It has been great to see so many new faces over the last few weeks; Christmas holidays and New Years resolutions always bring new runners, joggers and walkers to parkrun and we welcome you all – what took you so long to find us?
This Saturday just gone we had over 30 people doing their first ever parkrun whilst at the other end of the scale we had 72 people running who have run more than 100 runs each!
Every so often we remind everybody of what they can expect from parkrun and what we expect from you, we cherish our community and want to keep it the safe, social and fun entity that it has developed into; allowing adults and children, elite athletes and first time walkers to all take part comfortably in the same event and to finish with a smile!
The first thing to remember is that it is a RUN not a RACE – this is important, we are all friends we are not trying to beat anyone else, there are no prizes. If you get held up for 10 seconds at a narrow point don’t worry about it, you have another 4900m to make it up or there is always next week, please don’t start trying to barge past people. Yes we want you to push for that PB but not at the expense of someone else’s enjoyment of their run.
Please remember your barcodes – your barcode need to be in a printed format, if you don’t have a barcode you will not get a time assigned to your profile. There are no excuses and we will not bend the rules for anyone, even children and even if you are on your 49th run! Please don’t ask the volunteers, it makes them feel awkward and they have been briefed to say no.
Children under the age of 11 must run within arms length of a responsible adult (over the age of 18). If somebody looks under 11 and any of the team sees them unaccompanied they will be asked how old they are and their athlete number possibly checked, if they are under 11 their time will be removed as well as the absent guardian if we can identify them. – This is part of terms of our insurance – again there are no excuses!
Dogs are welcome but should be kept on a short lead at all times, you are allowed to run with one dog only. If you are running with a dog please start from the back and slowly make your way forward – the only exception to this is if you are a fast canicross runner in which case please see the Run Director on the day and they will get you to start from a safer position.
Please be polite and courteous to all other park users through out the whole morning, this includes the car park before and after, whilst out on the run and also in and around the start/finish area. We are very lucky to have a park like the Racecourse/Haysden right in the middle of Tonbridge that we have been granted permission to use, but we share the park with each other and other users who have nothing to do with parkrun. We do not have a monopoly on the park on a Saturday morning so anybody you meet along the way have just as much right to be there as you do. Having 500+ people running towards you can be quite intimidating, waiting for that number of people to cross a bridge can be tiresome – a simple thank-you or good morning will go along way to appease them. If another park user gets in the way slow down and politely say ‘excuse me’ – if you are fit enough to get a PB this week you will be fit enough to get a PB next week. Don’t try to barge past them or tell them to get out of the way, it’s not necessary and is only going to cause the event problems.
Look after each other, it is a run not a race, it’s a family event. There is no need for swearing, yes we all do it from time to time but please be careful of you language. Spitting is disgusting in any walk of life, we understand that whilst running it is occasionally necessary it is still disgusting – if you have to spit then please move to the side (downwind) of any group that you are running in and spit down and out.
Please thank, smile, acknowledge and listen to the marshals, they are there to support and direct you but most importantly they are there for your safety, if they suggest a corner is slippery or to keep left - there is probably a reason. The marshals are all volunteers, all parkrunners like you contributing back to the event and community. Without them parkrun would not be able to operate, a smile and or a thumbs up will make it that much more rewarding. If you have never volunteered before give it a go - once every 10 runs would be ideal but 2-3 time a year might be easier?
Thank you for your continued support and for making Tonbridge parkrun a community that we can rightly be proud of.