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

Last parkrun for a while

Guest run report for 14 March 2020.

By Elizabeth Tideswell

Home parkrun: Hanley Parkrun

It looks like our visit to Severn Bridge parkrun last Saturday will be our last parkrun for a
while. This morning parkrun announced that all events will be cancelled from this coming weekend for at least a few weeks. Many of us are probably struggling with that news; parkrun has become such a regular part of our weekends.
My home parkrun is Hanley parkrun in Stoke-on-Trent. Hanley Park is a traditional Victorian- style city park – it has a lake and a bandstand, a canal running through the middle, ducks and geese and a newly refurbished pavilion café. It also has hills and a gravel path that makes it feel like you are running on sand tunes, especially the last time up the hill. I’ve run round that park over 200 times since my first parkrun in 2011. My husband joined me in 2013 (his first run was a Doctor Who fancy dress special).

Severn Bridge parkrun

We don’t miss too many weeks, either running or volunteering. We’ve also been lucky enough to run at lots of other different parkrun locations around the
world; the variety of locations where we can run is simply staggering. We’ve seen kangaroos but no snakes in Western Australia; we climbed the Stairs of Despair in Dunedin (twice);
we’ve run in botanical gardens, country parks, around lakes, along cliff top paths and by the beach. This week at Severn Bridge parkrun, though, was the first time we’ve crossed a border whilst running; as the route spans three counties in two countries and crosses two rivers (information shared in the friendly, welcoming and informative run briefing). It’s probably the first time I’ve run next to a motorway too (although I have run over one before). I spent most of my run with my head twisting from side to side, taking in my surroundings, enjoying the experience (and not really missing the gravel paths of Hanley). I looked ahead and it seemed as through there was a sea of runners across the whole bridge. As we reached the turnaround point, I had a great view down across the Bristol Channel – not too windy today but definitely a few clouds around.
And before too long, I was back to where we started and then on the final stretch, where
we finished in an underpass. That might be a first too.

So a very different experience in terms of the running route, but everything else was
wonderfully and comfortingly similar. The pop-up sign that we could see as we arrived; we knew we were going in the right direction. The encouragement from the volunteers and other runners as we ran. The chats with other runners, locals and other visitors too. And of course, the visit to the café afterwards as well (coffee and a bacon roll at the football club – well worth the walk up the hill).
Thanks to everyone at Severn Bridge who made us feel so welcome. We hope it won’t be too long before we are all back running, volunteering, cheering, chatting and sharing stories again very soon.


This week 242 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 73 were first timers and 47 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 36 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:

Liz TIDESWELL • Dave ANDREWS • Anne MASTERS • Andrew KAYE • Giacomo SQUINTANI • Fredrica VOLAU • Wendy BRIGGS • Toni MALLIN • Leah MALLIN • Charlotte GILES • Kate WEBSTER • Steven BALEILOMALOMA • Julian SMITH • Louise WILLIAMS • Susannah BANNON • Kelvin PHELPS • Lorraine CLARKE • Karen MAGGS • Zach NICHOLAS • Alfie BALMER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Severn Bridge parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Maciej BIALOGONSKI who recorded a time of 15:24 on 11th May 2019 (event number 35).
The female record is held by Helen NEWBERRY who recorded a time of 18:05 on 11th May 2019 (event number 35).
The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 98.08% (25:10) on 22nd June 2019 (event number 41).

Severn Bridge parkrun started on 11th August 2018. Since then 7,242 participants have completed 16,147 parkruns covering a total distance of 80,735 km, including 2,736 new Personal Bests. A total of 488 individuals have volunteered 1,771 times.


International Womens Day parkrun

Guest run report for 7th March 2020, event #73

By Lorraine Clarke

Home Parkrun: Severn Bridge Parkrun

This Weekend saw the celebration of International Women’s Day. Severn Bridge parkrun got into to the spirit of it with a request for participants to wear purple and a cake sale to raise money for the Charity Womankind.


As usual the Severn Bridge regulars and visitors came through with a large number sporting purple, regardless of gender.

