RTW runners monthly roundup – April 2021

Welcome to this month’s roundup where we have lots of information and events to share with you! In this edition we announce another couple of weekday evening sessions in Southborough, starting up in May; how to get hold of one of our club vests; the return of parkrun (in England); group leader Joe achieves the highest available UK Athletics coaching qualification; details of our 5th anniversary; and finally, new member Tony Watson comes under the RTW runners spotlight! Read on…

Outdoor group running sessions available from May

Due to the popularity of the outdoor group running sessions which we have been providing since 29th March 2021, we are delighted to announce that we will be providing a further weekday evening session in Southborough on a Wednesday, 7-8pm with the first session taking place on Wednesday 26th May. In addition to this, once our Zero to 30 beginners group have completed week 8 (their final session), run leader Claire Henry will be offering a group social run, also on a Wednesday, 7-8pm with the first such session also taking place on Wednesday 26th May.

You can now book your place for all of our sessions throughout May. Advance booking is required in order to attend, so please be sure to book ahead via our RunTogether groups page. Please note that capacity for all of our group sessions is limited to 12 people.

All abilities running intervals group

Our first 5 outdoor sessions in Southborough have been well attended and have involved a variety of interval running, including a continuous relay in pairs over 400m; 30 second intervals with 90 second recoveries; and a “ladder” interval session! Our all abilities sessions are led by Endurance Running Coach Joe Watts and provide individuals with advice and instruction on efficient running technique.

Zero to 30 beginners group

Our beginners have done a wonderful job so far having completed 5 of the 8 weeks of our Zero to 30 plan. The weekly 40 minute sessions are led by run leader Claire Henry and take beginners (or those returning from injury) through walk/jog intervals, with participants able to jog continuously by week 8. As stated earlier in this post, once this group from Wednesday 26th May, Run Leader Claire Henry will be offering a social run between 7-8pm. The run will typically last between 30-40 minutes and will cover approximately 5km (3 miles).

Club vests

With the warmer weather approaching now is a great time to get hold of one of our limited edition RTW runners club vests. The vests are Ronhill branded and made of technical running fabric. We currently have 11 vests left in stock at a cost of £20 each – ladies size 14 (x2), size 12 (x5), size 10 (x1) and mens size S (x2), M (x1). If you would like to get your hands on one, please e-mail joewatts@plegafit.com

The return of parkrun?

An announcement was made earlier in the year that parkrun in England would be returning from Saturday 5th June. At this stage all of the landowners at the different parkrun locations across the country have been contacted in order to find out whether it will be possible to achieve a return on this date. However, parkrun has confirmed that if there are many events which cannot return for this date then none will, as there is a concern that if only some events return that they will be overwhelmed by touring parkrunners whose local event has not restarted.

Assuming that parkrun events in England do get the go ahead, we have been notified that there will be a “test event” for Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun in the lead up to the first official event and that they are in need of runners and volunteers to participate. If you would be interested in attending in any capacity then please send an e-mail to group leader (and former Royal Tunbridge Wells Event Director), Joe Watts – joewatts@plegafit.com

Joe Watts – Event Group Endurance Running Coach

Congratulations to gropu leader Joe Watts, who, just last week completed the highest available UK Athletics coaching qualification. Joe is now qualified as an Event Group Endurance Running Coach. You can read more about Joe’s coaching journey which started in 2014 on his blog DJ2Runner.

RTW runners 5th anniversary – 31st May 2021

The Spring Bank Holiday, Monday 31st May 2021 marks the 5th anniversary of RTW runners and what better way to celebrate than with a 5km run to mark 5 years?! We shall be organising a one-off 5km event which will see runners led through a structured warm-up before completing a timed 5km run on a flat and fast lapped course. Capacity for this event will be limited to 12 people and we expect high demand, so if you wish to attend, please e-mail joewatts@plegafit.com to request a place. This event will take place at 7:45pm and provides runners of all abilities with a great opportunity for a fast 5km and will also be a wonderful way to celebrate reaching our 5th birthday!

A collage of some of our running groups over the years

RTW runners spotlight

This month we feature one of our newest members to the group, Tony Watson.

Q. In which year did you start running?
A. I’m a runner newbie, I only started in August 2020.

Q. Who or what inspired or motivated you to take up running?
A. I’m mid-way through a diet and needed a way to shift some stubborn pounds. My wife suggested the Couch to 5k app so I gave it a go. Given she was three weeks ahead of me on the nine week programme I really had to finish it.

Q. Describe yourself in 3 words.
A. Optimistic. Chatty. Positive.

Q. When did you join RTW runners?
A. 29 March 2021. It’s a great group 🙂 I’m enjoying socialising and training with other people.

Q. What is your greatest running achievement?
A. I currently run to finish a 5k run three times a week. But occasionally something crazy happens. Just this week I managed to shave a whopping 25 seconds off my personal best with a 5k of 23:34. I’m still not sure how I manage to run, let alone at that pace.

Q. What is your favourite running memory?
A. I’ve not done that many memorable runs as I’ve only been at it six months or so. But over Christmas I ran for the first time with someone else – my son, and, the other week with my daughter, so those are my favourite runs so far.

Q. What is it that you like about the running community?
A. It’s always good to wave at other runners as they dash by. The RTW runners group is really friendly and I’m really glad I’ve joined up. Looking forward to more meets and running with other people in the months ahead.

Q. What was your goal for 2020 (race destination, new distance, PB)?
A. Last year was the first time I’d ever run. Before then I would have laughed at the thought of running for a bus let alone doing 5k. So just completing a single run was my target. Now though I’m running 5k three times a week, and loving it.

Q. Did the Covid19 pandemic affect your 2020 goal in any way, if so how?
A. Not really, I’ve missed the opportunity to run in an event. I’m looking forward to a park run or race.

Q. Have you set yourself a goal for 2021? If not, why?
A. I’m looking to compete in my first park run this year. Then to compete in a 5k race and achieve a PB finish.

Thank you very much Tony for the insight into your running journey and we wish you all the success for the future. If you would like to feature under the “RTW runner spotlight”, then please send an e-mail to group leader Joe Watts – joewatts@plegafit.com

We invite you to share your running stories & pictures with us on social media. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RTWrunners and join our club on Strava .

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