RI Run Report – Event #197 – December 4, 2021

Two men wearing winter clothing stand in front of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. Vikrant, on the right, is wearing the blue and white run director's vest.

Frithjov, Teddy, and Vikrant welcome everyone to the island.

Another Roosevelt Island parkrun in the books! For a bit there, we thought we might have to cancel due to a government shutdown, but Congress pulled through and we enjoyed a mild December day on the island. Led by run director Vikrant, we had 64 finishers. Read on for some highlights!

The Report from the Finish Line

Our first finisher was local runner Jon, achieving a PB with a speedy 19:41, followed just three seconds later by visitor Mark. Heather, our first female finisher, joined us again for the first time since the pandemic and also scored a PB with a time of 22:18.

Michael, Christian, Curtis, Emily, Rebecca, Rahul, and Grace achieved PBs as well. Congratulations, all!

(Speaking of Rahul: he started coming to parkrun this past August and, since then, he's decreased his time by a full ten minutes! For a few weeks, your humble run report writer could keep up with him or even pass him, but now... not so much.)

A man runs on a trail covered with brown leaves, surrounded by bare tree trunks.

Rahul rounds the corner, leaving this run report writer in the dust.

Friends from Near and Far

Our tourists are back! With the lifting of travel restrictions, we're starting to see international visitors return to the island. This week, we welcomed UK visitors from Macclesfield and Southampton. It was especially fun to see Eve and Ian (on the right in the photo below), who had recently joined several of us at College Park on Thanksgiving.

A group of six people (four men and two women) pose in front of some autumn trees. Several of the people are wearing parkrun milestone or apricot t-shirts.

Come back and visit anytime!

Eve and Ian even brought us a book! I was glad to accept a copy of How parkrun Changed our Lives by Eileen Jones on behalf of Roosevelt Island parkrun. Our copy is signed by the author and by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the parkrun founder himself! Let us know if you'd like to read the book next and we'll pass it along to you.

Two women wearing running clothes stand on the Roosevelt Island pedestrian bridge. The woman on the right is handing a book to the woman on the left.

Thank you so much for the book! It looks amazing.

We also love hosting parkrunners from around the region, like Colm and Agnes from Peace Valley parkrun in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. That's a Bucks County Roadrunners hat, for those in the know!

A woman and a man wearing running clothes pose in front of some autumn trees. The man is wearing a Bucks County Roadrunners hat.

Thanks for making the trip down to DC!

In total, we had 20 first timers—plus barkrunner Jade, who seemed to be having a good time with her human and doggie pals. We hope to see her (and all our first timers) back again soon.

More Barcode Options

In case you missed the recent news, parkrun now officially allows participants to scan electronic barcodes. Previously, the policy required everyone to have a physical barcode, like a paper printout or a nifty parkrun wristband. But now, you can just carry your phone to any parkrun event—no worries if you forget your barcode.

You can even put your barcode on your smart watch! If you're an iPhone user, parkrunner Robert Sargant created a tool that will add your barcode to your Apple Wallet. Check it out at https://dfyb.run.

A woman wearing a winter hat and gloves holds up her Garmin watch for the camera. There's a parkrun barcode showing on the face of the watch.

Check it out! Joyce has her barcode on her watch now.

Holiday Updates

Finally, you may have noticed that Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Saturdays this year. Roosevelt Island will be hosting our regular events on both days, so come join us for some holiday fun! Festive dress is encouraged (to be fair, when is it not encouraged?) but never required. If you'd like to volunteer, head on over to https://bit.ly/RIparkrun to put your name down.

A photo of the Roosevelt Island marsh and boardwalk from above. Several runners and a dog are making their way along the boardwalk.

See you next time!

Last but not least, please give a big round of applause to our volunteers: Heather, Cathie, Fred, Elizabeth, Pat, Kristina, Frithjov, Vikrant, Scott, Martin, Mike, Dave, and Ana.

See you on the island!

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun


RI Run Report – Event #196 – November 27, 2021


Tidal Marsh headwaters at low tide from the boardwalk, November 27, 2021

It was a seasonably cool but bright and sunny morning on our beautiful island, Saturday after Thanksgiving. We were excited to find the course dry and without obstacles after a windy Black Friday. The breeze may even have helped clear out some of the fallen leaves since the previous week. The "soft spots" on the boardwalk were still present and marked with cones during setup as usual. A piece of good news is that the National Park Service are planning repairs.

Volunteer spots had been a little slow to populate this week, perhaps due to the holiday. A late rush of interest enabled us to pull off the event once again. A special thanks to Anna who stepped in as run director after being very happy with her run on Thanksgiving at College Park. Rumor has it she got to sound their gong, a privilege reserved for runners who achieve a PB!


