On your marks… half marathon returns after two years with a thousand runners braving high winds

Olympian Louis Smith
BEST FOOT FORWARD: Half Marathon runners return to the hills of Tunbridge Wellsn. Photo: Mark Taylor

The overall winner and men’s race winner was Liam White, getting round the 13.1 mile course in 1:13:40.

The women’s race winner was Helen Gaunt, racing in the 35-44 year female category, and finishing with a winning time of 1:23:22.

“Numbers were a bit down on previous years, due to Covid, the weather and everything else, with around 1,100 entries, but we had 832 finishers,” race organiser Mark Taylor of the TW Harriers running club told the Times.

Following Storm Eunice last Friday, the half marathon nearly turned into an obstacle race due to a tree still lying across the route – at mile eight on the Fordcombe Road – which was still there on Saturday morning, but the tree was cleared in time for the start of the race.

Fancy dress made an appearance as well, with ‘Sheriff Woody’, ‘Buzz Lightyear’ and the Tyrannosaurus ‘Rex’ from Toy Story making an appearance.

It is too early to tell how much the race raised for charity, but the 2020 event raised around £12,000, added Mr Taylor.

This year, profits from the race will be going to Nourish Community Foodbank, Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells & District and disabled charity Compaid, as well as donations to the Hendy Trust, who sponsored the event.

“We get a lot of marshals from Rotary, so we will be giving to their local charities. The parent-teacher association in Penshurst helped us with marshalling through Penshurst, so we are giving something to Penshurst CE Primary School. We spread it around a bit,” said Mark Taylor.

The running club’s next event will be the Eridge Park 10 Trail Challenge in late September.


By Victoria Roberts

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter