runABC is in the process of upgrading and improving its online service so you might encounter the odd glitch over the next week or so but rest assured we’re working on them and the new site will be a fantastic resource for our running community.




Race Listing for Kent

Date Event Location Results
13 Oct 2019 Bagpuss Tonbridge Fun Run 5K & 2.5KTonbridge School Centre, Tonbridge
03 Nov 2019 Poppy Run SouthamptonSothampton Common, Southampton
26 Nov 2019 The Hugin ChallengePegwell Bay Country Park, RamsgateResults
28 Nov 2019 Gravesend Floodlit 5K & 10K Series NovemberCyclopark, GravesendResults
30 Nov 2019 St Andrews Day ChallengeBetteshanger Country Park, Deal
01 Dec 2019 Advent ChallengeBetteshanger Country Park, DealResults
01 Dec 2019 Alan Green Memorial 10 Mile RacePalm Bay Green, CliftonvilleResults
07 Dec 2019 Forestry 100 Running Series Jeskyns WoodsJeskyns Community Woodland, CobhamResults
08 Dec 2019 Dartford Bridge Christmas Pudding RunMarsh Street, Dartford
08 Dec 2019 Maidstone Harriers Turkey RunEast Malling Research, East MallingResults
14 Dec 2019 The Usual Suspects ChallengeSamphire Hoe Nature Reserve, Samphire HoeResults
15 Dec 2019 SVN Festive FrolicSamphire Hoe Nature Reserve, Samphire HoeResults
15 Dec 2019 Gravesend Cyclopark 5 & 10K Charity Santa DashCyclopark, GravesendResults
15 Dec 2019 Kent Christmas Cracker 5Betteshanger Country Park, SholdenResults
19 Dec 2019 Gravesend Floodlit 5K & 10K Series DecemberCyclopark, GravesendResults
21 Dec 2019 Saxon Shore Marathon ChallengeWalmer, WalmerResults
26 Dec 2019 Saltwood Boxing Day RunThe Green, SaltwoodResults
31 Dec 2019 New Years Eve Betteshanger ChallengeBetteshanger Country Park, BetteshangerResults
01 Jan 2020 Lamberhurst New Years Day 5K & 10KBewl Water, LamberhurstResults
04 Jan 2020 Kent Cross County ChampionshipsBrands Hatch Circuit, Longfield
11 Jan 2020 Betteshanger Chocathon ChallengeBetteshangar Country Park, DealResults
12 Jan 2020 Betteshanger Winter Cakeathon ChallengeBetteshangar Country Park, DealResults
15 Jan 2020 Medway Park Winter Track Race Series 5K JanuaryMedway Park, Gillingham
17 Jan 2020 SVN Saxons Challenge RunCyclopark, GravesendResults
18 Jan 2020 SVN Viking Challenge RunCyclopark, GravesendResults
19 Jan 2020 Bromley 10KNorman Park Athletics Track, BromleyResults
19 Jan 2020 SVN Normans Challenge RunCyclopark, GravesendResults
26 Jan 2020 Canterbury 10 Mile Road RaceChrist Church University Sports Centre, CanterburyResults
02 Feb 2020 Bedgebury Forest 5 & 10 MileBedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, GoudhurstResults
02 Feb 2020 Ashford & District 10KSandyacres Sports Club, AshfordResults
15 Feb 2020 Betteshanger Heroes v Villains ChallengeBetteshangar Country Park, DealResults
16 Feb 2020 Dymchurch 10KThe Slipway, Dymchurch
16 Feb 2020 Headcorn HalfThe Village Green, MaidstoneResults
16 Feb 2020 Tunbridge Wells Half MarathonTunbridge Wells Sports Centre, Tunbridge WellsResults
16 Feb 2020 Betteshangar Mods & Rockers Challenge RunBetteshangar Country Park, Deal
16 Feb 2020 Tenterden 5Wittersham Sports Club, WittershamResults
27 Feb 2020 Gravesend Floodlit 10K & 5K Series Race 5Cyclopark, GravesendResults
29 Feb 2020 Betteshangar Leap Year Challenge RunBetteshangar Country Park, DealResults
01 Mar 2020 Betteshangar Challenge RunBetteshangar Country Park, DealResults
