Kingdom parkrun is cancelled on 2020-12-05 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Event #42 Kingdom parkrun

Keeping up with Kingdom

Well, what a beautiful event for Kingdom parkrun #42. The sun was shining, temperature relatively mild, and a great turnout of parkrunners and parkwalkers! This is my second time at Kingdom, and what a great atmosphere to come to for my 50th parkrun! I forgot how friendly the volunteers are, both all the marshals but also the cheer squad you get at the start and finish area when you complete a lap – its really quite encouraging to have a cheer squad when your on your way home from your 5th out of 7 night shift in a row! I really hope to frequent Kingdom more often, as I’m sure it must be up there with one of the most beautiful parkruns in the country, despite the carousel of undulation 24m of eleveation difference. The trees and mud make it thoroughly enjoyable with some amazing views. I also learnt today that the seven sisters tree that sits where the run briefing is done is the oldest living tree in the British isles – I didn’t quite manage to ask for her age though as she supervised our runs today.

Kingdom parkrun really embodies the community feel of parkrun. It was so nice to turn up to a time 5k by myself and feel supported the whole way around. It reminds me of why I came back to parkrun after my first one in February 2017 and have now reached my first milestone of 50 runs. I came to parkrun having never run further than the Sports Relief mile at school or however much I’d run on a rugby pitch, which to be honest probably isn’t much as I’m a forward and not a back! I personally feel like parkrun has done me the world of good for motivation, goal setting, my health and realising that asthma isn’t a limit for what I can do. That first parkrun in 2017 has led to now over 50 timed 5ks, multiple 10k races, five 10 mile races and two half marathons. I really hope to see those at the beginning of their parkrun journey to stick at it, those first runs or walks may feel challenging and I’d like to say it gets easier but it doesn’t, we just push ourselves harder and start to look forwards to being awake and active at 9am on a Saturday morning – something I never thought I’d enjoy doing three years ago! It’s just amazing and crazy to me that all it took was one parkrun nearly three years ago to turn me into one of those people that I’d said was something that only crazy people do and enjoy.

Anyhow, time for some numbers! Kingdom parkrun event #42 saw 143 runners complete 5k, with 52 of those identifying as female and 79 as male. We collectively ran 715 kms, over three beautiful but muddy laps, with multiple upwards flat bits. There were 28 pbs, 21 first timers to Kingdom, and 12 unknowns (Don’t forget your barcode next week guys), as well as 18 fantastic volunteers. We also had multiple dogs, a few slips (this is definitely one for the trail shoes at the moment) and one on demand Australian to fill the request for ‘anyone from Australia?’ question in regards to parkrun tourism. Our most-runniest runner was John Matthews who has completed a jaw dropping 463 runs, edging closer and closer to that coveted blue 500 tshirt. Helen Todd is only a few letters away from completing the alphabet challenge and also helped me complete my run today with some much appreciated coaching. Our male first finisher was first timer to Kingdom Nicholas Sharp, and first female finisher was Ali Farrall. We had representatives from 14 different clubs, with Tunbridge Wells Harriers having the most representatives. All in all it was an enjoyable morning, and I look forwards to returning to Kingdom again soon.

Elise Foster (Canterbury parkrun)


Event#40 Kingdom parkrun

Great numbers!

After last week's record turnout of 241 runners, joggers and walkers, we were expecting big numbers again due to a lot of other local parkruns being cancelled this week. And so it was with 221 of us enjoying our weekly 5k on this fantastic course. Yes it was pretty chilly, but we soon warmed up on the way round and with the smell of bacon and other assorted goodies wafting at us from the cafe at the end of each lap, the finish line was a very welcome sight.

Having travelled 1 hour and 20 minutes from Kings Langley (near Watford) to run with our good friend Richard (more on him further down this report!), we were greeted by the volunteers with such amazing enthusiasm and friendliness. All in all, we couldn't have asked for a more lovely start to the weekend.

I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers for running such a great event and ensuring it went smoothly and safely:


Some of you may have noticed me with a GoPro on my head as I like to video all of my parkruns and put them on YouTube for other parkrunners, so this will be appearing on YouTube in the next couple of weeks.

On to the stats....

This week we had 221 runners, joggers and walkers. There were 19 UNKNOWNSs (don't forget your barcode next week), 81 Females and 121 Males.

First 3 Males to finish were Elrin MC DAID in a new PB of 19:48, Joseph HARRIS in 20:47 and Tom ONIONS in 20:57. First 3 Female finishers were Andrea BERQUEZ in 21:12, Nicola SUMMERFIELD in 23:28 and Victoria SCOTT in 24:53.

There were 69 parkrunners who were new to Kingdom parkrun of whom 13 were doing their first ever parkrun, and an amazing 42 PB's. So well done to everyone and we hope to see you back next week.

The "most runniest runner" was Richard HAMMER on 460 parkruns who was also at Kingdom to complete his "return to Cowell" challenge. That means Richard has been to 100 different events, and then gone back to those same 100 events for a second time. Quite some effort, so well done Richard!!

