United in enjoyment of the feel-good factor

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 291
14th March 2020

Run report by Jasmine Quinney

This week 123 people ran, jogged, walked and squelched their way around Dunorlan Park for the 291st edition of Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun. We lined up ready for the run brief to be told to expect a muddy course and it certainly lived up to expectations!

There were 20 first timers today, three of whom recorded their first ever parkrun result today - welcome Nathan, Shanti and Kerry and I hope you managed to enjoy the muddy, wet experience! This number also included many tourists, from places as far away as Melbourne, Australia.

A fantastic seven people managed to record new Personal Bests in the conditions and representatives of 15 different clubs took part. The first finisher was James Sarre, and first female over the line was Amelia Ireson who also recorded a PB today. A shoutout also goes to Sheila Wilson, who achieved the highest age graded score of 70.21%.

A special well done to Timothy Radley who joined the 100 club today, with 94 of these runs being at Royal Tunbridge Wells!
Briefing time

I was one of the first timers here, and today was a special one for me as it was the last course I had left to have done all 22 parkruns in Kent. This was a challenge I set myself in around October last year (I learnt the hard way that this probably would have been more appropriate for the summer months), and have been steadily ticking off all the runs the county has to offer since.

Kent has a variety of parkrun courses – you can run in a park, country park or forest, on a canal towpath or heath, along the seafront or through a vineyard! Royal Tunbridge Wells was a great one to finish off because it offered some of the greatest hits of the Kent parkruns experienced before – lovely park paths like in Ashford or Dartford, stopping to wipe my glasses off because they’re covered in rain like in Tonbridge, squelchy shoes to rival Squerryes Winery or the feeling at the end of the first lap that I distinctly remember having at Lullingstone of “Do I really have to do that again?!”.

Despite their differences, one thing unites the parkruns in Kent and beyond, and that is the community and feel-good factor that’s there every Saturday morning. This morning was no different, and it was great to have a chat with people while navigating the course this morning, and feeling the buzz of parkrunners and volunteers in the café afterwards. A lovely woman started chatting to me on the second lap after a particularly muddy stretch - we were sharing experiences and she was reminding me just why I enjoy getting out on a Saturday morning. She couldn’t have timed it better as she caught me just at the moment when I had started walking and doubts were creeping in of my decision to wake up at 6:30am for this! So thank you to her and all those like her who manage to give us a bit more of a drive to keep going.

In the current climate when it can feel like everyone is getting increasingly panicked and shutting themselves off, it is so refreshing to come out, forget about everything and enjoy the feeling that parkrun gives you.

The event today was made possible by 29 volunteers:

Mark SCOTT • Jane FENTIMAN • Bernadette O'CONNOR • Judy GUEST • Alison BEARD • Dominic BEARD • Kitty MUYSKEN • Sara RIOLO • Mal MCKENZIE • Noeline SIMS • Huw JONES • Hugh STEPHENSON • Erica JONES • Louis COOMBS • Heloise SOUTH • Robin BARWICK • Juanita MCFARLIN • Mark DENNISON • Alasdair SHUTT • Imogen BURMAN-MITCHELL • Susie NORWOOD • Reuben BENSON • Quinton WOOD • Benny FIDDIMORE • Jasmine QUINNEY • Sarah MCFARLIN • Riya RANJAN • Liberty SMITH • Peter BALL

Thank you for your efforts today, for standing out in the rain and all your words of encouragement. The army of volunteers standing at the end of the first lap was especially appreciated, and helped a great deal with my aforementioned end of first lap feeling!

Finally, thanks to all at Royal Tunbridge Wells this morning for the warm welcome to my friends and I, and for another unforgettable parkrunday. I’m sure we’ll be back to tackle this parkrun again in the future, just maybe in the summer next time!

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results Page.


Helping others to experience parkrun

As we continue our introduction to regular faces at RTW parkrun, we thought we’d share another golden girl from our volunteering team, meet Lizzie.

Having joined parkrun in 2017 as a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze volunteer, Lizzie Miller has continued to help out as she progressed through the achievements, and is now working towards her Gold Award.


Already a runner with Tonbridge AC, Lizzie had visited our parkrun before and loved the friendly, relaxed atmosphere in Dunorlan Park. When it came to choosing somewhere to volunteer it made her decision an easy one.

