The 10th Tonbridge Half Marathon was once again a great success. The Judd School once again hosted the event. We were delighted to welcome Chris Owen as our guest starter. Chris is a director of DC Access who have provided our starting podium and been one of our principal sponsors since our first event in 2011. Chris is also a director of his new venture, findmykit.com, a revolutionary way to find what’s yours – check it out HERE.
Our lead car was the stunning Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, provided by Porsche Tonbridge, who sponsored our very first half marathon and returned this year to sponsor our 10th. The Taycan boasts an impressively capable range of up to 300 miles, enough to cover over 22 half marathons!
We are also extremely grateful to all our other sponsors and supporters for covering many of the costs of staging the event, which are considerable. They include Warners (who have supported every one of our 10 events), Abbey Funeral Services, Ellis & Co, Calm & Gentle Dental Care, Snap Fitness and Tonbridge Lighting Co.
607 runners headed out of Tonbridge and through the wonderful Kent countryside in ideal weather for running. They arrived in Leigh to a great welcome. An enthusiastic and very vocal crowd awaited them back in Tonbridge as they came up the finishing straight.
Congratulations to Dan Bradley of Tonbridge AC who won the men's race in a course record time of 1:11:04. Michael Ellis of Tonbridge AC came second and Ian King of Ashford AC was third. Congratulations also to Jo Vickers of South London Harriers who won the Ladies race in a time of 1:27:06. Lianne Leakey of Hailsham Harriers was second and Sophie Preston of Tonbridge AC was third. Finally, congratulations to Tonbridge AC, who won both the Men's and the Ladies' Team Competitions.
This year's event was organised by NICE WORK under licence, with Liam Burke as the Race Director. They were supported by many local volunteers including Tonbridge Rotary Club and the Tonbridge Lions who provided most of the marshals. Out on the course, the 8th Tonbridge (Hildenborough) Scouts manned the water stations for the tenth time – absolute stars – sporting stylish red baseball caps provided by our new sponsors Porsche Centre Tonbridge. The 2250 Squadron Air Training Corps and Fat Boy Football set up and dismantled the start/finish area and crowd control barriers, and cleared everything away at the end of the race. Their help each year is invaluable and ensures minimum disruption for local residents.
St. John Ambulance provided excellent first aid cover for the event with a number of mobile, highly qualified first aiders situated at key points around the course and two ambulances crews, one in Leigh and one at the finish line. Fortunately, they had a very quiet day!
Course Director Diane Bradley was well supported by her team of Tonbridge AC volunteers who helped as race officials. RAYNET volunteer radio operators provided radio communications cover across the whole course and their crack team ran the show from Race Control.
Margaret Hawkins and her team of Lions ladies ran an immaculate baggage drop operation in the Judd Sports Hall and Rotarians Sonia Williams & Janet Sergison managed the Spot Prize operation. Altogether over 200 volunteers turned up on the day and we are immensely grateful to each and every one of them.
Altogether, over £40,000 has been raised for charity, both by the event itself and by the efforts of individual runners for their chosen charities. Well done to everyone who took part. We look forward to seeing you next year!
Chairman, Tonbridge Half Marathon CIO