01 Mar 2020 Deal Half MarathonBetteshangar Country Park, DealResults
08 Mar 2020 Maidstone Road Run 5KCornwallis Academy, MaidstoneResults
08 Mar 2020 Lydd 20 MileBanks Sports & Social Club, LyddResults
08 Mar 2020 Lydd Half MarathonBanks Sports Club, LyddResults
15 Mar 2020 Dartford Half MarathonCentral Park, DartfordResults
15 Mar 2020 Ricki Savage 20 Mile Road RaceRamsgate Boating Pool, RamsgateResults
22 Mar 2020 Sevenoaks CircularSevenoaks, Sevenoaks
22 Mar 2020 Run Whitstable & Herne Bay Spring 5K & 10KHampton Pier, Whitstable
22 Mar 2020 Canterbury Riverside 10KChartham Village Hall, Canterbury
22 Mar 2020 Resolution Run 5K, 10K & 15K MaidstoneMote Park, Maidstone
22 Mar 2020 BVAC 5 Mile Cross CountryWest Wickham, Bromley
26 Mar 2020 Gravesend Floodlit 5K & 10K March RaceCyclopark, Gravesend
05 Apr 2020 Kent Spring Marathon & Half MarathonCharing School, Charing
05 Apr 2020 Scadbury 5 Mile Trail RunScadbury Park, Bromley
10 Apr 2020 Good Friday 10 MilerStanley Park Sports Ground, Chippenham
10 Apr 2020 Folkestone 10The Green, Hythe
18 Apr 2020 Kent 50 Mile ChallengeReculver, Herne Bay
23 Apr 2020 SVN St Georges Day MarathonCyclopark, Deal
24 Apr 2020 SVN Darnley ChallengeCyclopark, Gravesend
26 Apr 2020 SVN Rejects Challenge RunCyclopark, Gravesend
03 May 2020 Hildenborough Road RacesHildenborough, Tonbridge
06 May 2020 Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 1Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst
08 May 2020 Ted Pepper Memorial 10KNorman Park, Bromley
10 May 2020 Maidstone River Run 10K & 10M-, Maidstone
10 May 2020 Chicken Run 5K & 10KHerne Bay Pier, Herne Bay
10 May 2020 Run, Walk or Push for DementiaKnole Park, Sevenoaks
15 May 2020 Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 1Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst
16 May 2020 The Little Welly Goes Wild SevenoaksSt Clere Estate, Sevenoaks
16 May 2020 Viking Coastal MarathonWest End Of The Parade, Birchington
16 May 2020 Bedgebury 10K & 5K Canicross ChallengeBedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Goudhurst
17 May 2020 Medway's Hospital Heroes 5KGreat Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham
17 May 2020 Gnome RoamWest End Of The Parade, Birchington
17 May 2020 Chislehurst Half MarathonGlebe Football Club, Chislehurst
17 May 2020 University of Kent Canterbury 10KUniversity Sports Pavilion, Canterbury
17 May 2020 Sittingbourne Invicta 10KThe Dog House, Sittingbourne
03 Jun 2020 Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 2Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst
05 Jun 2020 Charing 10KCharing School, Charing
06 Jun 2020 Harvel 5 Mile RunHarvel Village Green, Harvel
07 Jun 2020 Medway 10KMedway Park, Gillingham
07 Jun 2020 Coastbuster 10 Mile & 10KEastcliff Bandstand, Ramsgate
07 Jun 2020 Tenterden 10K & 5KSt. Michael's Primary School, Tenterden
12 Jun 2020 Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 2Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst
14 Jun 2020 Orpington High Elms 10KHigh Elms Country Park, Farnborough
14 Jun 2020 Kings Hill Sports Park 10K & 5KKings Hill, West Malling
20 Jun 2020 Midnight Marathon, Half & Ultra-, Dartford
24 Jun 2020 Bromley Midsummer Evening 10KNorman Park Athletics Track, Bromley
28 Jun 2020 Port Lympne 10K & 5K ChallengePort Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Lympne
