RUN REPORT for Swindon parkrun Number 463
After a two-week break, it was good as ever to be back in Lydiard Park on what weather forecasters say was the warmest day we’ll have until spring next year.
Well, lovely as it was, what do we care? Rain or shine, parkrun is always fine.
At 405, numbers were slightly down on our usual five hundred plus but probably for good reason: parkrunners probably saving their legs for Sunday’s Swindon Half Marathon.
We wish all Swindon parkrunners a great run tomorrow and look forward to their stories on this page, or the other one.
We especially wish Hope and her dad a good run. You see, Hope Olivia, aka Honkey, who had a lovely info table at parkrun today, has a mitochondrial disease. (see https://www.thelilyfoundation.org.uk/)
Though the prognosis is not good, Hope hasn't read the gloomy mitochondrial literature – good for her - and is therefore living life to the full - in her own way. And that means that, tomorrow, with a fabulous team of family and friends, she will fully experience the joys and challenges of the Swindon Half Marathon with all the other runners, joggers, and walkers. Have a great day Hope, and everyone else too!
Having a great day today, we hope, were 43 First Timers and localish tourists from Chippenham and Tetbury, and 52 runners who got themselves new PBs and our congratulations.
Two of them, veteran Swindon regulars, in positions 22 and 197 (lovely as they are, can’t go on giving them a mention by name) are still improving hand over fist - or should that be stride by stride? – as they continue to rack up a remarkable run of new PBs, not an easy thing to do when you have already run roundabout 200 parkruns. They are clearly enjoying and benefiting from the great life-changing parkrun adventure, as hopefully are the rest of us.
Also, doubtless enjoying their time at Swindon parkrun today will have been four runners who reached key parkrun milestones.
Well done to Ian Davies and Raymond Kwan on reaching 50 runs; and to Samara Minnis and William Webster on hitting 100. Red and black T-shirts respectively on their way to you.
No T-shirts but massive congratulations go to Jonathan Weedon for reaching 200 runs and to Richard Guy Smith, Adam Fuller, and Pete Edwards on making it to 300 parkruns. The last-named, also known as Car Park Pete, merits an extra mention for the brilliant job he does in calmly and kindly guiding people to spaces in an often crowded car park and helping make sure they get to the start line by nine. Many thanks Pete!
And many thanks too to today’s other 44 volunteers, who included 6 year old Luke Sperring doing his 100th hi-viz volunteering stint, of either cheering people on, letting his parents get on with their duties, or kicking a football about. You see, there is no lower age limit to volunteering at parkrun or helping make the mornings a time of celebration and fun with friends.
But not everyone is quite as friendly as parkrunners and volunteers are. For example, it came as an unpleasant surprise to the undersigned today, on the way out of the park, to have a white car swerves, suddenly and sans signal, across the drive that leads out of the park, in order to grab a parking place, causing the said cyclist to come off his bike. The driver got out of her car and, without asking if the cyclist was ok, simply said, ‘Didn’t see you. Was on my phone and needed to park quickly. Sorry.’ and dashes off. Hmmm.
Seconds later, on same driveway, same cyclist gets a verbal earful from a gruff man, with a nice animal on a lead, who said, ‘You trying to run over my dog!?’. – ‘Er, no.’ replied the mystified cyclist. But the angry man persisted and shouts, ‘Dickhead!’
Amazing, that weekly, hundreds of parkrunners can come to Lydiard Park, park their cars, organise themselves, run round the park, some even moving at speed, but without ever being rude to one another or knocking one another over, in fact, simply being kind and courteous.. Amazing and wonderful. Long live parkrun and the spirit that goes with it.
And playing their part in helping parkrun live longer are a variety of Run Report Writers. Would you like to be one?
You see, as our Run Director mentioned today, the undersigned has now done quite a few. Currently, we have a trio of run report writers, two vets and one a junior with writing skills beyond his years but all three are male and, since there are so many female runners, it would be nice to have a female perspective on our weekly run. (And the reports do not have to be as long as this one!)
Co founder of Swindon parkrun, Emma, has done a good few run reports and we have had the occasional female tourist report writer too but would love a female Swindon parkrunner or two to have a go. Like all volunteer opportunities at parkrun, it’s fun. If you are interested, and would like to have a go (guidance provided, if you need it) please write to email@example.com
The next time we can all run, jog, walk, or volunteer at Swindon parkrun is Saturday 28th September.
Till then, keep well, keep running, and, if you are doing the Swindon Half, have a good one and know that those of us who are not running will be thinking of you!