Swindon parkrun, event 390, Run report

RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 390

‘Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day!’

No wind, no ice, and no rain. Just birdsong, snowdrops, and a little nip in the air. Nothing like the sub-zero temperatures in the people’s Pyeong Chang, and at least here, in the home straight, no one fell over.

In fact, here, in the people’s Lydiard Park, conditions were so good and runners were so focussed that one in five (that’s an unusually high ratio) got themselves new PBs, and our congratulations. Feeling on top of the world this weekend, along with Lizzie Yarnold, will be the likes of Gary W, Kyra B, and Yoichi K, all still getting new PBs after numerous parkruns. Their achievements are great because, the more parkruns you do, the older you are and the harder it is to get a new PB. But then Lizzie Y is also older than she was for her last gold, so maybe aging has something going for it.

Also pretty happy today will be two Swindon regulars, Pat Whitehead, who reached 100 runs (that’s a silver medal for you Pat) and Glen Sedgwick, who has made it to the massive 250. Let’s call that gold for you Glenn!

Talking of medals and gold, do you know who won the 10,000 metre gold medal at the 2014 European Championships ten months after giving birth to her second child, to become the oldest female European champion in history at the age of 40, and who has also found time to write a book called This Mum Runs, and is coming to the Swindon Festival of Literature for a Freedom Run with us in Lydiard Park and then a talk about her book? That’s right, you got it: the amazing Jo Pavey! So, if you want to know how she does it, a time and date for your diary is 2pm Bank Holiday Monday 7th May.

Back to today. Among 467 runners welcomed to Swindon parkrun, there were birthday runners like Swindon stalwart Neil Tiley, who has also notched up runs at 57 other parkruns, and 45 First Timers from parkruns near and far, that’s Basingstoke down the M4 and Callander north of Glasgow.

Also among today’s runners were some car drivers whose parking was just a little less than considerate to other Park and car park users. While the grass overflow parking areas remain unavailable, please let’s make sure we all park sensibly, so that everyone who comes to Lydiard Park has a happy time, at least happier than some of those seeking to care for it.

The next opportunity to practice parking, have fun, and most importantly, run another Swindon parkrun, is Saturday 24th February.

Till then, keep well, keep running, and, when it matters, if you can, keep upright.

Matt Holland


Swindon parkrun, Event 389, Run report

Swindon parkrun
Event number 389
10th February 2018

There was a Winter Olympics theme to this week’s parkrun, with ice featuring heavily in the proceedings. Last week’s muddy puddles became this week’s frictionless frighteners - with quite a few inadvertent ice skaters taking to the field. Thankfully (as far as I know) everyone came away unscathed - although I’m not convinced we’re going to see any Lydiard parkrunners troubling Torvill and Dean’s legacy any time soon.
And talking of dated references... the first weekend of next month (3rd March) is Lydiard parkrun’s 8th anniversary - and you are invited to dress 80s style to mark this momentous occasion (it’s all about the number 8 see?). So don’t be surprised to be running alongside Wham!, Morten Harket and (God forbid) Rick Astley.

One of the wonderful things about parkrun is that it turns what is essentially a solo activity into a team sport - where we’re all on the same team. This supportive atmosphere runs through parkrun like the words in a stick of Brighton rock, from the willingness of pacers to forgo their own quest for personal glory to the top notch support provided by the marshalls and others as we pound around the route. The ethos was underlined for me on the final uphill leg when I overheard pair of runners egging each other on “Come on, you need me and I need you - let’s push it!”. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn’t it?

And talking of warm and fuzzy, congratulations are in order for run report scribe Matt Holland who celebrated his 300th event on Saturday - having run a distance of 936 miles, enough to take him to Rome (with a few miles to spare). Matt began his parkrun involvement six years ago and is one of the front runners (in terms of participation) at Lydiard - with Matt Lane (now at 412) holding the crown of commitment.
Other congratulations are in order for Lisa King and Jeremy Shea who reached 100 runs this week, Mark Hillyard and Alex Wells with 50 runs in the bag and Maisie McCalla who has achieved her 10 run milestone. Good job!

And talking of parkrun statistics, Radio 4’s More of Less programme explored the numbers behind parkrun in its most recent broadcast (you can find it on iplayer) where the presenters delve into which parkrun is the ‘easiest’ and ‘most difficult’ - it’s just before another interesting item on the correlation between the amount of coughing during snooker matches and the decline in smoking over the years - fascinating stuff…

This week 443 people ran, jogged and skated around the course, of whom 35 were first timers and 69 recorded new personal bests. Representatives of 41 different clubs took part and the event was made possible by 41 rather splendid volunteers.

Ben Fitzgerald



Swindon parkrun, event 388, Run report

Swindon parkrun
Event number 388
3rd February 2018

Was it me or did the rain seem wetter than usual for parkrun 388. It wasn’t that it was raining any harder than last week, it’s just that what rain there was… was that much more... watery.

At this time of year when the joy of drizzle is beginning to wear a little thin, any sign of Spring is welcome - and today it was a relief to see that the snowdrops were out in force in the sheltered patches beneath trees at Lydiard Park.