The turnout was good despite us running Route B, the Bridge being shut to traffic westbound and the weather being grey, drizzly and slightly breezy.


In a weekend celebrating female empowerment it is appropriate that parkrun acknowledges this event. Parkrun is all about empowerment, it gives everyone an outlet to improve the mental and physical well being with no judgement by others. This community supports everyone regardless of gender, colour, age or ability. It celebrates everyone’s individual achievement, whether tat is crossing the line first or last, getting a PB or achieving prescribed number of runs or volunteer sessions.


Whilst the joint RD team for this weekend was female, this was not a special circumstance when the core RD team of the Severn Bridge parkrun is 70% female. It should also be noted that we have a high percentage of female participants generally.


This week 239 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 54 were first timers and 33 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 37 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

Syd WHEELER • Tosh SIMPKIN • Dick FINCH • Jonathan CARTER • Sarah LEWIS • Antoinette BURROWES • Bill SAVAGE • Toni MALLIN • Kate WEBSTER • Sue WILLIAMS • Julian SMITH • Joshua SMITH • Amy BARRETT • Susannah BANNON • Craig DAVIDGE • Caroline HAY • Jo CANN • Rhys SOBEY • Zach NICHOLAS • Judith SMITH • Alfie BALMER • Madeleine SMITH

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Severn Bridge parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Maciej BIALOGONSKI who recorded a time of 15:24 on 11th May 2019 (event number 35).
The female record is held by Helen NEWBERRY who recorded a time of 18:05 on 11th May 2019 (event number 35).
The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 98.08% (25:10) on 22nd June 2019 (event number 41).

Severn Bridge parkrun started on 11th August 2018. Since then 7,169 participants have completed 15,905 parkruns covering a total distance of 79,525 km, including 2,689 new Personal Bests. A total of 484 individuals have volunteered 1,750 times.



View to a krill

Guest run report for 29th February 2020, event #72

By Tim Gardiner

Home Parkrun: Gorleston Cliffs parkrun

I chose Severn Bridge for the unique Leap Day parkrun on 29 February, a majestic location where Roger Moore’s Bond would be at home in a final showdown with the bad guys. It was the first parkrun leap run, the next chance will be in 2048. Excited about the prospect of crossing from Wales to England and back again on the legendary Severn Bridge, I checked into the Severn View Travelodge off the M48. In an uncanny coincidence I had room 007; fuel to the fire of an already hyperactive mind! Sadly, I’d forgotten my passport and running watch. Neither mistake was to prove fatal, passport checks were not in operation on the border (Al Stewart wasn’t available!) during the run and an iPhone was used for pacing purposes!


Nerves around the arrival of Storm Jorge and the potential closure of the Severn Bridge due to high winds, led to a poor night’s sleep. Despite closure of the crossing during the night, it was open in the morning and the historic event was on. Arriving at the tunnel near the start, the mood was convivial reflected by Jonathan Carter’s excellent run briefing in which the assembled mob of 181 parkrun enthusiasts was encouraged to cheer for either England or Wales! The Tunnel of Love didn’t live up to its reputation with no proposals forthcoming from women as is the tradition on Leap Days, so Jonathan proposed on one knee to Julian Smith asking for his hand in co-event directing. Thankfully, to save Jonathan’s blushes, Julian said yes!


Tourists came from places as diverse as Basingstoke, Bushy Park, Glossop and Manningtree in Essex (me!). Ben Whitbread completed his 50th run, while Ross Howells and Graham Taylor joined the 100 Club. There were plenty of tourists, but special mention should be made of Debbie and Paul Moulton joining the Cow (Half Cowell) Club in making Severn Bridge their 50th different event. Also present was top parkrun tourist, Becky Thurtell, completing her 533rd parkrun and 307th different event. Incredible stats and a top time of 25:17 (74:62% age grade) to boot! We had two Jeffers (run/walk method devised by Olympian Jeff Galloway) from Glossop (Gail Jazmik and Kathryn Gray), completing the windy run in respectable times for 10/2 intervals. And finally, it was noted that the average Severn Bridge run time of 29:02 spookily mirrored the Leap Day date!

