Beckenham Half Marathon – Sunday 23rd Sept 2018


When my alarm went off early Sunday morning I awoke to the sound of rain and it didn’t seem too warm either. Unfortunately I had agreed to adjudicate the Beckenham Half Marathon and also had asked for a number so I could run it as well. As I drove to Beckenham Rugby Club where the race HQ was located I pondered not running and just surveying the race from the warm.

Anyway in the end the only way really to see the event is to run it. So I lined up with 400 + runners all of the same mind (why am I here !) standing in the pouring rain, some shivering whilst others ran on the spot to keep warm before we were set off into the wet streets of Beckenham and the surrounds.

This half is quite unique in some ways as the race starts by running round the rugby pitches before exiting the grounds, you then take to the road outside at the end of which you are put on the pavement, then for the rest of the course you are running the majority on the pavements. The route takes you out towards Beckenham and then across to Beckenham Park where you run through the Summer Relay start and finish area and through the park before exiting and heading off in the direction of Hayes, before Hayes the course changes direction and heads to West Wickham. It is then a return to Beckenham via a loop at 11 miles through a park that actually adds almost a mile. The final mile is along the pavement and back to the rugby club.

As expected I was the only Harrier running. I didn’t race it but on the other hand I didn’t hang about either as I attempted to get back and out of the rain as quickly as possible. It never ceased raining the whole way round and a lot of effort was spent dogging the deep puddles along the pavements. In the last stages the wind was starting to pick up as well.

So overall not a very good day to run a half. I finished in 78th place out of 411 finishers in 01:44:13. 1st V60

The winner Jonathon Tipper SM unattached finished in 01:14:00 with the first lady Carole Penlington F40 of Blackheath & Bromley finishing in 01:28:06.

Mark Taylor