It could so easily have been an anticlimax after last week's celebrations for our second parkrun anniversary. But any such fears were rapidly banished well before 0900. Mother Nature had laid on brilliant sunshine, azure skies and crystal clear visibility. And there was a great turnout both of parkrunners AND of volunteers. At 174 runners the total was almost as high as last week and just five short of our all time record at the inaugural event. Likewise, the 23 volunteers was the highest total so far apart from a couple of special event "pacer" days. So thank you everyone for this great level of support.
Today's Run Director was Joe Watts. He thanked everyone for their contributions to the anniversary celebrations the previous week, especially all the volunteers and those helping behind the scenes. He confirmed that Mark Scott had completed his 100th parkrun last week and that Jessica Carswell had joined the 25 volunteer club. After rounds of applause for these achievements, for the volunteers, first timers and parkrun tourists we were soon on our way.
I was hoping to report that the quagmire, like the infamous Monty Python parrot, had ceased to exist and was now an ex quagmire. On reflection, however, there were still modest remnants of the former mud bath - albeit now a pale smudge of its midwinter glory. At any rate the recent improvement in running conditions was enough to tempt me out of my trail shoes, and I did not regret the choice of lighter shoes.
Afterwards the marshals reported that there are still some runners veering off to the left and onto the narrow hard surface path, as they come down the hill towards the wooden bridge, in an attempt to avoid the muddy patch. This is despite the presence of cones, tape and marshals indicating the need to keep further to right. We need to avoid a situation where runners, coming down the hill, rejoin the hard surface path before reaching the wooden bridge. Otherwise, there is a hazardous stretch of narrow path on which park runners are travelling at speed in opposite directions - and there are also likely to be other park users on that path as well.
Stuart Dickson - a parkrun tourist from Malling said on Twitter: "Well, that outing @RTWparkrun was very tough. No one mentioned the HILLS! As a flat earth runner @mallingparkrun this was a real test but fun"
Stuart added: "Thanks for the great outing.... will return if my body can recover from your hills. Why does down seem less than up?" That is probably a question posed by many a runner through the ages!
Suzanne Young, who has previously parkrun at Whitley Bay (near Newcastle) loved her first parkrun at "stunning Dunorlan Park ...happy runners and volunteers all round"
- 42 personal bests today.
- 15 first timers, new to parkrun.
- 12 parkrun tourists, including ones from Australia, Sewerby (Yorks), Wanstead Flats, Peterbourgh, Malling, Whitley Bay, and Gunpowder parkrun (NE London).
- 23 "unknown" runners, including 2 unaccompanied under 11s and 7 who left without getting their tokens scanned. (Please bring the missing tokens back next week!).
First finisher was Lloyd COLLIER, in 18.17. Lloyd also had the highest age grade % at 76.39.
First female finisher (6th overall) was Andrea BERQUEZ in 21.03
I always like to keep an eye out for the achievements of veteran runners. So a special shout out this week for Sheila Wilson who runs with Sarah's Runners. Since her first run with us a few weeks ago on 19 March she has already achieved five PBs and today clocked up a highly impressive age grading of over 71%.
Thanks to this week's team of 23 volunteers:
Alison BEARD • Charlie KIRWAN • David HARMAN • Gabrielle RICHARDS • Gloria RICHARDS • James EVANS • Jessica CARSWELL • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Kerry FRANCIS-WATTS • Louise FITZGERALD • Marian KEEP • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Rob CAMPBELL • Simon JONES • Simon KEEP • Sonja KING • Steve BARNFIELD • Suzannah KINSELLA • Travis GREEN • Valerie STUBBS • Zoe BIAGINI-JONES
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 Richard Woodfield. If you would like to write a future run report, please e-mail email@example.com