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.