More than 2,000 runners made the 30th Paddock Wood Half Marathon memorable as race winner Nick Torry (Serpentine, 1:05:34) just missed the course record.
Cool and misty conditions were conducive to fast times as Frank Tickner's 1:05:06 from 2013 survived another onslaught. Torry's convincing victory was the fourth fastest run on the mainly flat course through the Kent countryside and hop fields. Only Tickner, Nicholas Kirui (2014, 1:05:28) and John Gilbert (2018, 1:05:18) have run the course faster.
Nick Torry should be well pleased with his best time since the 2014 Reading Half Marathon (1:04:50) having controlled this race from the start in Eldon Way. The runner-up was his Serpentine clubmate Andrew Greenleaf (1:06:46). Tewelde Menges (Medway & Maidstone, 1:07:18) took the incorporated Kent Championships with a big PB in third place.
The women's race resulted in a comfortable win by more than three minutes for Team Bath athlete Eilidh Bell (1:19:00 PB). Emma Navesey (Haywards Heath Harriers, 1:22:20 PB) was second and the Kent title went to third-placed Cas Wright (Dartford Harriers, 1:22:43).
M40 Nick Torry added to his accolades by being the top age-graded runner overall and other impressive age group winners included M50 Richard Tomlinson (Medway & Maidstone, 1:15:31 PB); M60 Ian Kitching (South London Harriers, 1:25:01) and M70 David Winch (Thanet Roadrunners, 1:32:54).
The female award winners in masters categories were W35 Rosa Morris (Serpentine, 1:28:50); W45 Tina Oldershaw (Tonbridge, 1:28:50); W55 Jane Wiley (7oaks Tri, 1:39:13 PB) and W65 Sue Garner (Lingfield, 1:55:54).
There were 2,047 official finishers inside three and a half hours and with 260 completing within 90 minutes and 1,223 home inside two hours this race remains one of the best spring marathon preparation events in the South East calendar.
Full results available through runABC South race listing here.
Image courtesy Paddock Wood AC