“I loved the sense of achievement when I crossed the finish,” says Lizzie, “and I wanted to give something back so that other people would have the chance to experience the same thing.”

Admirable reasons for choosing to volunteer!

In her two years since joining our volunteer team, Lizzie has helped out with barcode scanning, finish tokens and support, timekeeping, marshalling and tail walking. She says her favourite roles are timing or finish token support.

It’s a busy time for Lizzie as she works towards her A-levels, but she still loves coming to parkrun on Saturday mornings.

One final word, her advice to anyone considering volunteering or trying out the 5k route: “If your’e thinking of doing parkrun I say go for it! It’s so much fun, kick-starts your Saturday morning and is a great way to meet new people.”

Wise words from Lizzie and we’re grateful to have her as part of the team.

Lizzie scanning


Five years of Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
27 April 2019
Event No 247

Run report by Erica Jones

The fifth birthday of Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun was such an exciting event that even Storm Hannah attempted to put in an appearance. Thankfully, she wasn’t quick enough, so apart from a little (a lot) of headwind the event was able to run without a hitch.

An impressive 310 participants and 46 volunteers turned up for the birthday event, which is certainly something to be proud of.

parkrun view

The day started with regular parkrunner and Chief Executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council William Benson saying a few words, before our new Event Director Colin Ratcliffe launched into the briefings. This included highlighting the Gazebo of Joy which was sheltering the raffle prizes as well as sweet and savoury treats (for human and four-legged runners). This year the raffle prizes were won by a “magic” finish token spot system, a speedier way of ensuring participants win prizes and recognising the efforts of a random assortment of finish times along the way (not forgetting a handy way of discouraging funnel duckers!).

The spot raffle was also a great way of directing people to the sweet and savoury treats and encouraging a few more conversations among those who like to loiter and relax in the park after their 5k effort.

Five years of RTW parkrun has led to many achievements to be proud of, on a collective scale 6,725 people have completed the 5k course, clocking up an incredible 42,858 runs, walks or jogs. This has led to a massive 7,307 personal bests being achieved during that time.

Adding up all the time participants have taken means a total of 2 years, 142 days, 1 hour, 22 minutes and 36 seconds have been spent parkrunning at Royal Tunbridge Wells, clocking up a distance of 214,290km around Dunorlan Park.

All of this supported by 438 different volunteers – our helpers really are heroes!

Over the last year our parkrun has grown in number, with record-breaking attendances occurring increasingly often and it’s great to see average finish times are actually getting slower as our numbers increase. We call it parkrun, but many of us do walk or jog, using the 5k event as the perfect opportunity to begin to get active, which is the best advice for anyone thinking of joining us at our next event.

Well done to everyone who’s taken part in our parkrun – it’s the joggers, runners, volunteers and walkers who make our event so special.


Raising Your Spirits

RTW parkrun
Date 27 October 2018

Run Report Writer and Photographer Zena Hassell

If you have been coffin and spluttering recently, leave the medicine bottle at home in the bathroom cabinet and head to your nearest parkrun, where a weekly alternative prescription is sure to make you feel much better. Although local G.P, Dr Acula, was unable to attend this weeks event, due to a high demand of blood doning at his late surgery, several of his patients took his advice and resurrected their bodies at Dunorlan Park. Amongst the 263 parkrunners were several high spirited individuals, interacting with no less than 16 Pace Invaders!

The Final Countdown – 16 Pace Invaders! (RW)

While the temperature hovered just above a bone chilling 0c degrees, run Director Joe Watts welcomed parkrun tourists from Ipswich and Ireland. He also congratulated Colin Ratcliffe on engraving his 100th run onto the Milestone Club scoreboard. Congratulations also went to George Moore joining the 10 club, Penelope Dobson and Prem Konteczny joining the 50 club. Did anyone spot newcomer ‘Wonky Bear’ enjoying his 1st visit to Royal Tunbridge Wells? (More about him later...)

Bury any negative thoughts – It’s a Saturday Mourning

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Heartbreak Hill – “Better the devil you know!”

All smiles as a pumpkin carves around the events field

Eat healthy for strong bones and fast finish

Back to ‘Wonky Bear’ who very much enjoyed his visit to RTW Parkrun. He is a special bear made up of recycled hi vis volunteer vests and travels around to different parkrun events! To find out more checkout RTW parkrun/Twitter and Facebook.

