End of an era

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
30 March 2019
Event No 243

Run report by Richard Woodfield. Pictures by Nick Fitzgerald

Everything came together brilliantly for Joe's farewell parkrun as Event Director:

* our highest ever attendance - 331 parkrunners & 37 volunteers came to give Joe a great send off.
* it was the ideal spring morning - sunny and mild - for a special occasion
* heartful tributes were paid to Joe and to all that had been achieved under his leadership of our parkrun
* astonishingly, as if to underline the point, there was a century of personal best times achieved.

Even the practical nitty gritty contributed to the spirit of the occasion. The PA system was on its best behaviour. The mud situation was much improved. And the number of "unknown runners" without barcodes was just 15 out of 331. At less than 5%, this meant that Joe's final stint processessing results afterwards involved a lot less detective work than on many a previous parkrun!

parkrun-4 parkrun-8

Reflecting on his experience Joe thanked all those who had contributed to the success of RTW parkrun, not forgetting those who had enabled the parkrun to use such a wonderful venue. Volunteers, parkrunners, TWBC and Friends of Dunorlan Park had all played their part. Joe recalled that he had been responsible for adding the "Royal" to "Tunbridge Wells parkrun". He had also changed the route originally envisaged - it had initially been planned to have the route start by going uphill towards the main carpark. There was one parkrun, back in the early days, when the event had been run by just six volunteers. This had been pretty fraught and had required substantial multi tasking across all the essential volunteer roles.


Louise had been in at the start of RTW parkrun, so it was entirely fitting that she paid tribute to Joe:

"I first met Joe in early 2014 at Tonbridge parkrun where I had gone along to meet with the newly appointed Event Director for the soon-to-be-established RTW parkrun. I had heard about the event via a facebook appeal for volunteers and as an avid runner myself and keen to give something back to my local community, this seemed right up my street.

My first impression of Joe was of a cool, calm and collected guy, disciplined and clearly into fitness. I also thought he was quiet, until I got to know him a little better. This was just the sort of person I knew would carry out the Event Director role perfectly, and he has proven me right! Many of you will not be aware of the time-consuming hard work that goes on behind the scenes at parkrun each week, not only on a Saturday, but during the week – organising the volunteers, dealing with queries from participants, liaising with the local council and parkrun HQ, as well as helping out at the actual events on a Saturday morning. It is not an easy job to undertake, but one that Joe has done humbly.

Over the 5 years I have known Joe, he has faced everything thrown his way head on with diplomacy, with the best interests of parkrun and its participants at the forefront of his mind. No mountain has been too high for him to overcome, in his personal achievements as well as spearheading RTW parkrun. I have seen Joe go from a DJ when I first met him, to a fully qualified PT and Running Coach, leading running groups of all abilities as well as fitting in his own training, and all this outside his actual job, which he still continues to do.

It has been a pleasure to see RTW parkrun grow and flourish under Joe’s tutelage, from inception to winning Best Group at the Love Where You Love Awards and our imminent 5-year anniversary. It will now fall to our new Event Director, Colin Ratcliffe to tackle the role, which I have no doubt he will do with fervour and determination.

If you could please all join me in a round of applause to thank Joe for his hard work in making RTW parkrun what it is today."

Joe - surrounded by parkrun milestone tops as a reminder of all that parkrunning and volunteering!

Judy - our volunteer co-ordinator - presented gifts and a card to Joe. Among the many messages in the card were: "You've been totally awesome - thanks for making me and hundreds/thousands of people get fit and passionate about running" ... "parkrun changed my life" ... "Great work, Joe. I hope you will always be proud of what you have achieved here, and your legacy. Thank you"

Let's leave the final word to Joe:

"It's been an absolute pleasure being involved with parkrun over the past 5+ years and wonderful to see how the event has grown and evolved over my tenure. I know that it is in safe hands with a core, experienced volunteer team as well as a core and faithful group of runners. Saturday was a wonderful send-off and I look forward to seeing the event continue to grow and succeed over the next 5 years and beyond. I fully intend to return as a runner and volunteer when I am available and always encourage my RTW runners to attend. My main aim in setting up the event was to inspire others to get involved in running, the same way in which I was inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and it's great to see so many at RTW parkrun who have gradually progressed and become more involved with the event, the sport and the community."

