It was birthday weekend here at parkrun USA. Livionia, US parkrun #1, celebrated its 6th anniverary, while Deep Run parkrun celebrated one year of free, weekly 5Ks for everyone. And, as an added bonus, we topped 1,000 total finishers for the second time – only one week after setting an all-time attendance record. More and more people are joining the parkrun family every week: here are a few of this week’s parkrun highlights from across the country.
A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the event that started it all! Six years ago exactly, Livonia parkrun launched parkrun USA with 28 runners. On June 2, 2018, they had 100 people take part. Participants at Livonia have run or walked a total of 49,980km at parkrun, or more than the distance around the circumference of the earth! (It is going to KILL our statisticians that they didn’t find four more people to make it an even 50,000km.)
After one year, 359 parkrunners have completed a total of 1,192 parkruns at Deep Creek parkrun in Richmond, Virginia. More importantly, they’re building a community and igniting new friendships. That’s definitely worthy of a giant celebration!
A group from Wood Creek Elementary School Run Club came along for their annual 5K and to help Livonia parkrun celebrate its birthday. Congratulations to all 11 junior parkrunners and their four adults, who took part and we can’t wait to welcome you back to parkrun again.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes…were the paparazzi! It’s a good reminder that so much happens “behind the scenes” at parkrun. Every week, volunteers organize the kit and assign roles, answer e-mails, post on social media, write and send out newsletters, process results, take and organize photos, set-up, time, hand out and scan tokens, give run briefings, and make sure that every participant can take part in a safe and fun parkrun. We really have the BEST high-vis heroes (and you can totally be one, too).
Some high-vis heroes hand out tokens at the end of your parkrun, like Ingrid at Kensington parkrun.
Others, like Aileen at College Park parkrun, welcome first timers and give them a special introduction to parkrun. A huge welcome to the 183 people who ran their first ever parkrun at one of the US events this week.
It’s especially important to have high-vis heroes who will give out encouraging high-fives, as these junior heroes demonstrate at Joe Creason parkrun in Louisville.
At Roosevelt Island parkrun, Derek acted as Run Director for the first time and did a fantastic job. It was a hot and sweaty day, with a few extra tourists in town for the South Africa/Wales international rugby match, as well as sixteen first time parkrunners.
Over at East, er, South Boulder Creek parkrun, the Run Director was getting everyone organized for another sunny parkrun. (Thank you to the East Boulder Community Center for hosting parkrun; it’s great to have access to your facilities.)
Oh, right. Someone has to make sure that the kit makes it TO parkrun on Saturday morning. We like your style, Crissy Field parkrun.
If any of the volunteers looked a little sleepy this week, it’s because Jamaica Pond parkrun started an hour early to accommodate another event. Did you know that your volunteer team arrives up to an hour before the runners to make sure that everything’s set up?
And we can’t forget our tailwalkers, who make sure that everyone gets home safely and that no one ever finishes last, unless they’ve signed up to do so. We love our walkers at parkrun and we love these smiles from Jonathan and Jamie at Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun. Congratulations to Heritage Harbor on its first birthday this weekend.
Some parkruns, like Charleston WV parkrun have a tail walker and a tail wagger. Thank you for volunteering yesterday, Beth and Jack. (Jack has the honor of being the first pup of Charleston WV parkrun, since he was their first-ever barkrunner two weeks ago. This week, he was one of four!)
Over at Mansfield OH parkrun, Random (with Adrienne) insisted on taking a break at the halfway point. Tail wagging can be hard work!
Vanessa and Veronica were at College Park parkrun to start their morning with a walk and brought the double stroller, too.
Wesley and Heather didn’t just bring their stroller, but they also brought their favorite barkrunner along to Renton parkrun. We hope you’re all looking forward to the completely unofficial parkrun USA Barkrunner Day on June 23.
At Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun, future parkrunners get to enjoy some stunning scenery! Who wouldn’t want to watch the boats go by, as well as the sweaty runners and walkers?
Back at Kensington parkrun, Ian and Henry navigated the gentle rolling hills on the Rock Creek Trail. Some of those hills are a challenge without also pushing another human; great work!
Further north in Maryland, Leakin Park parkrun had to alter their course because of the flooding that saw their usual start area underwater earlier this week. Here, Tom seems to be FLYING on his way to a second place finish past some of the debris from the flood. And, we would like to send a big thank you to the Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, who helped make sure that the course would be ready for parkrun on Saturday.
There were big trees at Clermont parkrun, too, since they used their “cross-country” alternate course this week. These parkrunners gave it two thumbs and two waves up.
It was nothing but beautiful blue skies for Aspen parkrun, where there were donated doughnuts and coffee for everyone after their parkrun!
Seven people earned milestone shirts at a US parkrun this weekend and Charlie, earning his junior parkrunner 10 shirt at College Park parkrun, was one of them. If you’ve recently earned a shirt (other than a 10, which should be coming later this summer), be sure to check your profile for information on claiming it.
We’re all looking forward to officially welcoming Des Moines Creek parkrun, just south of Seattle, to the parkrun USA family next week. To drum up awareness, Event Directors Earl and Elizabeth promoted parkrun at the Des Moines Creek Farmer’s Market this week. The market is actually DMC’s post-parkrun coffee spot: it’s that close! Wouldn’t it be great if every parkrun had a farmer’s market, for Saturday morning multi-tasking?
Our littlest high-vis hero says see you next week, from Mountain Goat Trail parkrun! (OMGSOCUTE)
By Russ Jefferys, Global Head of Communications — Thursday 16 August 2018 Friday we start taking delivery of the latest shipment of just under 26,000 milestone t-shirts as we continue to address the historical backlog of parkrunners who have joined the various milestone clubs and are still waiting for their t-shirts. This…
With US parkrun participation doubling every year, more and more towns and cities want a parkrun in their own community. We are preparing to meet that demand, and to ensure that we can reach all parts of our society. What does the future hold for parkrun USA? A recent gathering of volunteer parkrun “ambassadors” tried…