Raindrops keep falling on my head, but that doesn’t mean WE WON’T SMASH SWINDON HALF MARATHON!
22 runners ran 21.3km in a race in Swindon.
- Sunday, 22nd of September 2019
- Led by Sam Coxon
It was here! The biggest event in the Swindon running calendar, and GoodGym was well represented alongside over 2000 other runners.
The Swindon Half Marathon is run across closed roads and takes in the Swindon sights. It starts at the County Ground, across the magic roundabout, south towards Coate Water, to the east of the town, north west following close to the railway line to halfway point at our Group Run meeting point, the Oasis. From there, through Bruce Street Bridges and past the Outlet Centre, west and under the railway bridge, south and then east into Witchelstowe, past Nationwide, and up the tricky hill into Old Town. From Old Town, down Vicky hill, past Regent’s Circus, down Commercial Road and (phew!) past the finish line at Wharf Green. If you’re still reading these directions at this point, it’s fair to say it crosses a lot of the town!
GoodGym’ers were involved in all aspects of the race – we had first timers, a fundraiser, returning Half Marathon runners, spectators/supporters/cheer squads, a florescent marshal and a pair of pacers. We were ready!
Feeling nervous, we assembled at no later than 8.30am by the big Xempo pacer sign for the obligatory landscape, portrait, architectural, and square group photos. This time, it was for both a GoodGym photographer and a photographer from the local paper, who oddly only seemed to require one photo format.
While the day started sunny, the clouds soon descended as the official warm up took place, and some amazing dance moves displayed. Time to get into the starting pens!
Many of us were running our first half marathons, including Mike, David, Tracey, Jo, Carly, Simon and Ashleigh; while others were returning for another bash at the HM distance such as fifty plus heroes Andrew Charlesand Sam, and Adam and Graham.
Our pair of pacing trainers also donned their banners – Emma, the Swindon Trainer at 2hrs, and Ben, the Cardiff Trainer at 1hr40. Cath also swept up at 3hr30. We were also joined by a GoodGym race tourist, Alex.
We were lined up, and then we were off just as the rains started falling!
For much of the race, it was raining cats and dogs. Poodles were everywhere, on the road and behind the barriers. The Swindon community were really behind all the runners despite the weather – and all across the course, there were people cheering us on. There were also fabulous aid stations providing water and jelly babies, sponsored by local businesses, and cheer stations populated by local charities.
Most important were where the members of our GoodGym family were stationed. Thanks for cheering us on:
Emily R – cheering on at the Oasis
Hannah – marshalling out at Hawksworth industrial estate, after the Oasis
Cheer squad No. 1 Teresa, Luke and Grace – Transfer Bridges
Cheer squad No. 2 Jo, Owain and Rhys – who had gone straight from junior parkrun to cheer and hug us on near Waitrose
Kirsty – at the finish line, making sure to capture some special, some painful, moments as we crossed the line!
Many more of us were involved sending messages of support over the GG WhatsApp group. Thank you to everyone who supported us and the other runners through the rain!
But how did we get on?!
The best thing was, we all finished!
After crossing the line, we all received a medal, t-shirt and goody bag. Some hung around for a post half massage, many of us hung around to chat and congratulate each other, but we should all be very proud of our achievements. This run reporter suspects we’ll see many GoodGym’ers sporting their new fancy finishers t-shirts at a parkrun or GoodGym event soon!
A huge well done to everyone who paced or participated through the sometime torrential rain, especially the first-timers, but also to Sam who PB’d her HM the same week she hit fifty good deeds!
You can check the official results out here!
With news that the HM will return – who’s up for the same next year?!
We’ve also had a tremendous week at Swindon celebrating ten years of GoodGym, with a Tuesday Group Run to the Women’s Refuge, our Super Saturday community mission straight after parkrun, leading up to the Swindon Half Marathon on Sunday. Go GoodGym Swindon!
What’s up next?
How do we follow up an amazing week? With more GoodGym! Coming up is:
If your legs have healed up in time for Tuesday 24th September, we’re weeding in the rose garden at Christ Church. Good luck to Simon S, who is leading his first Group Run! Sign up here!
The following Tuesday 1 October, we’re gardening at Age UK Wiltshire @ Toothill Community Centre. Come and join us!
Our next race is Sunday 27 October, the final Trust10k of the year at Avebury. Get involved!
Report written by Mike Oakes
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