Yesterday (Friday) I loaded my foster pup in the car and drove down to the Cedar River Trail to scope out and measure an alternate course since part of our usual route is closed due to erosion from all of the recent rain. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had a nice time soaking in the rays (me) and sniffing all of the smells (her).
We walked and measure all segments of the trail accessible via Riverview Park using Strava and I figured out that a "double rabbit ears" course would do the trick. We would start at the top of the Y, turn just shy of our usual turn-around, come back to the start line and do that segment again. Then we'd run across the top of the Y, past the finish and about .2 miles down the trail to the cones and sign indicating "Trail Closure Ahead", come back to the finish, and then do that out and back segment to the cones and sign one more time before finishing.
Well, I took for granted that the cones and sign from yesterday would still be there today. When our lead runner completed the 3rd segment and we sent him back out for his last lap, he said "I'm already at 3.05". The volunteers alerted me and I went down the trail a bit to check things out. Well, the city removed the sign and cones between yesterday afternoon and this morning and put up a semi-permanent sign on the speed limit post by our finish. Our participants were running all the way to the actual trail closure fence and logging extra mileage. OOPS!
As soon as I figured out the issue, volunteer Karen kindly walked the .2 miles to where the sign and cones had been and started turning people around in the correct spot. Those who had already gone out and back to the fence once, we told to cross the finish (as it was close enough to 5K).
During results processing I adjusted times for those who did extra mileage to calculate their actual 5K times using their pace. The results now should be accurate (enough). However, if you see something that's off, let us know (email firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll adjust it.
Hey, we're a free event and we've had some curveballs lately. Thanks all for your patience and understanding.
In other news...it was also our Valentine's Day parkrun! We saw lots of Valentine's colors- red for "taken," orange for "in love with parkrun" and green for "available". We had mostly red and orange.
Volunteer Lynda brought some fun stickers to share with those who wanted a little bit of extra sparkle.
Megan and Karl were one of our couples of the day- both wearing red because they're "taken" by each other!
Koy wore orange to signify her love of parkrun.
Visitor Ben wore a green shirt- but it was his 250 shirt so we're not sure if he's actually available or just showing off his parkrun pride.
Regular participant and volunteer Ray brought along some family members today, including two grandsons who were more than happy to have their photos taken (as long as I showed them the photos right after). Matt, who is also one of our regulars, brought along his friend Kim. Did you know that parkrun mostly spreads through word of mouth?
The Logan family brought cupcakes to share at the finish line. They were very much appreciated and enjoyed. There were no survivors.
We had a few barkrunners who loved their time on the trail this morning. Baldr even cooperated and wore some sparkles for the full 5K.
Thanks to Amy, Gracelynn, Lynda, Brent and Karen for being on my volunteer crew today!
See YOU, yes, YOU next week for our Tutu parkrun on the 22nd!
We'll meet again at Riverview Park next week and we'll send out marshals for each turn next time- let us know if you want to volunteer for one of those spots!