There were 6 other members of the 250 Club, 53 members of the 100 Club, 33 members of the 50 Club and 13 members of the 10 Club present. The only official milestone achieved today was David HOBDEN who joined the 50 Club.

Highest Age Grading on the day was Arno DALE with 71.97%, with an astonishing time of 22:43 in the JM10 category!!

Well done to everyone who completed the course today, great stuff!!!!

Other news....

Have you heard about "Free Weekly Timed", the parkrun podcast with Vassos Alexander and Helen Williams? I thoroughly recommend listening to the back catalogue between parkrundays.

Mark Pinney (A2522444)



Event #39 Kingdom parkrun

Over the past few weeks the numbers walking, jogging or running the beautiful Kingdom parkrun have been steadily increasing and last Saturday was no exception with a record breaking 241 park runners including 35 setting a new PB – well done to all and a huge ‘thank you’ to the amazing volunteers that made it all possible. The field included regulars, first timers and a number of visitors, one of whom kindly volunteered to write the run report. Thank you Karen – we’d love to see you back at Kingdom soon.

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 had been kind to us today and managed to keep the rain clouds away and even some wintry sunshine tried to come out towards the end of our run. Temperatures too had plummeted over the week, so we were all reluctant to shed our outer layers before running. Now where did I put my gloves?

The runner’s briefing warmly welcomed and introduced all runners to the course layout. What a lovely undulating course  through the woodland you have and we got to see it three times too! This type of course provides lots of opportunities for the faster runners to overtake and to receive and indeed give encouragement as they whipped past us slower mortals. It was also lovely to hear all the call outs through the bushes to fellow parkrunners. Today was all about staying vertical and running in a straight line as there was plenty of that extra special parkrun mud to negotiate today, especially around that slippery corner. Mind you jumping in the puddles helped clear off some of it! 

There were a fair few tourists at Kingdom today which allowed the perfect opportunity to catch up on where we had been recently and where we were soon off to. Today, tourists from Canterbury, Tonbridge and Havant, to name but a few were using Kingdom parkrun as their tourist venue. 

Richard, our RD for the day, gave a big thank you 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 Marshalls 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 Kingdom 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? 

There were a few first timers who 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! 9 of you were listed as unknown runners this morning. That’s one run less to count towards those coveted milestone tees. Were you celebrating a special milestone this week? That’s the great thing about parkrun isn’t it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk 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!


Early Christmas Giving

On Saturday 62 people walked, jogged or ran the 5k course with 16 people running Kingdom for the first time – many more first timers than attended the First Timer/Tourist pre-run briefing, incidentally! No matter, thank you for coming to Kingdom and we hope to see you again soon.
Whilst the sun periodically put in an appearance it was deceptively cold and due to the volume of rain over the preceding weeks the course was at its most slippery so far this year, even causing a tumble for the 28 minute pacer (thankfully his overall time wasn’t affected; oh, and he wasn’t hurt either). Though the terrain underfoot was squidgy, it didn’t deter 8 people from setting a PB – congratulations to all. I suspect that most had trail running shoes which are probably a good idea for this course at this time of year.
The hearts of all the shivering volunteers were warmed by the lovely gift presented by the young members of one running family for all the volunteers. Thank you – not expected but greatly appreciated.
On the subject of giving, the foodbank donations continue to grow – thank you to everyone who brought donations for the Community Storehouse Foodbank in Paddock Wood; there’ll continue to be a collection point next Saturday (21 December).
The event was made possible by 14 amazing volunteers: Denise Braddon, Willow Carwardine, Pete Cornwell, Vivienne Cornwell, John Cornwell, Lucy Eames, Louise Gould, Andrew Howey, Claire Hunt, Adam Jeddo, Richard Stanbury, Julian Ward, Tony Wiercx and Jared Wiercx.
Next week (21 December) we’re running as usual with a Christmas FANCY DRESS theme so we look forward to welcoming everyone including Santas, Elves, Angels, Christmas Trees and any other sort of costume people can conjure up.
No run on Christmas Day but back to normal on 29th and then a New Year’s Day run (9 am) so those wanting to do a double can head over to Squerryes Winery or Tonbridge.


Lots of lovely people donated generously, the Community Storehouse are very grateful for your efforts!!




Christmas & New Year Parkruns

We have decided this year at Kingdom we will give the team a day off so we will NOT be running a Christmas Day parkrun - we will however be running bright and early at 9am on New Year's Day. Details of all parkruns over the festive period are below:

22nd December - parkrun as normal
25th December - No Christmas Day parkrun
29th December - parkrun as normal
1st January - New Year's Day parkrun - 9am

NYD is the only opportunity in the year to do more than one parkrun in a day. Following Kingdom at 9am you might want to head to Tonbridge at 10.30am or if you haven't partied too hard the night before Squerryes Winery also at 10.30am

If you're travelling this Christmas and New Year, the parkrun Christmas Compendium lets you know where you can get your parkrun fix across the UK:

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

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