“Gloopiest” – is that a thing?

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Run Report 13 January 2018

Event #186

Words and pictures by Richard Woodfield

Watching Countdown on Channel 4 the other week I had a rare, but short lived, moment of triumph when I came up with a nine letter word - which would give you a whopping 18 points. I must have had mud on the brain because I came up with the word "gloopiest". Sadly, when someone on the programme also came up with the same suggestion, Dictionary Corner supremo, Susie Dent, disallowed it on the grounds that it was not yet in the dictonary - although she thought it was only a matter of time before usage of the word was sufficient to gain entry. I would suggest that if the custodians of the dictionary all took part in a few parkruns over the Winter the word "gloopiest" would be fast tracked into the dictionary in no time!

To be fair the mud last Saturday at RTW parkrun was more sticky and less gloopy liquid than the previous week - incidentally making it a lot more difficult to clean running shoes afterwards. 216 brave parkrunners stayed the course and, commendably, completed a distinctly challenging 5k.

Steve Barnfield, Run Director, advised parkrunners of the conditions that lay ahead and announced that Simon Keep had joined the 100 parkruns club. Harry Warren had also joined the junior 10 parkruns club.

Looking ahead, our next pacer day is on 27 January - we've already got some volunteer pacers lined up, but more would be welcome.

Some of the 37 parkrunners who finished at between 27 and 28 minutes...



parkrunners dwarfed by the mature trees of Dunorlan Park

We've had a few rather gloomy mornings recently at our parkruns. This week we had a tantalising glimpse of a rather muffled looking the sun for a few minutes before the start - but hardly enough to require the suntan lotion!

This week's meagre ration of sunshine...
20180113_085043[2] 20180113_085030[1]
* 12 personal bests were achieved by parkrunners returning to our event
* 14 people were doing their very first 5k parkrun
* 21 were parkrun tourists at our event

I didn't get a PB, but I did achieve an unwelcome first - the only time so far in over 100 parkruns that my shoelaces had come undone during the run.

The most frequently occurring name among parkrun finishers were:

Matthew/Matt (7)
Catherine, Katharine, Kate, Katia, Katie (7)

To keep up to speed with parkrun, follow us on Twitter or like our page on Facebook.

This week's 22 volunteers were:
Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Angela TYLER • Colin RATCLIFFE • Francis EAMES • Gloria RICHARDS • Huw JONES • Isabella SOUTH • J B • Joseph WATTS • Louise FITZGERALD • Marian KEEP • Mark DENNISON • Mark SCOTT • Matilda WHITE • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Rod KING • Simon KEEP • Steve BARNFIELD • Tom CHANDLER • Wendy ANDERSON • Yolanda WITT


New Year, New You

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 185
6th January 2018

Run report written by Joe Watts

This week our volunteer team returned to Dunorlan Park for the first parkrun event of 2018 and what a team it was, with 32 people helping to put on another fun, safe and friendly event. There were plenty of marshals out on course to provide some well needed support, so a massive thank you to everyone who volunteered this week.

Your Run Director for our first event of 2018 was Louise Fitzgerald and during her pre-run briefing, Louise welcomed two new members to the parkrun 50 club: Joshua Pratt & Jack Filbrandt as well as a warm welcome to the parkrun volunteer 25 club for this week's first finisher, Tom Chandler. Well done to Tom, who is almost half way to completing the volunteering section of his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award with us. Finally, we bid a fond farwell to Annaelle Duffield who was volunteering with us for the last time as she completed the volunteering section of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award with us. A massive thank you to Annaelle for all of her hard work over the last 12 months and we wish her all the best for the future.

A patient crowd of 223 people listen to the pre-run briefing:
6th January 2018

This week 223 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were parkrun tourists, 14 were first timers, 14 had forgotten their barcode and therefore did not receive a result and of the returning 181, an impressive 4 people recorded new Personal Bests. Well done to Ralph Colley, Tim Colley, Rhiannon Hunnisett and Jadzia Loveridge for defying the elements and recording a new PB on our rather muddy course! Finally, representatives of 16 different clubs took part.

