20 May 2020
If it's September it must be Folkestone
13 May 2020
Garden marathon man branches out...
06 Apr 2020
No mean feet for Running Hub!
30 Mar 2020
There's a story going round...
Race Listing for Kent
|13 Oct 2019||Bagpuss Tonbridge Fun Run 5K & 2.5K||Tonbridge School Centre, Tonbridge|
|03 Nov 2019||Poppy Run Southampton||Sothampton Common, Southampton|
|26 Nov 2019||The Hugin Challenge||Pegwell Bay Country Park, Ramsgate||Results|
|28 Nov 2019||Gravesend Floodlit 5K & 10K Series November||Cyclopark, Gravesend||Results|
|30 Nov 2019||St Andrews Day Challenge||Betteshanger Country Park, Deal|
|01 Dec 2019||Advent Challenge||Betteshanger Country Park, Deal||Results|
|01 Dec 2019||Alan Green Memorial 10 Mile Race||Palm Bay Green, Cliftonville||Results|
|07 Dec 2019||Forestry 100 Running Series Jeskyns Woods||Jeskyns Community Woodland, Cobham||Results|
|08 Dec 2019||Dartford Bridge Christmas Pudding Run||Marsh Street, Dartford|
|08 Dec 2019||Maidstone Harriers Turkey Run||East Malling Research, East Malling||Results|
|14 Dec 2019||The Usual Suspects Challenge||Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve, Samphire Hoe||Results|
|15 Dec 2019||SVN Festive Frolic||Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve, Samphire Hoe||Results|
|15 Dec 2019||Gravesend Cyclopark 5 & 10K Charity Santa Dash||Cyclopark, Gravesend||Results|
|15 Dec 2019||Kent Christmas Cracker 5||Betteshanger Country Park, Sholden||Results|
|19 Dec 2019||Gravesend Floodlit 5K & 10K Series December||Cyclopark, Gravesend||Results|
|21 Dec 2019||Saxon Shore Marathon Challenge||Walmer, Walmer||Results|
|26 Dec 2019||Saltwood Boxing Day Run||The Green, Saltwood||Results|
|31 Dec 2019||New Years Eve Betteshanger Challenge||Betteshanger Country Park, Betteshanger||Results|
|01 Jan 2020||Lamberhurst New Years Day 5K & 10K||Bewl Water, Lamberhurst||Results|
|04 Jan 2020||Kent Cross County Championships||Brands Hatch Circuit, Longfield|
|11 Jan 2020||Betteshanger Chocathon Challenge||Betteshangar Country Park, Deal||Results|
|12 Jan 2020||Betteshanger Winter Cakeathon Challenge||Betteshangar Country Park, Deal||Results|
|15 Jan 2020||Medway Park Winter Track Race Series 5K January||Medway Park, Gillingham|
|17 Jan 2020||SVN Saxons Challenge Run||Cyclopark, Gravesend||Results|
|18 Jan 2020||SVN Viking Challenge Run||Cyclopark, Gravesend||Results|
|19 Jan 2020||Bromley 10K||Norman Park Athletics Track, Bromley||Results|
|19 Jan 2020||SVN Normans Challenge Run||Cyclopark, Gravesend||Results|
|26 Jan 2020||Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race||Christ Church University Sports Centre, Canterbury||Results|
|02 Feb 2020||Bedgebury Forest 5 & 10 Mile||Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Goudhurst||Results
|02 Feb 2020||Ashford & District 10K||Sandyacres Sports Club, Ashford||Results|
|15 Feb 2020||Betteshanger Heroes v Villains Challenge||Betteshangar Country Park, Deal||Results|
|16 Feb 2020||Dymchurch 10K||The Slipway, Dymchurch|
|16 Feb 2020||Headcorn Half||The Village Green, Maidstone||Results|
|16 Feb 2020||Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon||Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre, Tunbridge Wells||Results|
