parkrun on 5th May reinstated

Please note that our event on 5th May has been reinstated. (We had been expecting to cancel due to another non parkrun related event taking place in Dunorlan Park. However, that other event has now been postponed.)


And all of a sudden it is summer!

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event No 197
14 April 2018

Run report by Francis Eames. Pictures by Joe Watts and Richard Woodfield

After the unusual autumn mists of the last few days, Saturday suddenly became summer. So much so that some people were starting to think it was getting TOO HOT for running! But it wasn’t summer underfoot of course and the squelchy bits were still horribly boggy and the shoewash on the back straight was resolutely undiminished to make sure that everyone arrived at the finish properly mudsplashed.

Above ground - it's summer (well almost!)

Ground level - definitely not yet summer!

And thanks to the tremendous commitment of 28 wonderful volunteers a magnificent turnout of 218 runners braved the mud, the highest number since the first Saturday of January. It was good to see 17 different clubs represented in the lineup. And we were able to welcome a fantastic number of First Timers. At least 25 runners completed their very first parkrun and another 20 parkrun tourists from places as far flung as Cirencester and Sweden joined us for the first time to experience the beauty of our lovely park. It wasn’t really a morning for running a PB but 14 runners did just that, which was most impressive in the conditions. Well done to all of them and especially to junior runner ELLIE MACAULEY who was not only First Finisher here for the first time but also had an impressive new PB as well.

This week's higher numbers kept our scanners busy

And many congratulations also to our very own Event Director JOE WATTS, who recorded his first time as First Finisher here. Well done Joe and Ellie.

STELLA BEARD was in charge for her second turn as run director and once the megaphone decided to behave she welcomed XANDER DOLMAN to the Junior 10 Club and everyone to our 197th event.

On Saturday we sadly said goodbye to TILLY WHITE who has been volunteering with us as part of her DofE Bronze award. Thank you Tilly for all your help and we hope to see you again here on the start line soon. We rely on our DofE volunteers to help us run our events and we currently have 5 from local schools turning out on Saturday mornings. Thanks to all of them.


So without further ado, we were off down the hill towards the boathouse and onwards to our muddy fate. And as we squelched up the hill through the mud past the VC memorial, the conditions underfoot must have been somewhat similar to those the soldiers endured during the horrific Spring Offensive of 1918, which broke the stalemate of the First World War and led to its long - awaited conclusion in November that year.
It is always worth remembering the 10 Tunbridge Wells men who were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery and are remembered in the VC Grove as we run past it each week, and one of them Major Eric Stuart Dougall was killed in action in Belgium 100 years ago to the day on 14th April 1918, four days after the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

How fortunate we are to be here in 2018 and only having to endure the winter mud in the park.

The final hill may be steep - but at least it's not muddy!

Don’t forget that in 2 weeks time we celebrate the 4th anniversary of Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun and since then 5,092 different runners have completed 30,543 parkruns covering a total distance of 152,715 km and setting 5,036 personal bests. To celebrate it will be a Pacer Day, and we need lots of volunteer pacers. We will have a flower theme to the day and there will be lots of raffle prizes and scrumptious eats, so make a note in your diary. Who knows? With the weather forecast as it is, we may even have completely dry course by then. Wouldn’t that be a novelty? An anniversary PB anyone?

We've put in an order for sky this colour for our anniversary event...

Saturday was my 3rd anniversary at RTW parkrun, and in that time I have totted up 114 parkruns, of which 82 have been in Dunorlan Park. It’s difficult to remember what I did on Saturday mornings before that!

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. Also on the website (photos page) there are lots of fantastic photos of Saturday’s event thanks to our able photographers RICHARD WOODFIELD and the multi - tasking Event Director and First Finisher JOE WATTS. Is there anything you can’t do Joe?

You can also follow us on Twitter or like our page on Facebook.

Next week it is my turn on the megaphone and I hope to see all of you there on Saturday morning, especially this week’s first timers. It will be great to see you again. Have a good week.

parkrun reinstated!

