners willing to be out there running in the cold and snow makes me get out when otherwise I might elect to stay in.

What do you like about parkrun:  The people. I have found parkrunners to be the friendliest people you could ever meet.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Most memorable parkrun moment was when a deer ventured out of the woods and stood and watched as I ran by on my way to the finish line.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 8th September 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, a control freak gives a new writer/her husband a chance to show his stuff, summertime is record-smashing time, and the fight for good and evil is played out in a pretty park in St. Petersburg.

Being a relatively new transplant to this country, I never really though too much about Labor Day. After some rudimentary internet sleuthing, I found that Labor Day is a “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country”.

The words “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” really resonated with me and, being one for silent introspection, got me thinking about the contributions parkrun has made to my personal strength, prosperity, and well-being. This may sound like a tenuous link, but there are many things that parkrun has contributed to my life that deserve a tribute.

Being an alien to this great country brought great challenges. parkrun in the UK was not just a part of my Saturday or even my week; it was part of my life. Having this anchor in the USA, my new home, really helped me adjust.

The obvious differences in weather aside, running 5k in Durham, NC is not so different to running 5K in Hove, England. We cheer on finishers in the same (with slightly different vocabulary and accents) and the post-run stories are almost exactly the same (more talk of the final hill in Durham, though). So parkrun grounded me and gave a sense of well-being that I needed at that time in my life to make the move more manageable.

What about the other two items in the quote? Well, financially speaking, I won’t make my millions (and quite rightly so) by volunteering, but prosperity from friendships abounds here. Runners are a quirky breed, and I have met some superb specimens from parkrun: true friends that have allowed me to prosper in this strange land called North Carolina.

The final point to unpack is strength. For the first time in my life I broke 21 minutes at parkrun. This was no mean feat for me. I really thought that this was beyond me, and if it were not for the support and encouragement of my fellow parkrunners, I doubt I would have done it. parkrun provided me with one of the happiest and proudest moments in my running career, and it gave me the strength to pursue and achieve my PR.

One of my favorite parts of parkrun is after the event, hearing and seeing all of the happy stories and faces. parkrun has offered me a lot, though it is unlikely that it will have its own official holiday. Until then, we will have to settle for celebrating it 52 times a year.

Happy running!

Martin, event co-director from Durham, NC parkrun (get in touch) (durhamncoffice@parkrun.com)

Would you like to share your parkrun story? If so, get in touch with Julie from parkrun USA

parkrun USA in numbers – August 2015


A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:

Number of runners - 1110
Number of first timers - 449
Number of PRs - 162
Number of volunteers - 133

parkrun USA, we’ve done it again – and we’ve done it even better than last month! July’s numbers showed a record-setting month for our events for numbers of runners, first timers, and PRs. In August, we again set records for these categories, and we’ve seen our volunteer numbers reach their highest level, too.

Our previous record of 815 shot up 36% to 1110 for total attendance, while the newbie number jumped 29% from 348 to 449. Personal records were also up nearly 30% from 124 to 162. Our volunteer record was set in May 2015, and we raised that by 36% from 101 to 133 (Thanks, volunteers! You’re the best!!)

Congratulations to the two events who set new attendance records, Crissy Field and Clermont Waterfront. Clermont managed to set two attendance records in August, and Crissy Field has hit records four times in two months. Keep growing, and keep running!

Volunteers at Clermont parkrun, helping the parkrun world to keep turning, one barcode at a time

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 600 parkruns around the world. This month, we head east or west and just keep going till we hit Sosnovka Park in St. Petersburg, Russia.

St. Petersburg is a major European cultural center and an important port on the Baltic Sea. Due to the intricate web of canals, St. Petersburg is often called the Venice of the North. Situated in this Russian metropolis (St. Petersburg is the second largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants) you will find many parks with the largest of them being Sosnovka Park.

The park is one of the most beautiful in one of the most beautiful cities in that part of Russia; the art and facilities in the park also makes it one of the more popular places for tourists and locals alike. Perhaps the most interesting monument is the Jangseung Spirits. It's believed that these 15 wooden guardian spirits measuring four meters high radiate positive energy and frighten demons away.

The parkrun course is also a work of art with two loops taking in a variety of areas of scenery. Sosnovka has welcomed 232 individual runners in its 35 events, with its biggest turnout being 48 finishers. Nina Zarina is the female course record holder with a time of 20:16, and Paul Altysh holds the male course record with a time of 16:39.

One note of caution: be careful if you are planning to visit and run in August, when hundreds of people dress as zombies and roam around the park for the annual Zombie Walk. They invade the park, looking for ‘survivors’ (and tasty parkrunners). Being chased by the running dead could be a good way to achieve a PR, or perhaps just hang out near the Jangseung Spirits. Schastlivy vypolneniya (happy running)!

