In short: Very friendly race with some beautiful countryside views and a few hills In full: This was my first half-marathon competitively, so it is hard to evaluate the potential for PB. However, with the number of small hills through the course, I doubt it is a PB route. Saying that the hills are short and not too sharp, so you can make up easily in the downhill sections... and the public support is amazing! The whole village comes out to cheer the runners, a real boost to morale.
The organisation was great, nothing negative to say about it. Will try to do it again next year. Date of review: September 30, 2014
In short: Lovely scenic route with enough hills to keep it interesting, INCREDIBLE support In full: This was my first ever half marathon and it was really enjoyable. Great organisation with enough water stops along the route. Very lively scouts giving out water and playing fun music too. The highlight for me was the support in the lovely village of Leigh. For those unfamiliar with the route, it involves going into Leigh twice which is great. The locals were so enthusiastic, with children handing out orange segments and jelly babies, lots of people standing along the road and cheering. The church bells were ringing especially for us runners which was a really lovely touch. My favorite was the man by the railway bridge with a hose offering a shower to the runners going past. This was most appreciated as the day was warmer than I would have liked.
The route is great, along pretty country lanes and the roads are shut so there are no cars to worry about. Enough hills to keep it interesting without being overwhelming, and a beginner friendly race.
There was no water left by the time I got to the end which was disappointing, but I guess they couldn't plan for the weather so weren't to know how thirsty everyone would be. Good selection of fruit at the end and a nice medal.
My first but definitely not my last half marathon, see you next year! Date of review: September 30, 2014
In short: Well organised with excellent facilities and on-course support In full: My first HM so hard to compare with others, but the organisation was excellent - good PA system meant you could hear what was going on; clear instructions with a lighthearted touch; lots of marshals en-route; regular water stops and a good supply of water, bananas etc at the end.
Great support from spectators throughout, especially through Leigh. It was a bit hot and hilly for my liking, but scenery made up for it.
Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their Sunday to help make this a success.
Great course - will be back next year. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Great race well done! In full: I hope there are many more comments on this brilliantly-organised race.
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 second time I've done the Tonbridge half marathon. The first time was good; this was even better. Perhaps I'm looking through rose-tinted spectacles, as my time was way better than I expected.
There are a few hills: my Garmin made the gross climb 119m (last year it made it 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 hot for the time of year and still, which suited me well, or perhaps I should less badly than it suited others.
The roads were closed which was a great. The course was a pleasure to run. K College is a great venue. My impression is still that this race 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, the exit seemed to be closed when I left, but that seemed OK too. The race HQ is very close to Tonbridge train station, which helps. Unhelpfully, though, engineering works prevented trains running between Wadhurst and Tonbridge on the day.
The whole day was brilliant. Last year the prize-giving was a shambles. This year it was excellent, if a bit late and a bit lengthy, perhaps because it was also Kent Championships half-marathon. It's a great idea to have representatives from the sponsors to present the prizes. This time the announcer gave the times of the prize-winners too, which I rather like!
I do think those people who give up their time to help produce the prize winners need a bit more help, perhaps from runners who've finished. I'd certainly be happy to help, though I'm not exactly the fastest runner there.
The chips seemed to be more reliable this year, and I heard of only one person whose time failed to record. That said, it seems to me that chips on the race number are inherently likely to be less reliable than chips on the shoe!
The support in Leigh was fantastic! Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Great HQ and organisation on rural roads with no cars In full: This was my first Tonbridge HM and selected because the Maidstone HM is having a gap year... Heat & hills (in the last couple of miles) took its toll on my legs but I hope to be back next year a bit more prepared! Great atmosphere through Leigh and slick organisation from start to finish. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Loved every minute of it! Great organisation with thoughtful touches. In full: This is the best half I've ever done, and I'm not just saying that because I got a pb! There was ample parking at the easily accessible event village, and the facilities were great (proper toilets!). Good organisation at the start and some stands to keep you occupied while waiting for it to start. The race itself was "undulating" which I found really suited me, to my surprise. only once or twice did the hills get steep and even then they were short and sharp - you could make up on the gentle downhills what you lost on the ups. Running through Leigh village was a delight, the residents turned out in droves handing out oranges and cups of water, which was much appreciated given the hot weather. It was the extra touches like this that really made it worth it, as well as the water stop just one mile from the finish when I am always so sick of sports drink and absolutely gasping for plain water. I'd definitely do this again and recommend it to everyone. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Great challenging coure through lovely countryside! In full: A fantastically organised race with a few (small) hills, enough to make you work hard. The organisation worked really well, with K college a great location to start. It was quite warm this year, but with plenty of water points the atmosphere at the finish line really helped me finish strong. Date of review: September 29, 2014
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