Race Reports - March 2022

13/03/2022 - Paddock Wood Half Marathon

paddock wood

Race Report by Anne-Marie Baker

‘Happy Christmas. Paddock Wood half?’

And so all over the festive period I kept looking at the Christmas card from a friend I’d not seen for ages and thought ‘why not?’

I googled ‘10 week training plans for a half marathon’ but apparently you need at least 12 weeks so I went for the ‘start at 6 miles, add a mile a week’ approach - all helped immensely by the power of Coasties club runs. Special thanks to Mel for her support and advice and getting me to my first 6 miler.

Half term comes and my mate injures himself and reroutes to a relaxing weekend in Dorset.

So rather than a review of a lovely long Sunday lunch I better just report on the race.

The pre-race info described the route as ‘very flat’ immediately followed by the words ‘hills’ and ‘slopes’. So I stopped reading and didn’t take in the details of how to get there.

Turns out, Paddock Wood is in the middle of nowhere. Kind of plonked between Tonbridge Wells and Maidstone.

Followed my nose, found a sign for ‘Paddock Wood half’ that immediately landed you in front of a ‘road closed’ sign. Hmmm. What they meant was road closed to everyone apart from those looking to park up for the race - something a group of us worked out as we U-turned a mile down the road, avoiding a day trip to Sevenoaks.

It’s a big event with about 2750 entrants. All very well managed by which I mean plenty of portaloos at the start.

The route is a big loop on a few main roads and mostly rural ones. At the start you get people in their pyjamas on their doorsteps cheering you on - a highlight for me.

There are big marker signs every mile and the first one said ‘Paddock Wood Half, proudly sponsored by Lambert & Butler’.

I was thinking that Paddock Wood was a bit behind the times on this one until the mile 2 marker and in fact it’s sponsored by Lambert & Foster - a reputable local estate agent.

I spotted a few oast houses and lots of farms but mostly was head down looking at the road - amazing number of worms between miles 7&8.

Then it was all over - just a note to anyone working in kilometres, turns out a half is 21.2k not 20k as I had in mind but jeffing got it done and a PB of first coastie home!! But these things are more fun with an orange and blue possy.

So, Happy Christmas everyone - Paddock Wood half 2023?