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

100th event was on 8/22/2015 – Clermont parkrun set a new record with 169 despite muggy conditions. Locals and a large number of visitors (bringing tally to over 1100 since they first started) helped them set their new record. Congratulations, Clermont!

Upcoming cancellation:
September 12 – Cool Summer Mornings 5k Series #4

feedback from the field


As I watch runners, I think that some of those that finish later are exerting more effort than those "fast" runners seem to be. All are congratulated on their effort, not their time! – Tom Griffin on Durham, NC parkrun’s Facebook page


Great course and fun people. See you again soon! – Laurel Wright Lindh on Livonia parkrun’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:  Chris Gould

Club:  Carolina Godiva Track Club

Age:  71

Home parkrun:  Durham, NC

Occupation:  Physics Professor

Number of runs:  49

Favourite volunteer role:  Operating all that fancy high-tech scanning equipment and shouting encouragement to the runners

What do you do at parkruns:  Jog a mile and half over to arrive just before the start, and then run as fast as I can! Or else run along chatting to catch up on the news from other CGTC members.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Having all the data stored makes me pay attention to how my running is going by the month and by the year. Although keeping up the Saturday morning schedule is sometimes difficult if I’m in long-run marathon training mode, getting speed work on a regular basis definitely helps me.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love the mix of people and the way everyone encourages everyone else out on the trail. Fast, slow, young, old, just starting or veterans – everyone is welcome and welcoming; great way to start the weekend!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Since we are running through a flood plain, there are plenty of birds hidden in the trees. Mostly we see them in winter or spring, before the leaves come out. One time we ran by noisy flight lessons for fledgling pileated woodpeckers who were being instructed on how to make it from one tree to the next. Another time deep in winter we ran by a totally unperturbed blue heron standing in the ice waiting for something tasty to show up (not us!). It was a reminder that 100 yards from a Walmart you can get away from it all just fine if you know where to go.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.


 

parkrun USA Newsletter 4th August 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this month’s newsletter, parkrunners reveal why they got out of bed, we go record smashing in the US, and another pretty course and strange name elsewhere in the parkrun world.

It’s nearly time to pack the car and head to the beach. But only after parkrun is all wrapped up; we wouldn’t dream of starting a vacation before noon on a Saturday! With the deadline for the August newsletter duking it out with the voices of my family, wondering what’s keeping us from the rental place just a block from the beach, I thought I’d contract the work out and get some runners to write this piece.

To get them unwittingly to do my work for me, I posed to parkrunners a simple question on a recent Saturday morning: Why did you get out of bed today? Here’s what they told me:

Phil (5 runs): The thought of meeting all you lovely people and prepping for races in the fall; I wanted to see where I am in terms of my training. I’d come out every week if it wasn’t so far from where I live!

Robby (first-time parkrunner): I wanted to run a timed event and saw the signs and chalking around the park on Saturday mornings, so my wife and I decided to try it.

Gerty (55 runs): My husband, because we do parkrun as a couples thing. And I want to get to 100.

Denise (11 runs): My kittens woke me up at 6:20, so I had no excuse not to come.

Jason (4 runs): This morning, I have no idea why I got out of bed! Usually, it’s just a habit to get up and run. I suppose parkrun is motivation to run faster without spending $20 a week to run a 5k and get a tee-shirt.

Carolyn (first-time parkrunner): My son and his friend got me out here. We’ve been planning to do it for weeks, so here we are.

Jim (39 runs and parkrun tourist): I came because I’m stupid. I’m on my way to Austin, TX and chose to come to Durham, NC because Durham (England) is nice, and there’s a Hillsborough up the road from Durham, NC. (Editor’s note: Jim’s local event is Hillsborough parkrun in Sheffield, England.)

Heiko (13 runs): I had too much beer yesterday and needed to work it out of my system.

Gordon (61 runs): It’s my job: I volunteer by chalking the course. Also, it’s good for my running and it reverses the effects of time on my body. I get out of bed to run now because, at some point, I won’t be able to.

Melinda (51 runs): I don’t even think about it anymore. If I’m in town, I do parkrun. Also, it’s for the grits bowl at our breakfast spot afterwards.

As for me, there’s no place I’d rather be on a Saturday morning. Not even the beach.

Happy running!

Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)

Raise your hand if you’re not from around here and you’re staying down the road in Orlando, FL.

parkrun USA in numbers – July 2015


A summary of the statistics from last month’s parkrun USA events:

Number of runners - 815
Number of first timers - 348
Number of PRs - 124
Number of volunteers - 97

It was a short but busy month for parkrun USA. Despite having just four Saturdays in the month, we set a new record for runners, first-timers, and PRs in July. Our previous biggest month for attendance was May 2015 with 660. The newbie count took a big leap too, with June’s 253 eclipsed by this month’s numbers. PRs also jumped from a previous best of 98 in May 2015 to an inspiring 124 in July.

