parkrun has been fortunate to find fertile ground for our community-based activity in the Washington, DC area. Starting with Fletcher’s Cove in January of 2016, the parkrun movement has steadily spread around the District and surrounding region, from as far north as Leakin Park in Baltimore down to Deep Run in Richmond and including Roosevelt Island, straddling Virginia and the District of Columbia in the middle of the Potomac River, and College Park in the Maryland suburbs.
The District of Columbia is as diverse as the United States and from the beginning it has been our goal to have parkrun be available in each community within the District. Thanks to the efforts of community-based groups like the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund, Teens Run DC and Outdoor Afro, and with the support of Fit DC, the District Government and the National Park Service, parkrun recently took a major step towards achieving that goal by opening at Anacostia Park in Ward 8.
Teens Run DC is an ideal community partner for Anacostia parkrun
Anacostia Park is the perfect location for its community’s parkrun. Well known and widely used for youth sports and by families, young adults and seniors, it is the natural gathering place for residents of Anacostia. The Riverwalk offers an ideal 5K out and back course that follows the scenic Anacostia River.
Nearby on Good Hope Road, the Anacostia Arts Center includes a cafe with a Saturday morning brunch to welcome parkrunners.
Thelma Jones, of the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund, is a tireless health advocate in her community. Thelma and her 7-year old grandson Seneca led the proceedings at the second Anacostia parkrun.
As mentioned, Teens Run DC is one of the community groups that is leading Anacostia parkrun. Below Jen Edmond, Director of Programs at TRDC, shares her impression of the inaugural event.
“When Darrell Stanaford first approached Teens Run DC almost 18 months ago, and introduced us to parkrun, it seemed like a great match. Teens Run DC (TRDC) is a sports-based youth development program that promotes the physical, social, and emotional well-being of middle and high school students through distance running and mentorship. Our community meets every Saturday morning in Southeast DC, utilizing the Anacostia Riverwalk for many of our running routes, so the idea of helping to offer a free timed 5K in Anacostia Park really struck a chord.
Fast forward through many months of tireless effort on the part of Darrell and we finally had a permit in hand, and a start date on the calendar. Last Saturday, November 4, brought together 53 parkrunners (including over 20 TRDC runners, an equal number of people from Anacostia and the greater DC area, and a strong showing of first-timers) for fun, fitness, and community at the inaugural Anacostia parkrun. It was a cloudy but pleasant morning and our youth runners were so excited to participate in a timed event with lots of people, interacting with familiar friends, while helping many new folks to learn about TRDC for the first time!
parkrun is an excellent opportunity for Teens Run DC to offer our participants new challenges and to further integrate into the Anacostia community. We look forward to participating regularly and to hosting again on December 16th.
Come join us!”
Anacostia parkrun will now be available every Saturday morning. Like all parkrun events, it is always free, and you simply need to show up with your printed parkrun barcode. It is now the most Metro accessible parkrun in the DC area, and if you’re looking to set a parkrun PB, the course could barely be faster. We hope to see you there some time.
Every Saturday morning, you probably hear something like this at the pre-run briefing: “Remember, parkrun only happens because of the volunteers. Please thank the volunteers and sign up to help next week!” What we probably don’t say often enough is: “Please thank the Parks Department, who allow us to use the park, and who maintain…
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