Swindon parkrun, Event 376, Run report

RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 376

Beginning at the end, of today’s parkrun, there was a mysterious silence, after barcode scanning, around the Cafe, by the bike racks, and under the beech big trees.

Like never before, after completing their 5k today, runners just melted away.

One minute there were 418 of us, including 48 First Timers, on the start line, champing at the bit; the next, a funnel full of steaming breathless finishers; then, barely a queue by the speedy barcode scanners; and the next minute, all gone! Hardly any lingering runners to be seen. It’s possible that the majority of runners today got a new PB, for speed of departure!

What was the hurry? Where were we all off to? Keen not to get cold? Wanting to get out of the drizzle? Christmas shopping?

Thank goodness today’s great crew of 38 volunteers were not in a rush and stayed long enough to wrap things up and complete the weekly take-down. Hope they did not miss us and did not get too wet. We thank them all, that’s for sure.

And what else is for sure is that at least one runner today helped maintain our reputation as kind and caring parkrun. You see, there was this First Timer, in a hurry to park her car but, since she did not know about parking charges, did not have the necessary coins. Quick as you like, an anonymous Swindon parkrunner steps up and gets her a ticket. The First Timer, also anonymous, wishes to convey her thanks to the kind runner and her delight at having discovered Swindon parkrun.

Five runners who discovered Swindon parkrun some time ago reached a key milestone today.

Congratulations to Junior Jake Wilkins, vets Martin Jones, Hannah Breeden, Jenny Moore, and Simon Landsdowne on making it to 50 runs, the first three having done all theirs in Lydiard Park. Terrific. New T-shirts all round!

And well done too to the 61 runners who today got themselves new PBs.

The next time we can all increase our number of runs and chase those new PBs is Saturday 25th November.

Till then, keep well, keep running, and good luck to those who managed to get a place in Sunday’s Swindon 10k!

Matt Holland


Swindon parkrun, Event 375, Run report

RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 375

Wet, wet, wet. Splish, splash, splosh. It was a damp morning all right.

We were either round-puddles runners or through-puddles splashers. Something lovely and childlike about the latter.

And not entirely unpleasant either was getting soaked to the skin and feeling those raindrops kissing your cheeks. But fine drizzle in your eyes or on your glasses was not so nice.

And for our team of 39 volunteers there were wet-weather challenges too. Those filling in the weekly forms found them somewhat soggy.

But still, we all had a good time . .. didn’t we?!

‘It’s great running with so many people!’ said one First Timer. ‘It’s so different to running on your own or just with one or two others. And it’s such a different way to experience the Park.’

Another First Timer was really impressed by the helpfulness of the marshals and the friendliness of runners. She was also amazed at the hush that fell over 444 runners on the start line and the warmth with which they welcomed the 48 newcomers, applauded the pacers, and thanked volunteers. But that’s the way we do things at Swindon parkrun, come rain or shine.

Further plaudits today also go to three runners who reached key parkrun milestones.

Well done to Junior Jessica Bacon on reaching 10 runs; and congratulations to Gordon Jones and Chris Humphrey on hitting 50. New T-shirts for all three of you.

And well done too to 65 runners who, despite the puddles, got themselves new PBs and our congratulations.

Next run, another week closer to Christmas, is at 9am on Saturday 18th November.

Till then, keep well and keep running, especially at parkrun.

Matt Holland


Swindon parkrun, event 374, Run report

RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 374

There we were, on the first Saturday morning in November, hoping for dry weather, perfect for fireworks and running. And what did we see on getting up? Rain!

It’s likely as not that many parkrunners looked out of the bedroom window, saw what was falling, a gloomy day dawning, and thought, ‘Hmm. Not very nice out there. Rather wet. Much more cosy in here. Do I really want to leave the house, head out into the park, and run in weather like this?’

It certainly looks like a good few chose the lie-in and stay home option because, with 454 runners making it to the start line, we were a hundred down on last week’s turnout.

But, and this is a significant but, there were still the same number of volunteers as last week, 35 of them, who get up and get out whatever the weather to set up the parkrun infrastructure for us in Lydiard Park. We thank them one and all!

If you are a regular Swindon parkrunner, please remember to give volunteering a go whenever you can.

Actually, by 9, the weather was fine, we were having a great time, and Run Director Emma was able to welcome 52 First Timers in near-sunshine.

And running the good old anti clockwise way seemed to suit many because a high number, 84 runners, got themselves new PBs and our congratulations.

‘Why can’t we run it that way on a regular basis and the other way once a month?’ asked one breathless but happy new-PB possessor. And, once barcode-scanned and in n more reflective and analytical mood, added, ‘The downhill bit so soon after the start is terrific; the back stretch is not too steep an incline; and the finish straight is fantastic, so much better than that uphill-finish the other way round!’ What do the rest of us think?