28 Jun 2020 Kent Golden Mile & 5KMartello Tower, Dymchurch
28 Jun 2020 Hawkhurst 10K & 5KThe Moor, Hawkhurst
01 Jul 2020 Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 3Bedgebury Forest, Goudhurst
05 Jul 2020 Hever Castle Festival of Endurance Marathon & Half MarathonHever Castle, Edenbridge
05 Jul 2020 Run Whitstable Summer 5K & 10K-, Whitstable
05 Jul 2020 Cliffe Woods 5 MileCliffe Woods, Rochester
11 Jul 2020 Charing Colour RunClewards Meadow, Ashford
12 Jul 2020 Mid Kent 5 MilerCricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst
12 Jul 2020 Herne Bay 10K Les Golding MemorialHerne Bay Sailing Club, Beacon Hill
12 Jul 2020 Sevenoaks 7Sevenoaks Rugby Club, Sevenoaks
12 Jul 2020 Gusbourne 10K & 5KGusbourne, Ashford
17 Jul 2020 Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 3Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst
25 Jul 2020 Harbour Wallbanger 7KThe Pavilion, Viking Bay, Broadstairs
26 Jul 2020 Romney Marsh 10KSt Martins Field, New Romney
26 Jul 2020 Deal Dinosaur 10KWalmer Sea Scout Hut, Deal
02 Aug 2020 East Peckham 10KEast Peckham Playing Fields, East Peckham
02 Aug 2020 Smugglers 10KMinnis Bay, Birchington
05 Aug 2020 Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 4Bedgebury Forest, Goudhurst
14 Aug 2020 Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 4Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst
16 Aug 2020 Lydd 10KBanks Sports & Social Club, Lydd
16 Aug 2020 Beginners2Runners Woodland RunEast Malling Research Centre, East Malling
23 Aug 2020 Mount Ephraim 10KMount Ephraim Gardens, Hernhill
30 Aug 2020 Saxon Shore Half MarathonThe King's Hall, Herne Bay
30 Aug 2020 Whites Landscaping Staplehurst 5 & 10KSurrenden Road Playing Field, Staplehurst, Kent, Staplehurst
31 Aug 2020 Canterbury Half MarathonMerton Farm, Canterbury
04 Sep 2020 Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 5Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst
05 Sep 2020 Shoreham Woods 10K Trail RunShoreham Woods, Sevenoaks
06 Sep 2020 Folkestone Coastal 10KCoastal Park, Folkestone
06 Sep 2020 Paddock Wood Half MarathonEldon Way, Paddock Wood
06 Sep 2020 Weald St George's 10KThe Village Green, Sevenoaks Weald
06 Sep 2020 Chatham Maritime 10K-, Chatham Maritime
12 Sep 2020 Eden Valley Ultra TrailWilderness Farm, Hever
12 Sep 2020 Muddy Dog Challenge Tunbridge WellsEridge Park, Tunbridge Wells
12 Sep 2020 Black Hugin ChallengePegwell Bay Nature Reserve, Ramsgate
13 Sep 2020 Beckenham Half MarathonBeckenham Rugby Club, Beckenham
19 Sep 2020 Bewl Water UltraBewl Water Visitor Centre, Lamberhurst
19 Sep 2020 Bewl Water Marathon, Half Marathon & 10KBewl Country Park, Lamberhurst
23 Sep 2020 Cardiac ChallengeShorne Woods Country Park, Gravesend
27 Sep 2020 Folkestone Rotary Half MarathonThe Leas, Folkestone
27 Sep 2020 Hever Castle Marathon, Half Marathon & 10KHever Castle & Gardens, Hever
29 Sep 2020 Dartford Bridge 10KDartford, Dartford
17 Oct 2020 Mega ChallengeJeskyns Country Park, Cobham
18 Oct 2020 Jeskyns ChallengeJeskyns Country Park, Cobham
18 Oct 2020 Whitstable 10KThe Waterfront Club, Whitstable
12 Dec 2020 Dymchurch MarathonCoastal Wall, Dymchurch
13 Dec 2020 Clown Challenge DymchurchCoastal Wall, Dymchurch
31 Dec 2020 SVN Unicorn Challenge RunCyclopark, Gravesend
27 Jun 2021 North Downs 30KCascades Leisure Centre, Gravesend