Wonky Bear Relaxing

Please note that next week's parkrun (3rd November) is on as usual, however, the Pembury Road Car Park will be much busier to accommodate vehicles for the setting up of the fireworks display later that evening. It would be advisable to try and car share, cycle, jog or walk if possible.

This week 263 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 43 were first timers and 31 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 39 volunteers:

Mark SCOTT • Daniel WITT • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS • Judy GUEST • Zena HASSELL • Croz CROSWELL • Simon KEEP • Marian KEEP • Richard NASH • Alexander HOLMES • Dominic HOLMES • Charles BOWLEY • Richard WOODFIELD • Chris MULLALEY • Marianne CROKER • Francis EAMES • Amy WHITE • Noeline SIMS • Lizzy ADAM • Colin RATCLIFFE • Huw JONES • Hugh STEPHENSON • Carolyn PRICE • Erica JONES • Robin BARWICK • Bethan CHANDLER • Angela TYLER • Rose SAWYER • Juanita MCFARLIN • Jonathan HAWKER • Maisie VERNON • Gemma STILLIARD • Amy DOBSON • Molly SLOUGH • Hannah CRAINE • Grace GOODWIN • Annie TAYLOR

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by William LEVETT who recorded a time of 16:12 on 8th April 2017 (event number 149).
The female record is held by Nicole TAYLOR who recorded a time of 17:48 on 21st July 2018 (event number 209).
The Age Grade course record is held by Cath WHEELER who recorded 86.98% (21:23) on 15th September 2018 (event number 216).

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014. Since then 5,904 participants have completed 36,897 parkruns covering a total distance of 184,485 km, including 6,581 new Personal Bests.


The Runaway Bride and Groom

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 218
29th September 2018

Run Report Written by Judy Guest   Photographer Richard Woodfield 

On a very autumnal morning, Louise (and bump) quietened everyone to welcome 310 participants. It was lovely to see 49 first timers, with tourists from Bushy Park, Bromley and Dulwich.

Congratulations go this week to Julian Clements, Kate Thomson and Simon Marshall who had joined the 50 club and a big cheer to our wedding couple Lloyd Collier and Suzannah Kinsella who joined the 100 club - once they had completed their wedding parkrun.

Lloyd and Suzannah met through running, so many of their friends from Tunbridge Wells Harriers and family were there to join them running around the course, before setting off for the wedding in the afternoon.

The Wedding Group

It was also our monthly Pacer Day. A big thank you to the pacers who helped us see 64 new Personal Bests.

Congratulations to those of you that took part in the Hospice in the Weald 10k last Sunday. It was a very wet run.

Perspiring "vicar", clad in a heavy cassock, accompanies the couple up the last hill

Every little helps

Today’s event was made possible by 39 volunteers including some new Duke of Edinburgh volunteers. Thank you to you all.

Mark SCOTT • Daniel WITT • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Louise FITZGERALD • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Croz CROSWELL • Gloria RICHARDS • David CUNNINGHAM • Nick FITZGERALD • Gabrielle RICHARDS • Richard WOODFIELD • Coral SADLER • Matthew NEWMAN • Chris MULLALEY • Marianne CROKER • Callum BENSON • David EDWARDS • Noeline SIMS • Colin RATCLIFFE • Huw JONES • Hugh STEPHENSON • Isobel WARREN • Matthew DUBERY • Oliver DAWE • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Victoria CAGLAR • Rose SAWYER • Sophie WAIGHT • Jonathan HAWKER • Maisie VERNON • Amy DOBSON • Hannah CRAINE • Grace GOODWIN • Annie TAYLOR

Tranquil - the next few weeks should see the autumn colours at their finest

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by William LEVETT who recorded a time of 16:12 on 8th April 2017 (event number 149).
The female record is held by Nicole TAYLOR who recorded a time of 17:48 on 21st July 2018 (event number 209).

There have been four occasions since RTW parkrun was launched that we've had over 300 parkrunners. Two of these events were in September 2018.

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014. Since then 5,777 participants have completed 35,878 parkruns covering a total distance of 179,390 km, including 6,430 new Personal Bests.


