Lydiard parkrun is cancelled on 2020-12-05 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

No Lydiard parkrun report 28/11/2020

No-Lydiard parkrun Run Report Number 37


Ten years ago, on a grey November day, not unlike this one, I was introduced to Swindon parkrun.


At 8.45am, I joined 109 other runners and hi-viz volunteers at the front of Lydiard House for Swindon parkrun Number 36.


At 9, we moved up to the path crossroads and got a lovely welcome from a small, smiley, and feisty run director, one E Creighton.  In a firm but friendly un-megaphoned voice, she told us what we could and should not do, like be nice to  park users and not to barge other runners.


Before long, actually 28 minutes and 34 seconds later, I crossed the finish line to the cheers and applause that greeted every finisher.


What a great feeling! I was smitten.


On subsequent Saturdays, I carried on discovering the weekly surprises and joys of being beaten by lovely middle aged women, overtaken by muscled men pushing prams, and enjoying the weekend-long buzz  of happy endorphins.


But maybe the best discovery of all was the easy-going, supportive, super-friendly, and constant camaraderie that is the magic part of parkrun.


Those were delightful days. But they got even better as numbers increased.


Soon we were joined by the lovely likes of one G Whitehead, who regularly found himself walking up the last hill with times close to 30 mins. Now, he regularly runs 5k in under20! Another newby, one J Stephens, used to chase ageing vets in times close to 40 mins but now leaves them trailing her 26 min wake. Not to mention B Thomas and Patch, R Mcadam  and her speedy family, and J Bateman and D White, two super vets.


And in subsequent years, lots of others signed up for parkrun, too many to mention, but all of whom soon discovered that a seemingly simple weekly 5k run, jog, or walk with other people could change their lives.


Helping to make those changes possible were the pioneers of Swindon parkrun. Among these was dour and speedy runner S Heavens and calm and kindly M Hunter, both of whom doubled up as regular runners and all-round helpers and volunteers.


Those were the days when there were few enough runners and volunteers to be able know them all by name. Now, it’s easier to know them by their leggings, their laughs, and their barcode-line banter . . . but alas, not at all in lockdown.


Talking of which, the latest one is about to end and there is talk of Junior parkruns making a return early in the new year.


But for grownups, it looks like the wait will go on well in to spring.


Let’s not despair. We can still do our regular runs, and doubtless many people have plenty of other ways of getting outdoor exercise.


Here is some, at least for the performers in this a little interactive film two of whom are Lydiard parkrunners.


Till we meet again, keep well, keep running, and, if you’re a Town fan, enjoy the buzz from today’s result. -J


Matt Holland


Non Lydiard parkrun report 21/11/2020

Lydiard Parkrun non-run report #36

It always takes me a while to work up to going out for a run - especially when it’s dark and cold out there.

So I go through a tedious routine, where I have to exhaust a range of pre-run prevarication tactics that I play against myself before I run out of excuses and have to grab my own metaphorical collar and unceremoniously plonk myself on the doorstep. 

Important reasons for delay can range from doing important stretching things to suddenly having to find some AA batteries. 

Another thing that stops me going out is my habit of reading about running - usually while dressed in my running gear. I have a subscription to Runner’s World, which I haven’t got round to cancelling because it’s the next thing on my list after I locate those AA batteries. 

As an avid reader I have noted the advice about how I should be doing short fast paced runs; long slow paced runs and even medium medium paced runs.

But there are only so many ways of framing the unfortunate truth - the best way to become a better runner is to run more than you already do. 

I was joking with Mrs F that they are probably going to soon run out of article ideas based around becoming a better/faster runner - “They’ll be telling us to run backwards next!” I wittily observed before pausing to seriously consider developing the idea as a radical new training concept that I could franchise out and retire as a gazillionaire on.

Turns out I’m too late, just like my invention of the umbrella that has holes in it to stop it turning inside out, this too has already been thought of. I kid you not. 

A quick search unearths a Runners World article ‘The Many Bennies of Running Backward’ - apparently it’s really good for making you into a better/faster runner. A bit like running forwards then, except more chance of stumbling into a canal or correctly inviting the ridicule of young children.

The more I know, the less I understand.

Until next we meet, keep running in whichever direction floats your boat.

