Tunbridge Wells Harriers

The Tunbridge Wells Harriers are a friendly group of runners and walkers who share the love of being outside and keeping fit, with some competing at a very high standard, while others prefer a more relaxed pace and the chance to meet up with friends.

About us

The main club run is at 7.30pm on a Wednesday. You can Find us at The Nevill Ground, off Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells.

Take a look at our Training section to see when we run and our club in pictures above to see what we get up to. The Join us section contains our small annual fee and the many benefits of running with the Tunbridge Wells Harriers.

Find us 

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The Harriers’ headquarters is at the Nevill Ground off Warwick Park in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5ES.

The ground is at the end of Nevill Gate, off Warwick Park – upstairs in the pavilion.

 

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Join us 

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Our annual membership fees are shown below. Join now and get November and December free.

Full year Part Year
Full Annual membership £44 £29
Student or unwaged Annual membership £27 £22
Second claim or E.A. opt-out £30 £15
Associate membership £5

The benefits of joining the Harriers as a member are listed below.

Includes £14 England Athletics competition licence fee allowing you to compete for the Harriers
Cheaper race entries and discounts at many running shops
Interval training by UKA LiRF coaches
Subsidised track sessions at top class facility
Subsidised circuit training sessions
Club house at the Nevill with hot showers and a bar
Six organised training sessions per week to motivate you
Advice from experienced runners, coaches, physios and sports masseurs
Encouragement at races throughout the year on all surfaces and all distances
Free to enter club races
Frequent social events and club bar for Members and Associate members
A welcome into a team of over 250 fellow Harriers
Part year subscription available from 1st August

Too slow, too busy, too old?
We have runners of all speeds. If you can comfortably manage five miles in under an hour, you’ll be fine, otherwise find out about our beginners group run by one of our members.  You’re welcome to attend as many or as few sessions as you like – no-one will be counting.  Our oldest member is in his 80s, a number are well into their 70s and quite frankly, 60 is the new 50! All these members run regularly on a Wednesday night and still compete for the club.  We’ll make sure you’ve got someone to run with when you first start and that you get to meet the regulars. Plus we have three paced groups on each Wednesday club run – just join the one you are most comfortable with

Still not sure
Come along to a Wednesday club run and try it out. You can run with us for three sessions before you decide. Meet us at the Nevill Cricket Ground Pavilion, off Warwick Park Road, at 7:20pm and ask for Andy Howey (Chairman), Dave Haddaway (New members) or any other friendly Harrier.  After the run there are ladies and gents changing rooms with hot showers, and many people stay for a drink and chat in the bar. We look forward to meeting you, but in the meantime if you have any questions, drop us a line.

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Training 

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Whether you’re looking for an early morning mudfest or a sociable evening canter, there’s a Harriers training session to suit.

The following runs are organised each week, but if they don’t fit the bill, there will almost certainly be other members out and about with whom you can link up. If you’re not ready for these distances yet, take a look at the beginners group organised by one of our members.

Main club night – Wednesday at 19.30

6-7 miles, normally with a 5 mile shorter option
Routes vary each week, on the road in the winter and off-road in the summer
Starts and finishes at The Nevill Ground, off Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5ES
Full use of the Nevill Ground’s changing and showering facilities. Drinks and snacks are available in the bar afterwards
Contact: Andy Howey

Track session – Monday at 19:30

A track interval session at Tonbridge School track, typically taking 1h15min including warm-up, drills, intervals and stretching
Sessions run by UKA LiRF/CiRF coaches
Session costs £2 to cover cost of hiring track
Contact: John, Pru and Claire

Speed session – Tuesday at 19:00

Interval sets, different each week, but typically taking 30 minutes plus warm up and warm down
On road in the winter on Wheatsheaf Way off the Shipbourne Road behind the Sainsbury’s Local 19:00 start ; on grass at Tonbridge School lower fields in the summer
Contact: Bob Lawrence or Mike Jarvis

