Falling acorns

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 171
7th October 2017

Run report by Joe Watts with a contribution from Noeline Sims. Photographs by Joe Watts

It was a drizzly, yet mild Autumn morning for our 171st event in Dunorlan Park where 259 people decided to join our team of 19 volunteers for a free 5 kilometre run, jog or walk. This week your Run Director was Simon Jones and during his pre-run brief he mentioned that we were celebrating the 13th anniversary of parkrun. Simon welcomed Vicky Dennett to the parkrun 50 club and there was also a mention for RTW parkrun regular, Francis Eames who was running his 100th parkrun.

Of the 259 people who participated in this event, there were 7 parkrun tourists, 15 first timers and a disappointing 29 unknowns (people who had either forgotten their barcode or not registered with parkrun beforehand). Of the returning 208 people there was an impressive 45 new Personal Bests on our course.

259 people make their way down the starting slope:
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Vicky Dennett joined the parkrun 50 club last week:
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Francis Eames on the way to joining the parkrun 100 club:
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The event was made possible by 19 volunteers:
Mark SCOTT • Joseph WATTS • Louise FITZGERALD • Steve BARNFIELD • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Edward STEELE • David HARMAN • Nick FITZGERALD • Simon JONES • Richard WOODFIELD • Jon PEET • Noeline SIMS • Wilf PEET • Annaelle DUFFIELD • Richard MCMANUS • Paul ROBBS DE LA HOYDE • Robin BARWICK • Yolanda WITT

The calm (relief) after the storm (5km):
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A piece by regular volunteer & Run Director, Noeline Sims:
I know, looking at me now, it is hard to believe I was once a keen runner, just like all of you. I was never fast, nor competitive, but have competed numerous 10k, half and full marathons, raising thousands of pounds for guide dogs. So often, the encouraging smile of a volunteer steward has made all the difference, spurring me on when I felt exhausted. It was this that initially prompted me to volunteer with parkrun as a marshal. As the weeks went by I gradually took on other roles, enjoying each and every one. Then in February 2016 it all came to an abrupt halt as I broke my ankle in a skiing accident. Unable to drive (I live 45 minutes from Tunbridge Wells!), I had to miss my Saturday monring outings. But throughout this time away, Joe & the team regularaly checked up on me. I returned to join the "core" team. Then in January & February this year I lost my Mum & Dad within three weeks of each other. Again, my parkrun family were there for me, helping me cope in the darkest of times. The thought of coming to parkrun every Saturday morning & being able to forget everything for a few hours, surrounded by all your smiling faces, has helped more than you will ever know. So can I give a big "thank you" parkrunners for just being there. You are all amazing!!!

Run Director Steve Barnfield was your 24 minute pacer:
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Team Joggle:
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Full results of this week's event and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun results page on our website.

There were plenty of smiles out on course, despite the drizzle:
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Hands-up if you love parkrun:
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Specks of brightly coloured runners in amongst the trees:
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Finally, a reminder of 3 very important rules of parkrun:

1. Under 11's must be within arm's reach of a parent or guardian (aged 18+):
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2. Dogs must be kept under firm control & on a short lead or harness:
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3. Don't Forget Your Barcode #DFYB
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