In short: Well-organised and a quick course only let down by poor finishing funnel In full: This is my third time out at the Colchester HM and it was a lovely day for it. The stadium makes for an appropriate start/finish venue and the marshalls on the whole appear well-motivated and encouraging. The medal was really good (and heavy!) with a typical goodie bag offered on completion of the event.
The closed (road) section of the course is well-organised and marshalled although when you leave the town for a more rural environment, the traffic can become an issue to run along with. The crossroad junction at mile 11-12 was particularly messy and needed appropriate traffic management, not marshalls watching the chaos!
The funnel at the finish line was ridiculous! I was stood in a queue for around 25 minutes and really needed to be sat down in the shade somewhere, not stuck in a crowd! All the goodie items should be in a single bag, offered from both sides which would help disperse the tired crowd. Having runners re-enter this area (along with spectators) made for a very messy arrangement.
More toilets ahead of the race would be useful although it is good of the stadium organisers to allow use of their facilities.
I would be happy to do this event again, just some continued teething troubles to sort out. Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: Great 1/2 Marathon over a varied route In full: Well organised and lots of encouraging marshals (which made a very few who obviously wished they were elsewhere stand out!). Good and encouraging crowds and a great finish, only spoilt by an inefficient funnel after the finish line - this must be sorted out for next year. Splendid medal! Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: Lovely medal, nightmare funnel! In full: I don't think I loved this race as much as many of the other people there. The organisation was really good and there's no doubting the commitment and enthusiasm of the organisers - weather was fantastic too! On the down side I thought that while many of the marshals were great there were some were stony faced, or not paying attention, or not shouting at runners to stay left which was clearly frustrating for drivers. The finish funnel was horrible, I generally need to walk around for a while having crossed the finish line but it wasn't an option and I became increasingly uncomfortable and achey while shuffling forward trapped within a hot, sweaty & tired crowd. I may do it again as it's a local one but I won't mind if I can't. Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: Well organised, well supported, friendly half marathon In full: Lovely race, extremely well organised, great route, enthusiastic marshals, great medal, will definitely run next year. Only two issues. Medal/goody bag/banana/tshirt collection was messy, should have made more use of the finishing funnel. Also arrived early by car only to be sent to industrial car park half a mile away, not impressed at all. Lets be late next year and park right next to the stadium. Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: Best race of the year so far In full: Thanks to CHM for organising a nice sunny day, after last year's icy run. This race showed the best of Colchester! Aside from a few upset drivers, everyone I came across was friendly and encouraging, right from picking up the race number at the St Helena Hospice shop, to crossing the finish line with commentary to keep me sprinting. Only issue was the bottleneck in the finish chute - perhaps could have been solved by already having bananas, medals and shirts in bags, so the only thing you have to pick up is 1 bag with everything in, rather than see 4 individual marshals for 4 different things. Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: Friendly, well-supported and mainly well-organised race In full: An enjoyable experience from before the start to crossing the finish line. Then not so good. The race was over a varied course, with a mixture of town and country. It included a downhill start and a challenging hill between 2 and 3 miles. Marshaling was outstanding with smiling, encouraging marshals stationed at close intervals. The organisers clearly took on board comments from previous years. Signposting was clear, there was a well run left bag section and access to the football stadium allowed a pleasant sit in the sun before the race started. Male toilet facilities seemed adequate, but my female running partner reported long queues. I would have liked to seen expected time sections marked in the line up. Crowd support around the course and inside the stadium grounds was excellent. My one criticism of the organisation was the bottleneck at the end to collect medal/goody-bag/banana/T-shirt and hand in number. The first three of these could have been put together and runners shepherded through more quickly than the 20 minutes it took me. A great day,I will sign up for next year's race as soon as it is advertised Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: A well organised and enjoyable race In full: As someone that is new to running and never having entered a race before, I found the organisation excellent. From the sign up to the ongoing communications and the race itself, I never found myself unaware of what was going on and where I should be and when. The start venue was spot on with seating for thousands, baggage drop off, changing facilities and lots of toilets. The course was tough with a number of steep and lengthy hills with one half being in town and the other in the glorious North Essex countryside. On turning the corner back into the stadium at the end, there was a huge crowd to greet you and a compere on loud speaker cheering you on by name and offering encouragement which was a nice touch. The medal was high quality and the pack at the end contained chocolate! The best bit was knowing that the event was in aid of a local charity. I am not sure whether I will run another half marathon but if I do, it will be the Colchester Half. Date of review: March 17, 2014