Thank you… thank you… thank you…

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event no 199
28 April 2018

Run report by Richard Woodfield. Pictures by Charles Bowley, except where stated

Our fourth anniversary was a gloomy, dank sort of day. But no matter - that could not supress the brilliant colours of the flowery garlands worn by all the volunteers or indeed the enjoyment of parkrunners and volunteers on an action packed birthday event. It was very much a day for thanking everyone who had contributed to the continuing success of parkrun over the last year, and in the four years that our event has been running.

Special guest, William Benson (Chief Executive of TWBC) is a parkrunner himself and so is well placed to know that a short pithy speech in the prerun brief is likely to go down well with the assembled parkrunners. William (pictured below) drew attention to some of the impressive stats about participation and the achievements of parkrun and thanked those - volunteers and paid staff - who looked after the park.


Run Director, Louise, "ran" through an impressive list of organisations and individuals to be thanked. These included: the Council for their considerable and continuing support; the cafe for regularly refreshing us after parkrun - and putting up with our muddy footwear; those who had contributed to the food and raffle prizes for today, which included a number of local businesses and the Running Hub; Event Director, Joe, the other Run Directors; and of course all the volunteers - including those who had recently joined the core volunteer team. Louise presented some "thank you" cards, containing kinds words of appreciation.

Louise introduced the pacer team - and gave a reminder to keep right of the cones when coming down to Quagmire Corner from the Events Field. This avoids the risk of collision with parkrunners who have just run across the wooden bridge travelling in the opposite direction.

The pacer team leads the applause as Louise thanks volunteer co-ordinator, Judy

Sofia and family with a selection of the delicious refreshments on offer

A "Zena special" parkrun cake

Louise reminded the parkrunners about the organization, Friends of Dunorlan Park, which aims to help protect and enhance the park. (At the left of the picture below you can see evidence of the work supported by the Friends, to prevent the larger of the two islands subsiding into the lake dute to erosion. The smaller island is next on the list as it too has been suffering heavily from erosion.) If you would like to support the Friends, there are leaflets in the cafe, or the organisation can easily be found online. Membership is a reasonably priced £7, or £12 for family.

An environment worth protecting!

There was a rousing cheer for all today's volunteers and the parkrunners were up and running, jogging and walking.

Where have all the flowers gone?

I perched myself next to a rhododendron bush with its profuse array of pink blossoms strewn over the path, which made a great position for photography. A man out was out walking his dog and, as it's quite a narrow stretch of path, he waited patiently awhile for the flow of parkrunners streaming past to ease. It was very encouraging to hear I should think at least 40 parkrunners thanking him politely as they passed. Certainly a little politeness and consideration can go a long way. (3 pics by RW)




Passing with flying colours

Most our parkrunners will not be aware that one of the visitors today was a parkrun adjudicator, Jacky MacDonald. The adjudicator's job is to conduct perdiodic checks of parkruns around the country to see that parkruns are complying with parkrun policies and rules. The aim is not simply box ticking - it's to ensure that parkrun events continue to be safe and enjoyable, and well run. You'll be pleased to know that RTW parkrun received a very positive assessment, with Jacky concluding:

"First class Run Director Louise Fitzgerald, very clear, and as it was their 4th anniversary gave mention to all the core volunteers. Nice touch."

Adjudicator Jacky conducting a practical assessment ....and one very cool parkrunning dog
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The raffle ....

parkrun tourist pleased with her raffle prize - the edible parkrun vest!

Photographer, Charles, captures array of parkrun colours postively glowing on a dank morning!

Special guest, William, with daughter Amelia, who knocked over 20 seconds off her PB

Flower power...

After today's event parkrun tourist Max (based at Folkestone) told me that, with this visit to RTW, he had just completed a full set of the Kent parkruns. He agreed with the suggestion that Lullingstone was probably the most challenging Kentish parkrun course.

Today's statistics
227 parkrunners
43 volunteers
42 personal bests
31 first timers on our course (including 10 doing their first ever parkrun)

Steve Bolton and Hugh Stephenson had recently joined the 50 parkruns club and John Dyson had become a member of the 25 volunteers club.

I've finished!