As we ploughed anti-clockwise through the quagmire I noticed that some people struggled to retain their footing, especially those attempting an ‘off-piste’ high speed overtake. So, what’s the correct running etiquette when someone wants to get past, tries to overtake and then fails to gain traction on a slippery muddy bit to the side of you? (I’m asking for a friend)
Do you continue running at the same pace.. leading to a potentially awkward situation where you are running side by side occasionally tutting with frustration?
Or do you slow down to allow them onto the path ahead of you - only to find that you actually want to run faster but can’t overtake them because it might appear rude. Or perhaps it is better to speed up as soon as you spot a potential overtaker in your peripheral vision, so that he/she has to dip back behind you and spend the rest of the run breathing down your neck and staring daggers at you? I tell you, it’s a minefield!

It’s worth noting that parkrun is cancelled on March 10 and 11 to make way for a Cani-X event (running with dogs!).

Congratulations are in order for Isaac McAdam who racked up his 250th parkrun today - and came in first with a blistering time of 17:26! Also achieving 250 runs is Alexandra Griffin. And on 100 are Dave Smith and Jim Foster. Well done all!

This week 436 people negotiated the course, of whom 39 were first timers and 71 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 42 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 44 volunteers who are all absolutely amazing in their own way.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Swindon parkrun Results Page.

Ben Fitzgerald



Swindon parkrun, Event 387, Run report

Swindon parkrun
Event number 387
27th January 2018
So much mud.. and that headwind! Today’s drizzle sodden parkrun was a true test of will for both park runners and volunteers alike. I lost count of the number of times I was splattered by cold peaty water from some unwittingly heavy footed fellow runner. But it was the relentlessly cheerful marshalls that I felt for, kicking their heels on the corners and helping us through our personal torment with kind words of encouragement. You’re the best!
Speaking to fellow word arranger Matt Holland before setting off, it seems that he often finds himself wondering inwardly why everyone else is finding it easier going - I think the truth is that we are all out there fighting our own battles, doing our best to show the chattering monkeys of doubt who is boss. Well today’s collective performance gave ‘em something to think about for sure.
Turns out that adopting a positive attitude can actually make a difference to your running. According to a new study, researchers from Ulster University and Swansea University decided to put the theory to the test with a group of 24 experienced recreational runners. The data suggested that runners are more efficient when they smile sincerely. But we don’t need academics to tell us that because it’s clear that both Lydiard parkrun and Sir Mo Farah are already aware of this pearl of wisdom; although it is sometimes difficult to conjure up a ‘sincere’ smile when you are struggling into the face of an icy blast (I find that quietly swearing also works).
Dozens of parkrunners took part in a defib awareness session after today’s mudfest in the Education Room at Lydiard. Paramedic and parkrunner Rob McGuigan offered his time for free to go over basic CPR and how to use the defibrillator which is stored in a box attached to the cafe building. We are all grateful to Rob for sharing his expertise and to Lydiard Park warden Ben for being a willing ‘patient’. Thanks guys!
There are plans to host more defib awareness sessions in the future and Lydiard parkrun is looking purchase a training defib to help us hone our skills. Anyone wishing to donate can do so online via the Swindon parkrun website.
There was a trio of tens this week! Well done to Takuma Yokoyama, Kelly Marsh and Alfie Lee.
We had 476 people running, splashing and squelching around the course, of whom 35 were first timers and 66 recorded new personal bests (remarkable given the conditions!). Representatives of 42 different clubs took part and the event was made possible by 43 soggy volunteers.
Ben Fitzgerald swindonoffice@parkrun.com


Swindon Parkrun, Event 386, Run report

RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 386

It was one of those mornings. The sky was grey, clouds hung low, and relentless drizzle did what drizzle likes to do . . .

Thankfully, not only were we all pleased and grateful to be fit, well, and back running at our regular Saturday morning parkrun, but were also delighted to have a grey day brightened by the golden vests of the buzzing Bassett Hounds, honouring Swindon parkrun with their first Club Run of the year.

Appropriate then that one of their veteran runners, the indomitable Heath Bampton, should be first over the finish line.

But he won’t be the only one pleased with his run.

Among today’s 468 runners, including 39 First Timers, whom we welcome, 63 got themselves new PBs, and our congratulations.

And six other runners should be pretty pleased too, on reaching key parkrun milestones.

On making it to 50 runs, we say well done to Louisa Watts, who has run all her parkruns in Lydiard Park; and to the Roberts (family?) duo of visitor Sarah and regular Richard. Congratulations to all three of you.

Hitting the black T-shirt rewarded big 100 parkruns were Swindon regulars Emma Dickson and Jason Cook. Congratulations to you both!
In case you have not seen the previous mentions of this, please note that, after the run on 27th January, Swindon parkrun is hosting a session of defibrillator awareness training, This will be an opportunity to learn a little about how the defibrillator works and how to use it and apply CPR.

Places are limited, so, if you are interested in coming along, please contact swindonoffice@parkrun.com

Our next run is at 9am on Saturday 27th January.

Till then, keep well, keep running, and keep dry.

Matt Holland


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