The 8th Tonbridge Half Marathon was once again a great success. Having BBC weather presenter Nina Ridge as our guest starter guaranteed that the weather would be cool but sunny and perfect for running!! We are particularly grateful to Judd School for hosting us this year as they did in 2011, our inaugural year.
812 runners headed out of Tonbridge and through the wonderful Kent countryside. 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. Nina was there to present them with their medals.
Congratulations to Daniel Gaffney of South London Harriers AC who won the men's race on a new course record of 1:11:25, breaking the previous record by an amazing 1 minute 15 seconds and earning himself an additional £150 prize money, kindly donated by DC Access, the event's principal sponsors. Previous winner and record holder Daniel Bradley of Tonbridge AC came second and Neil McClements was third.
The women's race was once again dominated by 5 time winner Maria Heslop of Tonbridge AC in a time of 1:22:32, nearly 8 minutes ahead of second placed Harriet Wooley of Tunbridge Wells Harriers with Charlotte Bates of Maidstone Harriers in third place.
The men's team competition was won by Tonbridge AC (Daniel Bradley, Julian Rendall and Luke Hooper) with Sevenoaks AC second and Tunbridge Wells Harriers third. The ladies' competition was won by Tunbridge Wells Harriers (Harriet Wooley, Pru Clements and Hayley Larkin) with Tonbridge AC in second place and Dartford Road Runners third.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS (Sussex Sport Photography).
This year's event was once again managed by NICE WORK, with Cathy Burke as the Race Director. They were supported by many local volunteers including the Tonbridge Lions and Tonbridge Rotary Club who provided most of the marshals out on the course, the 8th Tonbridge (Hildenborough) Scouts who once again manned the water stations, the 2250 Squadron Air Training Corps and the Fat Boy Football team who set up and dismantled the start/finish area and crowd control barriers and Carers First who provided marshals on the course and helpers in the race village.
S.E.Medical once again provided outstanding 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.
Janet Playle and her team of Rotary ladies ran the t-shirt distribution operation. Margaret Hawkins and her team of Lions ladies ran an immaculate baggage drop operation in and Rotary President 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 £50,000 has been raised for charity, both by the event itself and by the efforts of individual runners for their chosen charities. We are also extremely grateful to our sponsors and supporters for covering many of the costs of staging the event, which are considerable.
Well done to everyone who took part. We look forward to seeing you next year!