About the area

Maidstone HarriersFigures obtained from Run Kent Activator, Lucy Tomlinson, indicate the green shoots of enthusiasm for running have been firmly planted in approximately 7,000 men and women over four years well ahead of Run England targets for new runners' registrations, resulting in the England Athletics Run England Project of the Year Award for 2013-14.

History and mystery form part of the folklore in this county of more than 30 ancient castles, secret underground bunkers and the Cinque Ports that were originally grouped together for defence purposes almost 1,000 years ago.

28% of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The Weald of Kent. France can often be seen on a clear day from the cliffs at Folkestone and Dover. The 350 miles of glorious coastline features in a number of running events with no shortage of off-road challenges available in nine large country parks, several of which host popular 5k parkruns.

With 1.4 million residents and an estimated one million tourist visits annually it can get congested on the roads, especially on arterial routes to the ports, but there is still plenty of space and fresh air available for the dedicated runner.

The county has its own history of success in mainstream athletics. There are around 50 clubs catering for all events from triathlon to decathlon affiliated to Kent County AA. The oldest clubs are Blackheath Harriers, founded in 1869, and Cambridge Harriers, formed in 1890 both are still large and thriving clubs that have produced many international athletes.

KCAA was formed and the first county championships held at Eltham in 1920 and current events are hosted at the high quality Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford. The County has won National Inter-Counties team titles in track and field and cross-country, most recently claiming the Gemini Trophy for UK men's and women's athletics in 2010 and Bedford Shield won by the women's track and field team in 2013.

Kent's most famous runners include the 'Mighty Atom' Sydney Wooderson (Blackheath Harriers), who held the world mile record (4min 6.4sec) for nearly five years from 1937.

Double Olympian long-distance legend, Frank Sando (Aylesford Paper Mills), competed in the International Cross Country nine times from 1952 to 1960 and was champion in '55 and '57. Frank also won the Kent cross-country title eight times, a feat equalled by Medway AC's Barry Royden in 2003.

One year later, in the cauldron of the Athens Olympic Stadium, it was the wide-eyed disbelief on the face of Dame Kelly Holmes that will be etched on the memory forever as she achieved double gold at 800m and 1500m.

The World and European Masters Athlete of the Year 2015 is David Heath (Blackheath and Bromley Harriers) who won World M50 gold at 800m and 1500m and set world bests at both distances before winning the exhibition M50 800m at the Beijing World Championships – despite suffering a heart attack in 2002 aged 37 years.

No review of Kent athletics could be complete without reference to the continuing success of Tonbridge AC, with a production line of talented young athletes who are now bringing home awards at senior level. In the National Road Relays in Birmingham this year the club won their first senior men's trophy and added the under-17 men's award for good measure.

Perhaps it is this stellar running history, combined with the inspiring landscape that has motivated so many men, women and children to get active in Kent but whatever the secret, this is the fastest growing area in the south of England and there are no signs of any slowing down at the front, middle or back of the pack.

Lucy Tomlinson offers this advice:

With the right frame of mind and some help from your local running group, anyone can give running a go. So grab those trainers, join a group or go along to your nearest parkrun and find out for yourself why so many people are taking up running in Kent.

Maidstone Harriers

Running clubs in Kent

There are numerous well-established running clubs throughout Kent providing those who take their running seriously an opportunity to join like-minded people for training session and race competitions.

Club Focus: Rebel Yell

It is rare to find a race in Kent without Rebel Runners Medway being seen and heard. runABC South has been finding out about the noisy neighbours

Rebel Yell

When and how did the club form?

A few running friends met on a freezing January morning in 2014 and decided that Facebook would be a good way to plan training and races. We called our page Rebel Runners. Within four months the response had encouraged us to register with Run England and Jenny Baldock was our first qualified leader. Six months later we were UK Athletics affiliated and now have more than a dozen Leaders in Running Fitness and 300 plus members!  

Why Rebel Runners?

The name is a bit tongue in cheek but gets us noticed. We are unlike most clubs in that we truly embrace all runners from ‘couch to 5k’ up to elite. While we were known as Rebel Runners a photo appeared in the local paper after the Paddock Wood Half Marathon. We added Medway so people would know where we were from. 