Please note that - contrary to our previous announcement - we are now intending to have a parkrun on 5 May. This is as a result of the postponement of another (non parkrun related) event that had been due to take place in Dunorlan Park on 5 May. We just now need to fill our volunteer roster for the reinstated parkrun.

This week's 28 volunteers:

Fiona SUTTON • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Paul HOLLIS • Matilda WHITE • Gloria RICHARDS • Richard WOODFIELD • Rachel SADLER • Francis EAMES • Noeline SIMS • Erica JONES • Graham BROOKS • Robert HASSELL • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Yolanda WITT • Rose SAWYER • Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Jack NORWOOD


Dunorlan’s got talent

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event no 196
7 April 2018

Run report by Zena Hassell. Pictures by Zena (except where otherwise stated)

After all the Eggcitement of last weeks Chocolate Festivities, the weather couldn't quite stretch to Sunny Side Up for this week's parkrun tourists, from Greece, Jersey and Brighton. However 161 Parkrunners did manage to scramble their way through the infamous mud and puddles.

Mud Mud Glorious Mud!

Run Director Noeline confessed her inner most thoughts about a dream she had had about parkrunners and cigarettes ! It all became clear that these were to stop us nattering inappropriately during the pre run briefing...WELL DONE NOELINE it worked! Please keep it up everybody, Tonbridge manage it with around 500 people.

Congratulations to all the Milestone Marvels this week: Molly Dawe (10 junior club runs) Gavin Hill (100 runs club), while Colin Ratcliffe and Stella Beard have both completed 25 Volunteer duties. The new Volunteer Icon on the results page is a great new recognition for all who have reached the magic 25 milestone.

'Viva La Volunteers' as demonstrated by Mary and Francis

After having to look twice at last weeks photo of Graham Brooks(85) 'warming up' on the Victorian Stone Area, it was great to see this week that he was joined by another octogenarian - Richard Pitcairn-Knowles (85). It is amazing to think that when these two gentlemen were born, King George V was ruling over the Commonwealth, while deciding whether to try a new chocolate bar on the market....yes the Mars Bar was introduced, maybe Graham has had a Mars a day so he can WORK, REST AND PLAY?

'O is for Octogenarian'

Thank you to Francis Eames for informing us that the lady in the 250 t-shirt and hat going through the shoe wash on Saturday was Christine Gibbons, who is the Chairman of parkrun Global. She was visiting incognito from Brighton with her husband Michael, but let slip this little nugget of information when they were chatting after the event!

Chairman of parkrun Global, Christine Gibbons, a veteran of 376 parkruns (RW)

28th April 2018 - 4th Anniversary, bring a 1st timer or a volunteer, to show them what they are missing!
5th May 2018 - RTW Parkrun cancelled. Be ready for a little parkrun tourism - we have several other parkruns within reasonable driving distances. Newly started East Grinstead claims to be the 4th hardest in the UK! Now there's a Challenge...

This week 161 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 12 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different clubs took part.

Run reporter, Zena, in black (RW)

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Joseph WATTS • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Zena HASSELL • Paul HOLLIS • Marian KEEP • Gloria RICHARDS • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Francis EAMES • Mary P SCOTT • Noeline SIMS • Huw JONES • Erica JONES • Isabella SOUTH • Robin BARWICK • Wendy ANDERSON • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Julia MATTHEWS • Victoria CAGLAR • Yolanda WITT • Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Mark DENNISON

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun website Results Page.


#DFYS – don’t forget your snorkel!

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event #195
31 March 2018

Run report by Richard Woodfield. Pictures by Prem Konieczny except where otherwise stated.

Heavy rain on several days during the preceding week meant that last week's tentative improvement in ground conditions were nullified - and once again we were back to swamp like conditions. "Probably the wettest muddiest RTW parkrun ever" and "I’m a swimming teacher by 'trade' so I’m confident of a top 10 finish for the 1st time." Nevertheless, 168 hardy parkrunners and 30 volunteers braved the conditions and were rewarded with at least some modest periods of sunshine.

