A Royal visit

Event #138
21st January 2017

Run report written by Joe Watts, photos courtesy of David Harman

It was a beautiful, clear, sunny morning for our second event of 2017 and following an early morning course inspection (a quick one-lapper at 7.30am), conditions were deemed safe following last week's decision to cancel due to the amount of ice on the paths. Although it was very cold (around -2 degrees celcius), the running conditions underfoot were some of the best that we have experienced during any of our winter events as the off-road sections of the course had frozen solid and so there was no chance of slipping on the mud! The only potentially icy section, which was on the path after turning right from the wooden bridge was clearly "coned-off" and marshalled by our tail runners for the first lap.

The sunrise in Dunorlan Park. A beautiful start to a wonderful morning
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The lake was frozen over, except for a small watering hole to which our landlords took a liking
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This week our 21 strong volunteer team welcomed a bumper crowd of 233 people - the fourth consecutive event that we have exceeded 200 participants, which beats the previous run of 3 (May 2016 and also October/November 2016). This week I was back on Run Director duty and there were a few announcements during the pre-run brief. Firstly, I mentioned that we are raising funds in order to purchase an AED which will be situated inside the Cafe - you can read more about this here. I then welcomed some new members to the parkrun clubs, firstly Jack Goose to the junior 10 and then Suzannah Kinsella, Lloyd Collier & Andy Dang who were to run their 50th parkrun on the morning and I'm pleased to say that they all made it round, so a warm welcome to all from a fellow 50 club member! Finally and by no means least, I had the pleasure and great honour of welcoming the founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE to our event and this was greeted with rapturous applause!

There were plenty of parkrun tourists this week, including some from as far as California!
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Runners make their way down the slope at the start
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And so, here is some in-depth analysis and statistics for you from this week's event:

This week there were 233 runners, of whom there were:
- 13 parkrun tourists
- 39 first timers
- 24 unknowns (those who had either not registered with parkrun or forgotten their barcode, or forgot to get themselves scanned and return our finish token - please hand this back next time)
- Of the returning 157 runners, a huge 49 recorded new Personal Bests on our course - very well done to all!

Please remember to return the finish token for scanning as we need these every week
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Most popular first name today: 7 x Andrew or Andy; 6 x Paul; 6 x Stephen, Steve or Steven & 5 x Fiona.

One of the Steve's in action - tail runner Steve Barnfield completing his 120th volunteer occasion
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Despite the average run time on our course of 28:50 (based on 17,933 runs), the busiest minute at the finish funnel this week was 24:00 to 24:59 (20 finishers) - perhaps thanks to our 25 minute pacer?!

Darren Handley was our 25 minute pacer
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William LEVETT (VM40-44) was graded 81.60% for the time 16:51 (first overall).
Paul SINTON-HEWITT (VM55-59) was graded 77.24% for the time 20:04 (6th overall).
Jack FILBRANDT (VM55-59) was graded 76.17% for the time 20:21 (9th overall).

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014, and since then 3,440 different runners, including participants from 267 athletics clubs, have completed 17,933 runs covering a total distance of 89,665 km, and there have been 3,772 new Personal Bests.

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet. Make you want to move your running feet
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The parkrun annual points competition will cease to exist from the end of February 2017, so here are the current leaders for our event:

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Valerie STUBBS (Unattached) 2625 pts.
Sofia BAGULEY (Unattached) 2342 pts.
Zena HASSELL (Unattached) 2332 pts.

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS (Tunbridge Wells Harriers) 2511 pts.
Austin RUDMAN (Unattached) 2462 pts.
Ryland ATWOOD (Unattached) 2229 pts.

Paul Sinton-Hewitt is the biggest fan of parkrun and was supporting runners up the finishing path...
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... he also enjoyed having photos taken with our runners and volunteers
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For obvious reasons, our social media channels went crazy at the weekend. If you would like to join in on the action then please follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. This is a good way to keep up with the latest news and information on our event (including cancellations).

If you want to feel like this, then join us next week!
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Honestly, it is great fun - and free!
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parkrun 10th birthday celebrations – pacer event

Saturday 4th October 2014 is the date when parkrun will be celebrating their 10th birthday and we want to celebrate in style at Royal Tunbridge Wells.

The idea of parkrun has grown from the initial 'Bushy Park time trial', which took place on Saturday 2nd October 2004 and is the brainchild of Paul Sinton-Hewitt. At the inaugural event just 13 runners took part and completed the time trial. From this initial event a number of other time trials started up across the UK over the following years and the name parkrun came into being in 2010. The ethos of parkrun has always been to be to provide a free, timed, 5km run, open to all abilities in pleasant parkland surroundings and this continues to be true today. A not for profit organisation, parkrun is able to provide free events thanks to the generous sponsors (Sweatshop, Adidas and PruHealth) as well as the magnificent efforts of all of the volunteers who turn up every week to host a safe, free, timed 5km run for anyone who wants to take part.

Our aim at Royal Tunbridge Wells is to help as many of our runners to achieve a new PB on the 10th birthday and we are therefore looking for some volunteers to pace. We would like to have pacers at 2 minute increments from 20 minutes up to 30 minutes.

Ideally, we would be looking for runners who are capable of running 2 minutes faster than the time that they are volunteering to pace to ensure that they are able to fulfil their pacing duty with ease (i.e. a 20 minute pacer should be comfortable running between 18-19 minutes for 5km). If you would like to pace at our event on Saturday 4th October 2014, please send an e-mail to royaltunbridgewellshelpers@parkrun.com with your details and the time that you would like to pace.

We look forward to celebrating 10 years of parkrun with you all and hope that you can make it along to our pacer event in the beautiful surroundings of Dunorlan Park. Of course, don't forget your barcode #DFYB

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