Take Two

Royal Tunbridge Wells
Event 293
31 July 2021

Run report by Richard Woodfield

Our second parkrun back after the long absence saw a fine morning with a pleasant, cool breeze. Today's attendance of 184 parkrunners matched very closely our overall average (185.8) for all 293 parkruns. The total of 28 volunteers was the same as last week. There were 29 first timers - 17 completely new to parkrun, and another 12 taking part at our particular event for the first time.

Jane (at right) was doing her first solo stint as Run Director.
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Coral's first timers' briefing was well attended
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Within minutes of the start there is plenty of wide open space to be enjoyed...
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Crossing the wooden bridge...
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William's very first 5k parkrun...
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Approaching Heartbreak Hill!...
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parkrun is SO tiring when you're being carried...
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Scanning...

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Marshals around the course...
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Closedown team in action...
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All quiet by the lake...

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We are back!

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event no 292
24th July 2021

Run report by Benny Fiddimore, pictures by Richard Woodfield

After a long 70 weeks without parkrun, today finally saw the return of events up and down the country. Today we saw 157 runners, joggers and walkers turn out to our Dunorlan Park course, supported by 28 volunteers.

Over the last 16 months, whilst we have been able to take part in quizzes on Saturday mornings with Vassos, or complete a not parkrun (3,678 have currently been completed by RTW parkrunners), nothing compares to the actual event itself, and today was the day we returned.

parkrunners assembling once again...
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and they're away...
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A number of changes have been made to parkrun, most noticeably the fact that us volunteers now wear bright pink hi-vis. We have also had to adapt to new technology, using an app on our phones instead of using timers and scanners. Luckily, the technology worked, and results processing went smoothly. Fingers crossed the tech remains working for all future parkruns!

The tech worked smoothly...
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However, what remains the same is the community parkrun spirit, people gathering to engage in physical exercise, as well as engaging in social contact once again. After the 16 months that we have all experienced, this was incredibly lovely to see, and it's great that so many people have returned.

All that remains to say is... Bring on next Saturday!

Colour co-ordination?
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Return of parkrun!

We hope this advice will help those first few parkruns following our scheduled return on Saturday 24 July go as smoothly as possible. Lots of us are excited about the return of parkrun - but in our enthusiasm let's also remember the need to be thoughtful, courteous and considerate to other park users, the volunteers and other parkrunners.

Beforehand...

* Follow all national and local guidance. Please do not come if you feel unwell.
* If possible walk or cycle to parkun. If you need to drive, the Halls Hole Road car park (far side of the lake from the start/finish) does not usually fill up as quickly as the Pembury Road car park.
* Remember to bring your printed barcode! No barcode means no recorded time.
* Please bring plenty of fluids with you, especially on warmer days. Or do make use of the tap installed near the start/finish line. This can help to reduce usage of single use plastic.

At all times...

* Please respect others' personal space and keep to a minimum the amount of time spent in close proximity to others.
* Please be kind and appreciative towards our volunteers. (Note that our volunteers are not responsible for "policing" behaviours, such as social distancing.)
* Please be respectful towards other parkrunners, including those who may be feeling anxious about participation in events with larger numbers of participants.

The start...

* Pre-run briefings will be kept short to minimise the time during which people are gathered at the start. Please help us by not talking during the briefing, and by paying careful attention to the information given. Regretfully we will not be doing "shout outs" for milestones, birthdays etc.
* To reduce congestion near the start please position yourself approximately according to estimated finishing time, with faster participants to the front and slower to the back.

During...

* During the event please don't shout, spit or "high five".
* Do be aware of, and courteous towards, other park users. They have just as much right to be in the park and may be concerned to see higher numbers than usual. We do not have right of way.

The finish...

* Please slow to a walk as soon as you enter the finish funnel; walk through steadily and collect your token on exit.
* If you’re huffing and puffing a bit after running up "Heartbreak Hill", please do consider moving away from the finish area to regain control of your breathing before getting scanned.
* We will have more barcode scanner volunteers than before - please join the shortest queue, again remembering to keep your distance where possible.
* Please have your personal printed barcode ready. Present the barcode and the finish token at arms length to the scanning volunteer. Once scanned, drop the finish token into the bucket in front of the volunteer. Remember barcode scanning is to be contact free.
* After scanning please move away from the start/finish area as quickly as possible. Please don't block the course or impede access to the cafe.

 

Testing …. Testing….

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Report by Robin Barwick & Richard Woodfield


It's been a LONG, LONG time with no parkruns to brighten our Saturday mornings. But now the target date for restart of 5k parkruns in England (24th July) is fast approaching.

We'd love the restart to go smoothly. So - time for a small trial event, early evening Tuesday, to test out the new technology / systems for time keeping and scanning. Just as important, this was an opportunity to unveil the new volunteer pink!

