Tonbridge Half Marathon 2/10/16
Report from Craig Chapman:
Sunday was the 6th Tonbridge Half Marathon, a scenic course with great support in key locations, but personally believe it’s harder than our own half, with several undulations throughout the route. Despite this and probably because it’s local, but more likely because I kept nagging, 39 deckchairs (32 men and 7 ladies) took to the start line outside West Kent College. So was this going to be our victory race? It wasn’t clear as gun went off and the same number of deckchairs and Orpington Road Runners started to run….to be continued. In total 1,011 runners completed this energy sapping race, with Julian Rendall (Tonbridge AC) winning it in 1:14:29 and the first lady was Maria Heslop (Paddock Wood) in 1:21:59.
Harrier Results (Individual times listed below)
First home for the Harriers was Alex Jeffreys (9th) in 1:20:57, followed by Craig Chapman (13th) in 1:22:29 and then Keith Mitchell (16th) in a PB time of 1:24:11. For our ladies Pru Clements (79th) was first in 1:30:06 (just outside her PB), followed by Nicola Morris (169th) in 1:37:40 and then Hayley Larkin (182nd) in 1:38:18.
Our great efforts didn’t go unrewarded with the following Race & Kent Champ prizes won:
- 1st Male Team:Alex Jeffreys, Craig Chapman, Keith Mitchell (Cash Prize)
- 2nd Ladies Team:Pru Clements, Nicola Morris, Hayley Larkins (Cash Prize)
- 1st F35:Pru Clements
- 2nd M40: Craig Chapman
- 3rd F45: Nicola Morris
- 1st Male Team:Alex Jeffreys, Craig Chapman, Keith Mitchell
- 2nd Ladies Team:Pru Clements, Nicola Morris, Hayley Larkins
- 1st F35:Pru Clements
- 3rd Lady: Pru Clements
- 2nd M40: Craig Chapman
Men (first six to score for team)
- Tunbridge Wells Harriers – 3,603pts
- Orpington Road Runners – 3,593pts
- Maidstone Harriers – 2,850pts
- Dartford Road Runners – 2,708pts
- Petts Wood Runners – 2,034pts
Ladies (first four to score for team)
- Dartford Road Runners – 969pts
- Paddock Wood – 892pts
- Maidstone Harriers – 877pts
- Orpington Road Runners – 843pts
- Tunbridge Wells Harriers – 841pts
So thanks to those that ran, you made me very proud, remember it always great to have a minimum team of ten (six men and four ladies) to collect the maximum KGP pts, which count towards the team scores. But, as always the more the merrier as you take points away from the competition.
Thanks for your support
Individual Harrier results, including KGP pts won
|Name||Age Grp||Time||KGP Pts||Achievement|
|Craig||Chapman||M40||1:22:29||94||2nd M40, 1st Team|
|Keith||Mitchell||SM||1:24:11||93||1st Team & PB|
|Pru||Clements||F40||1:30:06||48||1st F35, 2nd Team|
|Nicola||Morris||F45||1:37:40||42||2nd F45, 2nd Team|
|Stella||Richardson||F60||1:56:19||17||Club F60 Record|
Report from David Barker:
Last weekend I took part in the 32nd Spartathlon. This is a famous international ultramarathon which follows the route of Pheidippides (an Athenian messenger) who ran from Athens to Sparta requesting assistance from the Spartans before the battle of Marathon in 490BC. The route is 246km (153 miles) long, and competitors have to complete the distance in less than 36 hours. To make matters worse, there are 74 checkpoints each with their own cut off time, so runners have to complete the first marathon distance in 4:45 or less, and the first 100km in 12:25.
The race starts at the Acropolis in central Athens at 7am, and the atmosphere was amazing. As I ran down from that ancient monument in a crowd of almost 400 runners I could barely suppress a laugh, as I was grinning so much. The support along the entire race was superb, although stopping to sign autographs and high five 50 children under every road bridge was a little surreal. I guess the race winner skipped this part of the experience.
The route is almost entirely on road, and takes in both the best and worst of modern Greece: the coast road along the Agean, oil refineries and chemical plants, gorgeous orange groves, vicious stray dogs, ancient monuments and vineyards, derelict and run down villages, cheering school children everywhere. To add to the fun, after 100 miles the route snakes up into the mountains, before runners leave the road and head out onto a tough rocky trail to climb to the summit of Mount Parthenio at 1200m. Legend has it Pheidippides met the god Pan up here, but if he still lives, he was sensibly keeping warm indoors when I ran passed. It was only 6C in the car park at Mountain Base when I ran through at 3:50 am, and much colder on the summit.
Fortunately (or not) it soon warmed up after sunrise, and was back to 30C before long. The final few hours dragged on and on, much like the road. The last 20km is all downhill, and I’d been looking forward to this, but the reality was that the impact on my feet if I tried to run was unbearable. The previous miles of running on tarmac and concrete had left my feet feeling completely battered, and they were swelling in the heat. As I was comfortably ahead of the cut offs I settled in for a long walk to the finish.
The finish itself must make this a contender for ‘Best Race in the World’. Kids on bikes escort you the final 2 km through the town of Sparta to the finish. Local residents cheer and wave from every tavern and café. At the end there is no line to run over though, instead the race ends when you touch (or kiss) the feet of the statue of King Leonidas. You are rewarded with an olive wreath placed on your head, and drink of water from the local spring. The medical staff then wash and tend to your feet, before fetching you a beer and releasing you from their care.
I finished in 35hours.
The winner ran the distance in 23:02:23. Allegedly he is from Poland but there is a rumour he is an alien.
63% of the starters finished with is a record completion rate for the event.
18 of the 25 British Spartathlon Team finished
Loch Ness Marathon 25/09/16
Report from Andy Boorman:
Hi all, just to let you know that I ran the loch ness marathon on Sunday 25th Sept, I flew up with my wife on Friday. There was an Expo and registration on Saturday which was where the finish line was situated right on the banks of the River Ness. On race day itself, you are bussed down to the start line which takes approximately 1 hour, but you travel the length of Loch Ness and then head up to the top of the Glenns where the start line is. The views from here are amazing, but it is quite windy. The first 5 miles are basically down hill, then there is a steep hill before leveling out. Then another short and steep hill at mile 6, after this point you run along the side of loch ness until mile 18 and the views are amazing, but the next 2 miles are a long gradual hill, which is not appreciated at this point in a marathon, once at the top it is flat all the way to inverness city center, over ness bridge and along the river bank to the finish line, I finished in a time of 4 hours, 10 mins and 43 seconds, as I had told most people I was not racing this marathon but just running it so I could take in the stunning scenery and views, even stopping to take photos and a couple of selfies, if you are into some amazing views and stunning scenery I would definitely recommend this marathon, the organisation was spot on and a great medal, tee shirt and goody bag, and if booked early not that expensive, all the best, Andy.