Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event no 205
9th June 2018
Written by Karen Cole, parkrun tourist from Havant, with Judy Guest and Richard Woodfield
Photos from Joe Watts, Richard Woodfield and Zena Hassell
Celebrating NHS70 in style and what a celebration! At 8.00am the balloons were being blown, bandages and fake blood for the volunteers was out in anticipation of our celebration and thanks for 70 years of the NHS. As runners started to arrive it was lovely to see so many people who work for the NHS dressed in their uniforms. A big thank you for people working for the NHS!
Looking around beforehand at the early arrivals it seemed that head bandages might be the "go to" choice for appropriately themed clothing - but many other options were soon in evidence. For instance, Francis was fetchingly attired as a midwife. Former ward sister, Rosemary, as tail walker, was well equipped with a stethoscope should any parkrunners require checking out.
Our #NHS70 celebration run was started by Dame Kelly Holmes, along with the Run Director, aka "Temporary Midwife" Francis, and veteran RTW parkrunner (and genuine paramedic) Mark
As parkrun hour approached it was nice to see runners nudging, whispering to each other and pointing to a lady in blue who was hereself taking photos. Was it her?! We had the pleasure of welcoming Dame Kelly Holmes who had kindly come along to help us celebrate. Hearing everyone talking after, and seeing the photos all over social media, she made the day even more special.
In welcoming our guest, Dame Kelly, Francis had certainly done his homework the previous night. Not only did he of - course - cover her double Olympic gold medals but he also reeled off an extensive list of all the records she had achieved at various distances - several of which still stood. He pointed to the contribution parkrun initiative could make to the health and well being of so many people. In our own way parkrun could assist the NHS by helping people to keep healthy for as long as possible. Dame Kelly paid tribute to the huge contribution to society made by so many people in the health service. And she talked about the pleasure and achievement to be gained from running - whether we were old or young, fast or slow. She also gave a good plug for JOIN IN JUNE in which she was promoting taking part in physical activity. (You can read about it on her Twitter account @damekellyholmes)
Enjoying the run
We were contacted during the week by Karen who was coming as a tourist on a visit to Hever Castle and asked to do the Run Report. Her son Alexander kindly volunteered on barcode scanning even if he was the most reluctant 13 year old to have his photo taken with Dame Kelly Holmes!
Run reporter, Karen, starting out on lap 2 and, later, with Dame Kelly Holmes
Volunteers get in on the photos
"On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning. The parkrun fairies were kind to us today and provided cooler conditions than of late, which also provided the perfect opportunity to talk to others before we started.
Thank you to Noeline, for the new runner's briefing where new runners were warmly welcomed and introduced to the course layout. What a beautiful course you have too, with 2 looping laps in stunning parkland, which follow the boating lake in the middle and also the wilder cross country fields to the back of the course. These two differing aspects allowing for a contrasting feel to the course, added to the unfolding weather that apparently alters the course considerably. Indeed although rock solid today, I have heard that the back can get quite muddy and water logged.
Today, visitors from Bedfont Lakes, Aylesbury and Havant and as far away as Cardiff were using Royal Tunbridge Wells as their tourist venue.
Francis Eames, our Run Director for the event, gave big thank you as always to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of marshals out on the course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?"
Stylish running outfits - could these catch on at parkrun?
"First timers, as mentioned above, are always warmly welcomed and are on the start of their parkrun journey and working towards their first milestones. The trick is when working towards your milestones is #DFYB- Don't Forget Your Barcode! If you were listed as unknown runners this morning. That's one run less to count towards those milestone trees. Milestones this morning announced were for joining the Junior 10 Club were Callum Benson and Elena Currah and also joining the 100 club were Kirsty Mauritz and Sandra Jones. She is a tourist from Cardiff but was with us volunteering when we started 4 years ago. That's the great thing about parkrun isn't it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk and share about. Especially pertinent though to also remember to hand in your finish token, parkrun needs them for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!"
At today's parkrun there were 278 parkrunners and the event was made possible by 28 volunteers. These were:
Alexander COLE • Bethan CHANDLER • Carol MUNT • Emily MULLETT • Eve DUBREUIL • Francis EAMES • Huw JONES • India ERLAM • Jack NORWOOD • Jane FENTIMAN • John DYSON • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Karen COLE • Louise FITZGERALD • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Mark SCOTT • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Rosemary SUMPTER • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • Steve BOLTON • Victoria MULLETT • Yolanda WITT
A small selection of our #NHS70 photos - (Have a look on our website for the photos by Joe Watts, Richard Woodfield and Zena Hassell). Very likely you are in one of them.
PLEASE REMEMBER THE NEXT PARKRUN ON 16th JUNE IS CANCELLED DUE TO ANOTHER EVENT IN THE PARK. BECOME A TOURIST AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ON 23RD WHEN WE ARE SHORT OF VOLUNTEERS.