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On your marks for Paddock Wood half-marathon

THE Paddock Wood half-marathon returns on Sunday (March 24) after a gap year enforced by the 2001 foot and mouth crisis. More than 1,000 entries have already been received for the 12th running of Kent's premier road race which starts at 11am.

The race was last held in 2000 when the winners were Gareth Williams of Medway AC and Carol McKinlay-Evans of South London Harriers.

The one lap rural course, through the hop fields and orchards of Kent, starts in Eldon Way, Paddock Wood and goes through Pearson's Green, Claygate, Laddingford and Queen's Street before returning to Paddock Wood.

Favourites this year include Kent 10 and 20 mile champion, Chris Knight (Medway and Maidstone), Adrian Whitwam, of Tonbridge Athletics Club, and former World Half-Marathon Championships representative, Andrea Green (Dartford Harriers).

The flat course makes it suitable for wheelchair competitors. New course records are likely in both the men's and women's wheelchair races with entries from Tushar Patel in the men's race and Paula Craig in the women's.

Entries will cost £8 on the day for club athletes or £9 for unaffiliated runners subject to a race limit of 2,000 competitors. All inquiries to Dave Lindsey on 01892 835332 or check out the Paddock Wood website on www.paddockwoodac.co.uk

A 1.5 mile fun run will precede the main race at 10.15am.

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