Anna delivering the briefing

A role that did not get filled was that of Event Photographer. Anna and Mike contributed some images to our Facebook feed and this report - thank you both! We really appreciate having a person dedicated to take pictures though, so please consider signing up for this when you don't feel like chasing your PB but still want to enjoy the parkrun experience. Pictures help us re-experience the event and remember the people who were here with us. They are also highly valued by Roosevelt Island parkrun regulars when missing out on an event. You don't need to be an experienced photographer or have a big camera. It's a great way to get to know your fellow parkrunners a little better. Photos have even been helpful in the past for correcting result errors and locating missing finish tokens!

Tourists are back! Since the pandemic break, tourists have been few and far between at Roosevelt Island parkrun. But this Saturday they had returned in earnest, in part thanks to the recent lifting of international travel restrictions. Not surprisingly we had a sizeable group from the UK, but also US visitors from Vienna, VA and beyond!


Ana with barkwalker Vishaad, and mom Liliana visiting from Florida


An incredible count of first timers!


Javier and Maria, veteran RI parkrunners, warming up for their run

PXL_20211127_140656316Angela volunteered for her first time and did a super job with finish tokens!


Madison (front), Ann and Brian were among the many first timers

PXL_20211127_140755179Anna is now one of our most seasoned Run Directors with 6 events as RD. She came prepared with hand warmers and home made pumpkin muffins!

After an expert briefing with all the appropriate acknowledgements of tourists, first timers, milestones etc., Anna marched us out to the starting line, where we were excited to have Kirk's hound, Hunter, send us out on the course with some extra loud howls.


Jack Snowdon was the first male finisher, accomplishing this feat for his second time at RI

2021-11-27_09-33-29_785aMary Sugrue was the first female finisher, achieving an amazing new PB by almost a minute!

2021-11-27_09-57-07_200aTimekeepers Thomas and John play it up for two park users who happened to wander into our finish funnel. Maybe they will be back for the real thing?

PXL_20211127_151844432-001Drew and Elizabeth, normally among our early finishers, did a great job as tailwalkers and were greeted with elated cheers by the increasingly hypothermic finish team.

PXL_20211127_151925969Leah and Victoria from Huddersfield, Yorkshire. It was Leah's 21st birthday!!

PXL_20211127_153006381Anna and Angela braved the cold to sort finish tokens. Another parkrun on the books without any of them missing!

For more event photos, check out our Facebook feed at https://www.facebook.com/rooseveltislandparkrun/

Post-run coffee is an important part of the parkrun experience. Since the pandemic restart, we have enjoyed gathering outdoors at Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn, due to Covid precautions as well as the apparently permanent loss of our pre-Covid coffee location, East West Coffee. However this Saturday we were not sure how the outdoor option would work out with the cold and windy weather, and many of our parkrunners opted to make an early exit amid the uncertainty.

But - there is potentially some good news here for future events. Our intrepid scouts, Rosemary, Martin and Vikrant spotted a possible new location for post-run coffee; an indoor seating area near the Rosslyn Metro entrance, next to Panera Bread. A few of us got together here and agreed that this venue has great potential.


Results processing in progress. From left around the tables: Anna, Martin, John, Frithjov, Mike, Rosemary, Kristina and Scott. Photo by Vikrant.  Additional seating is available in the back and around the corner!

Finally, some key statistics.

This week 67 people, 40 males and 27 females, finished the course. There were 36 first timers and and 4 recorded new personal bests. Representatives of 8 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 10 volunteers: Rita CRONLEY, Jason BALMUTH, Angela KIM, John KENDRA, Anna WEBER, Frithjov IVERSEN, Thomas STEVENSON, Drew GORMAN, Elizabeth KOPPERT, Mike GALLAN

The male record is held by Tom BEAN who recorded a time of 16:12 on 15th April 2017 (event number 30).
The female record is held by Nina ZARINA who recorded a time of 18:36 on 25th January 2020 (event number 162).
The Age Grade course record is held by Linda OSTENBERG who recorded 83.36% (21:26) on 15th September 2018 (event number 96).

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun started on 27th August 2016. Since then 4,584 participants have completed 12,259 parkruns covering a total distance of 61,295 km, including 1,748 new Personal Bests. A total of 396 individuals have volunteered 2,137 times.



RI Run Report – Event #195 – November 20, 2021

Secrets and Soundbites

Volunteer newsletter Thursday

"Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder."  - Swedish proverb

English translation: "There is no bad weather, just bad clothes." or "It is expected to be a seasonably cool morning; please come prepared accordingly."

