“Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”

Event number 102 - 2nd anniversary
23rd April 2016

Special guests, Greg Clark MP and Deputy Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Councillor David Neve, runners, plus volunteers, friends and families, all gathered in a bright, sunny but blustery Dunorlan Park on Saturday 23rd April, to celebrate the second anniversary of the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun, your free, weekly, timed 5k run. No less than 177 runners had assembled, just two less than the event all time record number who attended the very first RTW parkrun on 26th April 2014.

Event Director Joe Watts began by welcoming Chris Mullaley to the 50 club. Chris has run 50 parkruns, all but two at RTW. Congratulation, Chris! Secondly, he announced that Mark Scott was running his 100th parkrun today, all but ten at RTW. Well done Mark!

Mark Scott (pictured below) - the latest member to the parkrun 100 club
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Next, Joe announced the winners of the annual points competition, with certificates presented by David Neve to:

Male winner - Chris Mullaley
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Female winner - Marianne Croker
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

and certificates presented by Greg Clark to:

Junior female winner - Erin Marks
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Junior male winner - William Blackwell (pictured below with Deputy Mayor, David Neve)
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Greg Clark reminded us that today was William Shakespeare's birthday, with an appropriate quotation from Romeo and Juliet: “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”. These are wise words indeed, but the wisdom of the Bard seems to have been comprehensively ignored by parkrun finishers (including Greg himself!) as today's results show!

Greg Clark MP in action:
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

He then turned to a more serious matter. In Tunbridge Wells, we are extremely fortunate to be able to run in the beautiful surroundings of Dunorlan Park. This is due in no small part to the ongoing support of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and recognition of the contribution that parkrun makes to our local community.

As many will have read, a council in another part of the country has decided that parkrun should pay to hold their event in a local park. Sadly, this has led to the suspension of that event. When parkrun was established, a fundamental principle was it should be open to everyone, whatever their ability, and should be safe and easy, and above all, free to take part in. Paying for the use of parks and other open spaces would put that principle in jeopardy. Now, Greg Clark besides being our constituency MP, wears another hat as Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, and prior to the run he announced that steps would be taken to dissuade local councils from charging parkrun to hold its events.

David Neve then welcomed us and drew attention to the delights of Dunorlan Park, with its extensive trees and shrubs, lake, and abundant wildlife, a very pleasant setting in which to undertake strenuous physical exercise! He had agreed to start the runners off and to greet them as they returned to the finish line.

177 people await the start of our 102nd event:
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Event Director Joe Watts went on to thank fellow Run Director Louise Fitzgerald as well as the three Run Directors, Steve Barnfield, Rob Campbell and Simon Jones, who in the past year have begun to share the burden of managing the weekly event. Thanks were also offered to the core team of volunteers, including our two non-running ladies, Judy Guest (who had volunteered at 49 of the 51 events in this past anniversary year) and regular marshal, Gloria Richards.

The volunteer Run Director team, pictured from left to right: Steve Barnfield, Joe Watts, Simon Jones, Louise Fitzgerald & Rob Campbell
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Finally, Helen Sanson thanked Joe himself and Louise Fitzgerald for all the considerable behind-the-scenes work they do to make the event happen like clockwork every week.

With that, the megaphone was passed to Louise, this week's Run Director, to welcome returning runners, first-timers and parkrun tourists to the RTW parkrun and give the pre-run briefing. David Neve gave the starting signal and we were off …

Tunbridge Wells parkrun

We welcomed many first-timers, including your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man (who went on to run the London Marathon on Sunday):
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

A stiff headwind did little to damp enthusiasm and spurred on by a magnificent team of pacers, an impressive 57 Personal Bests were gained! Sad to relate, yours truly, nursing a dodgy knee was not one of them, but there's always next week! The course has benefited from a few days of Spring sunshine and most of the event field has quickly dried-out to offer a good running surface. (We won't mention The Quagmire!).

Your pacing team pictured from left to right (finish times in brackets): Louise Fitzgerald, 30 mins (29:43), Mark Scott, 27 mins (26:19), Simon Jones, 32 mins (30:53), Joe Watts, 28 mins (27:44), Chris Mullaley, 24 mins (23:53), Nick Fitzgerald, 26 mins (25:15), Ross Marshall, 29 mins (28:42), Kelvin Desmoyers-Davis, 23 mins (22:57), Ryland Atwood, 25 mins (24:58) & Helen Sanson, 34 mins (33:25)
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

As part of the celebrations, finishers were greeted by a superb array of hot and cold snacks, plus cold drinks, kindly prepared and served by Sofia Baguley and Judy Guest. Meanwhile all received a raffle ticket from Gabby and James Baguley. A host of raffle prizes had been donated, so there was no need to include the items of lost property (running shirts, jackets, water-bottles, etc.) which seem to accumulate during the year! Pride of place in the raffle was the magnificent cake, baked by Zena Hassell. This featured an iced running shoe, stuck deep in glistening mud (chocolate), which aptly represented running conditions in the past months!

One of the raffle prizes donated by last year's female points competition winner, Zena Hassell:
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Finishers enjoying the complimentary refreshments provided by some of our volunteers:
Tunbridge Wells parkrun

All in all, a good time was had by everyone!

And to look forward with utmost optimism to Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun's third year, another Shakespearean quote (from Julius Caesar): “Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.”― maybe even a new Personal Best!

Tunbridge Wells parkrun

This week’s statistics:
Number of volunteers - 30
Number of runners - 177
of which;
parkrun tourists – 9
First timers - 18
Personal bests - 57
Unregistered runners / forgotten barcodes – 13

You won't receive a finishing time if you forget your barcode or haven't registered, but registering takes just a few moments and once registered you get a finishing time at any parkrun event – so long as you don't forget to bring your barcode (#DFYB)!

Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Thanks are due to this week's team of 30 Volunteers:
Ali FARRALL • Charles BOWLEY • Charlie KIRWAN • Chris MULLALEY • Claire LAWRENCE • David HARMAN • Francis EAMES • Gabriela BAGULEY • Gabrielle RICHARDS • Gloria RICHARDS • Helen SANSON • James BAGULEY • James EVANS • Jessica CARSWELL • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS • Kerry FRANCIS-WATTS • Louise FITZGERALD • Marian KEEP • Mark SCOTT • Nick FITZGERALD • Rob CAMPBELL • Ross MARSHALL • Ryland ATWOOD • Simon JONES • Simon KEEP • Sofia BAGULEY • Steve BARNFIELD • Travis GREEN

New volunteers are always welcome. No experience is necessary as full training is given. If you would like to help please get in touch!

Charles Bowley took an excellent range of photographs this week which you can find on the event Flickr page. If you took some and would like to share them, please upload them too.

Tunbridge Wells parkrun

We would love to hear how you got on at our event so let us know via social media channels:
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Full results of this week's event with all the statistics, and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun results page.

This week's run report was written by David Harman. If you would like to write a future run report, please e-mail royaltunbridgewellshelpers@parkrun.com