Q: What is the race website address where I can find more information and more up to date announcements?
A: This website (www.twharriers.org.uk) contains all of the up to date information on the Half Marathon page.
Q: Who organises the race?
A: The race is organised by volunteers from Tunbridge Wells Harriers.
Q: When and where is the race being held?
A: The Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 21st February 2016 at 9.00am. This will be the 33rd year of the event. Race HQ is the Sports Hall section of the Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre and the race start and finish are nearby.
Q: When do entries open?
A: Entries opened in September 2015 and will remain open until all places are taken or the closing date of 17th February 2016 is reached.
Q: How do I enter?
A: Entries are open online until 19th February 2016 (apart from complimentary places – see below).
Q: How do I enter if I have a complimentary place?
A: Contact the Race Organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a complimentary place. You will be given more information on what to do.
Q: How much does it cost to enter?
A: The entry costs are £22 affiliated or £24 non-affiliated – the same as 2015.
Q: When will I get my number and other entry information?
A: As soon as you pay for the event you will receive a confirmation email. You will not receive your race number or other race paperwork, this will be available for collection in the week prior at the Nuffield Hospital Tunbridge Wells TN2 4UL and on the morning of the race at RACE HQ. Please retain your confirmation email as a reminder that you have entered.
Q: Is it necessary to register on the day?
A: No, further registration is not necessary after the initial entry application has been made.
Q: What is the minimum age to enter the race?
A: All competitors must be at least 17 years of age on 21st February 2016. There is no maximum age!
Q: Do I need to be a club runner to enter this event?
A: No, the race is open to affiliated club runners and non-club runners.
Q: Are there other restrictions on entry?
A: As this is a hilly course, we regret that it is not suitable for wheelchair athletes. Dogs or buggies are also not permitted, and runners must not be accompanied or followed by others on cycles. Additionally you should be able to complete the race in 3 hours max.
Q: Can I enter on the day of the race?
A: The race has sold out in advance over past years. This being the case there will be no entries on the day (if not sold out limited places may be available on the day at an extra cost).
Q: How much running experience do I need to run this race?
A: The race is open to all but individuals need to bear in mind that the course is 13.1 miles long and is undulating and in two particular parts, fairly steep and hilly. This particular half marathon is a fairly challenging course and runners should judge for themselves if they have run enough and are sufficiently trained for the event. Beginners are welcome but we ask that you do not walk or run the course if you do not expect to finish in under 3 hours.
Q: Why is there a limit of 3 hours on the event?
A: Firstly to ensure that those who enter are sufficiently fit enough to complete the event and secondly that we cannot keep roads closed for longer than this. Road closures are a necessary and important part of the event’s organisation but we do not wish to inconvenience road users for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Slower runners will therefore be directed to the pavement at Langton Green after approx. 2.5 hours.
Q: Do you issue runners’ instructions?
A: Yes, these are emailed to all runners before the event with any other essential information. A copy will also be available on the website for you to download.
Q: Do I need to wear special kit?
A: No, your normal running clothing is normally sufficient, but competitors should be mindful that the event could experience inclement conditions and dress accordingly. As a general piece of advice it is not advisable to run any race in new running shoes. The course is all on-road so normal running shoes only are required; there is no off-road element.
Q: Do I need to wear my running club vest?
A: If you have entered as an affiliated competitor you should wear your registered club vest.
Q: Where do I pin my race number?
A: Your race number should be pinned to the front of your running vest and must be visible throughout the race and especially at the start and finish.
Health and safety
Q: Will I be safe?
A: The safety of our runners is paramount and we ensure this by arranging partial road closures, marshalling the race in many positions around the course, providing first aid, arranging a quick and sophisticated communications system to call for emergency services as required, and by giving race instructions to all participants.
Q: I have a medical condition, should I notify you of this?
A: If your medical condition could influence any emergency treatment that you may need in the event of you feeling ill during the race, then you should tell us on your entry; complete the back of the race number as well with all the relevant details and advise in the appropriate section when you enter. If you are unsure of your fitness to run, please see www.runnersmedicalresource.com for medical advice related to running.
Q: Am I allowed to run with a personal music player?
A: We strongly advise that runners do not wear personal headphones/earphones to listen to iPods, MP3 players, smartphones or other personal music players while participating in the race. Running whilst wearing headphones/earphones significantly reduces your ability to hear traffic, individual vehicles, instructions and warnings from the police, marshals and other people, and generally distracts your attention, increasing the risk of accident or injury to yourself and possibly other people. If despite this advice you choose to participate in the race using such a device you accept full responsibility for your own safety and for the safety of anyone else who may be affected by your acts or omissions.
