Do you take this parkrunner ….?

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event #208
14 July 2018

Run report and pictures by Richard Woodfield. (First pic of pre wedding parkrunners provided by Stephanie Groot)

Another very warm and sunny morning encouraged a good crowd of 264 parkrunners to gather in Dunorlan Park - and so creating a new July record attendance at our event. As so often seems to happen, the gentle cooling breeze which accompanied us on lap one, had mysteriously dropped completely away by lap two.

After today's parkrun we were sent a picture of Steph (Groot) and Jon (Hanes) who had been on a pre-wedding parkrun - they were to be married the following day.


I had been unaware at the time that this was a special occasion and so was a bit slow off the mark investigating when I caught sight of a group of parkrunners gathered for a team photo. I did, tho, get as far a side on shot just as the group was dispersing. So we can at least just about see the bride and groom's faces here!

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Run Director, Steve, announced new members of the run clubs: Alexander J J Baker and Tilly Cunliffe (junior 10 club), and Rose Marten and Ed McKinney (50 club)

There were parkrun tourists from a wide variety of places including, Sydney, Sweden, Nottingham, Newbury, Eastbourne and Tonbridge.

High summer - a bit of shade is more than welcome

Valuing everyone's achievements It's what parkrun's all about! Here, Vicky leads the congratulations as Valerie (accompanied by junior parkrunner, Keelan) completes her 100th parkrun.
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For stats geeks, July has now joined the list of months during which we've had at least one attendance of 250+ parkrunners. This means that Jan, Feb and March are now the only months where we've not had a 250+ attendance. (In fact poor old March hasn't even reached 200 - it's just possible that mud may have something to do with that!?)

Volunteers in action ... in sunshine and shade
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A reminder that many of our regular volunteers will among those taking holidays during this peak holiday season, so it will be really helpful if we can have reinforcements! Remember that it's possible to volunteer to help with setting up beforehand and/or closing down afterwards and still be able to run/jog/walk your 5k.

Today's parkrun was brought to you by:

Andrew GRAHAM • Colin RATCLIFFE • David SAWYER • Emily MULLETT • Erica JONES • Flo AUSTEN • Francis EAMES • Jack NORWOOD • John DYSON • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Louise FITZGERALD • Mark DENNISON • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Ross MARSHALL • Steve BARNFIELD • Sylvie AUSTEN • Victoria CAGLAR • Victoria MULLETT • Yolanda WITT


2 four 1

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 207
30th June 2018

Run report written by Joe Watts with photos courtesy of Richard Woodfield

It was another warm, dry & sunny morning in Dunorlan Park and I was on Run Director duty once more, joined by another 39 volunteers for our first pacer day of the summer months.

Prior to the pre-run briefing I made some announcements, including a reminder that there is no event on Saturday 7th July due to the "Pub in the Park" event which is taking place in Dunorlan Park from Friday - Sunday of that weekend. The crowd were reminded that there are plenty of options locally within which to complete a parkrun, including, Tonbridge (flat, but big crowd), Bedgebury (undulating and scenic) and Lullingstone (hilly and small crowd) to name but a few.

The barcode scanning team found some shade:


I also welcomed two new members to the parkrun 50 milestone club in the shape of Andrew Watts (no relation) and Richard Haycock and 1 new member to the volunteer 25 club, regular runner Kelvin Desmoyers-Davis who happened to be on volunteer pacing duties for this event.

Encouragement from volunteer pacer, Amy White:

This week 241 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers to parkrun, 18 were parkrun tourists and 19 were "unknown". Of the returning 190 returning parkrunners, 36 recorded new Personal Bests on our course. Finally, there were representatives of 21 different clubs who took part.

The 13-strong pacing team line-up to display their pacing times:

The event was made possible by 40, superstar volunteers:

Mark SCOTT • Daniel WITT • Ross MARSHALL • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Louise FITZGERALD • Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • Rod KING • Karin GIANNONE • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Richard NASH • David CUNNINGHAM • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Chris MULLALEY • Marianne CROKER • Amy WHITE • David EDWARDS • Eve DUBREUIL • Noeline SIMS • Flo AUSTEN • Lizzy ADAM • Colin RATCLIFFE • Graham BROOKS • Robin BARWICK • Dom TAYLOR-LANGLEY • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Yolanda WITT • Rose SAWYER • Derek JEE • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Jack NORWOOD • Andrew GRAHAM

This week's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results page.