Medley of memories..... (RW)


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.


Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun #200

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 200
5th May 2018

Run report written by Judy Guest. Photos courtesy of Helen Sanson.

After the celebrations of our fourth anniversary last week, this week we celebrated our 200th parkrun. On a lovely sunny morning, 242 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers and 41 recorded new Personal Bests. Stella Beard the Run Director welcomed Amelia Benson to the Junior 10 club, Francine Lereridge to the 50 club and Ali Farrell & Matthew Green to the 100 club. Well done.

Participants make their way over the wooden bridge for their 1st lap:

This is the first time I have been a Run Reporter in the four years I have been volunteering. I started volunteering after seeing an advert for helpers for parkrun in a local magazine. Living locally I thought I would pop over to our beautiful park and 178 parkruns later, I can honestly say it is an amazing community event, even if you have to wear at least four layers of clothing in the winter months. The realisation that everyone wants to help was put to the test after today's parkrun. After 15 minutes of trying to get the large expandable parkrun flag, reduced to a third of its size to fit into a round bag we felt defeated. We asked for help from the runners still in the cafe and Colin with his engineering background was nominated, sadly it still defeated him. A big thank you goes to Jonathan who saved the day and I can assure you, we will not see that flag again in the near future.

Two regular faces; Mark Scott (170 runs) & Event Director, Joe Watts (177 volunteer occasions):
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Rather than do a run report just based on runners, I want to remind you that anyone can volunteer.

This week our event was only made possible with the support of the volunteers, so if you have never tried it, give it a go. At present there are 10 roles that must be filled each week once the run starts. We always need marshals around the course to cheer everyone on, along with a tail walker. If you want to run, that's not a problem there are still roles for you with pre run set and post run close down, run report writer, photographer and token sorting.

If you would like to help just email us at royaltunbridgewellshelpers@parkrun.com

The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:

Mark SCOTT • Ross MARSHALL • Joseph WATTS • Jane FENTIMAN • Louise FITZGERALD • Stella BEARD • John DYSON • Judy GUEST • Steve BOLTON • Nick FITZGERALD • Rachel SADLER • Francis EAMES • Helen SANSON • Huw JONES • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Tom CHANDLER • Victoria CAGLAR • Yolanda WITT • Angela TYLER • Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Derek JEE • Jack NORWOOD

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

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014. Since then 5,177 participants have completed 31,260 parkruns covering a total distance of 156,300 km, including 5,766 new Personal Bests.


Thank you… thank you… thank you…

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.

The pacer team leads the applause as Louise thanks volunteer co-ordinator, Judy

Sofia and family with a selection of the delicious refreshments on offer

A "Zena special" parkrun cake

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.

An environment worth protecting!

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."

Adjudicator Jacky conducting a practical assessment ....and one very cool parkrunning dog
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The raffle ....

parkrun tourist pleased with her raffle prize - the edible parkrun vest!

Photographer, Charles, captures array of parkrun colours postively glowing on a dank morning!

Special guest, William, with daughter Amelia, who knocked over 20 seconds off her PB

Flower power...

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.

Today's statistics
227 parkrunners
43 volunteers
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.

I've finished!

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


Spring has sprung

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event #198
21st April 2018

Run report written by Joe Watts. Photographs courtesy of Richard Woodfield.

It was a dry, bright and warm morning for the final event of our 4th year of parkrun in Dunorlan Park and with the recent, un-Spring like weather, the conditions in the events field had begun to dry out quite nicely.

This week your Run Director was Francis Eames, who had a number of important announcements to make ahead of the 3, 2, 1 countdown! We welcomed Charlie Percival, Freddie Dexter and William Baxter to the junior 10 club; Bonita Baxter to the 50 club; Chris Metcalfe and Krista Bradford to the 100 club and last but by no means least, Robin Barwick, Colin Ratcliffe and who else, but Francis Eames to the volunteer 25 club. A huge well done to all! Francis also mentioned that next week we are to celebrate our 4th anniversary (more details on this at the bottom of this report) and that the following week (Saturday 5th May), our event will be going ahead due to the Soapbox race event being rescheduled until mid-June.