Saturday Morning Oh dark hundred hours; 27 degrees outside 

“Perhaps the park permit allows for a bonfire”, thought run director Pat from his warm bed. Cancellation for cold weather seemed a very attractive option. Ultimately his wife Elizabeth’s generous offer to volunteer as a timer and forgo another new parkrun in Annapolis swayed Pat to continue bundling up and make his way to Roosevelt Island.

Parkrun volunteers Nov 20 21

Parkrun volunteers just before the run 

Roosevelt Island 8am

Pat made his way to the island and was pleasantly surprised that Frithjov already had all of the equipment unpacked and ready to go for set-up. “Ooh, look at these route maps” the setup crew of Anna, John and Nick admired the new lamination that covered the very detailed set-up maps previously prepared by Anna. After some more spirited discussion the crew sets off to mark the course.

The Event 9am

“Welcome to international tourists from Ireland, the UK and Spain”. First big group of international tourists since opening up.

Elizabeth celebrates a milestone for volunteering her 50th time.

Parkrun V50 Elizabeth Nov 20 2021 v2

Elizabeth (sitting) along with Run Director Pat and a number of the runners at the start of the event

As the sun warmly shone - “Perfect weather for a run”, said Christian as he made his way to the start line.

Parkrun Nov 20 2021 Christian V2

Eric, Christian and other front runners

“Gobble, Gobble Go” – The group is off and moving.

“Scanning team ready”, First time volunteers Lawson and Katie have preloaded the parkrun apps on their phones and have already figured out how to use it to scan results.

Eric finishes strong as he is the first person across the finish line.

Meron is the first female across the line as she closed very strongly to the finish.

Parkrun First Woman Nov 20 2021 (2)

Meron (back runner) during the run

“There were three missing but I managed to find two of the missing three tokens” – Token volunteer Diana

“Go Chloe” - Emily cheers on her friend to her first Parkrun finish.

“You are a very welcoming parkrun”. Paul from Gloucester, England who was visiting his daughter.

Parkrun Paul Cruise Nov 20 2021 (2)

Paul Cruise during the run

Jarrod suffers a bad cramp but still finishes strong to complete his second parkrun with his wife Alex.

Parkrun Jarrod Nov 20 2021 (2)

Jarrod with wife Alex

“She said she was going back to her car in the parking lot” – tail walker Eric was a good neighbor and delivered lost keys to a non-parkrunning visitor to Roosevelt Island.

Parkrun stats

14 PBs, 15 First Timers

The Coffee

“Lovely this week and perfect weather for sitting outside”, Elizabeth.

Parkrun coffee Nov 20 2021

Parkrun coffee 2 Nov 20 2021

Parkrunners at coffee

“I was just meeting a friend on the island post run and found these signs and cones” – Anna gives Frithjov the last of the equipment.


RI Run Report – Event #194 – November 13, 2021

IMG_5087Sunrise at Theodore Roosevelt Island, Washington DC, November 13, 2021

If you doubted the attractiveness of RI parkrun, have a look at Frithjov’s photograph of the Tidal Marsh taken from the boardwalk during his pre-event course check! Yes, every Saturday at 9.00 am, our Roosevelt Island parkrunners and walkers get to see the beauty of this public asset for free. And every Saturday, the sensory experience is different as the weather and seasons change. We are privileged to have a permit from the National Park Service to run these wonderful trails, every Saturday, year round!

This week 51 parkrunners including 16 first timers celebrated the island with 13 volunteers. The first timers included our first international tourist, Shaun Nichols from England, who made his mark by being the first finisher despite jet lag. The first timers also included a group of 7 Air Force trainees, each of whom attend DC universities with the intention of eventually entering the service as officers. They enjoyed their run and were keen to return. First-timer Edward Taylor deserves special mention. He was seriously delayed and arrived at the start more than 20 minutes after the event started, yet keen to run he preceded the tail walkers home by about 10 minutes.

Overall, eight runners achieved a personal best. The age graded results underline excellent runs by Scott Henderson and Paul Durbin, the latter having completed 26 RI and 48 total parkruns).


Run director Nick Young cruising through the briefing at his 125th volunteer event 


...and there they go!  On the right, David Bain gets a great start!


Already at the first mile, Shaun Nichols from Brighton, England was relaxed and fully enjoying his island run


Our Air Force trainees captured the spirit of parkrun by staying together as a group

We should also mention that US parkrun’s most famous barkrunner, Foxy, ran her 50th parkrun at RI with her human, our only milestone this week. Foxy was suitably kitted out with celebratory vest!  Ana Regalado recorded many smiles as our photographer, assisted by her patient barkvolunteer Vishaad.  You may enjoy her full collection of event photos on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rooseveltislandparkrun.


