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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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