Plenty of smiles as participants embark on their 5,000m journey into the unknown:
6th January 2018

6th January 2018

The event was made possible by a whopping 32 volunteers:

Joseph WATTS • Louise FITZGERALD • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • J B • Rod KING • Judy GUEST • Matilda WHITE • Edward STEELE • Steve BOLTON • John TIGHE • David HARMAN • Nick FITZGERALD • Sarah CRONIN • Stuart CORKE • Richard WOODFIELD • Mary P SCOTT • Colin RATCLIFFE • Huw JONES • Annaelle DUFFIELD • Thomas PRICE • Austin RUDMAN • Isabella SOUTH • Robin BARWICK • Wendy ANDERSON • Tom CHANDLER • Yolanda WITT • Angela TYLER • Rose SAWYER • Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Geraldine JEE • Mark DENNISON

A parkrun tourist (and a professional M50-54 age-grade triathlete) from the Gold Coast in Australia (pictured below in blue) spoke with me afterwards and said how much he enjoyed the event:
6th January 2018

You can view our complete event history on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results page, which includes the full results from this week's event.

Two excellent examples of dogs being kept on a short lead and under-11's within arm's reach:
6th January 2018

6th January 2018

Finally, a reminder that you can keep up to date with the latest news and information from our event on social media - follow us on Twitter or like our page on Facebook.

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014. Since then 4,807 participants have completed 28,355 parkruns covering a total distance of 141,775 km, including 5,469 new Personal Bests.


Farewell 2017

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 184
30th December 2017

Run report written by Joe Watts with photos courtesy of Chloe Hassell

And so, our final event of 2017 and a record breaking 6th event in one calendar month came and went, although the mud is well and truly here to stay, well at least for the next couple of months! The weather conditions in Dunorlan Park on the morning was rather mild and dry, with a slight wind. However, due to the heavy rain from the previous evening the course was very wet and extremely muddy providing a challenge for our team of volunteer pacers as well as those runners looking to achieve a post-Christmas PB!

Regular runner Zena Hassell, sporting her parkrun 100 club tee:

Did you know? There were four separate months during 2017 (January, May, June and August) where we were only able to provide just 3 weekly events.

During the pre-run briefing I made a few important announcements. Firstly, I welcomed Victoria Mullett to the parkrun volunteer 25 club - Tori joins our exclusive club of volunteers who have racked up 25 separate volunteer occasions, so very well done to her! I then thanked Annaelle Duffield who had completed the volunteering section of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh with us over the past 12 months. We thank Annaelle for her hard work and commitment over the past year and wish her all the best for the future. Lastly, I mentioned that we are looking for another couple of volunteers to join our team of Run Directors. With the recent departure of Simon Jones, our team of RD's is down to 4 and we would like to add a couple of new people to our team. Having 6 people who are trained to perform the Run Director role would allow us to rotate the team each week meaning that each Run Director would be required to perform the role once every 6 weeks. If you would be interested in volunteering for this position, or would like to know more information then please email royaltunbridgewellshelpers@parkrun.com

A delighted & relieved first timer, pictured with her family

Did you know? The average finish time on our course is 28:59.

This week 177 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 11 were first timers, 17 were parkrun tourists, whilst a less impressive 18 people forgot their barcode. Of the returning 131 people, 5 recorded new Personal Bests - well done to Matthew Clark, Clare Howes, Sarah Howes, James Petrie and James Piggott for achieving a new Personal Best in very challenging conditions!

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:
Keeley HOAD • Fiona SUTTON • Joseph WATTS • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • J B • Martin BRICE • Judy GUEST • Matilda WHITE • Tom GREEN • David HARMAN • Charles BOWLEY • Stuart CORKE • Chris MULLALEY • Francis EAMES • Mary P SCOTT • Andy GARRATT • Noeline SIMS • Austin RUDMAN • Lukas RATCLIFFE • Robin BARWICK • Tom CHANDLER

Did you know? 3,980 people have registered with Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun as their home event of whom 1,115 have registered over the past calendar year alone!