|16 Feb 2020||Betteshangar Mods & Rockers Challenge Run||Betteshangar Country Park, Deal|
|16 Feb 2020||Tenterden 5||Wittersham Sports Club, Wittersham||Results|
|27 Feb 2020||Gravesend Floodlit 10K & 5K Series Race 5||Cyclopark, Gravesend||Results|
|29 Feb 2020||Betteshangar Leap Year Challenge Run||Betteshangar Country Park, Deal||Results|
|01 Mar 2020||Betteshangar Challenge Run||Betteshangar Country Park, Deal||Results|
|01 Mar 2020||Deal Half Marathon||Betteshangar Country Park, Deal||Results|
|08 Mar 2020||Maidstone Road Run 5K||Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone||Results|
|08 Mar 2020||Lydd 20 Mile||Banks Sports & Social Club, Lydd||Results|
|08 Mar 2020||Lydd Half Marathon||Banks Sports Club, Lydd||Results|
|15 Mar 2020||Dartford Half Marathon||Central Park, Dartford||Results|
|15 Mar 2020||Ricki Savage 20 Mile Road Race||Ramsgate Boating Pool, Ramsgate||Results|
|22 Mar 2020||Sevenoaks Circular||Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks|
|22 Mar 2020||Run Whitstable & Herne Bay Spring 5K & 10K||Hampton Pier, Whitstable|
|22 Mar 2020||Canterbury Riverside 10K||Chartham Village Hall, Canterbury|
|22 Mar 2020||Resolution Run 5K, 10K & 15K Maidstone||Mote Park, Maidstone|
|22 Mar 2020||BVAC 5 Mile Cross Country||West Wickham, Bromley|
|26 Mar 2020||Gravesend Floodlit 5K & 10K March Race||Cyclopark, Gravesend|
|05 Apr 2020||Kent Spring Marathon & Half Marathon||Charing School, Charing|
|05 Apr 2020||Scadbury 5 Mile Trail Run||Scadbury Park, Bromley|
|10 Apr 2020||Good Friday 10 Miler||Stanley Park Sports Ground, Chippenham|
|10 Apr 2020||Folkestone 10||The Green, Hythe|
|18 Apr 2020||Kent 50 Mile Challenge||Reculver, Herne Bay|
|23 Apr 2020||SVN St Georges Day Marathon||Cyclopark, Deal|
|24 Apr 2020||SVN Darnley Challenge||Cyclopark, Gravesend|
|26 Apr 2020||SVN Rejects Challenge Run||Cyclopark, Gravesend|
|03 May 2020||Hildenborough Road Races||Hildenborough, Tonbridge|
|06 May 2020||Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 1||Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst|
|08 May 2020||Ted Pepper Memorial 10K||Norman Park, Bromley|
|10 May 2020||Maidstone River Run 10K & 10M||-, Maidstone|
|10 May 2020||Chicken Run 5K & 10K||Herne Bay Pier, Herne Bay|
|10 May 2020||Run, Walk or Push for Dementia||Knole Park, Sevenoaks|
|15 May 2020||Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 1||Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst|
|16 May 2020||The Little Welly Goes Wild Sevenoaks||St Clere Estate, Sevenoaks|
|16 May 2020||Viking Coastal Marathon||West End Of The Parade, Birchington|
|16 May 2020||Bedgebury 10K & 5K Canicross Challenge||Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Goudhurst|
|17 May 2020||Medway's Hospital Heroes 5K||Great Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham|
|17 May 2020||Gnome Roam||West End Of The Parade, Birchington|
|17 May 2020||Chislehurst Half Marathon||Glebe Football Club, Chislehurst|
|17 May 2020||University of Kent Canterbury 10K||University Sports Pavilion, Canterbury|
|17 May 2020||Sittingbourne Invicta 10K||The Dog House, Sittingbourne|
