Event number 400
12th May 2018
Swindon parkrun hit the mighty 400 mark this week! From its first faltering steps on the 6th March 2010, when a few pioneering souls ventured out on the 5k route around lovely Lydiard Park, the event has grown beyond all recognition.
No doubt the brave few who were there at the start would be amazed to see how, eight years hence, the start line would be thonged with 468 parkrunners of all abilities and ages drawn from points of the compass as diverse as Stavanger in Norway to Bryanston in South Africa; not to mention Haverfordwest in Wales, Huntingdon, Middlesbrough, Exeter and Bournemouth.
The growth is a glowing tribute to the dedication and enthusiasm of organisers, volunteers and participants who have put in so much effort over the years.
Since the first Swindon parkrun, a mind boggling 14,031 participants have completed 125,216 parkruns covering a total distance of 626,080 km, including 22,128 new Personal Bests.
For those of you with a yearning to drill even more deeply down into the data, Swindon parkrun has enlisted its very own statistical svengali Graham McDermott to weave meaning from what he could dig up - firstly turning to the urgent question that must be playing on everyone’s minds... have we collectively run the distance to the Moon and back... or not?
Over to Graham: “While we would not be able to get to the Moon and back (The moon is 384,400km away from Earth) we are about halfway home and should expect to arrive back some time in the second half of next year.”
So be sure to listen out for the doorbell and put the kettle on!
And as if that’s not amazing enough, Graham added: “We have run over 625,000 km and the Earth is 40,000 km around the equator, so we've collectively run the equivalent of just over 15 times around the planet.”
For further clarification: “The US is about 4,000 km wide, so if we all went a bit Forrest Gump it would be about 160 laps coast to coast... The UK coastline is about 17,000 km so that would be 37-ish laps around the edge of the mainland UK.”
More in-depth statistical fun can be had by following this link - https://wiki.parkrun.com//index.php/Swindon_parkrun
Such is the growing popularity of Swindon parkrun that we will soon see the introduction of three additional regular pacers for 22mins, 32mins and 45mins who will be on hand to assist participants to hit their personal goals. Thanks pacers - it’s no easy task and we appreciate your encouragement as we attempt to tuck in behind you!
Run director Emma Sperring reports that the ‘keep to the right’ rule seems to be working well, with faster runners now being able to push on through on the left without too much difficulty - many thanks to John Matthews for kindly providing signs dotted around the route to remind runners.
Congratulations are in order for Karen Skuse, Jenna Brooks, Tess Brooker who hit their 50 run milestones today and Lorraine Ferris who has completed 100 runs - we salute you!
Diary time - next week (Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20) Swindon parkrun and junior parkrun is cancelled to make way for the Race for Life event to raise money for Cancer Research UK. And on June 9th, parkrun will be helping to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our amazing National Health Service - with a call out to nurses, doctors, porters and any other amazing NHS staff to come along and take part.
On a personal note, I witnessed first hand the incredible skill and professionalism of NHS staff this week, for which I shall be eternally in their debt - I’m sure many of us have our own reasons to celebrate this unique organisation, so come along and show them you care.