If a thing’s worth doing …

… it’s worth doing properly. That’s what I thought when I entered the 5k race on May the 4th, in Trowbridge, called the ‘Sci-fi 5k’*. I talked about entering it here.

If I was going to do this race ‘properly’ then of course I had to do it in fancy dress. Being old school (or just old) I always think of films 4, 5 and 6 as the real Star Wars, so I decided to chose a character from these films. Hmm – a recognisable female from these films? Of course, Princess Leia.

The iconic Princess Leia pose

It’ll be easy to make and run in a Princess Leia costume, I thought. I ignored the many people who suggested Princess Leia in her bikini, and also my children’s many helpful suggestions which included Jar Jar Binks.

Jar Jar Binks. Thanks, kids

Several weeks later (and only a week until the race) this arrived in the post :-

Piles of white and silver fabric
Piles of white and silver fabric

After several days of pondering about quite how I was make the costume, I finally dived in.

Going for it

I then went shopping for ‘accessories’.

Water gun ‘blaster’, blaster paint, ‘boots’ (football socks) and lots of hair accessories

Of course, the most iconic feature of Princess Leia’s appearance is her hair. Her ‘space buns’ as I like to call them. Unfortunately I don’t have long, dark brown hair so the pile of stuff above includes brown wool and I also bought matching hair dye. Yes, I was the mad woman in Superdry matching the hair colours to a ball of wool.**

First attempt at ‘Space Buns’

I just about have a costume now, and I need to have a dress rehersal. Mr B&T won’t be at the race on Sunday so has told me that I need to have a trial run (literally) so that he can laugh see me running in my costume. I just can’t bring myself to step outside my front door wearing this outfit and run. I live in a small village. Word would get around.

Anyone else think I should have a trial run?

* as in ‘May the Fourth be with you’

** I have since seen that Carrie Fisher is to appear in the new Star Wars film, so maybe I should skip the hair dye and just say I’m Princess Leia from film 7, when she’s old and grey?

Lapping up Parkrun

8 o’clock on a beautiful April Saturday morning, so of course I’d love to get up and go out running. Particularly when husband, who had been planning on going out cycling, decided he didn’t feel well enough and was going to stay in bed. Humpf. Black cat had been meowing at me, and walking all over me, for nearly an hour so the chances of going back to sleep were minimal. I got up.

Cats fed, me fed, running gear on, bar code found, car park money found, IT’S 8.45 AND I’M GOING TO BE LATE! Fortunately it’s a short sprint from the car park to the start, so I took that as my warm up and arrived just as the race director asked everyone to move to the start line.

There were a few more runners today at Chippenham’s second parkrun than at the pilot event two weeks ago (155 rather than 30) which made it a little more crowded at the start. However it was all good natured and friendly, and impressive to watch a group sprint away from the rest of the pack.

The route follows 2 short laps around the park which takes in a short slope up the side of the mini golf, along the top of the park and back down to the start. Then a short run along the river, another 2 loops around a wilder section of the park, and back along the river to the finish. As I set off on the first loop of the second section I heard the call “faster runners coming!”, and a group of speedy guys flew past. Some runners find it depressing to be lapped but I always love seeing just how fast and smoothly some people can run.

Grimly Determined - but thumbs up!
Grimly Determined – but thumbs up!

As I completed the first loop and started on the second I suddenly found the (running) boot on the other foot as I lapped the back markers. I was reminded of my daughter, as I passed a teenager, head down, sullenly trudging along. A few metres ahead I presumed was her Mum, patiently waiting whilst uttering encouraging “come on dear’s”. I smiled, knowing exactly how she felt.

Parkrun truly does seem to be for everyone, and I’m very grateful to the people who set up Chippenham’s parkrun, and to the ever smiling marshals and helpers. I apologise that again my barcode wouldn’t scan and promise that I’ve ordered a plastic version for next time.

Parkrun Pilot

I’ve had months of telling myself that Swindon is too far to go on Saturday morning for a 5K Parkrun (and let’s be honest,  it involves being up way too early for my liking). Despite really enjoying the one I did go to, it wasn’t enough to prod me to go again. After all, I do my running during the week- I don’t need to go on Saturday morning as well, do I? It would be so easy if only there was a Parkrun close to me, I kept telling myself.

My bluff was called. After much organization and debate the inaugural running of the Chippenham Parkrun was announced – on the 12th April 2014. Unfortunately I couldn’t make that date, but I could make the pilot run on 5th April -no more excuses.

On the morning itself, having convinced myself I didn’t have far to go and that there was no need to get to a Parkrun early, I ended up running late. I sprinted through Monkton Park looking for the start and was relieved to see people in hi-viz yellow -surely that must be it? It was of course, and I was there in plenty of time.


At the pre-run briefing,  after having the course explained to us  (2 laps of a part of the park,  followed by 2 laps of another part of the park), we held a minute’s silence for a runner that had collapsed and died at another Parkrun a week ago. It was a sobering thought,  The silence was punctuated with bird song, faint traffic noise,  and the beep of people’s Garmin watches. It seemed to sum up everything about Parkrun, and I hope he would have approved.

Before we had time to get too philosophical about life and running, we were off. There were only thirty runners so we didn’t overcrowd the path, and the laps were fine and not as boring as the thought of them had been.  All of the marshalls were encouraging and had no problems identifying which lap we were on.  It might be a different story with more runners and a larger spread of speeds,  and will be interesting when faster runners lap others.

As I finished I was delighted to be given the 10th position barcode. I don’t think I’ll ever hold that one again.

Tenth position

As we finished, I was chatting to a lady who’d been pulled around the course by her dog at high speed. Another runner next to us joined in our conversion, and then made my day by asking if I was Lucy, because he’d been reading my blog. A fan! A real life fan!! Darren, it was lovely to meet you, and hopefully I’ll see you at Parkrun again soon.

Running for the Empire, or the Rebel Alliance?

In a fit of enthusiasm I’ve just entered the Trowbridge “Sci-Fi” 5K to be held next month.


Sci-Fi_bannerWhy is it the Sci-Fi 5K? Well, apart from the hopefully ace medal, it’s held on May the 4th, of course. I’m already loving this race – of all the questions I’ve been asked on previous race entry forms (age, address, medical details etc) I have never before been asked if I want to run for The Empire, or the Rebel Alliance. Tough decision, eh?

I’ve also noticed there’s a prize for the runner with the best fancy dress. I’m feeling inspired after watching the Great British Sewing Bee so am off to search for technical fabrics by the metre. I may be some time …