|03 Jun 2020||Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 2||Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst|
|05 Jun 2020||Charing 10K||Charing School, Charing|
|06 Jun 2020||Harvel 5 Mile Run||Harvel Village Green, Harvel|
|07 Jun 2020||Medway 10K||Medway Park, Gillingham|
|07 Jun 2020||Coastbuster 10 Mile & 10K||Eastcliff Bandstand, Ramsgate|
|07 Jun 2020||Tenterden 10K & 5K||St. Michael's Primary School, Tenterden|
|12 Jun 2020||Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 2||Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst|
|14 Jun 2020||Orpington High Elms 10K||High Elms Country Park, Farnborough|
|14 Jun 2020||Kings Hill Sports Park 10K & 5K||Kings Hill, West Malling|
|20 Jun 2020||Midnight Marathon, Half & Ultra||-, Dartford|
|24 Jun 2020||Bromley Midsummer Evening 10K||Norman Park Athletics Track, Bromley|
|28 Jun 2020||Port Lympne 10K & 5K Challenge||Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Lympne|
|28 Jun 2020||Kent Golden Mile & 5K||Martello Tower, Dymchurch|
|28 Jun 2020||Hawkhurst 10K & 5K||The Moor, Hawkhurst|
|01 Jul 2020||Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 3||Bedgebury Forest, Goudhurst|
|05 Jul 2020||Hever Castle Festival of Endurance Marathon & Half Marathon||Hever Castle, Edenbridge|
|05 Jul 2020||Run Whitstable Summer 5K & 10K||-, Whitstable|
|05 Jul 2020||Cliffe Woods 5 Mile||Cliffe Woods, Rochester|
|11 Jul 2020||Charing Colour Run||Clewards Meadow, Ashford|
|12 Jul 2020||Mid Kent 5 Miler||Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst|
|12 Jul 2020||Herne Bay 10K Les Golding Memorial||Herne Bay Sailing Club, Beacon Hill|
|12 Jul 2020||Sevenoaks 7||Sevenoaks Rugby Club, Sevenoaks|
|12 Jul 2020||Gusbourne 10K & 5K||Gusbourne, Ashford|
|17 Jul 2020||Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 3||Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst|
|25 Jul 2020||Harbour Wallbanger 7K||The Pavilion, Viking Bay, Broadstairs|
|26 Jul 2020||Romney Marsh 10K||St Martins Field, New Romney|
|26 Jul 2020||Deal Dinosaur 10K||Walmer Sea Scout Hut, Deal|
|02 Aug 2020||East Peckham 10K||East Peckham Playing Fields, East Peckham|
|02 Aug 2020||Smugglers 10K||Minnis Bay, Birchington|
|05 Aug 2020||Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10K & 5K Series Race 4||Bedgebury Forest, Goudhurst|
|14 Aug 2020||Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 4||Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst|
|16 Aug 2020||Lydd 10K||Banks Sports & Social Club, Lydd|
|16 Aug 2020||Beginners2Runners Woodland Run||East Malling Research Centre, East Malling|
|23 Aug 2020||Mount Ephraim 10K||Mount Ephraim Gardens, Hernhill|
|30 Aug 2020||Saxon Shore Half Marathon||The King's Hall, Herne Bay|
|30 Aug 2020||Whites Landscaping Staplehurst 5 & 10K||Surrenden Road Playing Field, Staplehurst, Kent, Staplehurst|
|31 Aug 2020||Canterbury Half Marathon||Merton Farm, Canterbury|
|04 Sep 2020||Staplehurst Summer 5K Series Race 5||Cricket & Tennis Club, Staplehurst|
|05 Sep 2020||Shoreham Woods 10K Trail Run||Shoreham Woods, Sevenoaks|
|06 Sep 2020||Folkestone Coastal 10K||Coastal Park, Folkestone|
|06 Sep 2020||Paddock Wood Half Marathon||Eldon Way, Paddock Wood|
|06 Sep 2020||Weald St George's 10K||The Village Green, Sevenoaks Weald|