At least four runners are probably just happy to keep up their number of runs, any way round, as they hit T-shirt-rewarded parkrun milestones. Well done to Junior Ethan Johnson who reached 10 runs, with a new PB, and all done in Lydiard Park. And congratulations to First Timer from Chippenham parkrun, Darren Jefford, who hit 50 in Swindon, and well done to Lydiard Park regular Sharon Holt who reached 50 too.

Colin James gets our congratulations and a classy new black T-shirt for making it to the big 100; while Matt Lane gets no new T-shirt but got a big start-line shout for reaching 400 runs. Matt’s achievement is a reminder to the rest of us of what’s possible by simply turning up, rain or shine, to parkrun!

And, as many runners know, parkrun can be a stepping stone to bigger things. This weekend, one of our Run Report writers Ben Fitzgerald and regular Swindon parkrunner Sarah Fitzgerald will be in the Big Apple, where the latter is taking on the challenge of Sunday’s New York Marathon. Good luck Sarah!

The next time we can all enjoy the challenge of Swindon parkrun is 9am Saturday 11th November.

Till then, keep well and keep running.

Matt Holland


Swindon Parkrun, Event 373, Run report

RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 373

Fancy dress at Swindon parkrun is a little bit like the weather: unpredictable!

Today, on a bright but chilly morning, many regulars simply came in their regular running gear: regulation vests and T-shirts and sensible shorts and leggings.

But, thank goodness, a few had the nerve and verve to dress up and brighten our Halloween morning.

There were wizards, ghouls, ghosts, striking masks, subtle tails, and, in silky white, a Bride of Dracula elegant enough to grace the pages of Vogue.

But, the shock dress-up of the morning was a last-minute dress-down by a bunch of elite young runners from Ciren AC. In little more than shorts and shoes, with most of their skin bared to the elements, they were, apparently, running as swimmers.

And it was they, shirtless, snorkelled-up and life-belted, who led today’s massive field of 545 runners for a good part of the 5k, and, despite being in swim rather than run wear, all finished in the first twelve. Hope they had fun!

And we hope that today’s 63 First Timers did too; and that the 89 runners who got themselves new PBs enjoyed that special post-parkrun pb glow.

The five runners who today reached Tshirt-rewarded parkrun milestones, should certainly be glowing, with a sense of achievement.

Well done to Juniors Tommy Zirger (new PB!) and Willaim Isaak Lewis, who both made it to 10 runs, all at Swindon parkrun; to Jimmy Dickinson, who hit 50; and to Lee Maslin and Fiona McAnespie, who both reached the big 100! Hope you are all having an extra-happy Halloween weekend.

And also pleased with her performance and sense of achievements this week should be Julia Haskell, who, for the first time, took on the two key roles of Volunteers Co-ordinator and Results Processor, and managed both brilliantly. It’s thanks to volunteers like Julia – and there were 33 of them today – that our weekly Swindon parkrun is possible. We thank them, all!

The next time we can choose either to run, jog, walk, or volunteer at Swindon parkrun is Saturday 4th November.

Till then, keep well, keep walking and running, and don’t forget, clocks go back one hour tonight.

Matt Holland


Swindon parkrun, Event 372, Run report

Run Report for Swindon parkrun Number 372

What a beautiful autumn morning it was in Lydiard Park today. The sun was low, only three-quarters of the way up the tall trees, beaming down on the brightly coloured gathering of runners waiting for the off. Breezy Brian seemed calm in the shelter of the trees and café, but a bit later, returning runners reported a stiff crosswind out, and back up the hill.

Before Luke sounded the hooter to start the run, Emma ran through the basics of our parkrun, as the results had been a tad tricky to sort last week. Here is the gist:

Our course has two laps. If you run one lap, please do not pass the timekeepers at the start of the funnel. Just run off to the side of the finish, and hopefully the reason you only did one lap isn't serious.

If you complete two laps, and pass the timekeepers on your way into the funnel, from that moment it's important that everyone stays in the order they crossed the line, and picks up a finish token at the far end of the funnel.

If you don't want parkrun to record your time, don't have your personal barcode scanned – but please still take your finish token. Hand it in to one of the people doing the barcode scanning. Your finish token will show as 'unknown' on the results record, but by handing in that finish token, it means that subsequent runners' tokens tally with their times. That's a good thing for them, and the results processor.

There is a simpler way of saying this: please don't be a funnel ducker. Thank you!

Congratulations to Steve Rose for completing 100 parkruns today. And welcome to the 52 first timers. You were part of a field of 423 runners, joggers, or walkers, and we hope you enjoyed your run and are encouraged to return. Today's parkrun was brought to you by 41 volunteers – thank you. Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Swindon parkrun Results Page.

For Swindon parkrun next Saturday 28th October, please dust off your Hallowe'en fancy dress.

Will anyone have a ghost of a chance of a new PB?

Jane Stephens

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