In short: Great challenging, well organised course In full: I missed the first Tonbridge Half last year as I was away so had to make sure I was around for it this year! I'd heard about the hills but in all honesty a completely flat course can be a little boring. Thought the organisation was excellent and support, although a little spaced out, well received and a good motivator.
Although I found mile markers 1-12 pretty much bang on with my Garmin, the halfway point was way too early (about 0.2-0.25 miles) and after crossing through 12 miles I then clocked a further 1.2 miles to the finish!
Was great to see Kelly still handing out medals despite the rain.
Will definitely be signing up next year Date of review: September 23, 2012
In short: Challenging course in the countryside but worth a shot In full: Really enjoyed the race and despite the frequent hills came away with a new personal best. The mile markers seemed to be incorrectly placed all the way round, half way marker was nearer the 6 mile point than 6.55 and I clocked 1/4 mile from the 13 mile marker to the finish finish. That aside, well organised and hats of to Leigh village who surely must win the most enthusiastic village award. Great stuff Date of review: September 23, 2012
In short: Looking forward to next year! In full: Today was my first time doing the Tonbridge Half, and I already plan to make it a regular on my race calendar, alongside the Tunbridge Wells Half. A challenging course with plenty of climbs, but I really enjoyed the layout of the course--I swear the last three miles (mentally) went by the quickest of any half I've done. Great marshalls and community support. Date of review: September 23, 2012
In short: All fine. Even better if the distance marks were accurate In full: A good race. Well organised and cool to meet Kelly. It's a bit hilly but nice scenery. Uplifting running through Leigh Village twice. The half way sign was way too early (but motivating!) and the 13 miles mark was early -I started legging it and ran out of steam. Date of review: September 23, 2012
In short: Not bad , good value In full: It was ok , the collage was ok , a bit clinical for my liking , not a great goodie bag. Trying to get out of the car park and home was a challenge . May do it again , may pick SOMTHING different next year. Date of review: September 23, 2012
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