Back to the future for Tonbridge Half
We go back to the sepia era for the medal design for the 9th Tonbridge Half Marathon on Sunday 6 October 2019. The new design (pictured) features historic Tonbridge Castle overlooking the River Medway and sets the scene nicely for this attractive race in Kent.
Despite some testing undulations, notably just after halfway and again with a couple of miles to go, the course has yielded some impressive times. South London Harrier Daniel Gaffney (1:11:25) and Tonbridge AC's very own W50 Maria Heslop (1:22:32) currently occupy the course record hot seats.
Both records were set in excellent conditions last year, when 812 finished in 3:25:43. More than 65 runners beat 90 minutes and 500 plus were home within two hours in 2018.
The race raises funds for many charities and the headline beneficiaries this year are the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and West Kent Mind. More than £350,000 has been raised since 2011 with the stewardship of the Rotary Club of Tonbridge and Tonbridge Lions Club.
Entries are still being taken by race management company Nice Work and through other channels, including the good old-fashioned postal system. For the first time entries on the day will be taken but only if the race limit of 1,500 plus 100 charity places has not been reached. Fees are £22/£24 unaffiliated, plus an extra £1 on the day.
The race starts outside Judd School at 10.00am. The course is accurately measured, out and back on roads and lanes south of Tonbridge. Most of the route has complete road closure and there are four water stations, staffed enthusiastically by the 8th Tonbridge (Hildenborough) Scouts. Each water station will also have a portable toilet nearby.
Previous competitor Ray Ellis says: "One of my favourite half marathons. The organisation is excellent, the course is challenging, hilly and fun, the marshals are on the ball, the supporters at the start, end, and especially the two times through Leigh, are outstanding and the race is friendly and open to all. There is no question it is one of the best half marathons around."
Tonbridge Half Marathon is a BARR Gold standard event, awarded for race excellence.
Full race information at Tonbridge Half Marathon website here
Images courtesy Nice Work/Tonbridge Half Marathon