Q: What is the course?
A: The race is a 13.1 miles single lap testing course starting and finishing near the Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre. Full details of the course can be found here, but in summary the course goes through Southborough, Bidborough, Penshurst, Fordcombe, Langton Green and Tunbridge Wells. It is all on-road and there will be comprehensive road closures and other security measures in place.
Q: Is the course distance accurate? A: Yes: it is the half marathon distance of 13 miles 192½ yards. The course has been measured by the IAAF recognised method of course measurement and has received a certificate of course accuracy from the Association of UK Course Measurers. Most runners realise the importance of having courses accurately measured in order to make comparisons of times sensible, and the recognised method of measurement ensures an accuracy of 10m in every 10km. This is more accurate than a car odometer and most GPS’s, and the method also adds a factor to ensure that the course is not short in order to make PBs and records possible.
Q: Will there be pacers?
A: Yes, there are plans to organise pace groups for sub 1.30, sub 1.40, sub 1.50, sub 2.00, sub 2.10 and sub 2.20. Due to the hilly nature of the course, the pace will vary and won’t be on ‘minute mile pace’. The start area will be marked with where to congregate for expected finish times; pacers will be easily identifiable.
Q: Do I get a drink on the course?
A: Yes, there will be at least 6 water stations on the course, including the finish. See the race website for exact locations. As the race is a half marathon all runners are encouraged to drink during the run whatever the weather.
Q: Will photographs be taken of the race?
A: Yes, www.sportcam.net will be taking photos of every runner and these are normally available for purchase from their website about three days after the event.
Q: Will there be entertainment at the race?
A: Yes, we always provide entertainment to make the event lively and fun as well as to encourage our runners. Please give them a cheer as you run past!
Q: How soon will the results be made available?
A: Race results are made available on the day; printed sheets are posted on the wall at Race HQ. Full race results and all relevant details will be available on the race website normally within 24 hours of the event and on the HS Sports website.
Q: Can I find out the race results from previous years?
A: See the race website for a link to the results from previous years.
Q: Do I receive a medal for finishing the race?
A: Yes, specially designed bespoke medals are given to all runners who complete the race as well as water and something to eat. One free technical t-shirt is also given to each runner; these can be collected before or after the race from Race HQ. Do not forget to collect on the day of the race as they cannot be sent to you after the race. A variety of sizes will be made available and these can be tried, queues and timing permitted. There will also be facilities to have your medal engraved with your time at Race HQ.
Q: Are there prizes?
A: Yes there are prizes for 1st male and female, 2nd male and female, 3rd male and female, age category prizes, and trophies to UKA affiliated clubs of 1st, overall male and female teams.
Q: Is car parking available?
A: Please note that there is no parking at Race HQ, only drop off. However a number of local schools and other organisations are kindly allowing us to use their facilities on race day. Full details can be found in the race instructions and up to date information will also be posted on the website closer to race day. You need to download the parking map from the website which clearly states the permitted parking zones. Please do not park in front of residents drives and so on particularly along Reynolds Lane.
Q: Are there toilets at the event?
A: There will be plenty of toilets at Race HQ but none on the course. Please allow plenty of time to use the conveniences ahead of the race start to avoid last minute bunching of runners at the back of the start area. We allow one toilet for every 50 runners, plus additional urinals for the male runners. This is actually double the requirement of BARR recommendations. Please do use the toilets and allow plenty of time to do so, we will disqualify any runner seen urinating in residents gardens close to the start area.
Q: Are there changing facilities at the event?
A: Yes, there are male and female changing rooms at the Race HQ, St John’s Sport Centre but unfortunately the sports centre do not allow us to use their showers due to limited water supply and pressure on the heating system. However space is limited and it would be most helpful if non-runners stayed away from the changing areas. Supporters can use the separate toilets also located at St John’s Sports Centre.
Q: Is there a bag drop facility?
A: Yes there is a supervised bag drop facility at race HQ. Ensure you remember to tag your baggage with your race number on it. Please only drop one bag per runner. Please allow plenty of time to use the bag drop facility, there is always a queue and it is not advisable to hang on to your belongings to the last possible moment.
Q: Will there be refreshments available?
A: Yes, there will be a variety of refreshment providers at Race HQ for use by runners and supporters.
Q: Will there be massage available at Race HQ?
