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Swift first impressions

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

Wondering what it's like to run with the Swifts? Dave Bittlestone talks us through his experience below.


Running clubs are for elites, right? The sort you see up the front of the Eastleigh 10k, ready to steam off into the distance and finish twenty minutes ahead of you? That’s long been my perception, so it was with some trepidation that when my brother Simon texted me asking if I was interested in joining the Valley Park 5k time trial earlier this month I put my hand in. Fast forward a week and, thanks to a niggle, I’m allotted marshal station 0.5 and 5 for the time trial. A marshal that nobody knows, who also knows nobody, what could possibly go wrong?

Fast forward another two weeks, and I’ve discovered new muscles with two of Phil’s speedwork sessions, and joined two of the Wednesday night runs – one past my old haunts down at Southampton Uni, and then Steve’s spooky lanes this Wednesday just gone. Having until now exclusively run solo (accompanied by whoever comes up on Shuffle blasting in my ears… mostly American rock incase you’re asking) I can say I’m an absolute convert to group running! The speedwork sessions are pushing boundaries without feeling like an endurance (well, until the next day), and the long runs have pushed me further on a midweek night then I ever would’ve done before… the kilometres seem to pass by much quicker with conversation, and both have had the added bonus of a pub at the end!

As the evenings get lighter I look forward to recognising more faces, finding new routes, and exploring new pubs. Thanks for letting me tag along.

- Dave Bittlestone (that's me in the orange Eastleigh 10k top)



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