Saturday 14th March 2020

Brown Is The Colour written by John Chapman

Not quite the Chelsea song, but appropriate for last Saturday’s Bath Skyline parkrun, where the mud and puddles were occasionally interrupted by a short section of pathway. In keeping with he brown theme, the Kelloggs product that I chose to promote via my T Shirt was Coco Pops. I’m sure none of you really care about that, so let’s move on to the turnout, a very impressive 313 participants. Numbers were slightly reduced as many regular participants, wisely in my opinion, decided that a parkrun and a Half Marathon in the same weekend were too much. On the other side of the coin, we had some visiting keener-beaners, in Bath for the Half Marathon, and fitting in a parkrun. Deviating slightly, should that now be Half Snickers following the Mars re-branding many years ago?

A few of the runners were clearly a bit bemused by our wonderful course, clearly used to more conventional parks. One runner bemoaned that trail shoes might have been better, I suggested wellies might have been the best bet! Not sure that my attempt at humour was fully appreciated. Or maybe it was the fear of wearing the wrong shoes. I never even knew that there were different types of running shoes, but why would I? Nobody could possibly describe me as a serious runner.

I’m getting like Ronnie Corbett for going off at tangents, so back to the Bath Skyline course. An early challenge is the downward slope, and yet again this week, no falls. I’m sure the Marshalls secretly film that section, in the hope of a slip, and the opportunity to get £50 from You’ve Been Framed. Then we get to the part with stunning views of Bath, and they really are stunning. This week a large group stopped for photos. Great move ladies, and it gave me a rare opportunity to overtake a large number of runners. In fact, this was more overtaking in 10 seconds than I have managed in my previous 20 odd runs. A rare feeling of achievement as I powered through the field.... Then 100 yards later a feeling of despair as I once again puffed my way up the steps. Then the uphill muddy bit to the path... It's a day for positivity so it is a personal challenge with a sense of achievement on completing this part. Relief is maybe a more accurate, but less positive word.

I’ll skip over the paths section, metaphorically of course, there is definitely no skipping in my actual running. Some cynics might even suggest that there is not much running in my actual running.

Now the big question. Why is the Potato Field so called? Closest to a potato that I have ever seen is an empty crisp packet in the hedge. To my mind, in the rainy season it is more like a re-creation of the Somme battlefield, minus trenches of course. This week it was heavy going, as they say in horse racing. Or gert muddy as we say in Somerset. Deviating again, is anybody able to enlighten me on the name ‘Potato Field’.

The final obstacle is the rabbit field, pretty obvious how that got it's name, as that provides less mud, but rabbitty 'trenches'. By the time I get there, the rabbits are in hiding, as a howitzer style barrage of 300 parkrunners have sent them hoppity hopping into hiding. What about the rabbit holes? Well, just a natural obstacle, with a need to take a little care, after all, we'd hate to disturb the bunnies. Sorry wrong priority, apparently we'd hate a runner to be injured/ fall over. Rabbits, I'm suddenly getting visions of Chas and Dave....

So back to Saturday, it was great to be back after a football and wind enforced absence. It really is such a fantastic course, varied, interesting, scenic, and challenging, and for non-serious runners like me, a real sense of achievement at the finish. Well done to all 313 participants, and for those also doing the Half Snickers, I hope that went well. And yet again, a massive thanks to the organisers, marshals and many other wonderful volunteers, without whom this could not happen.

And if you're thinking of trying Bath Skyline parkrun, be assured that most of the runners/ organisers are not as strange as me, it really is great, and I never thought that I would be saying that running a 5K on a Saturday morning has really made my life a lot better. As Bradley Walsh nearly said "Come and have a go, if you think you're runny enough". Now there's a thought, maybe the tail walker could be re-branded as The Chaser.

Helen delivers to Sermon on the mound to the first timers

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The participants line up at the start, am I allowed to say a view of the rear end of the starting line up, or will that get censored????

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International Women’s day – 7th March 2020

Written by Rhian Mackintosh

Today, together with all the other parkruns, Bath Skyline parkrun celebrated International Women’s Day with 418 people running, a massive 81 of whom were first-timers, and 40 of whom ran personal bests – just to add to the celebrations! The event was supported by the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, created to even out the disparity between the number of woman and men participating in sports.

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It seemed that even the weather was celebrating as we had a welcome break from the constant weekend storms providing (relatively) good conditions (although there was still plenty of mud to keep the runners on their toes!).

