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
In short: Loved it In full: A really well organised event. Lovely scenic route on closed country lanes with great support from locals and marshalls. The course is undulating particularly in the last few miles but nothing too challenging (I got a PB!). Will be back next year. Date of review: September 23, 2013
In short: A superb course and really well organised. In full: This was the second time I've run the Tonbridge Half and will definitely be back for a third. It is quite a demanding course particularly the last few miles due to the undulation but there isn't a single 'big hill' to worry about. The start/finish venue is the best, a huge College with plenty of parking or a short walk from the station. Lots of toilets and other facilities and without the best organised and secure baggage area ever. My one tiny gripe is that the water cups are hard to drink from if you want to keep your pace, but other than that a perfect race and good value. Thanks to all involved. Date of review: September 23, 2013
In short: Great organisation, lovely course, terrific support In full: It was my first time running this event but it is impossible to fault it. I kept hearing about the hills from mile 10, but the terrain was definitely undulating rather than hilly. Worth saving some energy for; not worth expending energy worrying about!
Great organisation - it ran like clockwork. Loved that they pinned the times up immediately. Wonderful encouraging marshals. And what can I say about the residents of Leigh?! Fantastic support. Thank you. And thank you to the bellringers, too. That was a lovely touch.
The fact I PB'd made a terrific day even more enjoyable.
In short: Superbly organised and friendly event In full: Well done to everyone for making this such a great event. It was the reviews from previous years which made me sign up and I'm glad I did. The first really hilly race I've done and found miles 9-12 pretty tough going and felt a great sense of achievement at the end. Great to see what seemed to be the whole village of Leigh out on the streets supporting us! Good use of K College and to have somewhere big enough to accomodate all the runners. Thanks to everybody involved in making this a great day. Date of review: September 23, 2013
In short: Well organised, lovely scenery but the hills are tough! In full: Really well organised HM. Just the right size to get decent organisation (road closures, water stations etc) and not having to turn up hours in advance to find parking. Couldn't really fault it as an event. One of the better ones I have done even though the undualtions (hills!) in miles 9 to 12 are really tough and I think make it difficult for a really fast time. Date of review: September 23, 2013
In short: Lovely Run! In full: Clearly there is something in the air around Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells that makes me run fast. For the second time this year, a run in the pleasant rolling countryside around there as allowed me to take a good chunk out of my PB!
Actually both races have quite a bit in common. Organisation is second to none. Being able to use a large building such as a sports hall or college as race HQ (in this case the K College) is a big benefit. Toilets, changing facilities etc were all readily available.
The course was classic Kent countryside with lots of pretty little villages and tree lined country lanes. It was split about 50:50 flat, undulating. How hard you find this I guess is more a matter of individual preference. I actually thought the course was a bit harder than Tunbridge Wells which basically has one massive hill in the middle but apart from that is largely flat meaning you can plan for it. I found the ups and downs between miles 9 and 12 on this course harder on the legs.
On course support was brilliant. There was one place, Leigh, where it felt like the entire town had come out to cheer you on. The water stops too were entertaining. The local kids were competing with each other to hand the water cups to the runners and they would cheer and whoop wildly if you took theirs. It all added to the great, friendly atmosphere on the day. Date of review: September 23, 2013