Welcome back

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 206
23 June 2018
Run Report written by Judy Guest with photos by Richard Woodfield

After our cancellation last week due to another event in the park, we were greeted by a beautiful sunny morning, where we saw 254 people run, jog and walk the course. We gladly welcomed 39 first timers and 42 of our runners recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

Your last chance to claim lost property!
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Louise was the Run Director, welcoming tourists from as far as Australia and as near as Eastbourne. She happily welcomed William Piggott and Francesca Currah to the Junior 10 Club and Rachel King and Sian Dubery to the 50 Club.

Runners were reminded that our lost property box is overflowing, so anything not claimed by next week will go to charity. Did any of you notice Nick Fitzgerald running with a pro cam?  We hope to show you the results of his recording in the next few weeks.

Some of you may have also noticed Bishnu, a Ghurka, running carrying a Doko (Nepalese basket) weighing 22kg. He has set himself a target of 207 parkruns by 2022. That's because Ghurkas will be 207 years old in that year - Ghurkas first served in armed forces of the British crown in 1815.

Bishnu before ...................and after his run 
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Relaxing in the sun 
It was nice to welcome new volunteers taking part in their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze awards, and also students on their summer holidays. Thank you. Without volunteers we would not be able to provide the run. Remember if you want to volunteer and also run we still have a variety of roles.

The event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Fiona SUTTON • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Louise FITZGERALD • Kelvin DESMOYERS-DAVIS • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Steven BARRETT • Steve BOLTON • Gloria RICHARDS • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Francis EAMES • Noeline SIMS • Sylvie AUSTEN • Colin RATCLIFFE • Austin RUDMAN • Robert HASSELL • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Lara JEE • Geraldine JEE • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Bea SIMMONDS • Jack NORWOOD • Andrew GRAHAM

A reminder to remember that our run on 7 July is cancelled due to another event in the park. Please remind your friends - and why not become a parkrun tourist for a day!


Celebrating NHS70

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
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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
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Volunteers get in on the photos
Karen writes:

"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?
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"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.



The heat is on!

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 203
26th May 2018

Run report written by Zena Hassell with photos courtesy of Richard Woodfield & Zena Hassell

Another lovely morning at RTW parkrun this Saturday, but with more humidity than last week. 260 people of all abilities attempted to “chase the pace” behind this week’s volunteer pacers.

“Bibs at the ready”


This week we welcomed parkrun tourists from Poole and Wiltshire, together with the milestone members - Beatrice Gillard (Junior 10 Club) Amy White, Andrew Smyth and Thomas Price (all of the 50 Club) and Jane Fentiman (25 Volunteer Club). Very well done to you all!

In our world of social media, we can leave views and comments on just about everything nowadays. It is always nice to hear complimentary comments as left by a first timer this week who said “today was my first one- thank you for making it so lovely. It was so well organised and friendly.” I have noticed that the word friendly keeps popping up when people talk particularly about RTW parkrun, long may it continue!

Another comment left by a lady chasing her PB this week was how grateful she was to the 32 pacer who encouraged her all the way to the finish line and helped her smash her PB, great work both of you!

“Pacer 32 with a helping hand”


“The time sponsored by pacer 28 is exactly 28.00 precisely”


As I was taking some photos of people heading up the notorious “Heartbreak Hill” I noticed a gentleman with particular pace, so camera at the ready I just managed to photograph him as he went by in a flash, very well done!

“Super-fly guy powers up Heartbreak Hill”


“A gentlemens agreement @ Canine Corner”


“Please be seated – a well- earned rest!”


Reminder – Saturday 16th June 2018 - RTW parkrun is cancelled due to another event in Dunorlan Park. Why not try touring along to a different location to get your Saturday fix. We are lucky that we have several nearby which are easily accessible. (Tonbridge, Bedgebury, Maidstone, Malling, East Grinstead)

This week 260 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 36 were first timers and 40 recorded new personal bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:

Amy WHITE • Bethan CHANDLER • Colin RATCLIFFE • David SAWYER • Derek JEE • Emily MULLETT • Francis EAMES • Geraldine JEE • Huw JONES • Jack NORWOOD • Jane FENTIMAN • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Kitt BAGULEY • Lara JEE • Louise FITZGERALD • Maisie VERNON • Marianne CROKER • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Richard NASH • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • Steve BOLTON • Tom CHANDLER • Victoria CAGLAR • Victoria MULLETT • Zena HASSELL

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun results page.