It was amazing to see such a strong turn-out from the women and girls of parkrun, both those seasoned runners and first timers.  172 females took part – almost 100 more than the first ever Bath Skyline parkrun in 2014!  There was a lovely atmosphere with everyone in high spirits, and a noticeable sea of purple filling the skyline path.

Congratulations to everyone who took part, and especially, in the spirit of IWD, to our first female finisher Lauren Salisbury who ran an amazing personal best time of 20:59.  With the number of new faces present today I thought it would be the perfect time to remind everyone that whoever you are, if you can run, jog, walk 5k or volunteer, parkrun is a wonderful way to kick off your weekend, make some friends and enjoy the beautiful scenery Bath has to offer.

As always, a huge thank you to our 44 volunteers, who always arrive with smiles on their faces and words of encouragement at the ready!

I also wanted to say a particular thank you to Helen, our Event Director and Run Director today.  Helen you are an amazing motivator and role model to everyone at parkrun.  We are very grateful for your wonderful organisational skills and all those behind the scenes hours of work you have spent over the years making this such a successful event.

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International Women’s day Saturday 7th March 2020

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parkrun research tells us that women are much less likely to participate in parkrun, and we are taking steps to change that. As part of these efforts parkrun are organising a global female-focused parkrun celebration on Saturday 7 March 2020, the day before International Women’s Day.

In England this will support the This Girl Can campaign created by our partner Sport England.

Come and support us and celebrate female participation on this day.

How can you join in?

Encourage the women and girls in your lives to come along and walk, jog or run.  Please remind them to register and print our their barcodes

We would like to fill as many volunteering roles as possible with women so please get involved by emailing us bathskyline@parkrun.com

Dress in purple (the chosen colour for the day)

We look forward to seeing you all soon

 

Saturday 8th February 2020

Written by Alice Bonham-Carter

Today marked my 20th parkrun (almost half way to my 50 t-shirt) so I decided it was about time I gave something back to the parkrun community and chose to give the run report a whirl! Plus, as a final year student at Bath University, currently in the (very painful…) process of writing my dissertation, I was keen to find another way to procrastinate!! My dissertation is on how exercise affects immune function though, and I always find parkrun is a great cure for any sniffles or minor ailments, so this must count as relevant research…right??

Now onto the actual run…Today 443 made the trek up Bath Mountain to participate in the wonderful Bath Skyline parkrun. Several people appeared to have run to parkrun (very impressive), I however prefer to conserve my (very limited) energy for the actual parkrun!! We had visitors from a variety of places, including Bournemouth, Canterbury, Finsbury Park, as well as the inaugural Bushy Park event. We hope you enjoyed the lovely multi-terrain course and that those challenging woodland steps didn’t put you off too much! The conditions on the day were pleasant, being dry and cool, however parts of the course had clearly been affected by the recent downpours, with the fields being a little sticky. This did not deter us parkrunners though, and rather just added to the experience. One of my favourite things about Bath Skyline parkrun is the varied terrain, providing an exciting challenge and keeping you on your toes at all times.

Everyone did an amazing job, with many people achieving new PBs. A special congratulations goes to the unknown runner who finished first (DFYB!!), as well as JAMES HARPER, our official first male finisher with a time of 17:19, and first female finisher, LIZZIE CLARKE, finishing in a speedy 19:08 on her first time running at Bath Skyline. I hope everyone experiences improved immune function as a result of completing their parkrun as well as the awesome mental benefits it brings!

Finally, a big thank you to all the amazing volunteers for making this wonderful event happen, and for always smiling and encouraging us all! (I promise I am trying to smile back, even if it looks like more of a grimace!!)

 

Saturday 1st February 2020

The Early Bath (Skyline parkrun)

Written by Nicholas Sheard

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I left at 6 am from Oxfordshire to drive the 72 miles to the Bath Skyline parkrun. A day of firsts, it was the first of February, the first day after we formally left the EU, the start of the 6 Nations Rugby, and also my first Bath Skyline parkrun. I usually cycle or run to my local parkrun, so taking the car listening to 80s classics felt like a guilty pleasure, and arriving early there was plenty of parking available at the BMI Bath Clinic. I jogged out onto the course into Long Wood with Born to Run still ringing in my ears. A sign on the ‘Elf and Fairy Foray’ indicated I might meet ‘North Pepperfly’ or ‘Bold Saturnleaf’, among others - “Seek out the doors to the homes of 15 elf and fairy folk, set among the trees on each side of the path for 400m”. I didn’t immediately see any elves or fairies, but I did pick up the yellow parkrun signs and soon caught up with three gents (not obviously elves or fairies) setting up the course and marking out the route through the muddy top field.

