The 6th Tonbridge Half Marathon is being staged jointly by Tonbridge Rotary Club and Tonbridge Lions Club to raise money for KSS Air Ambulance, the Tonbridge Cottage Hospital League of Friends and other local charities including Slideaway. It has some of the best facilities of any half marathon in the country, and runners receive a finishers medal, a technical t-shirt and a goody bag. Runners are also encouraged to raise money for their own chosen charities - over £50,000 was raised in each of the first five years!
This year the event incorporates the Kent Half Marathon Championship. Affiliated runners are automatically entered into the team event and can enter the individual event by ticking the appropriate box on the online entry form.
After five years in the job, Andy Blundell has stepped down from his role as Race Director but will continue to be involved as Race Secretary. This year’s event is being organised by our new Race Director, Mick Barlow. Mick is an experienced Race Director with a long competitive career. He has been a EA and BARR official for more than five years, gathering a huge amount of knowledge and experience from dozens of events, both at the big commercial end, and small club or local races. He has been the Course Director for the Tonbridge Half Marathon since inception, and takes pride in offering a safe, accurate race for all participants, indeed a race he would love to have a go at, given half a chance!
The race starts at West Kent College at 10.00. The Half Marathon race is a pan-handle out and back course, encompassing an accurately measured course on roads and lanes to the south of Tonbridge town. Most of the course has complete road closure, and there are four water stations and toilet facilities. Though not flat, this is a challenging race where you'll receive huge support as you go through the tranquil village of Leigh, both on your way out and again on the way back, and an equally enthusiastic welcome on your return to Tonbridge. We regret that this event will not be suitable for wheelchair competitors.
The crowd support around the course is brilliant, particularly in Leigh. The venue is easy to reach by train or car and there is ample parking close to the start. Sussex Sport Photography will be taking professional photos which can be purchased online after the event.
The Tonbridge Half Marathon is run under UK Athletics rules, and S. E. Medical will be providing excellent first aid and paramedic support. There are 1500 places available with a further 100 reserved for charities.
"This is my 5th Tonbridge half marathon (yes did them all from the first) thought I but wasn’t going to be able to run it due to injury but this morning decided to run it and not to miss it. The organisation was flawless, the t-shirt a nice touch and the crowd support at Leigh village was just amazing, everybody was out for us. The church bells and the bands were great. I also wanted to mention the volunteers out there a big thank you to them, they are so friendly. It was great that the marshals dealt with the emergency so well too. Well done to everybody who organised it - I shall be back net year." Grazia 2015
The race headquarters will once again be at the magnificent West Kent College, with separate male/female changing facilities, secure bag and valuables storage, sports massage facilities, a café and a warm-up area. There is ample parking in West Kent College and further car parking is available in the town centre, 5 minutes walk away.
Squirrel Electronics are back and Ali will once again be providing a bespoke engraving service next to the main door of the College if you would like your medal engraved on the back with your time, etc.
HEADPHONES From 1 April 2016 a new rule regarding the wearing of headphones in road races was introduced into the 2016-2018 edition of the UKA Rules of Competition. "The wearing of headphones, or similar devices, (other than those medically prescribed), is not permitted in races on any single carriageway road that is not wholly closed to traffic.”
We have two sections of the race, either side of Leigh, where one lane of the B2027 is coned off for the runners but road is not wholly closed to traffic. We also had problems last year with runners not hearing emergency services vehicles with sirens on approaching from behind them down narrow lanes en route to two major incidents. For these reasons, the wearing of headphones or similar devices will no longer be permitted in this event. However, the new type of Bone Induction headbands may be worn, but please make sure you keep the volume down so you can hear marshals' instructions, and emergency vehicles approaching from behind you.