Kudos go to Crissy Field in particular for their continued growth with three out of four weeks giving them new attendance records. Clermont Waterfront barely missed their record of 119 runners on July 18 when 116 people crossed the finish line. Well done to all of the parkrun USA events, their directors, and their volunteers for all they’ve done to keep spreading parkrun in their communities!

A work of art from parkrunner of the month Joanna Gadd, expressed through the medium of cake for the enjoyment of any and all Crissy Field parkrunners

what in the parkrun world…?


Here, we feature one of the more than 600 parkruns around the world. This month, we’ll visit the quirkily named Panshanger parkrun in Hertford, England. (By the way, that’s pronounced Hart-ferd rather than Hurt-ford. Yes, I know it seems silly, but that’s just how they pronounce it.)

This event sounds like it’s straight out of a romance novel set in the Victorian era. Runners access the start via Thieves Lane before following the one-loop course of dirt paths, gravel, grass, and forest trails through Lady Hughes Wood. Next, our heroines and heroes go dashing through Evergreen Wood and Garden Wood before stumbling upon the cozy Riverside Cottage. Then it’s a scramble across the bridge over the River Mimram before looping around Kings Lake and bounding through the meadow to the finish line.

Add a rakish, undercover prince, a down-on-her-luck but plucky damsel, and some pirates (I don’t care that Hertford is inland; just go with it.), and it could be the most romantic parkrun in the world. Or you could just go have a fabulous run with some fabulous people in a fabulous and scenic spot, which would also be very nice.

Panshanger parkrun is just under one year old, and 2,173 people have run with them. The records for this challenging course are held by Charlotte Davies and Paul Pollock, who also holds the age-graded record. By the last Saturday of July, Panshanger parkrun had reached 2003 registered runners and 203 volunteers since starting their event. We wish our parkrun friends at Panshanger many more enjoyable events across their beautiful course!

event news


Clermont Waterfront parkrun

Upcoming cancellations:
August 8 – Cool Summer Mornings 5k Series #3
September 12 – Cool Summer Mornings 5k Series #4

Durham, NC parkrun

Congratulations to Melinda Beaver for completing her 50th parkrun!

One loop down and one to go in Durham, NC

feedback from the field


Hi parkrun USA,
We had a pleasant run this morning along the Thames River in London. The Fulham Palace parkrun organizer and volunteers were very friendly, and I would guess approximately 300 runners turned up. Thanks to Livonia parkrun event director Rick Brauer for the suggestion!!
Mark Lauzon and family, Livonia parkrunners engaging in parkrun tourism

The Lauzon family and a local volunteer with a very familiar-looking stopwatch

Hi parkrun USA,
I ran my first ever parkrun with you guys at Clermont, and it inspired me to become a run director at Panshanger parkrun in the UK.
Thanks so much! – Craig Stephenson on Clermont Waterfront’s Facebook page (For more information on Panshanger parkrun, see this month’s “what in the parkrun world…”)

A star-spangled finish for Clermont Waterfront runners on the 4th of July

Thanks to Dale and the gang for another great Crissy Fields experience. Small and perfectly formed, the community feel is quite special given the proportion of tourists. Thanks for the awesome 4th of July cake, too! – Kate Driskell, 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:  Joanna Gadd

Club:  Not affiliated

Age:  53

Home parkrun:  Crissy Field, though my first parkrun was in Poole, UK

Occupation:  I live the life of Riley, homemaker, and ad-hoc volunteer with organizations close to my heart such as JDRF, Hydrocephalus Association, and SF Bicycle Coalition

Number of runs:  25 in total – 13 at Crissy Field, 1 in Bournemouth, and 11 in Poole

Favourite volunteer role:  Photographer and general cheerleader

What do you do at parkruns:  Run as fast as I can, which is quite slow, and hope I help newcomers and visitors feel the truth in the fact that parkrun is for everyone. I also bake a cake each week to share with whoever stays for coffee (see photo above). I love to bake so it’s Friday therapy without the calorific guilt, because I can give it all away.

How has parkrun changed your running:  It keeps me running regularly in between other events. I can be very lazy if I’m not following a strict training plan for something, but knowing I’ve got to run on Saturday keeps me on my toes.

What do you like about parkrun:  It’s sociable, inclusive, and gets you up and about, so it’s a great start to the weekend. It’s also very inspirational mixing with super-fast runners and hearing everyone’s goals and achievements in the running/sporting world.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I suppose the most memorable was when I was visiting family in Poole when they had a Santa parkrun. My sisters and brother-in-law and I all got dressed up and BOILED ALIVE in those suits!

Reminders

Barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.