Spooktacular!

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Run Report no 174
28 October 2017

Run report by Richard Woodfield. Pictures by David Harman unless otherwise stated. (Additional pics by Richard Woodfield and Zena Hassell - or someone wielding Zena's camera!)

Ahead of the curve - volunteers are always up early to prepare for parkrun (RW)
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Arriving in good time to take up volunteer duties, for several minutes I completely failed to recognise Noeline disguised in her fetching dark green wig. Fortunately, Noeline's voice is unmistakable and so my misunderstanding was soon sorted out. It was a lovely autumn day for our pacer spooktacular event - low slanting sunshine bathing much of our course in a warm glow. Another good turnout - of 266 parkrunners and 30 volunteers - enjoyed the event.

Run Director, Louise, announced to applause that Dennis Sanson had joined the Junior 10 parkruns club and Steven Barrett, Nick Fitzgerald and Suzanne Young had all joined the 50 club.

Joe read out a poem by Zena - intended to encourage parkrun volunteering.

"From set up to end, some time we will spend,
Marking the course with our posts,
In bright yellow vests, but no time for rests,
Volunteers - we're your welcoming hosts.

As we huddle together in all sorts of weather,
Our speaker will lay down the rules,
Pleases listen and learn, it could be your turn,
If the temperature rises or cools.

If you like taking pics and adjusting the fix,
Dust off your old camera lens.
There's so much to see and yes it's all free!
Animals, family and friends.

Tokens to sort or write the report,
A selection of tasks to choose,
It really is fun, combine with a run,
Step forward you've nothing to lose."

We've had 53 different people volunteer in the last month, and 173 different people so far have volunteered in 2017. It would be great to add to that number - and of course we are massively grateful to all those who volunteer regularly.

Ground conditions out in the field had considerably improved from the previous week and this - combined with the efforts of our pacers - contributed to the spooktacular number of 58 personal bests achieved.

A range of unusually clad characters turned up to parkrun this week!
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Occupation: web designer? (ZH)
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Spider hitching a lift with Robert.
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A gorilla was feeling the heat ...
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A youthful skeleton rattles around the course
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What comes down at parkrun must go up!
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Feedback from two parkrun tourists this week on Facebook both mentioned that last hill!
"I was a tourist here today. Thanks for the welcome. Lovely course apart from the hill at the end!!! Well done to all the volunteers that make it possible, especially the 30 minute pacer that encouraged me at the finish." (Jon) "I was a tourist too! Beautiful run but glad my usual PR is flat, that hill was a killer at the end!" (Harriet)

Incidentally, the photo above is just one of a number of pictures taken from this spot as the parkrunners first come down the steep hill from the starting line. I was encouraged, looking through this sequence of pictures, to see that the great majority - and indeed possibly every single one- of the parkrunning dogs this week had followed the advice to start from near the back where there there is much less risk of accidents with tripping over leads and the dogs getting over-excited in the crowded throng. So, well done dogs and their owners!

Pacer, Amy, rising to the occasion!
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Glowing autumn sunlight... (RW)
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This week's volunteers were:

Amy WHITE • Annaelle DUFFIELD • Annamaria BETTS • Carol MUIR • Charles BOWLEY • Chris MULLALEY • David HARMAN • Deirdre LULHAM • Dennis LANCASTER • Emily MULLETT • Gabriela BAGULEY • James BAGULEY • John BOWMAN • John DYSON • John LOWDEN • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Kitt BAGULEY • Louise FITZGERALD • Michael CHAMPION • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Paul BETTS • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Ross MARSHALL • Sarah CRONIN • Stella BEARD • Victoria MULLETT • Yolanda WITT

To keep up to date with the latest news and information on our event please follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.

 

The moral of the story is…..

Run report event #150
15 April 2017

Report and pictures by Richard Woodfield

Easter Saturday dawned bright and as the number of runners assembling for the new runners' briefing swelled it was already clear that a bumper attendance was in prospect. Our attendance total of 268 parkrunners was the second highest - exceeded only by the attendance last Christmas Eve. Maybe it's something about the imminent prospect of eating lots of chocolate that brings out the parkrunners in force!

It's worth highlighting this notable statistic: We had a total of 62 first timers to our course, of whom no less than 40 were running their very first parkrun. A very warm welcome to all Saturday's first timers (including parkrun tourists) who may be reading this run report. We also had a plethora (63) of personal best times achieved by returning runners, so that was a further cause of satisfaction.

Steve Barnfield with a well attended new runners' briefing
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Run Director, Noeline Sims welcomed Daniel Niblett to the junior 10 parkruns club and also announced that it was regular volunteer Nick Fitzgerald's 30th birthday. (He promptly went on to achieve his first sub 19 minute parkrun.)

100,000 and counting....

The honour of bringing up the first 100,000 kms of parkrunning at Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun went to day's 75th finisher ..... who turned out to be an unknown runner without a barcode! However, on checking my finishing token I was pleased to discover that, as 76th finisher, I had completed the first parkrun to count towards our second set of 100,000 kms!

The finishing funnel - another 55 multicoloured kms completed by our parkrunners
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Another notable achievement was the first time (as far as anyone can recall) that we have had a canine first finisher. Magnus was running with parkrun tourist James Buckley.

Esther completed her first parkrun......................... James and Magnus - first finishers.
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You heard it here first!

Those of you who were at our second anniversary event almost a year ago (on 25 April 2016) may recall that in a short speech our local MP, Cabinet Minister and parkrunner Greg Clark said that steps would be taken to dissuade local councils from seeking to charge for parkrun events. This followed the controversy over an attempt by a council near Bristol to make a charge for the Little Stoke parkrun. All went quiet on this front for a number of months. But a few days ago we heard of the public consultation that has just been launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government about "... the Government’s proposals to legislate to put it beyond doubt that local authorities, including parish councils, cannot charge parkrun or junior parkrun for the use of public parks". The public consultation runs until 5 July 2017.

So, it's clear that back last April we had our own exclusive early access to national news during the pre run formalities. The moral of the story: always pay attention to the pre run briefing - you never know what vital intelligence you might otherwise miss!

Volunteers on duty at the finishing funnel entrance....
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Facebook and Twitter
As always you can keep up to speed with our latest news on Twitter and on Facebook. We currently have 828 Facebook "likes" and 708 followers on Twitter.

This week's volunteers were:
Alison BEARD • Annaelle DUFFIELD • Charlie KIRWAN • Deborah DIXON • Deirdre LULHAM • Dominic MARDEN • Dominic RADLEY • Georgia BEARD • Judy GUEST • Louise FITZGERALD • Marian KEEP • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Simon JONES • Sophia DENNETT • Steve BARNFIELD • Steve BOLTON • Vicky DENNETT

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