A wild and blustery day

Event number 78
7th November 2015
Run report by Richard Woodfield

It was a wild and blustery day and my parkrun record of never having to run in the rain finally came to an end - on my 32nd parkrun. In fact the rain during the run was not that heavy and only started on the second lap. But, undeniably, there was more than enough moisture in Dunorlan Park to go round.... The golden glow of autumn leaves was somewhat eclipsed by the garish orange of the temporary plastic fencing put up around the park to safeguard the spectators at the big firework display later in the day.

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During the pre-run briefing by Steve Barnfield there was a big round of applause for David Harman, the last ever winner of the monthly Sweatshop prize, as well as a warm welcome to 14 first timers (which included several parkrun tourists). Steve also warned the runners to take care of the sizeable excavations made by unknown creatures on the path that brings the runners back down from the field to the lake.

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The course offered a big challenge to the 139 runners - the top field was absolutely sodden and the mud deep. In various places runners were faced with a decision - whether to run straight through the middle of the mire or to try a somewhat longer way round in the hope of finding slightly easier going. It reminded me of the Oxford/Cambridge boat race where the direct route isn't necessarily the fastest and the cox aims to gain advantage by steering in unlikely directions to avoid the worst of the rough water. Given the conditions it was hardly surprising that there were just 8 personal bests and that the first placing today (at 21.49) was the slowest of any of the 78 parkruns so far at Dunorlan Park, but I reckon we should all feel entitled mentally to deduct a minute or two from our results to give a true reflection of the effort!

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This week’s statistics:
Number of volunteers - 17
Number of runners - 139
of which;
parkrun tourists - 4
First timers - 10
Personal bests - 8
Unregistered runners / forgotten barcodes - 25

Thanks once again to this week's volunteer team:
Steve BARNFIELD, Faris BOUAMRA, Donna CARR, Jessica CARSWELL, Jake DOBSON, James EVANS, Nick FITZGERALD, Louise FITZGERALD, Judy GUEST, David HARMAN, Ollie HESTER, Simon JONES, Mia LULHAM, Gus MALONE, Gloria RICHARDS, Joseph WATTS, Richard WOODFIELD

A quick plug for trail running shoes during the wetter months - I had just bought a pair and was using them for the first time. I found they make a big difference when trying to change direction on the slippery mud.

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Richard Woodfield

Afterwards, some of us adjourned to the other end of the park with the Deputy Mayor of Tunbridge Wells and representative of the Fields in Trust to attend the ceremony to mark Dunorlan Park's memorial garden being given protection as one of the Fields in Trust's Centenary Fields. It was fitting that this event, at the Victoria Cross Grove, took place on the eve of Remembrance Sunday. Among those saying a few words was local MP, Greg Clark, who often takes part in our RTW parkrun. As Fields in Trust highlights the value of parks to their local communities it was appropriate that the photos of the event featured some of our most regular parkrun volunteers who, week by week, enable us to have an enjoyable and invigorating start to the weekend.

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Pictured above at the Victoria Cross Grove - Tunbridge Wells Deputy Mayor (David Neve), Greg Clark MP, Nick Green (TWBC), Fields in Trust, parkrun volunteers and runners

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Chris MULLALEY 2062 pts.
Charles BOWLEY 1779 pts.
Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS 1712 pts.

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Zena HASSELL 2310 pts.
Heather CROKER 1963 pts.
Erin MARKS 1937 pts.

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By way of a postscript, I like browsing through the parkrun statistics. There's a mine of interesting information - not least the age grade % figures which can provide considerable encouragement to us runners of maturer years! But, when you get time, do take a quick look at the stats of some of the familiar names of the RTW core parkrun team. You will see that some of them have volunteered dozens and dozens of times. My special vote of thanks goes to those who set up the course beforehand and so have to get up even earlier on a Saturday morning.

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Thanks to both Donna Carr (Maidstone parkrun Event Director) and Jessica Carswell for taking this week's photos - all of which can be viewed on our website.

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Full results of this week's event and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun results page.

If you would like to write a run report for one of our events then please e-mail royaltunbridgewellshelpers@parkrun.com