Birthday parkrun in the land of our Fathers

I wrote a guest run report for parkrun and thought I’d share it here in case anyone is missing my running blogs?! It’s been a while…shall I revive them?!

Guest Run Report for 8th December 2018 Event #15
Home parkrun: Grangemoor

“I don’t want to go”. Not the first time I’ve uttered these words on a parkrun morning, but surprising for today. I’ve been looking forward to parkrun on my birthday since back in August when I realized it was on a Saturday! But my favourite, home parkrun, Rogiet, unfortunately had to be cancelled due to flooding rendering the grounds more suitable for a parkswim!

Rogiet parkswim

So I’d grumpily changed parkrun plans to Severn Bridge parkrun. Not exactly a terrible place to celebrate though; the Chepstow based start is the home run for many ex running buddies from the Harriers, before I deserted to Cardiff, and I’ve been intending to “tick it off” for quite some time.

At the briefing, the very friendly Vicky shouted out for tourists, who had come from Glasgow, Cambridge and even from Austria (my sister!). There was also a very well sung happy birthday chorus for me, thanks guys! We were all then led to the start happily chatting away, almost forgetting we had to run 5k.

The Run Director for the Day

As I have a race tomorrow, I was determined to take it steady today and enjoy parkrun. Quick selfie with Sharron and the sis, and we set off, with gleeful cheers of “this is so much fun!” And “this is my favourite ever parkrun!” from my Austrian sister Susie.

Quick selfie with Sharron and Susie

And we’re off:

Let’s talk about Susie and parkrun for a minute. When I converted to running a couple of years ago, I immediately set on a mission to try and proselytise as many others as possible – I wanted to share the joy and love of running! I tried to get my sister to do C25k, but after one or two 5 minute sessions, she’d give up. So when Susie was visiting a couple of years ago, I made her do her first parkrun with me. She swore at me the whole way round, “People f**king do this for fun?”, “What’s the f**king point?” and, “I’d rather f**king never f**king  eat again than f**king do this to f**king keep fit!”. Fast forward 12 parkruns later, and I can confidently say, “I told you so” as she skipped happily along at parkrun, at one point disappearing into the distance, not realising she’d left us for dust!

Susie didn’t realise she’d left us behind!

Just before the turnaround marshals, getting my phone out for another selfie, and horror of horrors, something flew out of my pocket, nearly going off the edge, into the Severn, never to be seen again! I stopped running, did a 180 and frantically screamed, “MY BARCODE!” Until Sharron noticed it was my bank card, “ah that’s okay then” and turned back round to continue the run.

Hi-fiving the marshalls

As we neared the border, seeing the glorious Welsh flag flying ahead of us, my Welshnesss overcame me, and I couldn’t help but blare out my best rendition of “Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau”, expecting the others to join in. Turns out I was the only one who knew the words!

Susie celebrates our return to Wales, we missed you, Land of our Fathers!

Sharron, on running Marshall duty, noticed Mia and offered a little encouragement, picking up a conversation, and the four of us ran the second half of the course together.

Jumping for joy!

Mia, one of only two in the junior women 11-14 category, got a new personal best by three minutes today. I hope our chants of “Miii-aaaaa! Miii-aaaaa! Miii-aaaaa! ” helped as she impressively sprinted the last kick of uphill and round to the finish. Mia’s favourite subjects at school are games, cooking, music and drama, and she gave us a preview of her reading a story for a Little Red Riding Hood performance, which was excellent.

Mia, me, Sharron & Susie at the finish

A post- parkrun bacon bap, along with a Stella for Susie (did I mention she’s Austrian? Drinking at 10am is perfectly acceptable over there), and a celebration of all things parkrun. I may have started the morning grumpy, but we all finished with big smiles on our faces. I always regret the parkruns I don’t do, but I’ve never regretted the parkruns I’ve done!

Diolch yn fawr Ail Groesfan Hafren (Thank you Severn Bridge)! We’ll be back! Xoxo


Photo credits: Jen Danger Harding and Brenda Avery

This week 101 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 34 were first timers and 27 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:

Brenda AVERY • Anne MASTERS • Jonathan CARTER • Chrissi WILLIAMS • Sarah LEWIS • Barry TURNER • Jen DANGER HARDING • Grace LEWIS • Sharron BURRIDGE • Victoria DAVIES • Kevin DAVIES • Julian SMITH • Jeff WILLIAMS • Louise WILLIAMS • Tomos WILLIAMS • Scott WILLIAMS • Jack WILLIAMS • Craig DAVIDGE • Julie TUCKER • Gareth PEEL • Sarah EASTON

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 Jack MILLAR who recorded a time of 15:55 on 8th September 2018 (event number 5).
The female record is held by Kate DREW who recorded a time of 18:31 on 24th November 2018 (event number 13).
The Age Grade course record is held by Philip PARRY who recorded 88.74% (17:19) on 24th November 2018 (event number 13).

Severn Bridge parkrun started on 11th August 2018. Since then 1,888 participants have completed 2,803 parkruns covering a total distance of 14,015 km, including 391 new Personal Bests. A total of 155 individuals have volunteered 341 times.

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