Swindon parkrun, event 441, Run report

RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 441


For many of us, two weeks is a long time in parkrun, or at least a long time without a local parkrun!


So wasn’t it good to be back at Lydiard Park this morning, where spring was in the air, daffodils were giving way to dandelions and daisies, and the 8.45am buzz around the Forest Cafe was lively and lovely as ever.


Today’s Run Director welcomed 546 runners, who included 60 First Timers, one of whom, Harry Davies, came,  ran, and conquered – first over the finish line - and tourists from Burgess Hill, Oxford, and Rushmore.


The opposite of being a tourist – home is where your local parkrun is – was practised by one Swindon regular, the ever-jocular Jeremy Holt, who, instead of treating himself to a Cambridge parkrun, chose to endure an early-morning drive all the way back here for the sake of running with the rest of us in Lydiard Park. Hope it was worth it Jeremy!


Running in Swindon was certainly worth it for the 90 runners who got themselves new PBs and our congratulations. They included Swindon regulars Ben Lines and Craig Hallett, respectively second and third into the finish funnel, and doubtless as happy about that as their new PBs.


Also happy today will be Junior Anna Curtis who reached her T-shirt rewarded 10 runs; and two senior Swindon regulars Mike Baker and Louise Shanks are in line for red T-shirts as recognition for hitting 50 runs.


No new T-shirts but lots of congratulations from all of us go to Swindon stalwarts Doug Stimpson and Judith Barber for making it to 200 parkruns and to redoubtable runner Jenny Garth on reaching 300!


It’s clear that experienced and committed runners like these know the worth of running.


Someone who discovered what going out for a run can do for any of us, especially when life is tricky and health and happiness are proving elusive, is writer Bella Mackie, who has written a book about how running saved her life.


Along with another person who knows what running can do for you, and now a local runner, Omer Homer, Bella will be running a Freedom parkrun with us at 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May, following which both will be talking about how running changed their lives, for the better! Everyone is welcome.


For full details, see https://www.swindonspringfestival.co.uk/monday-6th-may and https://swindontheatres.co.uk/Online/tickets-bella-mackie-swindon-2019  .


Today’s Swindon parkrun was made possible by good work behind the scenes from 43 volunteers, who included numerous regular runners. For example, Julia very-friendly-and-smiley Haskell was Volunteer Coordinator, Jane very-lively-leggings Stephens was a timekeeper, and Fernando I-speak-a-little-English Bague was our photographer. And regular Run Director Emma silence-please Sperring took a well deserved turn running as did a phalanx of perfect pacers. You see, anyone and everyone can be both runner and volunteer. If you have not volunteered before, please consider giving it a go.


The next time all of us can either volunteer or run is Saturday 30thMarch.


Till then, keep well, keep running, and striding into spring.


Matt Holland