Tell us about your membership …

We offer membership from 83p a month! Members pay £10 for social membership (option to add £12 for UKA registration). We hold our well attended ‘couch to 5k’ courses twice a year and membership fees fund Run Leader courses, equipment, affiliation fees and track hire. At the end of 2014 we had 85 competing members – we now have 170. Our youngest is 12-years-old and we have 18 junior members.  

What about the training?

We meet for evening runs all over the Medway towns and support our local parkrun at Great Lines Heritage Park on Saturday mornings. This is where we met the charismatic run director, Tony Giles, one of our keenest members. Once a month we use Medway Park track at Gillingham for speed/endurance. Run routes, ability levels and other details are posted on Facebook and the club website.

Club’s best achievements …

We had 80 at the Medway 10K this year and our ladies were first and second individuals, won three age categories and first team prize – our first such success and in our ‘home’ race, too. We won the Demelza Club Shield at the Leeds Castle 10K in September with 61 runners present and were able to make dreams come true for two lucky members in the club ballot for London Marathon places in 2016.

And you are a sociable club?

We certainly have a sense of fun. We run a #RebelSpotted game each month. Rebels can get spotted whilst out running (but only if in club kit and not at a club run) and the winner gets a bottle of fizz.

‘Rebels on Tour’ is another favourite. We have had Rebels in club colours photographed at The Great Wall of China, The Kremlin and the Golden Gate Bridge. Many of our runners run for charity so there is always a quiz night or raffle tickets to buy.

When our local parkrun was closed one weekend we deployed Rebels to parkruns far and wide. We covered every age category in the results as 76 members and two dogs visited 34 parkruns, ran 380kms and clocked 7,480 road miles, plus two boat trips.

Rebels on tour?

The club regularly goes on road trips. The 2014 Brighton Marathon saw 28 Rebels competing, with 20 running their first marathon. Looking ahead we will be present at the Las Vegas Half Marathon, Paris Marathon and there are 10 with places in London Marathon next year.

Any unusual incidents along the way …

Perhaps the wardrobe malfunction suffered by Sara who arrived at the Brands Hatch 10K with two odd shoes – different makes, colour and sizes! She did not manage a PB that day in the shoes she had to borrow.

The club in three words ...

‘One big family’.

The Retailer Network

Sweatshop Bluewater Image

A key resource for runners in Kent is the network of specialist retailers that serves the county from Canterbury in the east to the metropolitan fringes on the other side of the M25. While they each have a unique approach (even the running chain stores) they all share a commitment to providing their customers with great product advice (specially in the key area of footwear) and information about all those extra things that offer an added dimension to your running - GPS watches, energy drinks and bars, compression clothing, etc.

They also are happy to let you know all about the local running scene - the races, the clubs, the groups, services like physio and massage and even good running routes. Some organise weekly runs for customers and often double as a 'pop-in' centre for the local running community.

Over the last couple of years runABC South has spoken in detail to a couple of these 'local heroes'. Dominic O'Mahoney at the Running Outlet in Canterbury has added a modern twist to the staple running store offering, with an emphasis on their online presence and social media to extend their customer reach. But Dominic has kept his eye on the basics and in-store he provides a great product range, a respected 'physio-endorsed fitting service' and great interaction with local clubs and groups.

Allan Cheek of Running Hub

Meanwhile 40 miles away in Tunbridge Wells in the south-west corner of Kent, local stalwart, Allan Cheek - he's the club president at TW Harriers - provides a hugely personal approach. All visitors to the town's Running Hub can be assured of service from the man himself - Allan is there all day - everyday, ready to offer advice, and help you find what you are looking for. The store can be busy at times, but Allan is sure that it is this personal touch that brings people back: "The shop is decorated with personal items from my years of running such as race numbers and other bits of memorabilia, anyone who comes to Running Hub will be taken care of by myself."

The scene changes once again and on a busy thoroughfare in south-east London 17 year retail veteran David Bennett at the Runners Shop is looking ahead to 2013 with optimism: "We've just had a major upgrading at our Beckenham Road store which means we're now even better placed to cater for a loyal customer base that includes occasional park runners (the store is half-way between the Bromley and Crystal Palace weekly 5ks), the track and field fraternity and many cross-country and trail runners who head out east to the big open spaces like Biggin Hill or the West Kent Downs.

