30th Paddock Wood Half Marathon

I would like to thank everybody who helped on Sunday and in the lead up to the half marathon this year. The race has come a long way over the last 30 years; in 1990 we had 690 entries compared to this year where we sold 2538 entries and had 2050 finishers. This year, Nicholas Torry impressively won the race in nearly ideal running conditions in a time of 1.05.34 which was only 28 seconds off the course record. Eilidh Bell won the women’s race in a time of 1.19.00. PWAC was well represented with 41 running.

At the front of the race the quality was quite amazing.  We had:
15 finishers under 1 hr 11 minutes
87 finishers under 1 hr 20 minutes

To ensure we continue to put on one of the most popular and well-run races in the South East, this race relies upon people coming together as a club and community. I am part of a strong committee who have given up hours of their own time to ensure Sunday was a success. The feedback we have received so far has been very positive.

I must make a special thanks to Pete and Fiona Buckingham who are leaving the club and committee after this year’s race. They have, as always, been an immense support and help with the half marathon over the years, so they will be sorely missed not only at the half marathon but at the club.

I am pleased to announce Paul Mace will be taking over from Mike Ridger who will also be standing down as chief marshal this year. Thank you for all the support and help you have given to me with this role during the years that I have been race director.

The race sponsors were once again Lambert and Foster. They have been great to work with and were responsible for coming up with ideas such as the ’selfie stand’ and humorous mile marker boards.  We look forward to hopefully working with them again.

My thanks go out to my fellow race committee colleagues, our race officials, all the marshals on the course, SE Medical, Raynet, Hendley Removals for their immense support over the race weekend, the Guides who did a fabulous job in the baggage area, Mack for supplying the bananas, SERV Bloodrunners, Waitrose for their donation, Tonbridge Land Rover for supplying the lead vehicle,  Antalis for supplying the water at the finish and donating to the pace flags/backpacks, Sunninghill Construction for supplying the crowd barriers, Richard Oldershaw for updating the websites daily and other club members and non members who, over the weekend helped make this race so successful and finally, of course to all the runners. It’s also worth mentioning the strong team of guys who were out at 1.00am on the Sunday morning putting signs up and mile markers in preparation for the race. Thanks also goes to those who put up barriers and signs on the Saturday and directly after the race clearing up – thank you!

Darren Hendley organised the Race Pacers which were a great mix of both men and women, club and non-club members.  The Pacers were a good addition to the race and have been well received.  Thank you to Darren for sorting this out.

I have been informed that the refreshment stand made another large profit so thank you to everyone involved and to everyone who provided some splendid cakes.

Our race charity was again the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, who we are proud of working so closely with. Due to the success of the race and the online donations, we will be able to provide them with a large donation in the coming weeks.

Please feel free to pass on any feedback to me in ways you think we can improve the race – please email me direct or through info@paddockwoodac.co.uk

We are looking for one or two people to join our half marathon committee. If you are interested, please drop me an email or see me at training and I can answer any questions you may have. It’s a great committee and your contributions will be appreciated.

The provisional date for next year, the 31st running is Sunday 5th April 2020.


Well done to you all and thank you again.

James Ridger

Race Director

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