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After the parkrun my Strava feed told me that “This was harder than your usual effort”. I don’t know what counts as my “usual effort”, but having done 21 different parkrun courses over the past couple of years I have to say that Bath Skyline is easily in my top 5, with a lovely variety of sketchy uneven descent, steps, grass, muddy field, and woodland trail. Looking left after the steep early descent there’s also a fantastic view of Bath itself, although I didn’t linger to stop and take a photo for fear of being involved in a recreation of the Mufasa Lion King death stampede scene with 400 or so parkrunners behind me.

A big shout out to the wonderful volunteers who were so welcoming and friendly before the event and so encouraging when out on the course. Also to the 22 minute pacer who paced it superbly and who I couldn’t quite keep up with. And also to Matt, for his first time as Race Director. Well done, Matt!

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Looking at the results it always astonishes me just how rich and varied parkrun is in terms of age and experience and a wonderful variety of visitors and regulars rubbing shoulders with each other. As a first timer at Bath I felt so warmly welcomed by all the volunteers. Special mention this week goes to Jane Evans, a first timer who finished 3rd overall, was first female, and who also registered the best age graded result of the day. And at either end of the parkrun experience spectrum we had Bath Skyline local Janyce Holmes running her 273rd parkrun and Matthew Brinkworth (6th overall) who was taking part in his very first event. If the other first timers enjoyed Bath Skyline as much as I did they’re bound to be back.

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Saturday 25th January 2020

Saturday Morning Fever

The run report with Snap, Crackle, Pop and Bee Gees by John Chapman

I woke up with my usual Saturday enthusiasm, as it’s the day for either parkrun or an away trip watching Bristol City. Today is parkrun day, and I decided that it’s most definitely a Rice Krispies T-Shirt day, my regular big pre-run dilemma. Today was my 25th run, so that’s 125km, and still only halfway to a T shirt. It would be much simpler to just buy one in Primark, but not half as much fun, mud or steps.

For those of us at the back, the briefing was the usual inaudible mumbling, so we just clapped, waved our arms, cheered and booed randomly, in the hope that we provided the right response. Maybe you need someone with cue cards halfway down, so that we get it right. The reward for finishing in the Top 200, you get to hear the words. The rest of us were guessing, which could be embarrassing if we got it wrong.

I am sure that most of you reading this know the course by now, congestion, nice view, steps, reasonable path, replica of Somme battlefield, rabbit holes, home straight, finish. A wide variety of times, a real mix of ages and abilities, and all of the runners participated enthusiastically, and (hopefully) had a great time.  There were 443 runners, that is real Wowzer stuff, and yet another amazing turnout. Not so good for us at the back, it takes even longer just to reach the starting line, and The Somme is even more churned up. Well done to the first person over the finishing puddle, Aled Anderson.

Today, as always, I met some wonderful people, all participating for different reasons, and even though it’s for fun, everyone has their personal goals that they wish to achieve. My goal has been to achieve a new PB. Today, I achieved that (2 minutes off my real PB).

Now the photos

 

Today, we welcomed some Leicester Tiggers egg-chasing fans, as they were playing the unimaginatively named Bath Rugby. Is there a Rugby Rugby? Welcome to all the newbies, for safety reasons we’ve Got To Get a Message To You about the course. I hope you had a really great time, and we see you back sometime soon. Loved the question “Is there a trophy?” Now that is a good suggestion, not that I will need to buy a trophy cabinet if adopted! Did anyone as How Deep Is Your Mud?

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Talking of Tiggers, here is the culprit of about 99% of the muddy paw prints on runners clothing, Tiggerdog, aka Bobbie. How could you be cross with such a lovable dog though? Didn’t really capture her from the best angle in this photo. To finish, there’s a few random pics from today. As ever, thank you to all of the volunteers who make these runs happen, some magnificent arm-waving and pointing was evident today.

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A view of the runners, I’m sure that the guy at the back wearing the green jacket is pointing out that going straight to breakfast might be a better option.

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And to those wondering whether to join us, as the Gibb Brothers nearly sang, You Should Be Running, or walking, or skipping, or dancing…. Would that be Jive Walking??? On that note, time to get my coat/ strait jacket.

 

Saturday 18th January 2020

Written by Reuben Zukas, Gold Duke of Edinburgh volunteer

Waking up this morning to see a bleak frost settling on the cars would probably have disheartened most people from going outside.

