More than 1,000 runners will take to the streets on Sunday [October 2] for the sixth Tonbridge Half Marathon, which this year incorporates the Kent Half Marathon Championships.
The 13-mile route will start at 10am from outside West Kent College in Brook Street, and wind its way out past Lower Hayesden to Leigh village before returning to the finish line by the college.
Many people will be running to raise money for local charities, but the event – organised by the local Rotary Club and Lions Club – now has a prestigious BARR Gold rating from the British Association of Road Races and is considered as one of the best half marathons in the national running calendar. This means it attracts members from running clubs all over the UK. Prize-giving will be between 12noon and 12.30pm, once the majority of runners have returned from the race.
Brian Piner, President of the Rotary Club of Tonbridge, and Bob Bartlett, President of Tonbridge Lions Club, are proud to welcome all the athletes to the Half Marathon. In a joint statement, they said: “We are expecting more than 1,200 competitors from all over the UK, and even from abroad, to compete in this competition, which is now in its sixth year and a firm fixture on Tonbridge & Malling Council’s calendar.
“The race will take the route of previous years through the countryside and the village of Leigh, where yet again the villagers will cheer through the athletes in conjunction with bands and entertainment on the village green.
“Both the Lions and Rotary Clubs are pleased to be using West Kent College’s facilities and parking arrangements, where there will be a selection of interesting stalls and where supporters can while away the time waiting for their family and friends to complete the course.
“Top athletes, club runners and casual runners young and old will look to beat their personal best times on Sunday.
“But the event is also instrumental in raising in excess of £60,000 in sponsorship money for runners’ personal charities, as well as for Tonbridge good causes and charities.
“Both presidents, and their respective clubs, wish each and every competitor the very best of luck and look forward to a successful and safe event for all.”
For more information, visit: www.tonbridgehalfmarathon.co.uk
Photos: Sussex Sport Photography