Pre-event brief – Alternative course – 01/02/2020

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As most of you will have seen on Wednesday, Tonbridge parkrun is back on this weekend – Hooray!

I mentioned that we will be using an alternative start/finish area and a new route so it is important that you please read this post and if you know anyone who is coming who is not not likely to see it please share.

The first and most important message is that large parts of the park are still saturated, any foot fall on these areas will cause damage so please stick to the tarmac or trail paths. This includes before, during and after the run, as you make your way to the start area and back from the finish, if you find yourself standing on grass please move to a path as quickly as possible.

The Start and Finish are located in the corner of the rugby club pitches, the start line is the bridge. As you make your way to the start area either via the rugby club or the racecourse island please stay on the paths, if you are warming up stay on the paths.

The start line (the rugby club bridge) is narrow, which is different to our normal wide start, this has been done on purpose, it may take a bit longer to get going than normal but hopefully this will regulate flow at the railway bridge. Please only stand near the front if you are a faster runner.

The course goes straight out to Barden Lake, over Lucifer bridge; there are no switch backs or ‘D’ tours. When you get to the lake you will run around it TWICE. That’s right TWICE; once you have completed the lap of the lake for the first time you need to go around again and not turn left as you would normally, go straight on, keeping to the right of the ground cones and then filter in carefully. There will be a marshal there but you need to remember how many laps you have done!

On your first lap we are asking you to keep to the left of the path, if you want to overtake someone please be aware of faster runners coming past you on your right and then overtake on the right. On your second lap please be careful of slower participants and keep to the right. At the end of your second lap turn left as you would normally.

The finish line is over the start bridge and along the path a little way. The course is longer than 5km, this has been done intentionally to avoid any unachievable PB’s. Please cross the finish line as normal and move along the funnel. The funnel will run the length of the path and will be taped of on the right hand side and there will be ground cones on the path to the left, please stay in order and don’t duck out. As the funnel is long it will be difficult for our funnel managers to keep an eye on the entire length if you see anyone not go the length of the funnel please let one of the managers know.

Once you have received your position token please continue along the footpath (not on the grass) towards the vehicle access ramp close to the rugby club. Our scanners will be located there. We will position the kit buckets along the path to allow you to pick up kit and barcodes before reaching the scanners.

After scanning you will be in the over flow carpark, the council have kindly given us 4 parking spaces in this area for our gazebo and finish tokens support, there will also be an area that has been cordoned off, but please remember whilst there will be no through traffic that the car park is still live. On this point can we ask that if at all possible, you do not park in the overflow carpark.

All of these measures have been taken in order to protect the park from potential further damage whilst it is still saturated, it is not ideal and may not be as convenient as normal but please  consider this whilst you are in the park, if the park is damaged we will need to cancel future runs.

Thanks for sticking with it until the end, all we want to do is run and so think that these compromises are worthwhile. See you in the morning.