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However, seeing runners already warming up with light cheerful smiles definitely gave the place some warmth.

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On our 274th parkrun coincidentally we were joined by 472 runners, over 50 of whom achieved PBs. There was a variety of abilities and ages, all who gave this week their best shot.

The fastest male time was 17:36, taken by Thomas Halling, and the fastest female time was 21:26, secured by Sarah Sanderson.

My Duke of Edinburgh Gold volunteering at rainbow woods is an amazing opportunity that is just down the road. Yes, it is a little early, and yes, it is a little cold, but every Saturday morning I have spent at Bath Skyline has kickstarted my weekend.

Volunteering not only lets me give back to the community, but lets me do it in a setting where the beautiful woods are uplifting and peaceful.

Thanks goes to Run Director Helen, all the volunteers who without whom, parkrun wouldn’t be possible, and to everyone who got out of their warm bed this morning and braved it out in the cold.

 

 

 

Skyline 273 – Saturday 11th January 2020

Written by Polly Spedding - DofE volunteer

It was a very windy Saturday morning as runners gathered together for the 273rd Bath Skyline parkrun. It was the second biggest turnout with 501 participants, and we had lots of runners joining us from around the country.
The start to the run was slightly delayed due to cattle in one of the fields.  We happily share the paths with the sheep and cows and sometimes need to delay the start a little to ensure there is a clear path away from the gates to ensure both parkrunners and livestock can co-habitat safely.
Among the 501 runners was the first man, Will Bray, who completed the course in 18:23, and the first woman, Emma Butcher, with a time of 20:17. A total of 38 people achieved a personal best, so congratulations to them and everyone who took part!
I have been volunteering at the Bath Skyline parkrun since May 2019, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Over these past months, I have met many different people - volunteers, runners and supporters - and everyone I have spoken to has been very friendly and supportive. I’ve really enjoyed my time volunteering at parkrun, and would recommend it to anyone who is contemplating offering their time to help out at one of these events. It’s been fantastic cheering the runners on and seeing their joy when they cross the finish line. I’m not a runner myself, but it has inspired me to give it a go too!
I’d like to say thank you to all the volunteers who have made me feel welcome, and shown me all the different jobs that need to be done to ensure each event runs smoothly. They all work so hard and really are brilliant!
Polly Spedding

 

 

New record! Huge start to 2020

Written by Dimitri Lang - one of our DofE volunteers

"For the past 13 weeks I’ve been volunteering at parkrun as part of my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. I have really enjoyed it, everyone there was very friendly and welcoming. I got to do many different roles, but my favourite was marshalling, its great to cheer the runners on. 

This week we had record attendance - our timers only had space for 500 people but we had 542! Helen had to jump in at the last minute to time the last 42. It was very exciting to see so many people come.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone, whether you’ve run before or never heard of parkrun. In fact, I’ve enjoyed it so much I might continue to volunteer after my Duke of Edinburgh award"  Dimitri
Thank you Dimitri, it's been great to have you with us!
 

New Year’s day 2020

Written by Sarah Regh

Happy new year! What we all definitely need is the challenge of double parkrun event coordination. This means: double the chance to partake in pre run hype and challenges with fellow running friends (20'20 anyone? pirate challenge, stopwatch bingo*), to (mis)understand course instructions, to thank marshals and generally to share the excitement of being outdoors on a misty 1 January.

If there were any hangovers, they were well hidden. Our journey from Melksham (thank you for having us, Melksham parkrun!)

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to Bath Skyline was smooth, as was the run overall. Thanks to Run Director Andy and to the other superheroes in high viz (and to Steph who arranged for my first ever double parkrun accomplishment)! 

Huge congratulations to the 100+ first timers to the Skyline (including 14 complete newbies) and to the 30 or so new PB holders! There were 413 runners and walkers today (this number has more than doubled since 1 Jan 2019's 195 runners). No particular sightings to report on the Skyline, though the mud in the potato field claimed one runner's left shoe. My personal parkrun resolution is to up my volunteering total, maybe I'll join others with their goals of running in fancy dress more often or improving their age grading. In the meantime though, I hope everyone enjoys parkrunning, walking and/or marshalling in 2020 and I look forward to hearing more tales from the trails. Should we do it all again to celebrate Lunar New Year later this month?

*Google parkrun challenges or set a trend and make up your own (suggestions welcome for my current jumble of 'BCFHMPSW').

 

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