We look forward to welcoming you back on Saturday 14th July 2018. If you would like to volunteer for this event in any capacity, please e-mail us at:


Welcome back

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 206
23 June 2018
Run Report written by Judy Guest with photos by Richard Woodfield

After our cancellation last week due to another event in the park, we were greeted by a beautiful sunny morning, where we saw 254 people run, jog and walk the course. We gladly welcomed 39 first timers and 42 of our runners recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

Your last chance to claim lost property!
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Louise was the Run Director, welcoming tourists from as far as Australia and as near as Eastbourne. She happily welcomed William Piggott and Francesca Currah to the Junior 10 Club and Rachel King and Sian Dubery to the 50 Club.

Runners were reminded that our lost property box is overflowing, so anything not claimed by next week will go to charity. Did any of you notice Nick Fitzgerald running with a pro cam?  We hope to show you the results of his recording in the next few weeks.

Some of you may have also noticed Bishnu, a Ghurka, running carrying a Doko (Nepalese basket) weighing 22kg. He has set himself a target of 207 parkruns by 2022. That's because Ghurkas will be 207 years old in that year - Ghurkas first served in armed forces of the British crown in 1815.

Bishnu before ...................and after his run 
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Relaxing in the sun 
It was nice to welcome new volunteers taking part in their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze awards, and also students on their summer holidays. Thank you. Without volunteers we would not be able to provide the run. Remember if you want to volunteer and also run we still have a variety of roles.

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Fiona SUTTON • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Louise FITZGERALD • Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Steven BARRETT • Steve BOLTON • Gloria RICHARDS • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Francis EAMES • Noeline SIMS • Sylvie AUSTEN • Colin RATCLIFFE • Austin RUDMAN • Robert HASSELL • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Lara JEE • Geraldine JEE • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Bea SIMMONDS • Jack NORWOOD • Andrew GRAHAM

A reminder to remember that our run on 7 July is cancelled due to another event in the park. Please remind your friends - and why not become a parkrun tourist for a day!


Celebrating NHS70

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event no 205
9th June 2018

Written by Karen Cole, parkrun tourist from Havant, with Judy Guest and Richard Woodfield
Photos from Joe Watts, Richard Woodfield and Zena Hassell

Celebrating NHS70 in style and what a celebration! At 8.00am  the balloons were being blown, bandages and fake blood for the volunteers was out in anticipation of our celebration and thanks for 70 years of the NHS. As runners started to arrive it was lovely to see so many people who work for the NHS dressed in their uniforms. A big thank you for people working for the NHS!

Looking around beforehand at the early arrivals it seemed that head bandages might be the "go to" choice for appropriately themed clothing - but many other options were soon in evidence. For instance, Francis was fetchingly attired as a midwife. Former ward sister, Rosemary, as tail walker, was well equipped with a stethoscope should any parkrunners require checking out.


Our #NHS70 celebration run was started by Dame Kelly Holmes, along with the Run Director, aka "Temporary Midwife" Francis, and veteran RTW parkrunner (and genuine paramedic) Mark
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As parkrun hour approached it was nice to see runners nudging, whispering to each other and pointing to a lady in blue who was hereself taking photos. Was it her?! We had the pleasure of welcoming Dame Kelly Holmes who had kindly come along to help us celebrate. Hearing everyone talking after, and seeing the photos all over social media, she made the day even more special.

