Leakin Park parkrun in Baltimore is a little more than seven months old, and it has already seen wonderful growth as a community. One of the team’s goals was to be able to bring people into the largest green space in Baltimore, which is sadly underutilized. So far, more than 250 different people come to visit the park, and more and more of them are enjoying the close parkrun community and becoming regulars. The runs would not have been possible without the countless volunteers. Event Director Doug Jones tells the story of Iman Newman, who went from stumbling across parkrun to a key member of the team.
For many of our runners, parkrun has been their first time at Leakin Park. For others, parkrun is their first 5k. Our community has welcomed tourists from across the state, country, and globe. From the first sentiments echoed at our launch (Leakin Park. Really?), we now say, Leakin Park – Of course! Each week we have more parkrunners join the list of people who have done at least 10 parkruns with us.
One of our steadfast regulars is Iman Newman. Like many of our parkrunnners, Iman stumbled onto parkrun by happenstance. Being new to the area, Iman loves to spend the weekends exploring local parks with his children. Their favorite trails happen to be those in Leakin Park. During one of his visits, Iman came across a sign for our event, and he joined us for parkrun in our second week.
Since that time, Iman has run with us more than twenty times. He has made parkrun part of his weekend routine, and part of his personal time. Leakin Park parkrun has helped Iman find time for himself while focusing on hitting a number of goals. Each week, Iman arrives with his smile, ready to run and catch up with friends. He joins us during the full range of weather that Maryland provides, never missing a beat.
A notable milestone was the first week that Iman managed to run the full 5k. The community was aware of the achievement, and cheered him to the finish.
As Iman quickly became a regular, his natural reaction was to welcome newcomers and give them not only an understanding of parkun, but also a sense of community. Desiring to give back, he has volunteered in every role we offer.
Iman is now a member of our core team, and we couldn’t be happier to have him be an ambassador for our event.
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