"Our suburban location means we attract lots of people who just want to keep fit and, surprisingly, we get very busy around the time of the Moonwalk. However GB international or someone thinking about one of the Race for Life 5ks, they get the same quality of service. Although staff member Abdi Amare Madar once beat Mo Farah in a cross country race so expect some good stories too!"

The knowledgeable enthusiasm of Dominic O'Mahoney, Allan Cheek and David Bennett is replicated by Kate Austen at Podplus Sports in Ashford and Tim Smith at Bat and Ball Sports in Sevenoaks. Also in Sevenoaks is the popular Up and Running store where manager Alan Pope and his all-runners team offer a great service but watch out they'll be keen to tempt you to enter the Sevenoaks 10K (March) and the Orpington 10K (June) - events that the store supports.

Sweatshop is the other big name and they have a major presence across Kent with stores at Bluewater (Chris Wright), Maidstone (Lee Kitney) and Dartford (Richard Leahy). There is a regular Wednesday evening group that runs from Bluewater - contact them directly for more details.

Check out our Retailers Page to find more places to purchase your running kit in Kent.

Running groups in Kent

  • Ashford Walk/Jog 4 Life, Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford
  • Ashford Group, Ashford and surrounding areas
  • Balance-Running, Ridgeway playing fields, Southborough
  • Bedgebury Belles Running Group, Bedgebury Forest and Pinetum car park
  • Born to Run Faversham Rec. Ground, Park Rd, Faversham
  • Building 510 runners, Sandwich Discovery Park, Sandwich
  • Cranbrook Joggers, The Ball Field, Cranbrook
  • David Lloyd Maidstone Runners (DLMR)
  • Deal Running Buddies
  • Fido Fitt Jogging Club, Fido Fitt, Upchurch, Sittingbourne
  • Get Back On Track, Deangate Ridge Golf & Sports Complex, Hoo
  • Get On Track, Deangate Ridge Golf & Sports Complex, Hoo
  • GoRids Runners (Maidstone)
  • Hamstreet Beginners / Hamstreet 10K Runners, Hamstreet Garden Centre, Hamstreet
  • Maidstone Run England Group, Various points around Maidstone
  • Meopham & Malling Ladies Joggers, Camer Park, Meopham & Wrotham Church
  • MoorEnergy Runners, MoorEnery Fitness Club, Westerham
  • Oaks Blokes, Hollybush Recreation Ground, Sevenoaks
  • Paddock Wood A.C., Mascall School Maidstone Rd, Paddock Wood
  • Pomphrey's Pacers, Various points around Maidstone
  • RTW Runners, Tunbridge Wells
  • Run Off Your Feet, Various locations, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells
  • Run Ramsgate, Ramsgate Sports Centre
  • RunFit, Green Lane Park, Paddock Wood
  • Sandhurst Striders, Recreation Field, Sandhurst
  • Sarah's Runners, Nevill Cricket Pav, Warwick Pk, Tunbridge Wells
  • Sebastian Coe Running Club, Sebastian Coe Health Club @The Mercure Maidstone
  • Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers, Hollybush Recreation Ground, Sevenoaks
  • South East Striders, Thanet, Herne Bay, Ramsgate
  • Take A Step Running Group - West Kent, Paddock Wood
  • The Heath Joggers, Penenden Heath main car park, Maidstone
  • The Natural Running Project, Mote Park, Maidstone
  • Tonbridge Ladies Joggers, Tonbridge School
  • Tonbridge Runners Group, Tonbridge Swimming Pool
  • Wajog!!, Acacia Hall, High Street, Dartford
  • Yoga Nut, Brenchley War Memorial Hall & Grounds

Go to the Run Together website for more information.

Let's start at the beginning

Four years ago Steve Grantham was worried about his fitness for work. Now fitness is his work as the MD of Beginners2Runners in Kent.