Barkvolunteer Vishaad gets credit for exemplary patience


Always fashionably outfitted, barkrunner Foxy finishes her 50th parkrun with Eden

As usual, many thanks are due to our volunteers. Eric Adams, Scott Holman, and Kristina Maimer set out with Anna Weber’s neatly prepared maps to mark our course. Frithjov Iversen and Mike Gallan took care of timing with Rita Cronley and David Bain handling scanning (with no missing finish tokens this week!). Special thanks to David who stepped in to help as one of the first finishers. As always, Diana D’Abruzzo worked the finish funnel and token distribution with lively spirit and great efficiency. Sarah Gamble, Sarah’ s friend Lara, and Roger Hipp were tail walkers and finished with all signs and cones soon after the last runner/walker finished. Ana Regalado was our excellent photographer. Special thanks to Eric, Scott, Kristina, and Sarah who stepped into the volunteer roles for the first time.


Run Director Nick Young with timers Frithjov Iversen and Mike Gallan, waiting for the first finishers


Rita Cronley (scanner) and Diana D'Abruzzo (finish tokens) embracing the NPS face covering guidelines.


The tailwalker team, Sarah, Lara and Roger, is greeted with cheers near the finish line!

As the time came to gather for coffee on the plaza, the sunny island environment had been displaced by colder windy weather. Eventually most parkrunners of non-Arctic origin scattered or sought shelter inside the café, leaving the Run Director, ably assisted by the Event Director, to complete the results with numbed fingers!


Some of the last holdouts at post-run coffee, left to right: Diana, Nick, Frithjov and Roger

Will this be the last time we assemble outside for post-run coffee? See you all next week!

Nick Young & Frithjov Iversen


RI Run Report – Event #192 – October 30, 2021

We're sure everyone will agree that parkrun Halloween is one of the best Saturdays of the season. This year we celebrated with 50 parkrunners, including nine first-timers and visitors from as far away as Ireland and Australia. There were nine personal bests and a whole bunch of barkrunners. But most importantly: there were COSTUMES.

A group of people and dogs wearing Halloween costumes (including zebras, pirates, and a LEGO piece) pose outside in the woods.

Parkrunners and barkrunners pose with their Halloween costumes. From left: Eden and Foxy; Michael and Paul; Zoe, Anna, and Marlow; Eric; Joyce; Stephanie and Annie; Elizabeth; and Kat and Gus.

Fearsome pirate Stephanie, accompanied by her loyal first mate Annie, marked her 50th time volunteering! Arrrrr!

A woman and a dog pose outdoors. They are both wearing pirate costumes.

Ahoy! Stephanie captured her 50-volunteer milestone!

Next up: Eden and Foxy traded places and dressed as each other. Yes, that's a Wonder Woman costume under all that fluff.

A woman wearing a tiara, and orange hat with ears, and an orange tut holds a small dog who is wearing a Wonder Woman costume.

There's no stopping this dynamic duo!

Anna, Zoe, and Marlow came as the escaped Maryland zebras. This was Marlow's first parkrun appearance as an official member of the family, after Anna and Zoe "foster failed" and adopted him earlier this month, to the surprise of literally no one.

Two women and a boxer dog pose outdoors. They are all wearing a lot of zebra-striped clothing and accessories.

Call the authorities - the wandering zebras have appeared on Roosevelt Island!

Meanwhile, Martin dressed as "the scariest thing in America right now" - the shipping crisis! As a parkrun full of DC nerds, we are 100% on board with costumes inspired by current events.

A man in a striped shirt hold up two shipping containers made out of cardboard.

These shipping containers aren't stuck in the harbor, since they'll travel at least 5k!

Fittingly, Run Director Joyce dressed as a LEGO brick. She is clearly an essential building block of our local event!

A woman wearing a big red LEGO costume poses next to the parkrun flag.

You might say that Joyce makes sure RI parkrun doesn't... fall to pieces!

Head over to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rooseveltislandparkrun to see the rest of our photos, including Kat and Gus dressed as Ted Lasso and his soccer ball, Eric dressed as a speedy skeleton, and more!

As always, we couldn't do it without our volunteers, so please join us in thanking Anna, Eden, Elizabeth, Jason, Jesper, Joyce, Kat, Josh, Lorena, Martin, Mike, Pat, Stephanie, Thomas, and Zoe. We hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween! Join us next Saturday at 9am for another fun morning of running, walking, cheering, or volunteering.

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