News - 18th October 2017

Under Teddy’s gaze


By Svetlana Stanaford

Roosevelt Island Co-Event Director


If you got to visit Roosevelt Island just once, you would understand why we wanted to open a parkrun there.


You would agree that it’s a unique place in Washington, DC. When you cross the Potomac River on the bridge and see the beauty of the island you feel the early morning rays of the sun embracing you and how energy fills your body.


When you cross the bridge you enter into nature. The park has so many different beautiful trees and bushes, their calmness makes you calm too. You look up and see the blue sky framed with the green or yellow-red leaves of the tall trees, you look down and see the path that leads you into the depths of the forest, you walk along the boardwalk crossing the pond, where you will see many curious birds and thoughtful turtles. When you run along the island you may suddenly meet graceful deer and fast furry squirrels.


In any season the park is beautiful, it changes colors, but your mood never changes when you enter it. The nature is very well preserved under the lasting supervision of our smiling Teddy Roosevelt. It looks like he wants to say to us, ”On your mark! Get set! Go!,” and his raised arm proves his words.

My husband Darrell and I like to say that Roosevelt Island parkrun is an energy charging station for us. The nature, running, and communication with people close to you in spirit and interests, make each parkrun morning really special. When we showed Roosevelt Island to Paul Sinton-Hewitt, parkrun’s founder, he told us that the course is beautiful and full of wonders.


So, we decided to start. It was not easy, because Roosevelt Island is a National Park and national Presidential memorial, but our love of parkrun and Roosevelt Island made it happen.


Our inaugural day happened on August 27th 2016. We were very excited. The day was special. The weather was great, we had many people, and our event was covered by “Voice of America.” It was a very special day.


One year later we can definitely say that Roosevelt Island parkrun is a really international event. Each time we have tourists and even volunteers from all over the world: from Great Britain, South Africa, Australia, Russia, Japan, Ireland, Canada, etc. We also welcome our neighbors from Maryland, DC, and Virginia.


And we are very happy to welcome them all to DC’s magical secret of nature!


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