Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event No 197
14 April 2018
Run report by Francis Eames. Pictures by Joe Watts and Richard Woodfield
After the unusual autumn mists of the last few days, Saturday suddenly became summer. So much so that some people were starting to think it was getting TOO HOT for running! But it wasn’t summer underfoot of course and the squelchy bits were still horribly boggy and the shoewash on the back straight was resolutely undiminished to make sure that everyone arrived at the finish properly mudsplashed.
Above ground - it's summer (well almost!)
Ground level - definitely not yet summer!
And thanks to the tremendous commitment of 28 wonderful volunteers a magnificent turnout of 218 runners braved the mud, the highest number since the first Saturday of January. It was good to see 17 different clubs represented in the lineup. And we were able to welcome a fantastic number of First Timers. At least 25 runners completed their very first parkrun and another 20 parkrun tourists from places as far flung as Cirencester and Sweden joined us for the first time to experience the beauty of our lovely park. It wasn’t really a morning for running a PB but 14 runners did just that, which was most impressive in the conditions. Well done to all of them and especially to junior runner ELLIE MACAULEY who was not only First Finisher here for the first time but also had an impressive new PB as well.
This week's higher numbers kept our scanners busy
And many congratulations also to our very own Event Director JOE WATTS, who recorded his first time as First Finisher here. Well done Joe and Ellie.
STELLA BEARD was in charge for her second turn as run director and once the megaphone decided to behave she welcomed XANDER DOLMAN to the Junior 10 Club and everyone to our 197th event.
On Saturday we sadly said goodbye to TILLY WHITE who has been volunteering with us as part of her DofE Bronze award. Thank you Tilly for all your help and we hope to see you again here on the start line soon. We rely on our DofE volunteers to help us run our events and we currently have 5 from local schools turning out on Saturday mornings. Thanks to all of them.
So without further ado, we were off down the hill towards the boathouse and onwards to our muddy fate. And as we squelched up the hill through the mud past the VC memorial, the conditions underfoot must have been somewhat similar to those the soldiers endured during the horrific Spring Offensive of 1918, which broke the stalemate of the First World War and led to its long - awaited conclusion in November that year.
It is always worth remembering the 10 Tunbridge Wells men who were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery and are remembered in the VC Grove as we run past it each week, and one of them Major Eric Stuart Dougall was killed in action in Belgium 100 years ago to the day on 14th April 1918, four days after the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
How fortunate we are to be here in 2018 and only having to endure the winter mud in the park.
The final hill may be steep - but at least it's not muddy!
Don’t forget that in 2 weeks time we celebrate the 4th anniversary of Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun and since then 5,092 different runners have completed 30,543 parkruns covering a total distance of 152,715 km and setting 5,036 personal bests. To celebrate it will be a Pacer Day, and we need lots of volunteer pacers. We will have a flower theme to the day and there will be lots of raffle prizes and scrumptious eats, so make a note in your diary. Who knows? With the weather forecast as it is, we may even have completely dry course by then. Wouldn’t that be a novelty? An anniversary PB anyone?
We've put in an order for sky this colour for our anniversary event...
Saturday was my 3rd anniversary at RTW parkrun, and in that time I have totted up 114 parkruns, of which 82 have been in Dunorlan Park. It’s difficult to remember what I did on Saturday mornings before that!
You can view our complete event history on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results page, which includes the full results from this week's event. Also on the website (photos page) there are lots of fantastic photos of Saturday’s event thanks to our able photographers RICHARD WOODFIELD and the multi - tasking Event Director and First Finisher JOE WATTS. Is there anything you can’t do Joe?
You can also follow us on Twitter or like our page on Facebook.
Next week it is my turn on the megaphone and I hope to see all of you there on Saturday morning, especially this week’s first timers. It will be great to see you again. Have a good week.
Please note that - contrary to our previous announcement - we are now intending to have a parkrun on 5 May. This is as a result of the postponement of another (non parkrun related) event that had been due to take place in Dunorlan Park on 5 May. We just now need to fill our volunteer roster for the reinstated parkrun.
This week's 28 volunteers:
Fiona SUTTON • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Paul HOLLIS • Matilda WHITE • Gloria RICHARDS • Richard WOODFIELD • Rachel SADLER • Francis EAMES • Noeline SIMS • Erica JONES • Graham BROOKS • Robert HASSELL • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Yolanda WITT • Rose SAWYER • Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Jack NORWOOD