ON YOUR MARKS Runners at the starting line for the 200th event PHOTO: Sarah Spence

MORE than five hundred people attended the 200th parkrun event in Tonbridge.

A total of 553 runners completed the 5km route from the castle, through the Racecourse sportsground and around Haysden Park.

In total, almost 8,000 people have taken part since the first race on November 9, 2013.

It now attracts an average of 329 runners, while the biggest-ever attendance was 670.

Anthony Lester, Tonbridge parkrun Event Director, said: “It truly is about being as inclusive as possible, breaking down people’s perceptions of exercise or more accurately the barriers to exercise, and building a friendly happy community.”

People of all abilities are welcome to walk, jog or run the distance at their own pace. A barcode scanning system is used to record finishing times.

While organisers are keen to stress that parkrun is non-competitive, the runners are often motivated by improving their times.

The female record-holder is Ashley Gibson, with a time of 16min 38sec, while the best male time is 15.17 by Charlie Joslin-Allen on New Year’s Day 2015.