As my husbands business is in Tonbridge I thought it my duty to take part in this one. I hope a few of our customers will come and cheer me on. I did Paddockwood & Bewl this year so hope I don't struggle on this one. My secret weapon is I have my trainer with me to keep me going.
Best wishes to all those taking part
I'm having problems obtaining a sponsorship pack so that I can raise some funds for the Kent Air Ambulance. I have been waiting and waiting and have e-mailed Andy but heard nothing.
I really want to help raise some funds as the air ambulance contributed to the saving of my sisters life this year and it would be a Thank You from me and my family.
Come on I have paid my entry fee so don't let the sponsors down when someone is keen to help.
Fraser, in all fairness, this post has been gong a while, so the info has been there. Also, the race advisor has been approachable and forthcoming when asked details.
Generally, this site has reviews on most races, and is worthwhile looking at them before making decisions, in my opinion, as it's good to hear from someone who has actually participated. Saying that, the Tonbridge half is in it's inaugural year, so the only info you would get would be from the organiser or from local people.
I spoke to Andy through this forum as well as others, so knew what would be in-store. I also drove the course before making my decision, which was not to enter as I don't think it is right for me at this time. I am thinking about the Brighton half in February, as that is now a flattish course (there are some small hills early on, but reviews say not too bad).
The info is out there , but I do agree that if it is not what you are expecting then it is expensive.
Just out of curiosity, when did you enter ? I am assuming before you registered on this site ?
I agree that you shouldn't have to drive around - that was my personal choice as it is my local one and I wanted to make a decision on whether to run it or not as it is the first time it is being staged. I am not a fan of hills, and as a result of where I am in training have decided it's not for me this year.
But the 'hills' are gradual hills, nothing as drastic as T Wells.
I have always taken on board that 'undulating' means that there are likely to be hills, especially on road races. Perhaps that is just me.
The organisers have published the route, and have been forthcoming, so feel you are being a little unfair on their part. Googlemaps and other tools can help to show total inclines etc.
I think your suspicions are unwarranted in this case
I am still struggling for distance, but if you have already done Dartford this year, I think you will be OK for this one. The hills aren't that bad, so if you take it steady you will most likely beat your previous PB
I always try to drive or cycle a course I've not done before, and in the case of Tonbridge I've also run the whole course once and bits of it of 4 other occasions.
Its really not at all bad IMHO; a good course. It certainly "undulates" but is no where near as bad as Dartford, Maidstone or Tun Wells - no way! In fact for me its an ideal course with lots of fast downhill stretches that just happen to come after some uphill bits. In all honesty, most of the up hill stretches are pretty gradual inclines. The worst one is a spike into and on the the return out of Liegh (at about 3.5 / 9.25 miles; steeper on the return. but it only goes on for less than 0.2 miles. This will be my wife's first half after a hip replacement and she's certainly not been bothered by the hills.
I don't understand the complaining about 'undulations'. All the best runs (in my view) have some challenge in them. Reading has the run up to the town before the run back downhill to home, Bristol, Hastings, Great North, Tun Wells, Maidstone, Henley, Dartford, Thanet; the Bexhill, Buewater and Darenth 10ks; and as for Bewl 15!... they all have hills which make the race challenging, interesting and fun.
Brighton is pretty flat, but don't be fooled as there's a long gentle haul uphill from about 1.5 to 3.3 miles; its not the elevation gained but the fact it goes on and on. If you want a really flat (and boring) half do the Bexhill one in November. Fantastic organisation but the race is basically four flat laps of the seafront.
I'm really looking forward to Tonbridge. What does a PB matter if you enjoy yourself? Frankly I think a large part of getting a PB is in your mind. And I think this course has the potential.
But Frazer, if you've only run 4 times since Dartford, whilst I'd not drop out, I'd certainly take it easy. Go out steady, a bit slower than normal, and just enjoy it. If you try for a PB you'll almost certainly disappoint yourself, but if you start out steady and find you've got oomf left for the downhill stertches particularly in the second half I think you might surprise yourself.
Fraser, running is really not about just setting PB's, it is all about enjoying your runs, there is always someone faster, and few runners are going to be terribly impressed unless your times are really spectacularly quick, many of the runs in Kent such as Eridge or the North Downs Run are always going to be slow because they are so damned hard but that of course is part of the attraction. Why not just run this one as best you can, I am sure that the organisers will be doing their hardest to make sure that they put on a good race but there are few 'easy' races around and often you will surprise yourself at so called 'harder' races.
Very well said huff&puff and keef55. Let's just enjoy it!
Fraser; If you want a flat PB course that is also interesting, run Wokingham in February. Its a lovely course out into the country with next to no 'undulation' and good support on the way round even out in the country. I've run it twice and PBd both times and never come within 4 mins of my Wokingham time anywhere else. I thought I'd do as well at Brighton this year which I ran instead, but I was about 6 minutes slower (and the support at Brighton is not up to much)! Bracknell is another good, fast and fairly flat but not boring one.
I must say I am truely impressed with the detail of the organisation that has gone into the Tonbridge Half. I was (and still am) a bit disappointed that we're not starting and finishing in the castle (as I said at the beginning of this thread), but apart from that, for an inaugural race it so far looks like a very big "well done". We've even masseurs laid on! I hope they've also picked up on comments about Bewl and Bexhill and will be laying on great mounds of cake at the end!
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