Circuits and Yoga for runners – Thursday at 19:30

Working on body strength these group sessions are designed to be challenging but fun; a whole body work out with emphasis on the core and the muscles used in running
Sessions alternate each week between Circuits and Yoga
At Rusthall Church Hall (right of the One Stop) or outside on Rusthall cricket pitch when the weather is fine.
Session costs £3
Contact: Claire Hayhurst, a UKA LiRF, personal trainer and nutritionist

Ashdown Forest – Saturday 07:30

About 8 miles of off-road through the Ashdown Forest
Start from the King’s Standing car park on the Ashdown Forest.
Contact : Allan Collard / Guy Gracey

Sunday run

Currently being arranged on an ad-hoc basis, stay tuned to the email group for the next run.

Contact us for more information

Marathon training runs – Spring and Autum

If you’re training for a spring marathon, or just fancy a long run, then join us for 18 miles of road running. There is a short cut that trims 5 miles off this for those not wanting to run the full 18 miles, or you can add an extra 2.4 mile loop at the end, beginning, or both.  See full details here.

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Committee 

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The committee manages the day to day operation of the club and steers it according to the direction set by members at the AGM and by the constitution. Committee members are voted in at the club’s AGM, normally for a two year term, and represent the breadth of the club’s activities.
Find out more about each member from their profiles below.

Andy Howey – Chairman

AndyHoweyBest thing about running: Training in the countryside of the High Weald, fair weather or foul. We’re lucky to be so close to stunning scenery like Ashdown Forest.
Favourite athlete: Stephen Roche (I came into running from a different sport!).
Favourite race: Our own Eridge 10 is a superb event, and every year gains more recognition for its challenging off-road course and excellent organisation.
Favourite training session: Hills are the answer.

Allan Cheek – President

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Lucille Joannes – Secretary

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Best thing about running: The feeling of freedom while doing it and how good it feels when you stop.
Worst thing about running: How quickly you lose fitness if you don’t keep it up.
Favourite race: On the road – Run London 10K — Got a PB there, nice and flat with stunning views of London by night and I really like running in the evening. Best off-road must be the brilliant Eridge 10 by miles!

Matt Clark – Treasurer

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Rosie Harris – Social secretary

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Ed Steele – Cross Country

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Best thing about running: Freedom, relaxation, great sights, good health Worst thing about running: Nighttime, on roads
Favourite athlete: Paula Radcliffe
Favourite race: Marathon du Medoc
Favourite training session: Anything off-road, preferably with a pint afterwards
Running related ambitions: Faster times, always!
What gets you through a hard run?: Great quantities of will-power and an unwillingness to back down, even when its the sensible thing to do

Nicola Morris – Road Race Captain

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Craig Chapman – Road Race Captain

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Best thing about running: It provides a great sense of achievement, especially when you rack up a PB! It also provides time to think and generate ideas, the trick is having pen and paper to hand to capture these thoughts, not your typically running accessories.

Worst thing about running: In some instances its the amount of preparation, sometimes its the early starts and when running, its seeing how far you have to go on the horizon and knowing you have to come back again to finish!

Favourite race: This has to be my first London Marathon back in 2006. The sheer scale of the event and the incredible atmosphere generated by the spectators, calling out your name and cheering you along is simply unique!

Favourite training session: The Harriers festive lights run through the street of Tunbridge Wells and of course the fish & chip supper at the end!

Running related ambitions: To compete in the New York and maybe some of the more exotic marathons.

What gets you through a hard run?: Good preparation, a banana sandwich a few hours before and having my usual energy drink to hand

 

Peter Richardson – Nevill Representative

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Simon Howden – Website

SimonHowdenThere are so many good things about running, from keeping off those extra pounds and staying generally healthy; the sense of achievement after a good run; the endorphins after a hard run; looking out at the view after a long climb and letting yourself go on the descent; the company during a social run; the banter around a race; a warm pub after a cold cross country …

My favourite race has to be the Eridge Park 10, with open grasslands, twisty woodland trails, cheeky bogs, stream crossings, rutted gulleys, muddy tracks and steep climbs.  The friendly organisations, the beer and the cake at the end are icing on the top.