A: Yes, the service will be free, but a suggested donation of £5 will go to the race charities.
Q: Will there be childcare available?
A: Unfortunately there will be no child care this year due to refurbishment work at the Sports Centre.
Withdrawing from the race
Q: Can I withdraw from the race?
A: Yes you can but we are unable to give refunds as the financing of the race is based on the total number of runners that we can accommodate on the course. As all our surplus funds are donated to charity we cannot issue refunds. It is your choice to run or not once you have entered but we are unable to refund the entry fee if you withdraw.
Q: Can I transfer my entry to somebody if I withdraw from the race?
A: Under NO circumstances can race numbers be transferred to another runner without the organisers knowledge. There are two very good reasons for this. Firstly, and most importantly, for health and safety reasons. If a runner is injured or falls ill during a race we will have the wrong personal details for them. Secondly, the runner’s result and position in the race will not be a true reflection of their ability and can seriously skew the final results. In 2011 we disqualified a male runner who had used a race number of a female friend, finishing the race placed as 4th female. Clearly, this is unacceptable. However we are able to offer some flexibility here and will allow transfers for injured runners only; these must be complete by 19th February 2016. No transfers will be allowed after midnight on that day. Contact the Race Organisers on email@example.com if you need to effect a transfer due to injury; you will be given more information on what to do.
Q: If I withdraw from the race can I transfer my entry to 2017 or any other future event?
A: No. The financing for each race is separate and so we cannot allow transfers between events.
Q: Who are the sponsors?
A: The title sponsor for the 2016 race is Nuffield Health in Tunbridge Wells who we are very proud to be associated with. The details of other sponsors will be made available on the race website and in the race instructions.
Q: Why are sponsors necessary?
A: Without race sponsors the entry fee would be significantly higher and there would not be medals and other items that we are able to give to deserving runners. The costs of staging this race event, like all others, are very high (over £28,000) and so the significant sums given by sponsors enable us to price the event for runners at a more sensible level.
Q: Which charities are being supported?
A: Runners can enter and run on behalf of any charity they choose but the proceeds from this race will be donated to Counselling Centre TW (www.thecounsellingcentre.org.uk), Bridge Trust (www.thebridgetrust.org.uk), Dame Kelly Holmes Trust (www.damekellyholmestrust.org), Citizens Advice Bureau (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/tunbridgewellscab) You may like to consider raising funds for our chosen charity through your own additional sponsorship. If you raise money for charity you may only do so through sponsorship, there are a number of very useful websites through which you can request sponsorship from friends and family. Other forms of raising money are not allowed, for example rattling a bucket round Race HQ or on the course.
Q: Can I bring supporters to the event?
A: Of course, we welcome as much support as possible and there is plenty of space at the start and finish area for enthusiastic support as well as the designated ‘spectator spot’ at Lifestyle, Langton Road, Tunbridge Wells where there will be a great atmosphere. Much of the on-road event however, is on country lanes where there are no pavements and so supporters are discouraged to stand around in these areas for their own safety as well as that of the runners. Apart from the start / finish area there is plenty of supporting space in Southborough, parts of Bidborough, Penshurst Village, Fordcombe Village, Langton Green Village and Tunbridge Wells Town Centre. In terms of your supporters getting to their chosen vantage points please note that due to traffic conditions, vehicular access to the course is only possible in a clockwise direction around the race circuit – see the race website for full details.
Q: What is the weather forecast for the event?
A: Please check on-line weather forecasts closer to race day and the race website in case of cancellation due to adverse weather.
Cancellation of the race
Q: How will I be notified if the race is cancelled?
A: In the unlikely event that the race is cancelled ahead of race day an announcement will be made on the race website and as far as possible runners will be notified on an individual basis through emails, texts and local press. If the race is cancelled on race day the only way of notification will be through the race website. We will keep you up to date via a series of emails and messages on the run up to the race.
Q: Can I have a refund?
A: In the case of abandonment or cancellation of the race by reason of unusually bad weather, the impossibility or danger of allowing the race to proceed, compliance with legal, police, or other public authority requirements or advice, or other exceptional circumstances outside the control of Tunbridge Wells Harriers and /or considered by the Race Director or Race Referee in their sole discretion to be sufficient, runners will not be entitled to the return of entry fee or any refund. Any net surplus made by the race is passed on to charity.
Q: My question has not been answered, where do I go now?
A: Please check these FAQs again, see the race website or contact the Deputy Race Director via firstname.lastname@example.org
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