Paddock Wood Half Marathon Race Report

The Club Championship races continued this weekend with a good turnout from Thanet Roadrunners members this weekend at Paddock Wood, with the Paddock Wood Half Marathon being the fourth Club Championship race of the year.


Unlike the previous club championship races so far this year, the weather was looking good for the morning and an early trek up the motorway or on the train got the various TRAC runners to the start line with plenty of time to spare.


After a gentle warm up, the TRAC runners joined over 2000 other runners on the start line. The weather was holding steady with a light breeze and what was shaping up to be almost perfect racing conditions.


As a contrast from some of the other Club Championship races, the course profile for the Paddock Wood Half Marathon is relatively flat with just a few bumps on the course, so only 255 feet of elevation gain on the whole course and therefore great potential as a PB course. Indeed, as has been seen from previous years, this race attracted some very fast racers, with the overall winner this year finishing in 1:05:34!


As might be expected for a race of this size, the start area was pretty crowded but the use of signs to encourage runners to pick an area for their predicted race time worked well and once the first corner was out of the way the crowds started to spread a little.


The first mile of the race has the most elevation in it with a short, sharp climb starting about a quarter of a mile in, but on fresh legs it didn’t seem too bad and of course what goes up, must come down, so there was an opportunity to get a bit of speed up again. Other than a few railway bridges to go over, most of the rest of the course is fairly flat so it was possible to stick to a consistent pace and with only a very gentle breeze today there was nothing holding us back! The course meanders around some really pretty countryside and with various roads either completely closed or at least closed in the direction of the race, it was easy to open up and enjoy the race.


As the racers enter the final stages of the race there is a bit of a bump in the road as the course goes up and over a railway line just before the 13 mile mark; whilst it was tough to go up this little hill in the late stages of the race, it did mean that there was a great downhill section to get some speed back up before turning towards the finish line!



This was a really well organised event, with many enthusiastic marshals giving great encouragement throughout the race, this combined with a great route means it’s a race to add to your calendars for the future.


There were 15 Thanet Roadrunners that finished what was a great race; great to see everyone at the start line and seeing our team mates coming through the finish.


As might be expected from the course and how well various club members have been training, it was definitely a day for PBs, with those coming from John Dickerson, Richard Allan, Ade Neaves, Oli Northrop and Paul Brackenborough. Overall, some great racing from everyone at the club. Worth calling out specifically though was Andy Stevens, first home for Thanet Roadrunners in 1:25:43 and Dave Winch (01:32:54) in 1st position for V70 Male.


Here are the race times and positions for all the incredible racers from the club, well done to everyone.


Andy Stevens


John Dickerson


Richard Allan


David Winch


Stephen Forshaw


Gerald Sterling


Michael Philpot


Paul Brackenborough


Ade Neaves


Oliver Northrop


Mark Hadden


Spencer Hoult


Phil Cope


Bill Wright


Gaynor Shelvey



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