tunnel 2

Of all the events I’ve run (52), Severn Bridge is my favourite; it even has a siren to start runners off in Wales (Monmouthshire). The rumble of runners shook the suspension bridge cycleway, slightly disconcerting for a newcomer. We soon crossed the River Wye and leapt over the border into England (denoted by flags) on the Wye Bridge (actually separate to the Severn Bridge). Once in England (Gloucestershire), we passed over Beachley Island, with the high tree canopy providing a little respite from the gusting wind. I noticed a rifle range down below indicative of the military use of the Beachley site by the Ministry of Defence. Once you’re off the Beachley Viaduct, the run progresses up the infamous Severn Loaf Hill (64 ft.) to the first tower where the bridge is around 150 ft. above the water (c. 50 m). Between the two towers was the turnaround point, expertly staffed by veteran Syd Wheeler, himself an excellent runner for age having completed 100 different parkruns. The route was lined with 19 volunteers, thanks to all of these amazing people.

Upon wheeling around Syd, the full force of Jorge was felt. I struggled back to the crest of the Severn Loaf where I was able to up the pace a little downhill before re-crossing Beachley Viaduct, the Wye Bridge and stumbling back into good old Wales.

The sprint down the heavily wooded slope towards the tunnel funnel was the easiest part of the run. Sweeping into the tunnel to the sound of a Ski Sunday style cow bell, a last ditch sprint takes you past the twinkling lights of the finish sign and the owl painted on the wall! I cannot recommend this event enough to anyone tired of their home run. It’s an all-round 10/10 event from the breath-taking views of the River Wye and Severn Estuary across to the M4 Bridge, to the well organised and ultra-friendly nature of the volunteers.

Afterwards, I took the opportunity to visit Chepstow with its beautiful castle. A Welsh pigeon deposited its load on me, while the town was engulfed by rain, hail, sleet and snow in that order! It seems we were lucky to enjoy the parkrun in glorious sunshine. Perhaps the sun shone on the righteous this Leap Day morning for just one hour?


Poetry Corner #10

The Welsh poet, Harri Webb, famously wrote in his Ode on the Severn Bridge: two lands at last connected / across the waters wide / and all the tolls collected / on the English side. The Tolls long gone, so my own thoughts on the bridge could be summed up, rather appropriately, in a 5-7-5 syllable haiku: just five kilometres / for Severn Bridge parkrunners / five on Beaufort Scale. The astronomically important day led me to write a poem for perhaps the most extreme parkrun location which may be popular with tourists in 2048!

Giant leap for ran-kind

They say stay away

from the inaugural,

this one’s a must run

in a crater on the moon.

A zero-g event

walkers, joggers, runners

all content - footprints left

like Armstrong and Aldrin.

We’ve managed to book

a cheap return flight,

it’s an early start, midweek

on low-cost EasyShutt.

On the launch pad

we check our bags,

strictly no barcode, no time

damn! I’ve left them at home.

We’re not that sure

what a good time will be,

by Newton’s logic it’ll be slow

given the lack of gravity.

A stunning earth selfie

elation on landing

then the disappointment

last minute cancellation!

This week 181 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 72 were first timers and 19 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 43 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 19 volunteers:

Syd WHEELER • Jonathan CARTER • Jane ROSCOE • Barbara MADDISON • Sarah LEWIS • Antoinette BURROWES • Wendy BRIGGS • Susan SMITH • Gail JAZMIK • Lesley STERRY • Toni MALLIN • Kate WEBSTER • Tim GARDINER • Julian SMITH • Joshua SMITH • Lis NICHOLAS • Jacob NICHOLAS • Zach NICHOLAS • Alfie BALMER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Severn Bridge parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Maciej BIALOGONSKI who recorded a time of 15:24 on 11th May 2019 (event number 35).
The female record is held by Helen NEWBERRY who recorded a time of 18:05 on 11th May 2019 (event number 35).
The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 98.08% (25:10) on 22nd June 2019 (event number 41).

Severn Bridge parkrun started on 11th August 2018. Since then 7,115 participants have completed 15,666 parkruns covering a total distance of 78,330 km, including 2,656 new Personal Bests. A total of 480 individuals have volunteered 1,728 times.