This week's volunteers were:
Angela TYLER • Austin RUDMAN • Bethan CHANDLER • Charles BOWLEY • Chris MULLALEY • Colin RATCLIFFE • David CUNNINGHAM • David SAWYER • Emily MULLETT • Francis EAMES • Gabriela BAGULEY • Huw JONES • India ERLAM • Isabella SOUTH • James BAGULEY • James WELBURY • Jane FENTIMAN • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Kitt BAGULEY • Louise FITZGERALD • Lukas RATCLIFFE • Maisie VERNON • Marian KEEP • Mark DENNISON • Mark SCOTT • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Rachel SADLER • Richard NASH • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Sofia BAGULEY • Stella BEARD • Stephen ELLIOTT • Steve BARNFIELD • Steve BOLTON • Stuart CORKE • Tom CHANDLER • Victoria CAGLAR • Victoria MULLETT • Wendy ANDERSON • Yolanda WITT


parkrun tourists get a taste of our hills! by Anne-france Rix

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun – 26th April 2014

Despite a grey and drizzly start to the day, Tunbridge Wells dragged itself out of bed to put on a sterling effort at its inaugural parkrun!

As with all parkruns, there was a friendly and excited buzz from the 179 runners and 18 volunteers, as they lined up to be part of what is sure to become an established community event in our town. 

rr1 rr2
rr3 rr4

We welcomed many local and regional running clubs who came to show their support as runners or volunteers, including my local club - “Sarah’s Runners” in Tunbridge Wells, and parkrun tourists from Tonbridge, Whitstable, Bromley, the ‘Orpington Road Runners’, and ‘Meopham & Malling Ladies Joggers’.


Some of the Orpington Road Runners: Harrison, Annette, Caroline, Kevin & Rupert.

Visit for info on the ‘Orpington High Elms 10k’ on Sunday 15th June 2014!


Whitstable parkrunners: Shirley Pullen, Karen Hoult, Andy Phillips & Anthony Ansell.

It was great to see Richard and friends in their red ‘CPRC on tour’ t-shirts from ‘Chineham Park Running Club’ in Basingstoke (pictured below). They are aiming to complete 50 different parkruns by parkrun’s 10th anniversary in October!


parkrun is also about families having fun, getting fit and achieving goals together. A special mention goes to Alex (6yrs) & mum Manuela Alfagene, with Jamie (11yrs) and Jake (8yrs) & mum Ros Tucker, all from Paddock Wood. It was the boys’ first ever parkrun, and Jake completed it despite having had pneumonia twice not that long ago!

Ros and Manuela are delighted their boys are following in their footsteps by getting into running, and are themselves setting a great example - as these two mums have gone from “0 to 60” in just over 1 year – from hardly being able to run for long, when they joined the ‘Meopham & Malling Ladies Joggers’, to completing the Paddock Wood half marathon last month!


Jamie, Ros, Jake, Alex & Manuela from Paddock Wood.


Sarah & Anna (8 yrs) Barker from Tunbridge Wells (Sarah’s Runners club).


Johnathon & Felix McArdle-Hodge from Tunbridge Wells.


Gary & Dylan Manser – on their first ever parkrun!

There is a lot to look at on your parkrun, to take your mind off your aching muscles! The course is a scenic mix of well-kept tarmac, meadow and field trails, undulating around the 6 acre boating lake full of graceful swans and honking geese, and through pretty landscaped gardens, trees, marshes, fountains, grecian temple, sculptures, and many other features in this Grade II Heritage Historic Park, which has not changed much since the 1850’s. The tea pavilion awaits you at the finish line, to reward you with refreshment and a lovely view over the course as you enjoy a well-deserved rest.

I’ve always been impressed watching the speed of the first few finishers crossing the line at Tonbridge parkrun, but am even more sympathetic when the finishing stretch involves the killer hill at Dunorlan park!





Many more photos from the day, by our volunteer - Darren Matthews, will be uploaded soon to the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun event page:

Well done to all 179 of our runners at the inaugural run and especially to the 55 runners who attended a parkrun event for their very first time – we look forward to welcoming you all back soon! 

Will Levett of Tunbridge Wells Harriers was the first male finisher, although he forgot his barcode!


Nicole Taylor of Tonbridge Athletic Club was the first female finisher.


And of course thanks go to our many volunteers, including Joe Watts (Event Director) and Jacky Macdonald (Kent Ambassador for parkrun) (pictured below), for making this weekly event happen, and to run smoothly.



Mike Hughes (finish token support) & Judy Guest (barcode scanning)


Jane Fentiman (barcode scanning), Steve Barnfield (back-up timekeeper) & Claire Lawrence (timekeeper)

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