There is good news for anyone whose half marathon plans were blown off course by Storm Ciara last Sunday. Organisers of the 37th Hendy Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon on Sunday (16 February) say there are numbers still available; online entries will stay open until midnight on Saturday and you will also be able to enter on the day.
Tunbridge Wells Harriers have promoted this race for 37 years and have picked up several accolades on the journey. Voted by Runner's World the 'Most Improved Race in the UK' in 2009 and 'Second best Half Marathon in the UK' in 2011, Hendy Tunbridge Wells Half has just been assessed as the '5th best Half Marathon in the South' in the 2019 Challenge Awards.
There are a number of factors which combine to draw up to 1,500 runners back to the Spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells year on year. The event is organised by a traditional running club with runners of all abilities in mind. Charity is at the forefront, with around £200,000 raised for local causes in the past 10 years, with all race surplus donated.
There are a range of offers from local businesses, including accommodation discounts and even free bacon rolls and beer on production of a runner's number or race medal – see the event website here for full details and link for late entries.
The Sports Hall of Fusion Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre hosts the Race Expo and several bands will lift flagging spirits at key points around the testing course. The renowned TWH Pacers will hit each 10-minute target from 1:30 to 2:20 inclusive, so follow the flag!
Last year's winners were Simon Goldsworthy, of Guildford and Godalming AC, who retained his Tunbridge Wells title in 1:11:29 and Andrea Berquez, of Team Obstacle Mud Runner Magazine, in 1:26:35. There were 1,324 finishers in 3:28:02. Last year's race was reviewed by Kent-based runABC South reporter Alan Newman here.
Look out for our report next week on one of the more challenging 13.1 mile races around, with the 300-foot ascent of Spring Hill at Fordcombe one of several climbs, as Storm Dennis is set to bring widespread strong winds and heavy rain once again.