Half marathons

I'm looking to do a h/m locally, I read bout dartford & tonbridge Being a challenge etc. But can anyone confirm any of these h/m are any worse than the great north run !? Thanks


  • GNR is gradually uphill from what I remember and then a sudden drop to the sea. Its also very busy. I'd much rather do a different one.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    It totally depends on what you are looking for in an event.

    Personally I can't think of anything worse than doing the Great North but thousands of people love it.
  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
    I have not done the GNR but I rank it second in the list of races I'm not fussed about doing, with London being the other big one that I just don't fancy at all.

    Smaller events managed by running clubs are always good. As soon as the race itself becomes a business then the running is secondary to profiteering.

    Ealing or st Neots are both good as is reading from what I hear.
  • Sorry all didn't explain myself well I've done GNR 4 times so I'm looking to compare these so called hilly courses in dartford & tonbridge

  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    I've run Dartford, lovely run, much more scenic than you might imagine, but a couple of fairly big hills, although a nice downhill finish. Tonbridge I'm not sure, get confused with Tunbridge Wells which I've definitely done, but think they're both quite hilly.

    In terms of comparison with GNR, like the above comments, never run it, never wanted to, although probably much flatter, easier, but, you'll be running with 50,000 others down a motorway - where's the fun in that?
  • Ran the GNR in the early Nineties, twice, not now sure why I ran it the second time!  All I remember is the hustle and bustle of getting there. Then the standing around waiting to start , while some famous ( now forgotten ) star set us off. Thank god it was dry on both occasions .

    Sorry not for me far and away too many people. The support from the crowds at the side of the road was brilliant, but that's not what I look for in a race.


  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    If you're looking to compare the courses I suggest the best that you might be able to achieve is to do some research online to find the elevation profiles for GNR and the races you are interested in comparing.  It's not impossible to find someone on RW who has done both, I'm sure, and that will give you some anecdotal evidence.  However, researching elevation profiles will give you the data you are looking for, possibly quicker too.  Good luck.


  • Thanks m..o.use indeed I have checked all 3 GNR has 60 mtr evaluation tonbridge 51 mtr & dartford 80 mtr so think I'll give dartford a wide berth & go for tonbridge!!
  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    You are kidding right? You are worried about the elevation difference between 2.85ish m per kilometre, and 3.8m per kilometre. ........

    With tonbridge at 2.4m per km... Seriously you think those differences should decide which one you run? 

  • It's also important to check the course has been measured correctly in advance, variations have been detected I the past. Also identify the number of moderate to sharp bends on the route; many meters can be added to a race by being too far on the outside of a bend.
  • I think you guys are over thinking this ! 

    Just bl**dy get out there and run 

  • I agree with Dave


  • I'm waiting for someone to trawl the met office records to check for races with prevailing head / tail winds 

  • image ^^

  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    Think OP just wants a flat run, why he doesn't just run Paddock Wood is beyond me, not a hill in sight, just the 4 little railway bridges to go over, but a PB course if ever there was one.image
  • Define little ? 

  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    Ok, its all relative, little in this case is 100m slope of about 4M rise, and compared with somewhere like Offas Orror which has a couple of BIG hills, these are mere bumps.
  • Good point Dave. There may be less influence in a circular route but a point to point race that travels roughly north east should benefit. Coastal routes should be avoided as should routes through arable regions where wind breaks are less.

    Inland though you should be careful about altitude above sea level which will affect atmospheric oxygen levels.
  • But at altitude the air is thinner so less resistance ? 

  • That's true, there's really too many variables affecting performance and destroying the experience. The only decent solution is a properly levelled running machine with well calibrated electronics making accurate measurements in a room with good environmental controls. For the racing experience software should be developed for synchronous , running with the running machines connected to the internet.
  • I think you should make your decision based on the bling image

  • andyp wrote (see)

    I think you should make your decision based on the bling image

    I've entered a trail half purely for the Star Wars medal. It's on May the Fourth...

    Runner, swimmer, cyclist and triathlete

    Devoid of a competitive streak :)

    Who cares, I'm in it for the medal!

  • May the fourth be with you.

    Sorry I just had to write that image

  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
  • I did Tonbridge Half last year and Dartford Half yesterday.

    Dartford's hills are moreso a steeper gradient, whereas Tonbridges hills are more stretched out.

    Either way both doable and both good runs...will be putting my name down for Tonbridge again this year and Dartford next yearimage

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