In response to our post-event message on Twitter, RTW parkrun regular Ross Marshall posted - "And that one guy who had to pull out after 1 due to a nose bleed"

Ross Marshall had to withdraw from what would have been his 100th run at our event:

What a year it has been for us all at Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun. In January we were graced with the presence of the founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewitt. In April, we celebrated our 3rd anniversary. In May, we posted a record attendance (326) and the only time (so far) that we have welcomed more than 300 people to our event. In August we celebrated the start of the World Athletics Championships with a Team GB theme. In September the Tunbridge Wells Harriers provided a takeover event (contributing to a record breaking 58 volunteers on the day). In October we celebrated Halloween in style, with a spooktacular pacer event. Finally, in December, we provided our first ever Christmas Day event and a record breaking 6 events in one month!

Did you know? Our lowest attendance to date is 48 (13th December 2014).

parkrunners gather on dry land, post-event:

You can view our complete event history on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results page, which includes the full results from this week's event.

Did you know? You can keep up to date with the latest news and information from our event on social media - follow us on Twitter or like our page on Facebook.

And so, I end this run report with a huge thank you to the 201 different people who have volunteered and the 2,359 different people who have participated at our event over the past calendar year - we could not have done it without you! From myself and the rest of the volunteer team, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year.


So this is Christmas…. and what have you run?

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 183
25th December 2017

Run report written by Zena Hassell with photographs courtesy of Zena Hassell, Richard Woodfield & David Harman

What more could we ask for? a Christmas day parkrun. All nicely wrapped within the beautiful Dunorlan Park. (OK it was rather overcast & blustery!) But what a fantastic turnout of 174 parkrunners including myself. Many dressed in festive attire and a varied range of ages, from the young to the more mature, even vintage (I'm sure you know which category you fit into) battling through those familiar muddy patches. It certainly seems that some people heeded the warning "Too many cooks spoil the broth" and ventured to Dunorlan Park instead. Rosemary Shrager may well be just a little disgusted of Tunbridge Wells with that!

Over the festive period, it was good to see a sprinkling of appropriate names on the Volunteer Roster:
JOSEPH Watts, NOELine Sims, (ST) NICK Fitzgerald, ROBIN Barwick, ANGEL(A) Tyler and MARY p Scott

A cautious first timer listens to the pre-run briefing

Hats off to these well dressed runners

BARK! - The Herald Canines Sing

Time really does fly when you're having fun. As 2018 approaches RTW parkrun will be heading into it's 4th Year. I was lucky enough to attend the 1st RTW parkrun back in April 2014, not really knowing what to expect, but I can honestly say that after the first run, I was well and truly hooked, addicted, obsessed even, as I'm sure many others are now? What a great addiction to have!

For Simon Jones (Run Director/Volunteer) this was his last regular RTW parkrun, well for now....
Until he returns (which I'm sure he will) everyone here wishes him the very best of luck and thanks for being part of the RTW parkrun Team.

A Fond Farewell to Simon:

Here's a little parkrun pop quiz to keep the brain active over the Christmas Break (match the artist to the song):

Step into Christmas, keep on running, Tiger Feet, She's got legs, Physical, Born to run, Keep on moving, Foot Loose, Run to You, Running up that Hill!

Kenny Loggins, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Soul to Soul, Spencer Davis Group, Elton John, Mud, Kate Bush, ZZ Top, Olivia Newton-John

A big thank you as always to Joe and all the volunteers for organising this extra special parkrun event:

If you want to start 2018 with the feel good factor, head over to our sister parkrun (Tonbridge) who are hosting a NYD event starting at 10.30am, Yule be mad to miss it!