Severn Bridge parkrun #71

Guest run report for 22nd February 2020, event #71

By Becci Reeves

Home parkrun: Burnham and Highbridge parkrun

The Tourist’s Report 

The drive to Severn Bridge today involved a couple of diversions due to the wind. Although a few of us from Burnham and Highbridge parkrun were going Westbound, the sat-navs didn’t agree the carriageway was open and sent us on the M49/M4!


On arrival we took shelter from the wind in Thornwell Football Club enjoying a pre-run beverage. The run brief was clear and provided all the information needed for a safe event. After the briefing it was time for a short walk to the start line.

At the start we were greeted by the wind! The run from Wales towards England was a ‘breeze’ in comparison the return trip. Say goodbye to the tailwind and hello the headwind, talk about hitting a wall to quote another runner! As the only person with a buggy today, safe to say I was a crazy loon!

The cheering from everyone reminded me of why I like to parkrun with faster runners providing encouragement on their way to the finish and whilst cooling down. While those of us closer the back have a little chat on the way around.

On finishing, I had a chat the lovely run director Lorraine who shared how amazing all the volunteers are. Without the volunteers it wouldn’t be possible to hold the event so thank you to:

Anne Masters  •  Antoinette Burrowes  •  Bill Savage  •  Craig Davidge  •  Helena And Jj Murphy  •  John Whitelegg  •  Joshua Smith  •  Julian Smith  •  Kev Harford  •  Lorraine Clarke  •  Mike Croft  •  Pamela Robinson  •  Paul Barrett  •  Rebecca Reeves  •  Sarah Lewis  •  Susannah Bannon  •  Syd Wheeler  •  Toni Mallin  •  Zach Swinford-Davidge  •  Zachary Harris

If you want to earn yourself a one of the purple parkrun t-shirts, send us an email at, have a chat after an event or pop us a message on facebook There are variety of roles available including ones which mean you can still run.

First male today was Cj De Mooi in 17:48, who got a new PB.

First female today was Ania Ciolek in 22:39, who was a first timer.

In total there were 51 first timers and 12 personal bests, among the 158 runners.

Here are the Severn Bridge statistics for those of you interested:

Female Record Holder: Helen Newberry - 18:05 - Event 35 (11/05/19)

Male Record Holder: Maciej Bialogonski - 15:24 - Event 35 (11/05/19)

Age Graded Record Holder: Val Naylor - 98.08 % - 25:10 - Event 41 (22/06/19)

The average time taken to complete this event is 29:02, with an average 219 runners.


100th run for an 11 year old!!

Guest run report for the 8th February 2020, event #70
By Rachel Gibson
Home parkrun: Parke parkrun
Being brutally honest, after a night with an awake poorly baby I did not want to get up and do a parkrun.  It was only the promise to our 11 year old of a spectacular setting for their 100th run that got me moving.  And I was so glad we did.  Whilst it is indeed spectacular with stunning views, it also has milestone capes, encouraging noise machines as you run, country flags and an outwards uphill that I didn't notice until I flew back down it on the return.   It has volunteers still smiling after an hour in a bitter wind tunnel, a clubhouse with breakfasts to suit all diets and Connect 4 to play  whilst we waited.  Said baby of course slept through the whole thing (really lovely course for buggies) but the rest of us will remember it with joy.

This week 220 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 58 were first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:

Simon MADDISON • Jonathan CARTER • Barbara MADDISON • Phil LEE • Antoinette BURROWES • Ross HOWELLS • Kraig JACKSON • Andrew OLIVER • Rachel GIBSON • Graham TAYLOR • Toni MALLIN • Andrew MALLIN • Leah MALLIN • Lowri DUFFIELD • Dickie HUDD • Kate WEBSTER • John WHITELEGG • Rick WARREN • Julian SMITH • Joshua SMITH • Louise WILLIAMS • Susannah BANNON • Craig DAVIDGE • Ann GREEN • Lorraine CLARKE • Ed JEREMY • Alfie BALMER

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