This week's finishers were feeling the heat:
20180421_125304[1] 20180421_114646[1]

This week 248 people ran, jogged and walked the course - our highest attendance since 23rd December 2017. Amongst this number were 13 parkrun tourists, 13 first timers, 13 unknowns and of the returning 209 people a massive 45 recorded new Personal Bests - a sure sign that conditions are improving.

A crowd of 248 people pay attention to Francis' announcements & pre-event safety briefing:

The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:

Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Angela TYLER • Bethan CHANDLER • Derek JEE • Emily MULLETT • Francis EAMES • Graham BROOKS • India ERLAM • Isabella SOUTH • Jack NORWOOD • Jane FENTIMAN • John DYSON • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Louise FITZGERALD • Maisie VERNON • Mark DENNISON • Nick FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Rachel SADLER • Richard WOODFIELD • Robin BARWICK • Stephen ELLIOTT • Steve BARNFIELD • Tom CHANDLER • Victoria MULLETT • Wendy ANDERSON

The scanning and token support team were kept busy this week:

Finally, a reminder that at our next event on Saturday 28th April, we celebrate 4 years of parkrun in Royal Tunbridge Wells and we have a lot in store for you all! Firstly, we invite you to dress in floral attire (representing flowers to coincide with our 4th anniversary and the season of Spring) for this special occasion. Secondly, proceedings will start a little earlier than usual as we have a guest speaker saying a few words prior to the usual pre-run announcements and safety briefing. Therefore, if this is your first time at our event, please arrive in good time for our "first-timers" briefing at 8.45am.

A team of volunteer pacers will be at hand to provide you with the chance of picking up a new PB and with the course drying out nicely thanks to the recent warm weather, there's even more of an incentive to post a best time!

We will have plenty of post-event refreshments, with sweet and savoury food on offer and there will be our usual anniversary, post-event raffle with lots of exciting spot prizes on offer. Each person who completes the 5km will be provided with a raffle ticket (in addition to their finish token) and once the tail walker has made it through the finish funnel we shall begin picking numbers out of a hat with the lucky winners having the choice of a number of spot prizes.


Keep going

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 192
10th March 2018

Run report written by Marian Keep with photos courtesy of Richard Woodfield.

A couple of paragraphs about my experience today. Sounds simple enough, but I see the report writer role sitting empty on the roster most weeks, well let’s have a go to give Joe a week off.

Every time I walk into Dunorlan ready for parkrun, it makes me smile. I feel so lucky that we have such a beautiful park for our event, and look forward to seeing my parkrun family, old faces and new.

I’ve got a touch of shyness, but today I enjoyed quite a few people having a chat with me. I was impressed to hear about people who’ve recently completed half marathons, and also that Tom runs as fast as he does without trail shoes. He mentioned a ‘hopefully sliding forwards’ technique. There was also talk of someone running in bare feet, perhaps enjoying the beautifying properties of the mud?

Run report writer, Marian Keep (wearing parkrun apricot) making her way toward the finish line:

My favourite bit of encouragement today was ‘this is the last bit of mud, so enjoy it’. I think there’s something to that, certainly no point resisting it, may as well see it as an interesting feature, like the hills.

It was Francis’ first go in the driving seat today as run director, and I’d say he did a cracking job - born to wield a megaphone. I like to hear where tourists come from and I think that worked well today - Perth Australia won on distance, but to be honest I also like it when people have come from Tonbridge.

Francis addresses the crowd during his debut pre-run briefing:

Spring is definitely on it’s way. The ground will be firming up before you know it. So enjoy it now!

This week 165 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 7 were parkrun tourists, 8 were first timers, 5 were unknown (forgotten their barcode) and of the returning 145 people, 9 recorded new Personal Bests on our course. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun Results page.

