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Marathon success in Tonbridge

Baptist Jonathan Leeson successfully ran, for the second time, in last month’s hilly Tonbridge Half Marathon

Jonathan's first Tonbridge Half Marathon was in 2012, having had a long break from running due to a major prostate operation. He completed this year’s race in an 2hrs, 26mins and 24secs – nine minutes faster than last time.

Maria Heslop and Jonathan Leeson59-year-old Jonathan attends Tonbridge Baptist Church and ran his first ever half marathon, representing the international charity Latin Link, in London in 2008. Latin Link members work with local churches and organisations in South America to help them meet the needs around them. Jonathan is the charity’s South East Area Representative - a job that usually sees him running around between churches raising support in the South East of England. Find out more at

Also running for Latin Link was Maria Heslop, 45, a Tonbridge and Malling Borough Councillor and cabinet member for Leisure and Arts.

She was the first woman to finish the race, coming sixth overall out of the 1020 finishers, in an impressive 1hr, 20mins and 43secs. A member of Paddock Wood Athletics Club, Maria took up running in 2006 and competing in half marathons in 2007.

Of representing Latin Link she said, ‘My husband Nicolas was born in South America, and knowing Jonathan Leeson, the charity’s area representative who is a resident in my ward, I have developed an interest in and concern for Latin America.’ 

Jonathan is seeking sponsorship from local businesses and individuals for his Tonbridge Half Marathon run. 'I want to raise £2,000 for this great cause,' he says.

To support Jonathan’s run for Latin Link, visit Jonathan’s sponsorship page at, call 0118 957 7102 or visit

To support Maria’s run for Latin Link, visit her sponsorship page at

Baptist Times, 21/10/2013
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