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014. Since then 5,263 participants have completed 32,072 parkruns covering a total distance of 160,360 km, including 5,884 new personal bests.


Celebrating RTW parkrun event 202

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event 202
19th May 2019

Run Report written by Zena Hassell with photos by Zena Hassell


Just like the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan, we enjoyed a super Saturday of feel good sunshine which is always most welcome. Dunorlan Park has to be the Jewel in the Crown of RTW without a doubt.

All smiles from the Royals:


Steve Barnfield took up the reins of the Run Director this week supervising 286 parkrunners. Unfortunately Steve’s dulcet tones were drowned by the increased level of chattering from a few. Please have the courtesy of listening to the Run Director who welcomes new runners, tourists and new club members. I managed to catch that we had visitors from Whitstable. However, apologies that I cannot confirm where the others were from!

We bid a sad farewell to Izzy who has been volunteering with us as part of her Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. Thank you for all your help over the last six months.

On a positive note we welcomed Klara Waring to the Junior 10 club. Claire Young has joined the 50 club and Martin Moran to the 100 club. Some people have commented to us they have not been mentioned when they achieve these goals. We can only read out new club members for runners that have enrolled with Royal Tunbridge Wells as their chosen event. If you have put Tonbridge then they will call out your name at their event!

This was the second week of the newly diverted course and although there is the initial ascent, the descent is very welcome. Personally on the slopes I try to let myself go and pick up some speed if there is any fuel left in the tank. Whilst the runners are getting used to the different route it would be great to hear from anyone who wishes to marshal around this section. Banter and encouragement are compulsory!

Sowing the parkrun seed early:


Kids not missing their screen time:


Quality family time:


Please remember on 9th June RTW parkrun are hosting a special NHS event, celebrating 70 years of this life saving service. Dame Kelly Holmes started the celebrations last week at the Tonbridge parkrun to raise awareness of parkrun and its positive benefits (physical and mental) amongst NHS staff and patients. If we have any runners who work for the NHS (or know people who do) in any capacity please encourage them to attend our run and ideally dress in NHS attire ie blue clothing, nurses or doctors outfit, mouth masks, hair nets, red crosses on t shirts, bandages .

Reminder - Next week 26th May is Pacer Day. We still have vacancies for pacers over 30 mins. If you do wish to volunteer in this role it is suggested you allow approx 2 mins extra on your normal run time.

parkrun + sunshine = HAPPY:


“Prince Philip winding his way back to Windsor”:


This week 286 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 20 were first timers and 44 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:

Jane FENTIMAN • Louise FITZGERALD • Steve BARNFIELD • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Zena HASSELL • Nick FITZGERALD • Francis EAMES • Eve DUBREUIL • Noeline SIMS • Isabella SOUTH • Robin BARWICK • Wendy ANDERSON • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Victoria CAGLAR • Yolanda WITT • Angela TYLER • Mark DENNISON • India ERLAM

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Alice HEATHER-HAYES who recorded a time of 18:51 on 18th April 2015 (event number 50).
The male record is held by William LEVETT who recorded a time of 16:12 on 8th April 2017 (event number 149).
The Age Grade course record is held by John LOWDEN who recorded 85.21% (18:49) on 19th November 2016 (event number 130).

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014. Since then 5,227 participants have completed 31,812 parkruns covering a total distance of 159,060 km, including 5,843 new Personal Bests


Diversionary tactics

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 201
12th May 2018

Run report written by Francis Eames with photographs courtesy of Louise Fitzgerald

It was a perfect morning for a parkrun and Dunorlan Park looked magnificent in all its May glory as 266 runners, the highest total since last September lined up for the weekly Dunorlan parkrun challenge. And great anticipation too, as Joe Watts, Run Director for the day, announced in the briefing that we would be running a course diversion this week (and for the forseeable future) in order to avoid Quagmire Corner and the Shoewash. The town of Tunbridge Wells is here because of its many springs, but the two springs that have exploded into life this winter to flood the path by the lake and to deepen the quagmire by the wooden bridge are not nearly as welcome as the now beautifully restored brick basin to the right of the final hill up to the finish.

