News - 6th December 2016

Passing the baton at Livonia parkrun


Greetings from Livonia parkrun, the birthplace of parkrun USA. Back in June of 2012, two very generous souls, our esteemed founders, Rick and Lori Brauer, brought parkrun to the USA and nurtured it along, spreading slowly but steadily through all the growing pains of the early years.


Rick and Lori have recently retired with all our thanks for their selfless efforts. And today we would like to introduce our newly minted Livonia parkrun co-Event Directors, Lynn Boven and Spencer Greve.


With Lynn and Spencer in place, Rick and Lori can rest easy knowing that Livonia parkrun is in good hands. Lynn Boven and Spencer Greve have been running and volunteering since the first year of parkrun USA in 2012. Lynn especially has tons of running experience with 154 Livonia parkruns under his belt, which we are pretty sure is the record for most parkruns run in the USA.


Lynn also has run 19 marathons plus a dozen ultra runs of 50K or 50 miles, many with his trusty dog Cooper, who would have earned his own 100 shirt if dogs had barcodes. Lynn grew up in Morley, MI near Big Rapids, and has been in the Livonia area since 1976. Lynn and his wife have two daughters, who are both teachers, and who help Lynn with any computer issues that arise during results processing.


Lynn was inspired to start running by the 1984 Olympic performance of Carlos Lopes who won the Gold Medal in the marathon the age of 37 in Los Angeles. Lynn found out about parkrun while reading an actual paper newspaper, and joined Rick and Lori about five months after the inaugural Livonia parkrun.


Spencer Greve and his wife Jennifer have been loyal runners and even more so loyal volunteers, almost since the beginning of Livonia parkrun. Jen and Spencer live in Livonia, knew Lori and Rick through their kids’ school, and when Lori told Jen about this crazy idea of getting up early every Saturday, it really took hold. Spencer in fact has volunteered over 108 times.


Spencer likes the social side of parkrun and really enjoys meeting new people and developing friendships. Spencer’s favorite part of parkrun is getting to see people who didn’t think they could do a 5K actually complete it, including people of all ages and sizes and handicaps.


Spencer also likes it that Livonia is the only parkrun around for 400 miles, as he loves to meet people from around the world who come to Livonia for the great run around the park and through the woods, to meet new friends, and to add to their parkrun tourism totals. Spencer says, “It isn’t about the personal bests, parkrun is always there, you can show up when you can, when it works for you”.


Lynn and Spencer epitomize the spirit of parkrun, the friendship, comradery, and freedom, and Livonia parkrun is lucky to have them as our co-Event Directors.

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