In welcoming our guest, Dame Kelly, Francis had certainly done his homework the previous night. Not only did he of - course - cover her double Olympic gold medals but he also reeled off an extensive list of all the records she had achieved at various distances - several of which still stood. He pointed to the contribution parkrun initiative could make to the health and well being of so many people. In our own way parkrun could assist the NHS by helping people to keep healthy for as long as possible. Dame Kelly paid tribute to the huge contribution to society made by so many people in the health service. And she talked about the pleasure and achievement to be gained from running - whether we were old or young, fast or slow. She also gave a good plug for JOIN IN JUNE in which she was promoting taking part in physical activity. (You can read about it on her Twitter account @damekellyholmes)

Enjoying the run

We were contacted during the week by Karen who was coming as a tourist on a visit to Hever Castle and asked to do the Run Report. Her son Alexander kindly volunteered on barcode scanning even if he was the most reluctant 13 year old to have his photo taken with Dame Kelly Holmes!

Run reporter, Karen, starting out on lap 2 and, later, with Dame Kelly Holmes
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Volunteers get in on the photos
Karen writes:

"On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning. The parkrun fairies were kind to us today and provided cooler conditions than of late, which also provided the perfect opportunity to talk to others before we started.

Thank you to Noeline, for the new runner's briefing where new runners were warmly welcomed and introduced to the course layout. What a beautiful course you have too, with 2 looping laps in stunning parkland, which follow the boating lake in the middle and also the wilder cross country fields to the back of the course. These two differing aspects allowing for a contrasting feel to the course, added to the unfolding weather that apparently alters the course considerably. Indeed although rock solid today, I have heard that the back can get quite muddy and water logged.

Today, visitors from Bedfont Lakes, Aylesbury and Havant and as far away as Cardiff were using Royal Tunbridge Wells as their tourist venue.

Francis Eames, our Run Director for the event, gave big thank you as always to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of marshals out on the course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?"

Stylish running outfits - could these catch on at parkrun?
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"First timers, as mentioned above, are always warmly welcomed and are on the start of their parkrun journey and working towards their first milestones. The trick is when working towards your milestones is #DFYB- Don't Forget Your Barcode! If you were listed as unknown runners this morning. That's one run less to count towards those milestone trees. Milestones this morning announced were for joining the Junior 10 Club were Callum Benson and Elena Currah and also joining the 100 club were Kirsty Mauritz and Sandra Jones. She is a tourist from Cardiff but was with us volunteering when we started 4 years ago. That's the great thing about parkrun isn't it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk and share about. Especially pertinent though to also remember to hand in your finish token, parkrun needs them for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!"

At today's parkrun there were 278 parkrunners and the event was made possible by 28 volunteers. These were:

Alexander COLE • Bethan CHANDLER • Carol MUNT • Emily MULLETT • Eve DUBREUIL • Francis EAMES • Huw JONES • India ERLAM • Jack NORWOOD • Jane FENTIMAN • John DYSON • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Karen COLE • Louise FITZGERALD • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Mark SCOTT • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Rosemary SUMPTER • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • Steve BOLTON • Victoria MULLETT • Yolanda WITT

A small selection of our #NHS70 photos - (Have a look on our website for the photos by Joe Watts, Richard Woodfield and Zena Hassell). Very likely you are in one of them.



Making a Mark

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event no 204
2 June 2018

Run report/pictures by Richard Woodfield

This week, 1 - 7 June, is Volunteers' Week. It's a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. Our parkrun depends 100% on volunteers - this week alone we had 31 different people, from teenagers to aged 75+, volunteer with us. So we thought it would be good to talk to one of our many regular volunteers, Mark Dennison, to find out a bit more about his experience of volunteering. On Saturday I caught up with Mark in the middle of his busy schedule - after his marshalling duties but before he moved on to token sorting in the cafe.

Mark used to be a runner before health issues put an end to that - in fact I was impressed to learn that he had once run the London marathon. Of recent times he would regularly go for a brisk walk on a Saturday morning. As he also knew a few of the people involved with parkrun he thought he would like to cheer them on. He got in touch with RTW parkrun to offer his services as a volunteer, initially for a month in January this year to see whether he and RTW parkrun were suited to each other. The stats tell their own story: by the beginning of June Mark had already undertaken no less than 29 volunteering duties, including marshal (16 times) and token sorting (11).

Mark in action at today's parkrun, first as a marshal and later on token sorting duties
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What does Mark particularly value about volunteering at RTW parkrun?