|06 Sep 2020||Chatham Maritime 10K||-, Chatham Maritime|
|12 Sep 2020||Eden Valley Ultra Trail||Wilderness Farm, Hever|
|12 Sep 2020||Muddy Dog Challenge Tunbridge Wells||Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells|
|12 Sep 2020||Black Hugin Challenge||Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve, Ramsgate|
|13 Sep 2020||Beckenham Half Marathon||Beckenham Rugby Club, Beckenham|
|19 Sep 2020||Bewl Water Ultra||Bewl Water Visitor Centre, Lamberhurst|
|19 Sep 2020||Bewl Water Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K||Bewl Country Park, Lamberhurst|
|23 Sep 2020||Cardiac Challenge||Shorne Woods Country Park, Gravesend|
|27 Sep 2020||Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon||The Leas, Folkestone|
|27 Sep 2020||Hever Castle Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K||Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever|
|29 Sep 2020||Dartford Bridge 10K||Dartford, Dartford|
|17 Oct 2020||Mega Challenge||Jeskyns Country Park, Cobham|
|18 Oct 2020||Jeskyns Challenge||Jeskyns Country Park, Cobham|
|18 Oct 2020||Whitstable 10K||The Waterfront Club, Whitstable|
|12 Dec 2020||Dymchurch Marathon||Coastal Wall, Dymchurch|
|13 Dec 2020||Clown Challenge Dymchurch||Coastal Wall, Dymchurch|
|31 Dec 2020||SVN Unicorn Challenge Run||Cyclopark, Gravesend|
|27 Jun 2021||North Downs 30K||Cascades Leisure Centre, Gravesend|
About the area
Figures 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 â€“ 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.
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.
- Ashford & District RR
- Ashford AC
- Ashford Triathlon Club
- Beckenham RC
- Beech Grove Academy CCC
- Bexley AC
- Blackheath & Bromley Harriers
- Bromley Veterans AC
- Cambridge Harriers AC
- Canterbury Christchurch Univ AC
- Canterbury Harriers RC
- Dartford Harriers AC
- Dartford Road Runners
- Deal Triathlon & RC
- Dulwich Runners AC
- Folkestone RC
- Gravesend Road Runners
- Greenwich Tritons Triathlon Club
- Hawkinge Hurricanes
- Invicta East Kent AC, Canterbury
- Istead & Ifield Harriers, Gravesend
- Jelly Legs Running Club, Deal
- Judd School AC
- Kent AC
- Kent Schools AA
- Kings Hill Flyers
- Larkfield AC
- Maidstone Harriers
- Medway & Maidstone AC
- Medway Park Phoenix
- Medway Tri Club
- New Eltham Joggers
- Newington AC
- Orpington Road Runners
- Paddock Wood AC
- Petts Woods Runners, Orpington
- Plumstead Runners
- Rebel Runners Medway
- Sevenoaks Athletics Club
- Sevenoaks School AC
- S Factor Athletics
- Sittingbourne Striders
- SLGR (So Let's Go Running), Dartford
- South Kent Harriers, Folkestone
- South London Harriers AC
- Swale Combined AC
- Swanley & District AC
- Thanet AC
- Thanet Road Runners AC
- Tonbridge AC
- Tunbridge Wells Harriers
- University of Kent Athletics + X/CC
- Weald Tri Club
- Wingham Trotters RC
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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit beginners2runners.co.uk
For more information about running in Kent or to find your local running group, please visit: kentsport.org/run
Leisure facilities in Kent
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.
