ALMOST 900 runners took part in the Tonbridge Half Marathon on Sunday (October 1), raising £50,000 for charity.

The Tonbridge Lions and Tonbridge Rotary Club, which both help to stage the race, received £10,000 for their respective charities, which include Porchlight and Compaid.

The participants also raised around £40,000 for their own choice of worthy causes.

The race was started by Tom Bosworth, the race-walking world champion who is a former member of Tonbridge Athletic Club.

HIGH FIVES Julian Rendall on his way to winning the race

And it was two of Tonbridge AC’s leading runners who took the plaudits. Julian Rendall was first home in a time of 1hr 14.16sec, while his club mate Daniel Bradley was runner-up in 1:16.02.

The pair have dominated the race in recent times. This year was a repeat of last year’s result, and Rendall also won in 2012 and 2014, while Bradley pushed his rival into second place in 2015.

Paddock Wood Athletic Club’s Colin Tricker came third this year in 1:17.30.

The first female runner to finish was Maria Heslop of Paddock Wood AC in a time 1:23.24, with Nicola Wilkinson in second place with 1:26.42 and Rebecca de Stacpoole third in 1:31.13.

Tonbridge AC won the male team prize ahead of Paddock Wood with Petts Wood Runners in third, and Beckenham took the female team honours with Tunbridge Wells Harriers as runners-up and Sevenoaks in third place.

FINISH LINE-UP (L-R) Tom Bosworth, Tonbridge Lions President Gordon Hill, Rotary Club President Robert Greenhalgh, winner Julian Rendall and Tonbridge & Malling Mayor Roger Dalton

The race director, Andy Blundell, said: “The road-running scene is getting a bit crowded now and we have to work harder than ever to attract runners back again.

“But we have great facilities at the West Kent College HQ and this year the students cooked up some special food for the runners afterwards, serving up a big pan of paella which raised a lot of money for student causes.

He added: “There were also volunteer masseurs among students who are training for that, along with a variety of other physios who offered their services.

“As always there was fantastic support for the runners in Leigh, and the award-winning 17th Tonbridge Scout and Guide Band were playing in the village too. It was great.”

For more pictures of the race, visit the gallery at www.sussex sportphotography.com