The event was made possible by the following 24 volunteers:

Mark SCOTT • Ross MARSHALL • Joseph WATTS • Louise FITZGERALD • Steve BARNFIELD • Judy GUEST • Paul HOLLIS • Matilda WHITE • Marian KEEP • James BAGULEY • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Francis EAMES • Noeline SIMS • Colin RATCLIFFE • Isabella SOUTH • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Julia MATTHEWS • Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Mark DENNISON

This week's volunteer team:


3rd March 2018 – event cancelled

Please note that our event on Saturday 3rd March 2018 has been cancelled due to the freezing temperatures and the amount of ice on the paths in Dunorlan Park.

Temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until 8am on Saturday and we must consider the safety of volunteers and participants alike both travelling to/from Dunorlan Park, as well as whilst volunteering and participating in the event.

If you are considering visiting another parkrun event as an alternative, please be sure to visit the parkrun forthcoming cancellations page before travelling.

In the meantime, if you haven't yet caught up with the run reports from our recent events, you can do so here.

We look forward to welcoming you back for our event on 10th March 2018.


Ain’t no stoppin’ us

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun
Event number 191
24th February 2018

Run report written by Joe Watts with photographs courtesy of Richard Woodfield

It was another brisk (freezing cold), yet sunny morning in Dunorlan Park and thanks to our set-up team it was made safe for the event to go ahead. Run Director Noeline Sims was in the park soon after 7am, applying rock salt to the icy patches that had formed overnight due to the run-off of water from the fields, whilst the rest of the set-up team went around the course an hour later to "cone-off" certain sections of the path which were sheltered from the sun. Fortunately as the weather had been relatively dry in the week preceeding the event, there were far fewer sections of ice to that of the fortnight before where we were forced to cancel the event. Still, as soon as the countdown started soon after 9am there were marshals positioned out on course to direct participants safely around the icy sections which had been "coned-off", to ensure that the risk was reduced.

During the pre-run briefing Noeline welcomed no less than 6 new members to the parkrun clubs! These were, Jack Percival, Lara Jee & Lauren Levine to the junior 10 club, Daniel Witt & Erica Jones to the 50 club and Stuart Corke to the 100 club - once again, congratulations to all. This week we were also joined by Ben Lee of Exodus Travels, who are one of the sponsors of parkrun UK. Ben was on hand post-event to provide some freebies for runners and volunteers alike in the form of free recipe cookbooks, money-off vouchers and brochures for adventure holiday ideas. We thank Ben for joining us and if you take a look at the results, you will see that he also ran at our event. We received the following message from Ben in our e-mail inbox:

"Just wanted to say a massive thanks for making me feel so welcome on Saturday at Tunbridge Wells parkrun
It looked like a great community you have there."

This week 208 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers (of which 12 were parkrun tourists) and 33 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

A jubilent finisher crosses the finish line:

Unfortunately, there were a ghastly number of unknowns in this week's results - 31 in all. Please, please remember firstly to register your details with parkrun (just once) and to bring your printed barcode along with you to every parkrun event (Worldwide) that you visit. It makes the results processing job for our volunteer team much more difficult when there are so many unknowns in the results. In addition to this, 3 of our finish tokens were not returned at the end of the event (which accounts for 3 of the unknowns in the results). Please ensure to return the finish token to us as we need these each week. Thank you.

Stella provides the first-timers briefing. Don't forget your barcode #DFYB

The event was made possible by 21 superstar volunteers:

Joseph WATTS • Louise FITZGERALD • Stella BEARD • Steve BARNFIELD • John DYSON • Nick FITZGERALD • Richard WOODFIELD • Francis EAMES • Noeline SIMS • Colin RATCLIFFE • Huw JONES • Isabella SOUTH • Robin BARWICK • Victoria MULLETT • Emily MULLETT • Bethan CHANDLER • Tom CHANDLER • Yolanda WITT • Angela TYLER • Adrian FERNANDEZ PAREJA • Mark DENNISON

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

A future parkrunner? Still fast asleep, despite their 5,000m journey:

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun started on 26th April 2014. Since then 4,970 participants have completed 29,519 parkruns covering a total distance of 147,595 km, including 5,566 new Personal Bests.

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