Last Updated: 20 Feb 2019 8:08am
Tonbridge parkrun is celebrating some key milestones this month with more than 10,000 participants recorded as having taken part in more than 100,000 parkruns since the launch of parkrun in the town in 2013.
As many as 709 people in one week have taken part in the free weekly 5km Tonbridge parkrun, which takes place every Saturday at 9am, and the numbers of people taking up running as a leisure pursuit for all ages continues to grow. The course covers a mixture of tarmac paths, gravel paths and grass, beginning behind Tonbridge Swimming Pool (off Castle Road) and running through Tonbridge Racecourse Sportsground and Haysden Country Park. Open to people of all ages and abilities, the 5km parkrun is proving to be extremely popular with local residents and visitors. Children aged 4 to 14 can take part in their very own free junior parkrun (launched in 2017), which takes place every Sunday at 9am at Tonbridge Farm Sportsground.
parkrun is fast becoming an international success and now operates in 18 countries. The first UK parkrun began in London in 2004 and there are now 593 parkruns across the country. Since the Tonbridge parkrun began in 2013, runners have covered an impressive 514,285km between them!
Tonbridge parkrun is run by volunteers with the support of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, which helped secure start-up funding for both the 5k and 2k parkruns and continues to maintain the parkrun routes.
Cllr Maria Heslop, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, took part in the very first Tonbridge parkrun and was the fastest female runner to finish! She says: “Tonbridge parkrun is a fun, free event and anyone can take part. I’m delighted that the event is proving to be such a success and I’d like to say a heart-felt thank you to all the volunteers who work their magic to make the parkruns possible each week.”