Celebrating parkrunners and Volunteers
by Kerstin Pepper: Run Director
We had such a great morning at Perrigo today, to our surprise. I woke up at 3am to the sound of heavy rain, and immediately started second guessing how many parkrunners might show up on a soggy, cold, November Saturday. Would we have more volunteers than parkrunners? Or maybe just a dozen of our (dedicated) usual suspects?
I was a little disheartened as I loaded the car. We had hoped to reach our magic 1,000th parkrunner milestone, but it seemed unlikely - we needed another 28 finishers, but over the previous three fair-weather weeks, we had only averaged 23. Today, it was pouring!
My son, Henry, and I headed down to Perrigo, to chalk inspirational messages at the turnaround points and set up for our 22nd event.
It was super quiet at the park, with the only soul in sight being our wonderful marshal, Elliott, and his canine companion, Rocky. Elliott helped to unload the van and set up the shelters, as the rain continued to fall from gloomy grey skies.
Gradually, our volunteers started to arrive, and we chatted about the dire conditions and wondered if anyone would show up.
And then...something amazing happened. Along with our wonderful regulars, we started to see unfamiliar people in running shoes arriving. As each one approached, I would ask, "Is this your first parkrun?", and introduce ourselves. In all, we met 11 first timers. Eleven! Some had found us by Googling "Redmond 5k", and others through word of mouth. We were so delighted to welcome them all (not to mention, super impressed that they chose such a miserable day to try something new)! In total, 39 amazing parkrunners showed up!
In the end, we found ourselves with a lot to celebrate!!
- Kerstin Pepper reached her 25th Volunteering milestone - that's 25 times that she has volunteered at parkrun events. That coveted purple shirt will soon be winging its way to Redmond - we can't wait to see more purple at Perrigo!
- Last weekend, Sergey Aleshin met the enviable milestone of running his 100th unique parkrun at Joe Creason parkrun.
Talk about dedication - Sergey had planned to run Heritage Harbor parkrun, but after flying into Chicago, saw that it had been canceled due to lack of volunteers.
Never one to balk at a challenge, Sergey drove through the night - a 5 and a half hour journey - from Illinois to Kentucky, to ensure he made his magic 100!
Of course, next week, he's off to Terry Hershey parkrun in Houston, for his 101st...We can't wait to see where parkrun takes you next, Sergey!
- Max Jensen was taking a well-earned rest this week, but we celebrated him anyway. Max finished the New York Marathon last week in a ridiculously fantastic time of 2:54:41. That's an average pace of 6:40 minute / mile, and placed him 5th in his age category (and the 2nd American within that group).
Congratulations, Max - you are an inspiration!
- And finally (drumroll, please!!)....we DID indeed reach (nay, exceed!) our 1,000 Perrigo parkrunner finishers milestone.
We love the fact that our 1,000th parkrunner to cross the finish line was a first timer - Erward Osckar looked a little bemused as he was greeted by a cheering crowd waving pom poms and jumping up and down in celebration as he reached that final bollard! We've assured him it won't happen again...
If you have a celebratory story to tell, or want to offer kudos to a fellow parkrunner, do let us know - we'd love to hear it!
The rain certainly made our parkrunners more eager to finish quickly, this week. Our poor Tail Walker, Melani, was most dismayed to see that we didn't have a single walker in our group!
Top 3 Male
1. Nathan Clifford was our first finisher, yet again! He finished in a very speedy 18:41.
2. First timer, and good friend/colleague of our regular, Andy Ruschak, Jeremy Salerno crossed the finish in 21:20.
3. Kevin Sorensen finished third, in a very impressive 21:22. I'm going to keep saying it until you share - Kevin, we'd love to see your GoPro videos!
Top 3 Female
2. Kelly Lyon-King finished her 12th parkrun with a PB of 27:54 - well done, Kelly, half marathon training is clearly paying off!
3. First timer, Jen Oglesby, finished in 29:50 - we'd love to see you again, Jen, as much as soccer schedules allow!
We celebrated 7 PBs this week - I think everyone must have been rushing to get to that hot post-run coffee!
Other than those already mentioned...
Andy Ruschak was "gently" encouraged by his running buddy colleague, to knock 33 seconds off his previous PB, finishing in an incredible 26:19.
Tadek Dul reached yet another PB, finishing in 29:10. We are so happy that you continue to show up each week, Tadek!!
Sidhanth and Kannan Srinivasan both celebrated PBs today, in 38:21 and 38:25 respectively - great job, guys, we love your finish line smiles!
Lana Young, joining her Dad, Gavin, did an amazing job of smashing her previous PB by an incredible 12 minutes, finishing in 41:17. Well done, Lana - keep it up!
- Don't forget that we have our bonus Thanksgiving parkrun on Thursday 28th November at 9am. Please feel free to invite your friends and family (just ensure they bring their barcodes!). The mode the merrier - let's make it a parkrun to remember!!
- Don't forget your barcode! Unfortunately, we are going to have to be strict on this one. If you forget your printed barcode, we cannot process your results. Remember that Event Director, Kerstin Pepper, has a laminator and is more than happy to laminate your barcode for you!
- Thank you so much to our volunteers: Kerstin Pepper; Sergey Aleshin; Dean Faber; Mary Blake; Melani McGrath; Elliott Gaskins; Gabriella Drewer; Dan Metteer and Kim McKeone. Without you, parkrun could not exist.
If you would like to volunteer in future, please check our the roster at http://www.parkrun.us/perrigo/futureroster, and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to add your name to our list of hi-vis heroes!
Thanks so much for yet another fantastic week at Perrigo parkrun. We can't wait to do it all again next week for #23!