Breaking News: Pink is the new Yellow!
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Robin briefs the trial volunteer runners

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It might not have been the real thing but a willing field of 24 runners (numbers of which we had to limit), boosted by a team of 14 volunteers, certainly gave the feeling of a parkrun as the evening sunshine lit up Dunorlan Park.

After a showery day, our favourite park in the low evening sun
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A strong sense of renewal was boosted by crisp pink, high-vis volunteer vests, unsullied bright orange marker cones, and high-tech timekeeping and scanning carried out via parkrun's new Virtual Volunteer app. But what really gave the small event a buzz was the enthusiasm of everyone there.

Time keeping practice...
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New style scanning
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And, for an added touch of realism, a tailwalker
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Just for the day, the route was little short, probably around 4.9k, as we diverted in front of where Pub in the Park was being set up in the Events Field. But that was no bad thing when some of us were trying to break ourselves back in quite gently.

The results (screen shot of a screen shot!)
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Thank you to everyone who contributed to the trial event and we are delighted to confirm that the processing of results, with streamlined data delivery via the app, was completed without a hitch.

So now we need to keep fingers crossed that parkrun can return as planned on Saturday, July 24. Please keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for news and announcements.

 

United in enjoyment of the feel-good factor

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 291
14th March 2020

Run report by Jasmine Quinney

This week 123 people ran, jogged, walked and squelched their way around Dunorlan Park for the 291st edition of Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun. We lined up ready for the run brief to be told to expect a muddy course and it certainly lived up to expectations!

There were 20 first timers today, three of whom recorded their first ever parkrun result today - welcome Nathan, Shanti and Kerry and I hope you managed to enjoy the muddy, wet experience! This number also included many tourists, from places as far away as Melbourne, Australia.

A fantastic seven people managed to record new Personal Bests in the conditions and representatives of 15 different clubs took part. The first finisher was James Sarre, and first female over the line was Amelia Ireson who also recorded a PB today. A shoutout also goes to Sheila Wilson, who achieved the highest age graded score of 70.21%.

A special well done to Timothy Radley who joined the 100 club today, with 94 of these runs being at Royal Tunbridge Wells!
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Briefing time

I was one of the first timers here, and today was a special one for me as it was the last course I had left to have done all 22 parkruns in Kent. This was a challenge I set myself in around October last year (I learnt the hard way that this probably would have been more appropriate for the summer months), and have been steadily ticking off all the runs the county has to offer since.

Kent has a variety of parkrun courses – you can run in a park, country park or forest, on a canal towpath or heath, along the seafront or through a vineyard! Royal Tunbridge Wells was a great one to finish off because it offered some of the greatest hits of the Kent parkruns experienced before – lovely park paths like in Ashford or Dartford, stopping to wipe my glasses off because they’re covered in rain like in Tonbridge, squelchy shoes to rival Squerryes Winery or the feeling at the end of the first lap that I distinctly remember having at Lullingstone of “Do I really have to do that again?!”.

Despite their differences, one thing unites the parkruns in Kent and beyond, and that is the community and feel-good factor that’s there every Saturday morning. This morning was no different, and it was great to have a chat with people while navigating the course this morning, and feeling the buzz of parkrunners and volunteers in the café afterwards. A lovely woman started chatting to me on the second lap after a particularly muddy stretch - we were sharing experiences and she was reminding me just why I enjoy getting out on a Saturday morning. She couldn’t have timed it better as she caught me just at the moment when I had started walking and doubts were creeping in of my decision to wake up at 6:30am for this! So thank you to her and all those like her who manage to give us a bit more of a drive to keep going.

In the current climate when it can feel like everyone is getting increasingly panicked and shutting themselves off, it is so refreshing to come out, forget about everything and enjoy the feeling that parkrun gives you.

The event today was made possible by 29 volunteers:

Mark SCOTT • Jane FENTIMAN • Bernadette O'CONNOR • Judy GUEST • Alison BEARD • Dominic BEARD • Kitty MUYSKEN • Sara RIOLO • Mal MCKENZIE • Noeline SIMS • Huw JONES • Hugh STEPHENSON • Erica JONES • Louis COOMBS • Heloise SOUTH • Robin BARWICK • Juanita MCFARLIN • Mark DENNISON • Alasdair SHUTT • Imogen BURMAN-MITCHELL • Susie NORWOOD • Reuben BENSON • Quinton WOOD • Benny FIDDIMORE • Jasmine QUINNEY • Sarah MCFARLIN • Riya RANJAN • Liberty SMITH • Peter BALL

Thank you for your efforts today, for standing out in the rain and all your words of encouragement. The army of volunteers standing at the end of the first lap was especially appreciated, and helped a great deal with my aforementioned end of first lap feeling!

Finally, thanks to all at Royal Tunbridge Wells this morning for the warm welcome to my friends and I, and for another unforgettable parkrunday. I’m sure we’ll be back to tackle this parkrun again in the future, just maybe in the summer next time!

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