Snowflakes and bitterly cold conditions greeted nearly 2000 hardy runners this morning, who turned out for the 30th Anniversary of the Lifestyle Renault Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon.
The first race took place 30 years ago in 1983 and has been organised by volunteers from local club Tunbridge Wells Harriers ever since. It is now considered one of the best half marathons in the South East and attracts a wide range of elite, club and fun runners alike. The course is hilly and challenging with the renowned lung busting Spring Hill at 7.5 miles and has hardly changed over the 30 year history.
This year's event was officially started by John Smith, the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells along with Graham Brooks and Eric Schofield who both ran in the first ever event in 1983. Race Ambassadors from the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust were Paralympic Footballer Darren Harris, Olympic Judo Kelly Edwards and Paralympic Footballer Alistair Patrick-Heselton. All profits are donated from the race to charity and over the last 5 years the race has raised over £85,000.
The men's race started with a close contest between race favourite,Tom Payn (Run-Fast), Anthony Jackson (Sittingbourne Striders) and last year's second place runner Paul Martelletti (Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets). Payn eventually pulled away and went on to take the win in an excellent time of 1:07.11, leaving Paul Martelletti and Anthony Jackson to battle it out for second and third. Martelletti slipped ahead and took second in 1:10.00 followed by Anthony Jackson in 1:10.45.
In the ladies event, previous 8 time winner Tina Oldershaw (Paddock Wood AC), took the lead from the start and looked likely to take her ninth win. But Deirdre McDermot from Tonbridge AC had other ideas, pushing past her with a superb run to take the overall win in 1:21.58. Oldershaw followed in second place in 1:22.36 with Hannah Howard (Eastleigh Running Club) in third in 1:24.21.
There were 1897 finishers.
If you are visiting this page having seen one of our advance warning signs around the course, we hope that we can explain what will be happening on the roads around Tunbridge Wells during our event. Please visit our Traffic Information page for further details.
The 30th Lifestyle Renault Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 24th February 2013 at 10am. The race is one of the most popular in the South of England attracting 2800 entrants and sells out well before the event (by January 5th this year). Famed for the scenic and challenging route (the 300 foot ascent of Spring Hill at Fordcombe is to be mentioned), meticulous organisation, value for money and friendly marshals, it was voted the 'Most Improved Race in the UK' in 2009 and was voted the No.2 Half Marathon in the UK in 2011 by Runner's World readers. It is one of the biggest events in the UK organised by a running club and Tunbridge Wells Harriers are very proud to have hosted the event for 30 years (read about the history of the race). Over the last 4 years the race has also donated over £65,000 to charity and some worthy local causes directly from race profits.
We are hugely grateful to Lifestyle Renault, our title sponsor for the 3rd year, and of course to all of our sponsors and partners.
We are thrilled to support the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and that Race Ambassador Richard Whitehead will be there to start the 2013 race.
For the entry cost of £24 (or £22 for England Athletics Affiliated Club Member), competitors will receive a fantastic More-Mile technical fabric running T-shirt, bespoke 30th anniversary medal and accurate chip timing. Goody bags are NOT guaranteed but we do hope to have them.
Weather Update and Cancellation Procedure: the weather forecast for this weekend is suggesting the possibility of snow and bitterly cold conditions. Our Weather Update page will give you details about the current situation, the probability of cancellation and our policy and procedure for this, and also some advice about running in the expected conditions.
Pre-Race Eating Tips: supercharge your Half Marathon with Go Faster Food’s Top Ten Tips on our Pre-Race Eating page
Race Instructions Booklet: the race instructions booklet that is posted to all entrants is now available for download as a PDF file. The booklet contains everything that you need to know to get you and your supporters to the event and to help make your run as successful as possible.
Parking Information: our parking information leaflet is now available for download as a PDF file, giving you up-to-date information on all parking allocated specifically for competitors and supporters close to the Race HQ.
Spectator Information: please view our Spectator Information page for information on where to view the race and all on-course entertainment.
We still require considerable help to ensure that the event can take place. An army of volunteers is required to marshal the course, set up the HQ, help at water stations, put out signs and much more.
If you can help out before, during or after the race, then please let us know using the link below.
We are delighted that Lifestyle Renault are the title sponsor for the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon 2013.
Our official charities for 2013 are the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust who will be the main beneficiary from the race profits. We will also be supporting a number of local charities including the Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource Ltd, Rotary Club of Tunbridge Wells and Citizens Advice Bureau Tunbridge Wells
If you're visiting Tunbridge Wells for the Half Marathon and need some recommendations for places to stay or for post-race refuelling, visit our hotel and restaurant page. Some of the establishments have special offers for competitors presenting their race numbers!
Please see our dedicated FAQ page.
Photographs can be browsed and purchased from official race photographer www.sportcam.net.
The accurate measured course follows the same fantastic route as previous years, with continued road and traffic management for 2013. You'll be running a scenic loop around Bidborough, Penshurst, Fordcombe and Langton Green.
If you have any questions about the the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon, use our contact form to send us a message.