Unofficial parkruns


Morning Everyone,

Well what do you know, we are cancelled this weekend!  ;)

The course has dried up, the daffodils are out and the weather feels as though it has now turned, dare I say it it feels like spring??

But of course we are faced with another challenge, another obstacle, with this one is far more serious than we have faced to date. Whilst this challenge is clearly a danger and should be respected we must try, if we can, not to be scared or overwhelmed by it. As any sports psychologists will say 'don't worry about the things you cannot control, instead focus your efforts on the things that you can'

parkrun HQ took the decision on Tuesday evening to suspend globally all parkrun events for the foreseeable future, not an easy decision, but the right one for everyone's health, not just the parkrun community.

We as a local parkrun community can do our bit to, something that we can control. It might be tempting to think to go down to the park on Saturday morning and run an 'unofficial' parkrun or arrange to meet-up with a few friends and run the course together, but please please don't. It is not the right thing to do, you are putting yourself at risk but more importantly you are putting others at risk.

We are not saying don't run, far from it but just don't do it at 9am on Saturday on the parkrun course and try not to do within a group. Run a different route or at a different time.

The parkrun community both nationally and locally is large and it's influence within the wider community is far reaching and so we have a responsibility to look after it and do the right thing, it is something we can control so please help us to do so.



14/03/2020 – Event Cancelled

For the last week we have everything crossed that the park and lake will dry out in time for this weekend. The good news is that with the absence of any heavy rain over the last week park is drying out nicely, the bad news is that there is a stretch of the path around the lake that is still under water.
With it impossible to determine edge of the path and lake beyond and an uneven path we have had to cancel this weeks run on safety grounds. This is obviously disappointing especially given that it is likely that by Sunday morning the lake will have drained enough to pass safely and keep dry feet!!!
Fingers crossed this will be the last time we will need to cancel due to flooding this year, the park is drying out and the weather is getting better. We can hopefully be getting back to some kind of normality very soon.

Cancellation of parkrun 07/03/20

Following the heavy rain on Thursday and further flooding overnight we are unfortunately going to have to cancel tomorrow's parkrun.


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Cancellation of parkrun 22/02/20


Perhaps not surprisingly we have had to cancel this weeks parkrun.

We did a recce walk this afternoon and whilst the majority of the course is safe to run there are 3 stretches on the return leg of the lake that are covered in water. The water in these areas is not only quite deep but also affords no definition between the edge of the path and the lake. With no alternative route possible and on safety grounds we have therefore taken to cancel this weekends parkrun.

We are hopeful that the lake will have an opportunity to drain over the next week and with agreement from TMBC we will be back on the 29th February, of course we will let you know as soon as possible.

Enjoy your touring this weekend and hopefully see you next.


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


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.


Cancellation of Event 25/01/20


Unfortunately we have been asked to cancel this weeks parkrun (25/01/20), we of course are as disappointed as you are. Whilst large parts of the course are absolutely fine and some of you will have noticed a shiny new bridge, there are key ares that remain either under water or the ground is saturated. Last week the Medway burst it's banks again leaving areas that had dried out flooded again.

We will continue talking with the council and park managers to see if there is anyway of 'speeding up' our return through the use of alternative start/finish areas and/or routes.

Until then all we can ask for is patience; those of you who were participating with us in 13/14 will recall that we missed 8 weeks of runs due to flooding, the difference now is there are 7 other parkruns within 12miles where previously there was only 1.

Enjoy your touring; we will keep you updated as soon as we have anything new to report.


Cancellation of Event 18/01/2020

Disappointingly we are going to have to cancel this weekends parkrun :(
Although Lucifer Bridge is now fixed, the council have asked that all organised activities including Football, rugby and parkrun be kept off the racecourse.
The Racecourse remains waterlogged from flooding over the Christmas period and the recent weather has only added to the problem. With over 500 participants each week going over parts of the course on two occasions, the potential for permanent damage to the park is too high.
We will continue to liaise with the council and park managers and will be back running as soon as possible.

Cancellation of event 11/01/20

Unfortunately, following advice from the council we are going to have to cancel this weekends parkrun (11/01/20). This is a due to a combination of contributing factors stemming from the recent flooding. Whilst we have for the last couple of events been able to use alternative courses and finish configurations, this in itself has put additional pressures on other areas of the park.

We hate to cancel and will do anything that we can to run the event but we will not risk participant safety or permanent damage to the environment in which we run.

Works are ongoing by both KCC and TMBC around the park and we will continue investigate alternative course/finish area combinations and we are hopeful that our run on the 18th January will go ahead as normal.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.



New Years Day Event

Parkrun 2 11 19 (582)

We have GREAT NEWS....

We have been down to the course today and we are happy to announce that we will be able to run tomorrow. 10:30am from our normal Start/Finish area.

We must thank TMBC and KCC for getting Lucifer bridge mended and to a state where we can have 500+ participants cross it safely. There is still a bit of movement but it doesn't present the same trip hazard that it did yesterday morning.

With the bridge now fixed we will be running our normal course. Most of the course is now dry but there are are a couple of small sections that are very muddy and one section (close to the start/finish) that is still under water. The water is not deep but is unavoidable - you will get wet!

The area around the start/finish is still under water, we have therefore had to re-work the finish funnel into an airport style 'snake' that takes participants off to the left. We are hopeful that this will work and have enough capacity but ask everyone to move through the funnel quickly and not duck under any tape. Listen to the funnel managers and the run brief and things should run smoothly


Cancellation of event 28/12/19

 20191227_105323We have been to assess the course this morning and whilst we believe if we were to use our alternative start/finish area in the rugby club field the entire course would be runnable, we have unfortunately had to cancel tomorrows run.

Lucifer Bridge was damaged in last weekend’s flooding and as such has become too dangerous to pass. Loose slats on the bridge present a serious trip hazard; whilst we were assessing the bridge a pedestrian fell flat on their face, with potentially 500+ participants passing over the bridge on two occasions the risk for serious injury is too high.

We have informed the KCC who are responsible for the maintenance of the bridge and hope that remedial works will be carried out as soon as possible. In the meantime, I am looking at the potential of an alternative course that avoids Lucifer Bridge, but need to establish rights of way / Land owner permission and appropriate risk assessments – this takes a bit of time.

If possible, we are looking to still run on New Year’s Day, it is one of our favourite runs of the year, but can only do so if it is safe to do so. We will of course let you know as soon as we know but it is likely to be mid afternoon on New Year’s Eve.


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