Despite cool, wet weather across much of parkrun USA, there was so much to feel good about. Thanksgiving weekend was the busiest patch of parkrunning we’ve ever had, with nearly 2,000 runners, walkers, and volunteers across the two days. We saw a slew of 100-run milestones, and we welcomed so many new friends, from 4-year olds to our first 100-year old parkrunner.
On Thursday we saw 636 finishers at 8 events, including new records at both events where temps were above freezing. We got to visit new events, we reached milestones, we set PBs, we wore silly hats, and we ate goat poop. We can now safely declare that Thanksgiving parkrunning is officially A Thing.
Despite cold temps and the reappearance of their Very Large Puddle, Kensington parkrun welcomed a near record crowd for its first Thanksgiving parkrun. With visiting parkrun tourists from Fletcher’s Cove parkrun and College Park parkrun Kensington was the World Hub of parkrun Tourism for one day only.
Clermont parkrun in Florida drew a record crowd of 237 finishers for their Thanksgiving parkrun. They have been holding a T-day event at Clermont for years, so we have them to thank for the inspiration.
They also saw a record-sized crowd at Mountain Goat Trail parkrun, where around 50 people came out to walk or run or volunteer, or walk part of the way and then cheer.
How big is this? Well, the 50,000 participants at the New York City Marathon are 0.6% of the population of the city. The crowd at MGT parkrun was about 2% of the population of little Sewanee, TN. So yes, it’s a crowd.
Thanksgiving parkrunners at Mountain Goat Trail parkrun were treated to lovingly made gift boxes of “Goat Poop” chocolates.
At Clermont parkrun Sandra Flora received finish token #163 on her 33rd parkrun. No big deal. Then she learned that she had the distinction of being the 100,000th finisher at parkrun USA.
The number of finishers at parkrun USA roughly doubled in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Word is spreading!
Thanksgiving parkrunning is the perfect way to start the holiday with friends *and* family. Kensington parkrun
Livonia parkrun in Michigan held their first Thanksgiving parkrun, and welcomed “tourists” who visited from their new neighbor Lillie parkrun Ann Arbor.
On New Year’s Day you’ll be able to do BOTH events, as they’ll be joining forces for the first ever Michigan New Years parkrun double.
Cold, sunny, and fun for the inaugural Thanksgiving edition of Jamaica Pond parkrun in Boston.
At Delaware and Raritan Canal parkrun it was pretty cold, so fast-talking Irishman Rory Murphy was the perfect choice for the pre-run brrrriefing.
At College Park parkrun Hump Plotts has volunteered as course marshal nearly 100 times, so he had never before seen the crowd at the start. He walked up, took the bullhorn, and wished everybody a Happy Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving weekend 2 years ago, Eddie Matus started regularly attending College Park parkrun with friends from his running club. Recently his wife Magdalena started coming along, and she has set a PB every single time. Felicitationes, Magdalena!
Also at College Park parkrun, Jen got to wear the red 50 sash just 5 days after she wore the purple superhero cape for reaching her volunteering milestone. And on Saturday her dad wore the black 100 sash (scroll down!). That’s a lot of new parkrun shirts headed to the Campbell-Murphy clan.
Cold rain was no deterrent at Mansfield OH parkrun.
Lisa brought along her dad Jim to College Park parkrun.
Jim is 100 years old.
Everybody was happy that the Bay Area air had cleared enough for Crissy Field parkrun to resume after a 2-week hiatus. First-timer Jeanine is more often found at Delta parkrun in South Africa, but this week she joined as tailwalker. Perfect way to enjoy the views.
Yes, it was a pretty wet morning. But there was still a cheery post-Thanksgiving crowd at Charleston WV parkrun.
It was wet AND icy at Lillie parkrun Ann Arbor, but the quick thinking course set-up crew was able to make a last-minute course adjustment so that everybody could enjoy their run and avoid an icy hazard.
At Lillie parkrun Ann Arbor’s big sister parkrun, Livonia parkrun, it was just as wet, and the post-parkrun coffee was just as welcome.
At Kensington parkrun the VLP (Very Large Puddle) is overstaying its welcome. Beth chose to run right through it. Four times.
Others at Kensington parkrun preferred the scenic detour around the VLP. Choose your own adventure!
The Styron family escaped the ice in Michigan and enjoyed blue skies at Moberly parkrun, where they also managed a 1-2-3 finish.
No rain at Clermont parkrun in Florida. And they were pretty happy about that.
Also at Clermont parkrun, the parkrun USA Joyces met. Joyce Adams is a frequent curator of these weekly roundups, but opted for some “field research” in Florida this weekend. Joyce Tucker is a frequent tail-wheeler at Clermont parkrun. Check out our recent piece about her parkrun story
Extra ears to pay even closer attention to the pre-run briefing at Des Moines Creek parkrun.
Everybody loves the downhill second half at Des Moines Creek parkrun.
Just a few miles away at Renton parkrun the mist had not lifted. Officer Battle came along to see what was happening on the trail, and ended up joining Renton’s famous gauntlet of high fives.
It was a big weekend for new 100-club members at parkrun USA. Gus and Cindy both wore the black sashes at College Park parkrun. Gus had barely run in 50 years before he took part in the CP inaugural in October 2016. Cindy started parkrunning at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun in early 2016 when parkrun first arrived in the DC area, and she helped introduce many of her running club members to parkrun.
Bill is one of the event leaders at Durham, NC parkrun, and he’ll have a fancy black 100 shirt to add to his collection soon.
And at Fletcher’s Cove parkrun Jeff donned the black superhero cape as he, too, joined the 100 club.
Meanwhile, at Deep Run parkrun in Richmond, VA, they celebrated their first home-grown 50-clubber. Lots of Randy’s parkrun friends were there to celebrate with him.
The official parkrun milestones are cool, but we get just as excited about welcoming first-timers. Especially when it’s the event director’s youngest family member. At Eagan parkrun Nate was pretty proud to pace Sammie through her first full parkrun.
Jeff was a first-timer last week at Leakin Park parkrun. He must have enjoyed it, as this weekend he was back with the rest of his family.
It seems that everybody brought their coffee mug along this week at Heritage Harbor parkrun.
Beautiful backdrop for the start of South Boulder Creek parkrun. But high in those mountains is Aspen parkrun, which had to cancel this week due to a big snowstorm.
They had a junior member of the chalking crew this week at Mountain Goat Trail parkrun.
And he’s already a pro at capitalization.
See you soon for our first December parkrun. From Jamaica Pond parkrun.
About 10% of the parkrun participants this past weekend were between ages 4-18. Many more under 4 could be spotted in strollers, tottering around finish lines and in the arms of those waiting for other family members to complete a parkrun course. These young parkrunners and parkrunners in training are a joy to see at…
With partial paralysis down the right side of her body since birth, and living with epilepsy since her father died 25 years ago, Australian parkrunner Nicole Gallina is no stranger to challenges. As a child, her parents were firm about one thing – never allowing her to use her disability as a limitation. They…