“I was secretly rooting for you to win. I had started a crochet parkrun Cup trophy. It’s small, imperfect, and made with love, just like our parkrun. I didn’t expect to make it through the first round and wasn’t going to award it to myself.”
This sums up the spirit of our recent parkrun Cup, a fun contest that highlighted parkrunnish things like inclusivity and diversity. So, what did we learn, and who made this adorable trophy?
Over the past 4 weekends, while some were consumed by watching very wealthy young men kicking balls around in the name of national pride, the parkrun USA Facebook group held a friendly contest to highlight parkrun values and to draw attention to events around the country, especially newer events.
Each weekend events were scored based on things that we value. No points for having the largest attendance or the fastest runners. We’re not looking to be the biggest or the fastest. But we do love building inclusive healthy communities. So events scored points based on things like age diversity (old and young are all encouraged), time diversity (walkers and runners, yes please!), second timers (welcome back!), and personal bests (consistency pays!). Points were also included for welcoming new volunteers, as communities are stronger when many contribute.
Some highlights that we learned about.
In Week 1 one in six finishers at Livonia parkrun was aged under 10 or over 70.
In Week 2 Mountain Goat Trail parkrun saw its 7th successive attendance record.
In Week 3 most finishers at Joe Creason parkrun set a PB.
In Week 4 Renton and Deep Run parkruns both welcomed five new volunteers.
Did the parkrun Cup reveal the best US parkrun? Of course not. The the best parkrun is the one in your local community. But it certainly drew attention to the many great things that are happening in communities around the country.
But it was a contest, so one parkrun needed to come out ahead. In the final last Saturday, Charleston parkrun in West Virginia edged out Mountain Goat Trail parkrun in Tennessee. Both are two of our newest events. And at MGT parkrun co-event director Kristin Sturgill was really happy that her event was not the winner, as she had been secretly making that cute crochet trophy, which will be finding its way north to Charleston in the near future.
We all have circles of connections in our lives: your work folk, your family, your classmates, pals who you served with – then there’s this gathering on Saturday mornings on the banks of the Mighty Anacostia river where for a brief moment a parkrun flag is raised – calling a group of folk to Washington,…
With just a few days left until the reopening of parkrun New Zealand it feels like we really are making excellent progress and, after fifteen Saturdays without a single parkrun anywhere in the world, this weekend we can all celebrate a great step forward. Everyone has worked hard and waited patiently, and we can all be…