In short: Well organised and friendly race. Well worth a go. In full: An enjoyable and well organised event from pre to post race. Registration easy, friendly faces on arrival. Pre-race comms clear and audible. The race itself was well marshalled and with friendly faces and good support. Results available promptly after the race.
Very enjoyable morning. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Great local, well organised race In full: Chose this race as local to me so knew it would be 'undulating' and it didn't disappoint. There is a cheeky little climb but the organisers devised a polka dot jersey prize for the male and female who overtook the most runners on the climb - a lovely touch. There is also a section off road which was a little slippy so don't expect a PB but there are plenty of great descents, especially the last km. Organisation from start to finish was great; can't fault it. They even allowed for a large number of on the day entries despite being full which caused a little delay but meant no one was turned away (as far as I know!). I far prefer these low key races to the big corporate events and this one did not disappoint. Stuff for families and spectators to do and a kids run with medals meant everyone was involved. It's not a classic but it's certainly a a race I will return to and recommend to other local runners. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Very good event but the last 5 miles are killers In full: The organisers looked at their 1st running of the event last year and made several small but positive changes. The support is good, especially over the last difficult few miles. Very nice medal. From mile 8 to the end you are either climbing or going downhill. 2 or 3 of these are steep so make sure your hill work has been done. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: challenging but great In full: Brilliant organisation with plenty of marshals. Beautiful scenery. Challenging hills but a great race. Will definitely do it again. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Felt like a club run but good scenery In full: The run was nice enough and I ended up getting my second fastest time. However the lack of road closures meant it felt a little bit like a club run on a Sunday morning (albeit one that cost £20) with everyone having to dodge past shoppers, dog walkers and other actual club runners. Another gripe was the twisting and turning up narrow side streets, which was obviously factored in to make up the 13.1-mile course but it isn't much fun to run like that. The marshals were really good but when you run on roads that aren't at all closed you wonder just exactly what it is you're paying for. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Lovely scenery and a great race In full: Loved it. Henley is a picturesque place and the route made the most of it. The hill was an absolute beast but it just made it all the better when I got over the line for a long overdue new pb. Well organised and the beautiful autumn weather certainly helped. Would recommend. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Great for beginners or a training run In full: Low key and a bit haphazard at the start. Would have been nice to have visible markers at the Start and Finish, instead of just faint painted lines on the path which can't be seen any distance away. There were no distance markers on the course and the race was only hand timed. On the plus side, there were marshalls where needed and for £12 we all got a medal and t-shirt. So I'd say a good one for a fastish training run, or ideal for beginners. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Organisers did better than expected for a first time event - would recommend it for next year In full: I heard some criticism of the route before the event but I actually thought that it was a great route, especially for spectators. There were points where you passed supporters 4 times - great for spurring you on and great for them too. Nice and scenic too. I think the organisers did well changing the route last minute due to flooding in Hylands Park. There was a lot of support from the locals - the route took in popular spots so plenty of people came out, it was quieter in Hylands Park but there you could enjoy the view or wave to fellow runners coming the other way (I always like that in a race). The goody bag was v generous - mars bar, 2 cereal bars, t-shirt, water, banana, pens, vouchers... and the medal of course! The marshals did a great job too, thanks to them all they did a really good job. If I were to change anything it would only be 2 things: water stations could do with having smaller transparent cups, some with cheap orange squash instead of big polystyrine cups with water. I felt like I wasted a lot of water. The other thing is it needs to be 2 laps of central park in the end rather than 3 (and adding the milage on somewhere else if not possible in Hylands Park). I know of at least 1 person who only did 2 laps but had already crossed the line so didn't get a proper chip time when they went out to do the last lap since they had already crossed the line. All in all a great race, these are small quibbles (which are bound to happen in teh 1st year), really enjoyed it and will do it again next year :-) Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Well organised, friendly and well marshalled. Nice route, but hard work in the wet. In full: Firstly, a well-organised and friendly race. This was my first multi-terrain race and the club secretary answered my questions by e-mail before the race, and was kind enough to e-mail me the route instructions (so I could check it out before the race) and then e-mail me the results after the race. The start line is 5 minutes from my front door, so I had to enter ! Nice little junior races around the playing field before the main event. Good club house and facilities. The race itself was tough. It's not as flat as you might expect in Suffolk, and with all the rain we had the night before, the field and woodland paths were wet and slippy, which hurt a normally strictly road-runner like me. Nearly 2 laps round the playing field to begin with, then out onto the roads through the housing estate, followed by a woodland trail and gravel track, more roads and a finish round the field in the opposite direction. Not exactly a picture-postcard route, but not offensively industrial/urban either. Real mix of runners - lots of fast club runners at the front from local clubs, but not intimidating. Also plenty of slowcoaches like me, so it wasn't too lonely at the back ! Very well marshalled, with friendly marshalls at every turn and road crossing, so there was never any worry about coming across cars on the road sections. Standard medal, as is to be expected for the very reasonable entry fee. Overall a nice little local event - nearly twice as many runners this year as last, so it seems to be growing. I'll be back next year. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: A really lovely race In full: The race had a really nice low key atmosphere. A very relaxed feel but a challenging run with lots of hills. Nice countryside,nice tea and cake at the end and overall a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: A decent first time race with lots of potential! Inexperienced organisers did ok :-) In full: There was a lot of local enthusiasm for this race which meant lots of runners and some good support on the day.
The course took in some lovely parts of Chelmsford. Support was a bit quiet going through Hylands park but good in other places. It was a very challenging course - physically and mentally. But they had to make last minute course changes due to flooding and it is likely the course will be different in future. (I went round with a first time marathon runner who was relieved to be told it was a tough course! )
It was great value for a marathon - a decent race experience with a great medal and goodie bag.
Places with good access had nice support. Lots if kids giving out jelly babies! Firiends and family in the main park said it was a lovely atmosphere for supporters.
People were worried what the race would be like as the organisers were very inexperienced and had many difficulties leading up to the race. Considering all the issues they had, it really turned out ok and, with all the enthusiasm Chelmsford has shown for it, I can see the event getting bigger and better in years to come. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Scenic 2 lap multi terrain course, sadly affected by flooding. Great support. In full: I have to say that early on I was underwhelmed by the organisation, but on the day it all came together, after the late start (sort it out, cold runners bad). The multiple loops through the parks were rather frustrating, particularly at the end, but the main route down to hylands park was lovely. The marshals were really friendly and helpful (disagree with previous comment there), and after being told water stations would only be handing out water I was very happy to be fed bananas and jelly babies at every turn. If the organisers can work out a slightly more weather proof Version of this course I think it has real potential to be a good 'un. Nb the course my my reckoning was 26.6 miles long, but I expect that was down to last minute rerouting. Hope you do it again ?? Date of review: October 20, 2014