Mark was made to feel welcome by the run directors and by the supportive team of volunteers. This helped to draw him in at the outset. He thinks that parkrun is well run as an organisation and that it really appreciates the contributions made by volunteers. This includes the simple touches like the reminder email volunteer received beforehand and the thank you email that comes afterwards. Likewise, Mark appreciates the flexibility of parkun's approach to volunteering, valuing the contributions of both those who are able to volunteer regularly but also of those who can only do so from time to time. And he also thinks it's great that there are a wide variety of different types of volunteering role to suit different people's likes and abilities.

What about his role as marshal?

You’ll often see Mark stationed towards the end of the lap just where the path leaves the lakeside to go down the long straight toward the fountain. (This part of the course doesn't seem to have a special name, but you'll probably recognise it from the picture). Mark is particularly enthusiastic about this spot as an excellent place at which to marshal. I hadn't realised it had quite so much going for it - but everything Mark said made good sense!
* good visibility - it's nice to know in advance who's about to come past you. Mark likes to build up the number of regular parkrunners whom he recognises by name and so can give them an extra bit of personal encouragement along the way;
* near lap end - so he can without exaggeration tell any parkrunners struggling toward the finish that they are nearly there and only one last push is needed;
* near Halls Hole Rd car park Mark will still be out marshalling when some of the earlier finishers walk past him on their way back to that car park. So, often people will stop by to have a quick word and to thank him. Meanwhile, of course he also appreciates the waves and "thank you marshals" from parkrunners out on the course.

You’ll not be surprised to hear that Mark thoroughly recommends volunteering at RTW parkrun. I'm sure that all of us at RTW parkrun, not least the many perspiring runners who have had the benefit of Mark's encouragement towards the end of their 5k, are grateful to Mark for his contribution.

If you would like to volunteer, or would like to find out about volunteering, at our parkrun do have a word with Judy our friendly parkrun co-ordinator. Or drop us an email at

In other news....

It was a lovely warm morning for the parkrun. Run Director, Noeline, announced a number of new members to the run clubs: Junior 10 - Bethan Chandler, Connor Bourne, Leo Rodney and 50 club: Greg Clark, Annie Galanti. Noeline reminded the parkrunners that next week is the NHS 70 celebration event. This special event sees parkrun events up and down the country teaming up with their local NHS Trust in order to encourage new participants, including NHS staff and volunteers, to come along to their local parkrun to recognise the contribution that the National Health Service has made to the health of the nation over the past 70 years.

Meanwhile, I had decided that it was not a temperature conducive to a fast time, for me at least. So I positioned myself near the boathouse to take pictures of the starters before dutifully trotting back up to the start line to begin my run a couple of minutes later than everyone else.

The start...


Tailwalkers - Jane and Rosemary - enter the finishing funnel bearing cones. Rosemary (right) at this stage was looking relaxed - clearly unaware that I was about to make her morning considerably more fraught by accidentally picking up her blue running bag instead of my own rather similar looking one!

As I was about to leave, also looking very relaxed, was a gaggle of parkrunners enjoying refreshments on the cafe balcony. I took several pictures - but the one with Colin standing was the only one where you can (just about) see everyone's face. Sorry Colin!


This week's stats:
* 234 parkrunners
* 31 volunteers
* 14 first timers to our event (of whom 7 were running their first ever parkrun)
* 29 personal bests

This week's volunteers were:
Adam JEE • Bethan CHANDLER • Colin RATCLIFFE • Croz CROSWELL • Derek JEE • Emily MULLETT • Eve DUBREUIL • Francis EAMES • Geraldine JEE • Jack NORWOOD • Jane FENTIMAN • John DYSON • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Keelan STUBBS • Kerry FRANCIS-WATTS • Lara JEE • Louise FITZGERALD • Mark DENNISON • Mark SCOTT • Noeline SIMS • Paul HOLLIS • Rachel SADLER • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Rosemary SUMPTER • Sian DUBERY • Steve BARNFIELD • Valerie STUBBS • Victoria MULLETT • Yolanda WITT

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