In short: My first Half Marathon In full: When I found out about this race, I was so pleased, as I've lived in Tonbridge for thirty years. It was an interesting and challenging route and the support from the marshalls and spectators was really good, especially in Leigh. With the hills this was a tough but very satisfying race to do. As my first ever half, it taught me alot about my level of fitness.
The free massage at the end was really gratefully received. Thank you to everyone involved.
I would say that if you are planning to enter this, I would recommend doing some hill training.
In short: Absolutely fantastic inaugural race. I'll definitely be back. In full: This is now my local race so I dropped out of the Bexhill 10k for it. The Bexhill 10k had been a regular and favourite fixture for me; we had already booked our usual long weekend by the seaside, so we hoped that we'd not be let down having to come back to Tonbridge for the race.
We certainly weren't! For an inaugural race this was extraordinarily slick; far better organised that the Brighton Half in February!
I know there was a problem with water at the back - 3 of our 'SANDS' team were in the last 7 home and had no water at 2 of the stations when they really needed it. But I am sure that lesson will be learned.
I also agree with the comments about the start; but apart from what the organisers can do, surely the lesson is for runners to arrive at the start early enough (also you have a chip, so your time isn't affected)!
I was expecting there to be somebody calling us out and encouraging us up to the finish line. That there wasn't was perhaps my only disappointment - well, that and missing the T shirt people.
I agree wholeheartily with comments about running through the town and finishing in the Castle, as I have commented on the blog. That would be absolutely fantastic and other events manage it. But that may make it difficult to plan a route. Food for thought perhaps?
The people of Leigh deserve a tremendous round of thanks. Running through there, especially on the return, was like running through a bend on the London Marathon. A fantastic atmosphere! Thank you all so much.
And what can one say about 'our' Dame Kelly. What a fantastic touch that she was still there to give me my medal when I crossed belatedly in 2:25. She waited especially for me! ;-) Can we have her there next year again please?
I could go on!!
I had run the course in training, so was prepared for the hills, nonetheless on the day I found mile 10 onwards a hill (or 3) too far, and my hope of getting round in 2:15 rapidly disappeared. Nonetheless, it was one fantastic day out and I'm really looking forward to next year.
Very, very well done :-) Date of review: October 2, 2011
In short: Less hills coming back would be better! In full: This is my first half marathon and I absolutely loved the experience and thought the whole thing was well organised. The course route was tough and I think the hills coming back were tough, also it would have been great to have come back via Tonbridge High Street. Overall I was pleased to have participated and will be entering more half marathons! Date of review: September 28, 2011
In short: Lovely, if very hilly run in Kent countryside. Well organised. In full: Very good event. Well organised, especially considering it was the first time it was put on. Kelly Holmes was a nice touch and added to the day. Tough hills in part, miles 10 - 12 are hard, with minutes per mile increasing! Support excellent in places, such as Leigh, quieter in other places, but this was because it was in the middle of the country side, so not really places for anyone to stand... One comment, more music, especially live would be good in places. Date of review: September 28, 2011
In full: My first half marathon and a day to remember. From being started off by Kelly the great crowds round the green in Leigh,the every welcoming crowds down the finish staight, oh and Kelly still there handing out medals at the end. These far outweighed the leg killing hills in the last few miles. Will I be back next year, you bet I will. Date of review: September 28, 2011