The new course avoids the "quagmire" and "shoe-wash":

Our good friends at TW Borough Council are going to work to improve the drainage of the boggy bits over the summer to try to cure the problems we have encountered this winter and spring, and so Joe has been pacing out a diverted route to take us round the problem while the work is taking place, and as an alternative route we can use in future winters if we encounter the same conditions as this year and think the ground there needs time to recover. Most people seemed to think it was a good diversion; a little bit more UPHILL of course, but that also means a bit more DOWNHILL to make up for it as well. And dry feet at the finish, a rarity in the past 6 months.

Run Director Joe addresses our largest crowd (so far) of 2018:

Joe also welcomed MONTY CUNLIFFE to the Junior 10 Club and STEVE BOLTON to the Volunteer 25 Club. Well done and congratulations to them both.

parkrun is a wonderfully simple concept and its success can be seen in the weekly statistics published by parkrun Towers. Last week a record number of 156,054 runners in the UK ran a 5km parkrun or a 2km Junior parkrun, the first time ever that more than 150,000 have run on a single weekend. And they did so at 529 different events, also a record, and 78 more events than there were a year earlier. New parkruns are starting up in the UK at a rate of three every two weeks, all initiated by and run by volunteers. Parkrun could not function without its volunteers and last week 15,096 volunteers across the UK supported and encouraged those 156,054 runners. At Dunorlan Park this week 25 volunteers turned out to set up the run and make sure it all went smoothly.

A big thank you to Fiona SUTTON • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Louise FITZGERALD • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • Judy GUEST • Paul HOLLIS • Steve BOLTON • Nick FITZGERALD • Lloyd COLLIER • Francis EAMES • Eve DUBREUIL • Noeline SIMS • Huw JONES • Robin BARWICK • Wendy ANDERSON • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Yolanda WITT • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Jack NORWOOD for their efforts. They always appreciate the thank yous they receive from the runners. If you would like to volunteer at a future event, just talk to one of the volunteers or email us at royaltunbridgewellshelpers@parkrun.com

The finish funnel team patiently await the next finisher:

parkrun has a very simple code which we ask everyone to follow. Put very simply, it says have fun, be nice to each other, and give way to other park users. At this time of year there are always lots of people out strolling and walking their dogs on a Saturday morning so do keep your eyes peeled and take care to give them space as you run past them. A special mention this week must go to the parkrunner with the Dalmatian which was suddenly and enthusiastically set upon by a loose and overexcited springer spaniel on the downhill at the start of lap 2. He clearly wanted to join the run with us. Well done for avoiding a tangle and maintaining your footing, your equilibrium and your good humour.

As Joe called the timekeepers to order and started the run, at least 30 runners set off for their first parkrun in Dunorlan Park and at least 16 were running their very first parkrun anywhere. It may have been more, because we also had 17 unknowns who didn’t have a barcode and so didn’t receive a time. Do bring your barcode each time you come to make sure you get your run officially recognised.

We also had parkrun tourists from around the country. Notably the QUIXLEY family from High Wycombe, visiting friends here, they have completed 415 runs between them, led by dad GREGG who has run parkrun 277 times.

And SUZANNE TURVEY and TOM PHILLIPS, a couple who breezed in from Cowley in Oxford and both of them were our First Finishers for the day. Wow! And Suzanne just missed out doing a sub 20 minute time, but is still our 12th fastest woman ever at Dunorlan Park at her first attempt. Well done to them and to all of our parkrun tourists and we hope to see you here again soon. And to celebrate the new diverted course, 33 returning runners recorded a new personal best time. Well done to all of them.
You can catch up with all today’s results on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun website along with a full history of the results since we started four years ago and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

In 4 weeks time on 9th June parkruns all over the UK are helping to celebrate 70 years of the NHS. We hope to be joined by runners from our local hospitals and GP surgeries on the day, and if you are in touch with any of them, do suggest they come along to join us. More and more doctors and nurses are becoming aware of parkrun and the long-term health benefits it can bring, and are “prescribing” parkrun to their patients to help them get fitter and lose weight. More details closer to the day.

Have a good week and we hope to see you next Saturday morning for the next exciting instalment of parkrun RTW.

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