By Anton

Sunday 13 December 2015, Sneyd, Bloxwich

I joined the Birmingham Swifts in May 2015 by participating in the Saturday morning Couch to 5K training sessions at Cannon Hill Park. Tommy and Steve made me feel welcome and included, and the sessions proved that I could still run, having not done much since my cross country running days at school.

I tested my ability further by successfully completing the Birmingham Half Marathon in October 2015, which gave me even more confidence in my running ability. I was then keen not to let my training slip over the winter months.

The culmination of the Swifts Christmas party weekend was the 30th running of the popular Sneyd Striders Christmas Pudding Run in Bloxwich, on December 13th 2015.

The race had a distance option, with four Swifts competing in the five mile category, and five running the ten mile route.

We all arrived early and congregated in the school sports hall. Race numbers were collected and dutifully pinned to our tasteful Swifts attire. The obligatory pre run photograph was taken, with the Swifts flag in pride of place.

As if running on a cold and wet December morning wasn’t funny enough, we all looked rather resplendent wearing Christmas pudding bobble hats, so the Swifts were easy to spot and stood out in the crowd.

The route, to be completed twice by the ten milers, wasn’t too arduous with only a few steady inclines. My nemesis Paul was looking strong and ahead of me, as usual. He was a good pacemaker though, and I managed to trail not too far behind.

The five mile Swifts all completed in under 50 minutes, and sensibly retreated to the relative warmth of the sports hall. Paul was first over the finishing line in the ten mile group, with David and Chris finishing together. This was notably David’s longest run to date, so well done him!

Our thanks go to our drive-by supporter Tom who offered words of encouragement (or possibly abuse) from his car window as he sped past us!

We all came away with our goody bag containing a banana, chocolate bar, coaster, and the much anticipated Christmas pudding! (My pudding is still languishing in a cupboard, so may not be devoured until December 2016!)

Post run the Swifts all looked rather bedraggled due to the inclement weather. We greatly anticipated the promise of a hot steamy shower in the school gym. However, due to the distinct lack of hot water, we had to grin and bear icy cold showers. Bbbbrrrr!

Prior to driving over to Cannock for lunch we had to build up our appetite further by extracting Chris’s car from the muddy bog in which it was stuck!

Lunch at the OK American Diner provided much needed sustenance, and the Blue Bubble Gum milkshakes were the highlight of our day!

Thanks fellow Swifts for another great day out!

Swifts ahoy!




Official Results By Birmingham Swifts

5 Mile

Jay – 37.30
Aaron – 42.45
Darren – 44.40
Cheryl – 48.53

10 Mile

Paul – 1.13.50
Anton – 1.14.48
Tommy – 1.22.03
David – 1.42.08
Chris P – 1.42.08

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