Ben Fitzgerald


Lydiard parkrun non-run report #35 14th Nov 2020

Lydiard parkrun non-run report #35

14th November 2020

What a day for a run! I mean that in the non-sarcastic sense as I’m a self-titled “grey day runner”. Running in the wind and/or rain makes me feel so much more alive and it makes the post-run shower and cuppa that much more rewarding.

No surprise then that I was out before parkrun o’clock (formerly known as 9am) this morning and was only 19 seconds off my 5k PB. Despite running solo, I was not alone and shared a few “morning” comments with other runners; one of whom must have been doing almost the reverse of my route so we got to say hello twice!   It’s moments like this that make smile and think of how the parkrun spirit endures despite us all being in separate run spots at separate times!

No doubt there are some amongst us who are “fair weather” runners and currently debating whether to risk it now or wait until later (or even tomorrow) to get out for a run. I have three words for you… “DO IT NOW!”

With the evenings growing darker daily, we must treasure the time we have and embrace a windblown soaking at every opportunity. It’s also the time of year where we need to ensure visibility with that old adage, “be safe, be seen”.

I’ve now added a high-viz element to runs where necessary as well as wearing my parkrun barcode so that I can be A) seen and B) helped if needed because, let’s face it, some of those leaves are getting rather slippery!

Until next time, may your strides be swift and your non-parkruns pacy!



No Lydiard parkrun report 7/11/2020

No-run report 34, and lockdown number 2.

But we’re keeping on keeping on. Thank goodness for running.

This Saturday, I had a bargain 3 for 1 going on. VPR 34, (not) parkrun 20, and Runvember 7. If you saw people running in pyjamas on Saturday, they’re also taking part in Runvember, running every day this month, but not always in pyjamas.There were many people out in the sun when I went for my run – families on bikes, couples walking, and a few others running. It was good to see.

And on Sunday, it was a perfect, still morning for Remembrance Day. Rooks cawing, winter trees standing in low cloud – appropriately atmospheric for a day of thought and reflection.

So how are we doing? After the excitement of the brilliant numbered running buses recently, things may feel a bit flat with restrictions on us again. But we can still get out in this amazing autumn weather, and with buses up our sleeves, so to speak, for December. Maybe we can have running sleighs then, too. I see fancy dress opportunities arising with red-nosed reindeers running along in sixes, possibly with bells. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, parkrun HQ reports that at the end of October, more than 6,000 people had registered with parkrun for the first time to do a (not) parkrun. To think, they’ve never experienced the pleasure of meeting up with friends made through running 5km together around a park. What a treat they have in store when parkrun comes back, as it will, and as it has in other parts of the world already. You can keep up to date on the parkrun blog every Tuesday.

For the time being, you can also keep running, jogging or walking, and know that you have the whole of the local running community and clubs behind you!

Jane Stephens


No Lydiard parkrun report 31/10/2020

‘Essential shops will remain open so there’s no need to stock up’ said the worried looking man clinging to a lectern like a man driving a runaway lorry.

Panic is a funny thing - it’s a bit like a supersonic jet or a car taking a powersliding turn - the controls suddenly flip into reverse. These are a couple of well clunky analogies I realise - and rely on you having seen Philip Kaufman’s ‘The RIght Stuff’ and also the Pixar classic ‘Cars’ - so I’ll probably need to man-splain (this is where men explain things to people even though they almost certainly don’t need it explaining to them because they are quite capable of working it out for themselves.) this. 

In The Right Stuff, test pilots breaking the sound barrier keep on crashing into the ground (where else are they going to crash?) until they discover that for some reason, possibly Physics, the controls on their experimental rocket powered aeroplanes reversed when they approached the sound barrier. It was the same with the wise cracking cartoon car in,,, err cars when another, wiser car taught it/him how to turn a corner faster on a race track by turning his front wheels to the right to slide around a left hand turn. 

What I’m trying to say is that if someone - in our example let’s call him Boris - tells you that there’s certainly no need to stock up on bog roll, you can bet your a*&e that the next time you pop to Aldi you are more likely to step in rocking horse s&*t than locate a single roll of papier de toilette.

What’s all this got to do with running? I hear you ask… well, nothing.. And everything, because if this situation had been properly managed from the start I would probably be writing about running instead of writing about bog roll.

Right, I’m off to add to the problem. Anyone got a quid for the trolley?

Ben Fitzgerald

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