My main running ambition is to still be able to go on club tour to Yorkshire when I’m 74, climbing two mountains, scaling various five foot stone walls, stopping for a couple of pints with lunch, and still complete the 18 mile run!

Nick Reynolds – Press and Publicity

NickReynoldsBest thing about running: de-stress and seeing new places
Worst thing about running: Injuries
Favourite athlete: Mo Farah
Favourite race: Tunbridge Wells 1/2
Favourite training session: Wednesday club run
Running related ambitions: First marathon
What gets you through a hard run? Determination. Pain is only temporary.

 

 

Phil Long – Membership

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Jenny Weaver – Membership

 

George Harris – Member without portfolio

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Best thing about running: The feeling when you get a new P.B Worst thing about running: The pain in your whole body after a hard race
Favourite athlete: Brendan Foster
Favourite race: Eridge 10 Trail race
Favourite training session: Speed Training with Mike Jarvis in charge.
Running related ambitions: Getting under 90 mins for a Half Marathon and under 40 mins for a 10k
What gets you through a hard run?: Knowing that all the pain will be worth it

Steve Bright – Member without portfolio

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Non-committee positions

Statistician – Bob Lawrence

Archivist – Ali Marshall

Social Media – Sarah Barker

Kit Secretary – Helen Jenkins

Awards Secretary – Geoff Turner

Handicapper – David French

Stores – George Harris

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Club History 

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Tunbridge Wells Harriers 1887Although a club called Tunbridge Wells Harriers was founded in the late 19th century and existed until the 1930s, the origins of the current club may be traced back to the running boom of the early 1980s.

Tunbridge Wells Runners was formed by a small group of individuals that had trained together for the first London Marathon in 1981, originally meeting at the Coach Road lay-by in Rusthall or at Major Yorks Road car park. After the marathon, the training runs continued and the club was formed – with many club runs then starting from the Cross Keys PH in St Johns Road

Organised races attract new members
The club staged its first half marathon in January 1983, with 53 runners using a variation on the current course with a start near the Wellington Hotel. The club membership continued to grow, and the difficulties that this brought about at the Cross Keys necessitated a change in venue. In 1985, the club moved to the Tunbridge Wells Borderers Sports Club – the purpose-built pavilion at St Marks Recreation Ground on the Frant Road used by the Tunbridge Wells Rugby Club and the Borderers Cricket Club.

As the club developed, so its range of activities changed, and cross country, track and field, and triathlon were added to the Club’s origins in road running.

The club’s profile continue to grow
The Half Marathon continues to grow in size and stature, with the increase in field to a now sell-out 2500 entrants. The event, a recognised ‘pre-London’ race in February, has hosted the Kent Championships, South East Athletic Association Half Marathon Championships, and has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity. The race won the the ‘most improved event’ award at the Runner’s World 2009 awards.

In addition to the Half Marathon, the club has an excellent record in the hosting of cross country events, with inter-club events, league meetings, county championships and the British Veterans Championships all having been promoted by the Club. Each September the club organises The Eridge Park 10 Trail Challenge, a favourite of off-road runners through an historic deer park and ancient woodland. In 2009 the race came 1st in the Runner’s World UK’s Best 50 Races of 2009 listing, and in 2010 was honoured to be hailed as the ‘Best Race in the World’ by the Observer newspaper.

Runners become Harriers
1997 saw members voting to change the name of the Club from Tunbridge Wells Runners to Tunbridge Wells Harriers. The name change was but a small part of a development plan that has taken the Harriers further into this century with as much success as the original Harriers had in the last. Recent success has included the men’s road running team winning the Kent Grand Prix in 2008 and 2009.

A new home for a growing club
In 2006, the club moved to a new base at the Nevill Ground off Warwick Park, sharing facilities with Tunbridge Wells Cricket and Hockey clubs, providing improved facilities for the growing number of Harriers running each week. The club now has over 300 members over the full range of abilities.

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