Clapped Out

I’m a cyclist – you can probably tell that – and I love all sports of different kinds. But there’s one that I’ve never got on with…running! It knackers my kness and every time I try to take it up I have to give up quite quickly because I’m in pain.

So instead, I tend to run by proxy. I know so many people who are really into running, and I engage with other runners by talking about…err…other runners. I’m a middle man in the running circles of Swindon.

So, with today being the Swindon Half Marathon, my duty was not as a runner, but as a supporter.

It was a beautiful day for it – if anything too hot – and Sally and I pedalled out on our bikes to a fine spot on the course where we would see people running out (at about 3 miles) and back in (at about 9 miles) from the same place.

But I’m not really sure what to do as a running-race supporter, or how to cheer people on. We clapped a lot. In fact, we clapped almost non-stop for about 3 hours! And we called people’s names and shouted things like “Well done” and “Keep Going”, but it all feels a bit lame.

The hard core runners seem to view this as a distraction, and they keep focussed on the road ahead, barely acknowledging your presence. The ones at the back seem to appreciate it more, and occasionally engage in some banter. When I told one friend “Keep going! You’re doing well!” he shouted back “No I’m not!”.

So, I hope we helped some people along.

It was quite inspiring too. This was a small race of only around 1500 people, but it seemed to be a LOT from where we were standing. My sister and her boyfriend are pretty quick but there were a surprisingly large number of people running at a similar pace. It all made me think that surely running 13 miles is something that I could do.

One friend of mine called back “Your turn next year Wintle!” as he ran past. Perhaps he’s right. Perhaps I should try again, take it easy, build up slowly and have a go at running with the aim of running next year’s Swindon Half.


To finish, I pay my respect to those I know who ran. I’m hugley impressed by their commitment and effort. Sarah, Guy, Dave, Carol, James, Mike, Stevo, Ray…well done!