In short: My 4th Tonbridge Half. Great organisation and great support from the public and thanks to all the volunteers for giving up their Sunday for us. Very happy with my time, but need to get stronger for those hills on the way back! Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Fantastically organized. Friendly atmosphere and great route in the country In full: After running the Ealing half marathon last year opted for a change this year and have no regrets. Superbly organized with marshalls a plenty and regular water stations. The college makes a great race hq and provides a good setting for the pre race build up. Great support around the course and would definitely recommend for novice runners as its fairly flat. Good value for a half marathon and i will be returning next year. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Superb half marathon In full: A fantastic half marathon, enjoyed the up and down hills. No PB for me as I didnt train for this one and it was really hot but close enough to it that I will be back next year to beat my time. Perfect organisation everyone was so helpful and supportive, great facilities, great support on course. Can't fault it. Date of review: September 28, 2014
In short: Undulating route through nice countryside - water stations were inspirational In full: I live in the South East and run three half's in this area [Tun Wells / Paddock Wood & Tonbridge] For pace and hills T/Wells has it all but it's a bit clubby and the pace is fast. Paddock Wood is flat and boring, but Tonbridge is a nice mix of everything. It's more up and down than you think, so be prepared for some hills but some nice gentle descents too.
I've just finished my 4th Ton half today and it's still as slick as ever. The weather was hot and I was in need of water at each of the 4 stations. These as always are manned by a local Scout group who will cheers you on, give you words of encouragement and a cup of water or two. They will even blast you with pumping sounds from a wheelie bin.... I kid you not..!
The finish (& start) are slick and friendly, overall a well organised race. As with all the local events it's the marshals and volunteers that give up their Sunday morning that make the event... Thank you to those guys and girls & scouts.
Well done and look forward to it next year (but cooler please) Date of review: September 28, 2014
In short: Great organisation, great circuit and sooooooo friendly In full: My home town race, I've done all four and as far as a fat old man can enjoy a half marathon, they've all been great. Very well organised, what for me is a not too challenging course (you'd need to speak to an elite athlete to get their opinion) and always a friendly bunch of runners. Date of review: September 28, 2014
In short: Great race. In full: First thanks are due to Race Director Andy Blundell, those who took responsibility for the race, those who helped on the day and the marshals. All of these all gave up their day so that we could take part in a race.
This was the first time I've done the Tonbridge half marathon. I hope it won't be the last.
There are a few hills: my Garmin made the gross climb 138m; for those who've done other local half-marathons, this is a lot hillier than Paddock Wood, and a lot flatter than Tunbridge Wells. The weather was pretty good; pretty still, warm, not hot, but little or no sun.
The roads were closed which was a great. The course was a pleasure to run. K College is a great venue. My impression was that this race, which filled up this year a week or two in advance, could get much bigger. The course could take a lot more runners. K College seemed unstressed with the numbers. I'm not so sure about the car parking, but that seemed OK too. The race HQ is very close to Tonbridge train station, which helps. Perhaps the organisers could think about raising the entry limit a hundred or two for 2014?
The whole day was brilliant apart from the prize-giving, which was a shambles. It's a great idea to have representatives from the sponsors to present the prizes. Unfortunately too many of the prizes and trophies were either awarded initially to the wrong person, or just not awarded at all. I was talking at the end to the man who had won the MV60 trophy in just over 1:30, beating all-but-one of the V50s. A fantastic achievement, but one which went unrecognised, as the prize givers seemed not to be aware that there was a prize and trophy. The MV70 prize and trophy were also not awarded at the prize-giving ceremony. I like it when the announcer gives the times of the prize-winners too. A small point perhaps.
The chips don't seem to be as reliable as one might hope and this could cause some problems. For example the leading V50's chip did not seem to have worked, so I don't think he was awarded his prize or trophy on the day.
Overall these were two fairly minor drawbacks to a great race. The support in Leigh was fantastic! Date of review: September 28, 2013
In short: Well Organises and good route In full: As good as last year but nicer weather. Disappointed there was no goody bag and that water was in cups not bottles, makes it hard to drink. Similar races often have a t-shirt, medal and goody bag. What happenned this year?
Still got a good time considering I had just flown in 1800 miles with no sleep! Date of review: September 25, 2013
In short: After this you'll know all about "undulations" In full: Super organisation with a superb base venue. Very short queues for the loos, great atmosphere, plenty of parking as long as you're not late (in which case there's a shortish walk from a town centre car park). Lots going on around the start / finish area to keep people occupied and interested too.
The course is hard. It's all on tarmac and quickly snakes out of Tonbridge town centre into the countryside, but you have what are euphemistically called "undulations". Think "hills". None, bar one around the 18km mark, are killers, but you'll end this race knowing that Tonbridge's surrounds consist of rolling countryside. All the roads are closed, so there is no traffic to worry about, and the support along the way is pretty good, except in two places: the village of Leigh is undoubtedly the best support I have encountered on any race I've been in with a large and noisy ygathering that is truly uplifting. And what's great is that you go through twice! Then again, at the finish, even though I was just ahead of the 2:15 mark when you expect crowds to be getting bored, the support was vocal and carries you over the line. Date of review: September 25, 2013