News - 22nd November 2017
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Eagan parkrun is thankful in all weathers

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A time to pause and be thankful …

 

“parkrun creates a sense of community centered around physical and psychological well-being. Young, old, male, female, any background, it’s all inclusive. I like the fact that it is an addictive behavior in a positive way. Once they start, most people can’t stay away.”
Tom Anderson – Eagan parkrunner and volunteer

 

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Eagan parkrun is excited to share our progress this Thanksgiving week, and to say Thank You to the local communities, runners, volunteers and everybody else that keeps parkrun USA moving forward, one week at a time, one community at a time.

 

Eagan parkrun held its 32nd event on Thanksgiving morning. Like most parkruns, we may be too focused on some of the stats, so let’s get those out of the way. As of our 31st run, we’ve had 499 different participants complete 1468 runs. Our average turnout is 47 runners. Our average time is about 32 minutes. But the stats are really such a small part of the story. More important is the community that is growing in front of our eyes. I can honestly say that is it unlikely I would have met 10% of the runners that have joined us at Eagan parkrun. Here is a great comment from a recent first-timer that is so much more rewarding important than any stat we might track.

 

“Lots of emotions this morning. Determination as I set off to “run” (let’s use that term loosely) a 5k with Eagan’s parkrun. Anger at myself a quarter of the way through for thinking I could do it when I have never, ever been physically fit (even as a kid/teen). Embarrassment as I soon realized I was going to be last. Guilt thinking about the poor volunteers who had to wait for me in the cold. Slight sheepishness as the volunteers and fellow participants cheered as I finished. Overflowing love as (my friends) surprised me by being at my car and acting as if I just won the Twin Cities Marathon . Happiness and gratitude while hanging out with the other participants at Starbucks after. Warmest, friendliest, most encouraging group ever. Going back next week. Nowhere to go but up.”

 

Sorry, this beats any number you could come up with.

 

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We’ve had some great people come through and visit us as well:

 

  • Tourists from many corners of the world and country.
  • Core Team members from other parkruns that have helped us learn and grow at Eagan parkrun. Special thanks to Frances and Bill Post (Clermont Waterfront parkrun) and Mark Hazelhurst (Event Director at Poolsbrook parkrun)
  • 5 members of the Junior 10 Club from Eagan … and only one of them is a Damro!
  • Mayor Mike Maguire and family from the City of Eagan!
  • Loads of walkers — it’s great to see you and you’re always welcome
  • Lots of strollers … future parkrunners we hope!
  • Our 4-legged friends, especially Mr. Bob, who is really enjoying the cooler temps
  • The City of Eagan Parks Director Andrew Pimental and Assistant Director Jared Flewellen, both of whom have run. Without their support, we would not be enjoying Thomas Lake Park every week.
  • Some wicked fast runners … you get around the course in record time and inspire everyone else.
  • Some first timers and first-time-in-a-while runners … you get around our course, not always easy, but you inspire everyone else!
  • A growing group of Minnesotans that we see multiple times a month that will keep Eagan parkun moving forward for years to come.

 

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We really have had a load of fun the first 7 months of Eagan parkrun. Many of us have gotten faster (I can only claim to have tied my best time at Eagan parkrun… still no official PB for me after 7 tries) and we’ve all grown in different ways.

 

In Game of Thrones they say that Winter is Coming, but it is already here in Minnesota. … And with it comes a free, timed 5k every Saturday morning. The most common question I used to get was: “How long do you go in the year?” Is is fun to see the reaction when we respond that we go ALL YEAR!

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Given the time of year and this week, here is what Eagan parkrun is thankful for:

 

  • Our supporters that took a chance on us, and helped us get this event off the ground, including The City of Eagan, Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth, Stacey Bartelson, Rick Shultonover, Dr. Angela Hilo and Diane Storkamp.
  • Our volunteers, of course. … We have had our ups and downs, like any parkrun. Most weeks we have a great group at the run. We have experimented with fewer volunteers, to understand where the lower limit is. And we have added extra volunteers as people have showed up on parkrun day. We never want to turn anyone away from helping out and joining in. There is always a role to play.
  • Our runners, without which we wouldn’t have an event. Thanks also to all of the parkrunners who have told a friend about who join us for a coffee afterwards or who brought water for the group during the hot and humid days of summer.

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Eagan parkrun belongs to all of us, and it is just the beginning of what parkrun can be across the entire Twin Cities area and into greater Minnesota.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And yes, we will be parkrunning throughout the winter, so come see us some time. Any time.

 

Nate Damro

Event Director, Eagan parkrun

 

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