Royal Tunbridge Wells
parkrun #181
16 December 2017

Run report by David Harman. Pictures by David Dubery (DD) and Richard Woodfield

Saturday 16th December dawned bright, sunny but very cold for Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun 181. This week's Run Director, Noeline SIMS welcomed 174 runners including 11 first-timers and coincidentally 11 parkrun tourists, all eager to do their best round the frosty Dunorlan Park course. Noeline also welcomed a plethora of parkrunners to the various parkrun clubs - firstly, Sami Witt joined the junior 10 club, then Wendy Currie, John Miller and Graham Brooks all joined the 50 club and finally, Fiona Sutton and Richard Nash joined the 100 club - congratulations to all!

Among the tourists was former RTW runner (and volunteer) Andrew JACKSON who paid a return visit to volunteer as Tail Walker this Saturday. Many will remember that Andrew left Kent for the delights of leafy Essex some months ago. But here is the nice thing about the parkrun community - you can run at any other parkrun in the country (or abroad) and feel instantly at home. And even those who unwisely take it upon themselves to stray from their ancestral parkun are welcomed back like the prodigal son (or daughter)!

Hard ground underfoot and crisp December air set the scene for some good running with first male finisher Joe HOLLAND (18:19) followed by two Juniors, Dillon HOBBS (19:20) and Matthew DUBERY (19:39) and first female finisher Mary P SCOTT at 21:00. In fact 20 new PBs were achieved and all 174 runners reached the finish funnel safely. Well done! There were 14 runners, however who had not registered or had forgotten their barcode and whose valiant efforts round the wintry course did not earn them a time. #DFYB!


... setting a good pace over the wooden bridge .... [DD]


.... a circuit of the event field and back down to the wooden bridge ....[DD]


That glorious feeling after another parkrun

Why not keep up to date with the latest news and information from our event on social media by following us on Twitter or liking our page on Facebook ?


Volunteers sorting the signs ready for next week

Neither RTW parkun 181 or the 180 previous RTW parkuns would have been possible without our dedicated team of volunteers. Braving the low temperatures this week to make your parkrun possible were: Andrew JACKSON, Andy GARRATT, Annaelle DUFFIELD, Carolyn PRICE, Chris METCALFE. Daniel Michael SHIRLEY, David DUBERY, Emily MULLETT, Francis EAMES, Gloria RICHARDS, Isabella SOUTH, Jon HAWKER, Joseph WATTS, Judy GUEST, Louise FITZGERALD, Mark SCOTT, Matilda WHITE, Mike CHAMPION, Nick FITZGERALD, Noeline SIMS, Richard WOODFIELD, Robin BARWICK, See WHY, Simon JONES, Sophie DUBERY, Steve BARNFIELD, Tom CHANDLER, Victoria MULLETT, Yolanda WITT and Zena HASSELL.

Thank you one and all!   And if you or someone you know would like to take advantage of volunteering opportunities at parkrun next Saturday; on Christmas Day or into January 2018 and beyond, please drop a line to royaltunbridgewellshelpers@parkrun.com


Afterwards in the cafe ...

A reminder of Winter special events at RTW parkrun:

  • Monday 25th December 2017: Christmas Day parkrun, 9am - full details here.
  • Saturday 30th December 2017: Pacer day - your final chance for a PB in 2017!
  • Saturday 27th January 2018: Pacer day - our first pacer day of 2018. We aim to have a team of volunteer runners, pacing times from 36 minutes up to 22 minutes.
  • Saturday 10th February 2018: Valentine's special - wear red & bring a loved one
  • Saturday 24th February 2018: Pacer day - the 3rd and final of our Winter trio of pacer days, where again we aim to have a team of volunteer runners, pacing times from 36 minutes up to 22 minutes.

And finally, we are pleased to report that unlike last week, no-one Forgot Their Trousers (#DFYT) or indeed was wearing The Wrong Trousers. In fact there were no Trouser-related incidents at all which is probably just as well! See for yourself in the Group photo pool on Flickr!

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