Former policeman Steve Grantham, admits he was an unhealthy, overweight smoker before deciding something had to be done, so he tried running – on his own after dark, hoping that no one would spot him! Two years later and four stones lighter he wanted to inspire others and B2R was created when 70 turned up for the inaugural session in Coxheath.

Now there are nine B2R clubs in Kent with around 2,000 members and up to 1,000 out training each week for their particular goals. Steve wanted to create a group that was fun, social and community-based so people of all shapes, sizes and abilities could have a go, without feeling embarrassed. He wanted others to feel like he did – proud to be doing something great for yourself!

runABC South sent Alan Newman along to one of the groups to see what all the fuss was about and this is his report.

I joined Leyborne B2R for an evening run as they were about to celebrate their first anniversary. The unlikely venue was KHR Recruitment Specialists, an office in a small shopping parade.

I met the local B2R club manager, a senior consultant in the recruitment business, which explains the venue but not her nickname of ‘Jinx’ Buckley. Introductions were over quickly and with around 60 members present there was just time for a few words of encouragement before we were divided into groups and set off with our leaders.

My group was the 5k to 10k improvers and Frankie Boylan led a brief but dynamic warm-up, part of which was with a partner. I found myself paired with spry septuagenarian Bernadette, who told me about her recovery from a spiral fracture of the femur while umpiring a netball match 12 years ago and her Sweatshop parkrunner of the month award for September. It seems that not even broken bones can stand in the way of a determined runner

Frankie assembled us and gave a minute for a bewildering array of apps to be sorted before we set off like a chattering mobile disco of lights, music and pace notes; head-torches creating a strobe effect in the hedgerows. It won’t be like this on my next session on the track at Paddock Wood, I mused, as we maintained a steady 7min/km, stopping for a minute walk every kilometre.

Halfway round we tackled ‘chip shop hill’ before regrouping for a welfare check, with the enticing aroma of salt and vinegar in the air. Just before the temptation to beg a bag of scraps became irresistible, we were unleashed by Frankie to set our own pace for the final 3k dash to the finish. The session was well organised, fun and friendly and there is no doubt that everyone present was well catered for, according to their ability and ambition. While stretching, I met Sam from nearby Larkfield, who joined the group in January as a complete beginner. Sam is a mum of two energetic girls who was persuaded by a friend to join. She has since dropped three dress sizes, improved her energy levels and overcome shin splints in her quest to run 5k.

Sam is not quite there yet and is the only member still in the 5k starter programme but as she says, “I get to make new friends every ten weeks”. Sam confided that, “Beginners2Runners saved me from health problems. I was stuck in a rut, unable to play with my kids and I had no idea how to change things. Now I have none of those worries and can call myself a runner. I may be the slowest but no-one cares about that, least of all me.”

After training, I met Steve on his way back from launching his latest group in Ashford. He told me: “It makes me really proud to be part of something so incredible. Running really can change people’s lives. The difference with our approach is that we don’t just train runners, we make them.”

If you’d like to join Beginners2Runners contact Steve Grantham at or visit

For more information about running in Kent or to find your local running group, please visit:

Leisure facilities in Kent

Medway Park Running Track

The UK has an abundance of leisure facilities, from gyms, to running tracks, studios providing classes to sports halls and team games. For runners, it is important to have a balance in your training and have the spaces to do this. Medway Park is a new development in Kent, which has indoor and outdoor facilities for all types of sport and training, including a running track. It's also home to the University of Kent's sports science and sports therapy suite.

Medway Park
Address Mill Rd, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 1EF
Opening Hours Mon-Fri 6.30am-10.30pm, Sat 7.30am-8pm, Sun 7.30am-10.30pm
Tel. 01634 336655
Facilities Available Fitness Suite, Swimming Pool, Sports Hall, Athletics Track and Field, Dance Studio, Judo Centre, Trampoline Centre
Services Sports Therapy Clinic, Sports Science Lab, Rehabilitation Gym, Seminar Room, Café and Bar
Classes Spinning, Aerobics, Circuits, Body Conditioning, Pilates, Yoga, Aquafit, Kick Box- ing, Zumba, Bums, Legs and Tums
Club based at the facility Medway and Maidstone Athletic Club

Other leisure facilities in Kent














Tonbridge and Malling

Tunbridge Wells