It was one of our regular pacer days. It's fair to say, tho, that in these conditions the chances of bagging a personal best time for our course were not very high unless perhaps you had only previously run a few times on our course. But very well done to the six parkrunners who did achieve PBs.

Afterwards we were treated to some welcome light refreshments. Thank you to those who provided them - I certainly consumed several mint chocolates, "several" being a fairly elastic concept in my book.

A tranquil scene before parkrun - although this was the path rather than the "official" lake! (RW)

Joe - on his 57th occasion in the role of run director
Prem pic 1 31 March 08

We all know that there are plenty of fascinating parkrun statistics. But at RTW parkrun we also do other branches of parkrun mathematics - for instance geometry. Here - as every week - parkrunners "describe an arc" (pic RW)

Back to the statistics. In March we passed several landmarks

* 5,000 different parkrunners have now parkrun at our event
* 30,000 parkruns have been run, jogged or walked at our event, which means 150,000 kilometres have been parkrun here.

However, March remains the only month of the year in which we've never had 200+ parkrunners at an event. It's fair to say that the weather really has not been on our side.

A challenging day for the pacers - how much time do you need in hand to allow for the slippery, slidey parts later in the course?
Prem pic 3 31 Mar 2018

Prem pic 6 31 Mar 2018

Waving or balancing? Not always easy to tell on the slippery sections!
Prem pic 8 31 Mar 2018

Definitely waving here!
Prem pic 4 31 Mar 2018

Youthful parkrunners switch on the burners towards the end of the lap ...
Prem pic 12 31 Mar 2018

Prem pic 10 31 Mar 2018

It's smiles all round from the volunteers ...
Prem pic 5 31 Mar 2018

Prem pic 15 Mar 2018

Three new members have recently joined the 25 volunteer club - Robin Barwick, Huw Jones and Yolanda Witt. Well done all three! And parkrun veteran and regular, John Dyson, has joined the 100 runs club. Another John (John Isaacs) who is also in the MV 75- 79 category was a parkrun tourist with us today, running in his 301st event.

Age gradings
The age grading percentages show how fast your times are in relation to the world record for your age and gender. It was interesting to see that the top thirteen age grade percentages this week were all achieved by parkrunners either aged 40 and over or aged 14 and under. Which could suggest that (given reasonable health) it may be more feasible for us ordinary runners to hang on to much of whatever pace we had for longer - into middle and even older age - than it is for elite athletes. Anyway, that's what I'm hoping!

Commitment: Graham (MV85+) doing warm ups.... John, after overnight flight from USA (RW)
20180331_084645[1] 20180331_094312[1]

Let us know how you got on at our event on social media, where you can also keep up to date with the latest news - follow us on Twitter or like our page on Facebook.

This week's volunteers were:

Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Alexander CARDEW • Amy WHITE • Bethan CHANDLER • Chloe CARDEW • Colin RATCLIFFE • Daniel WITT • Emilia CARDEW • Erica JONES • Francis EAMES • Gloria RICHARDS • Jane FENTIMAN • John DYSON • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Louise FITZGERALD • Maisie VERNON • Marian KEEP • Mark DENNISON • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Prem KONIECZNY • Richard NASH • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • Stuart CORKE • Tom CHANDLER • Wendy ANDERSON


Donations for walkie talkies and 4th anniversary raffle prizes

We are seeking donations towards the cost of some more walkie talkies (total cost of £65.98 for 4) as well as contributions (either in the way of physical gifts or financial contribution) toward prizes for our post-event raffle for our 4th anniversary event on 28th April 2018.

If you would like to contribute for either of the above then please visit the about us section of our website where you can make an online donation to our event. Please note that 100% of your donation will go directly to our event and that we can only accept financial donations online as we do not have access to a bank account.

Thank you for your continued support.

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