|Address||Mill Rd, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 1EF|
|Opening Hours||Mon-Fri 6.30am-10.30pm, Sat 7.30am-8pm, Sun 7.30am-10.30pm|
|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, CafeÌ 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
- Bannatynes Health Club, Ashford
- Eastwell Pavilion
- Eversleigh Fitness Centre, Shadoxhurst
- Fitness First, Ashford
- Julie Rose Stadium
- Kings North Recreation Centre
- London Beach Health Club and Spa
- Stour Centre
- Tenterden Leisure Centre
- The Elwick Club
- The Green Health Club
- Bodyzone, Belvedere
- Changes Health Club (Ladies Only), Bexleyheath
- Crook Log Leisure Centre, Bexleyheath
- David Lloyd Leisure Club, Sidcup
- Erith Leisure Centre, Erith
- Sidcup Leisure Centre, Sidcup
- Bannatynes Health Club (Grove Park)
- Calso Health and Fitness Centre, Bromley
- Cator Park Sports Centre, Beckenham
- Darrick Wood Sports Centre, Orpington
- Darwin Sports Centre, Biggin Hill
- David Lloyd Club, Beckenham
- Eric Liddell Sports Centre
- Esporta Health and Fitness, Chislehurst
- Fitness First Beckenham
- Kelsey Park Sports College, Beckenham
- LA Fitness, Orpington
- Langley Park Sports Centre, Beckenham
- Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing, Bromley
- Pavilion Leisure Centre, Bromley
- Priory Sports Centre, Orpington
- Virgin Active, Bromley
- Walnuts Leisure Centre, Orpington
- West Wickham Leisure Centre
- Body and Mind Leisure, Canterbury
- Canterbury College Sports Centre
- DW Sports Fitness, Canterbury
- Fit4Less, Canterbury
- Kings School Recreation Centre, Canterbury
- Kindsmead Leisure Centre, Canterbury
- Pier Sports Centre, Herne Bay
- Pulse Fitness Club, Canterbury
- University of Kent Sports Centre, Canterbury
- Whitstable Sports Centre
- Acacia Fitness, Dartford
- Becket Sports Centre, Dartford
- David Lloyd Dartford
- Livingwell Health Club, Dartford
- Princes Park Community Stadium, Dartford
- Swanscombe Leisure Centre
- Balance Spa and Health Club, Dover
- Dover Leisure Centre
- Fitness Connection Sandwich
- Fowlmead Country Park, Sholden
- Sandwich Sport and Leisure Centre
- Shapeshifters Gym, Dover
- Tides Leisure Centre, Deal
- Body Matters Sport and Fitness Centre, Gravesend
- Cascades Leisure Centre, Gravesend
- Cygnet Leisure Centre, Northfleet
- The Swanscombe Centre
- Bob Prowse Health Club, Maidstone
- David Lloyd Leisure Club, Maidstone
- LA Fitness Maidstone
- Livingwell Health Club Maidstone
- Maidstone Leisure Centre
- Old Rectory Health and Fitness Club, Maidstone
- Sebastian Coe Health Club, Maidstone
- Village Leisure Club, Maidstone
- Deangate Ridge Sports Complex, Hoo
- Fitness First Chatham
- Hundred of Hoo Leisure Centre
- Lordswood Leisure Centre, Chatham
- Old Parsonage Health and Fitness Centre, Gillingham
- Roffen Sports Club, Rochester
- Roko Health Club, Gillingham
- Spirit Health Club, Rochester
- Splashes Leisure Centre, Rainham
- The Stirling Centre, Rochester
- Strood Leisure Centre
- Virgin Active, Medway
- Waterfront Leisure, Gillingham
- Edenbridge Leisure Centre
- Moorenergy Fitness Club, Westerham
- Sennocke Centre, Sevenoaks
- Sevenoaks Leisure Centre
- White Oak Leisure Centre, Swanley
- Wildernesse Sports Centre, Sevenoaks
- Bannatynes Health Club, Folkestone
- Firs Fitness Club, Cheriton, Folkestone
- Folkestone Sports Centre
- Hi Rep Gym, Folkestone
- Pent Valley Leisure Centre
- Scorpions Gym, New Romney
- The Marsh Academy Leisure Centre
- Reynolds Health and Fitness Sittingbourne
- Sheppey Leisure Complex, Sheerness
- Sittingbourne Community College Sports Centre
- Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne
- Syndale Park Sports and Leisure Centre, Ospringe, Faversham
- Tonics Fitness Centre, Sittingbourne
- Bannatynes Health Club, Broadstairs
- DW Sports Fitness, Broadstairs
- Elite Fitness Studio, Broadstairs
- Hartsdown Leisure Centre, Margate
- Ramsgate Sports Centre
Tonbridge and Malling
- Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge
- David Lloyd, Kings Hill
- Hilden Health and Fitness Club, Tonbridge
- Larkfield Leisure Centre
- Peak Fitness, Tonbridge