In short: Hot Hilly hell...and yes i'd do it again! In full: In 22 degrees on a challenging hilly course I felt like death at the end of the race but i'd still do it again...I'd just hope for cooler weather :)
The organisation is fantastic. The support is incredibly good considering it's so rural and a fairly small number of runners. Great supportive atmosphere from other runners too. The scenery is gorgeous...well what I saw of it through my sweat soaked eyes...
A bumper goody bag and a quality medal that's heavy enough to remind you of the work you put in to get it!
Great work Halstead runners! Date of review: May 11, 2015
In short: Hated it In full: My first marathon in 16 years since an abortive London Marathon in 1998. Publicly I had said I just wanted to get round comfortably and raise a few quid for a Myeloma charity. Secretly I had a goal, to run within two hours of my best time from 25 years previously. A target then of sub 4:40. My other target if that failed was to run quicker than the time 74 year old Pat Dobbs one of the London ever presents had done in April. From the word off I felt terrible, comfortable went out the window at the first sign of a hill, something, living down by the coast I was woefully unprepared for. From then on it was a struggle, mile after mile of misery, running from drink station to drink station, wondering if I could risk picking up what appeared to be bottles of discarded sports drinks. Thoughts of energy gels filled my mind, alas left carelessly in my bag. Minute after minute passed by, I could have easily stopped and headed back, but of course I didn't my brother in law's terminal cancer saw to that. On On On I went, taking a little walk every mile, just .1 of a mile, thanks Garmin you did help with that. Was determined to run the last mile, but the grassy field saw to it that I didn't, but still managed to jog the last bit across the line. Nice medal and goody bag, was told by work to wear the Pink T Shirt with pride. No, but I will wear it under a rain jacket! What went wrong? I think, looking back I went into the race badly dehydrated, not just on the day, but in the weeks and months leading up to it. I sure paid for that and finished officially in 4:56, missing both my targets. And here is the but and it is a big big but, would I do it again? a big resounding yes. The organisation was superb, the course great the Halstead Road Runners friendly and supportive and the people standing patiently for us tail-enders handing out sweets, Jaffa Cakes etc were brilliant. And as a postscript to all of that, the person serving in the Macdonalds on the way home near Clacton asked if I had been doing the Tour of Tendring Cycle ride was very impressed when I said no a marathon - I felt 10 foot tall - can't wait to do it all again next May. Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: Halstead Road Runners - what an amazing team, yet again. In full: What a feeling to see the 'Finish' sign and realise that I had completed my first ever marathon - and still with a smile on my face! Lord Mayor and Race Director to hand out the special medals - what a fitting end to a brilliant race. Wonderful experience, made special by the pipers at the start; Chariot's of Fire music at the top of the first hill and the amount of people out cheering runners on. The marshals did a fantastic job, they were so friendly, organised and supportive. The course was very pretty and kept you interested with the views and undulations. The high hedges helped to keep the wind off us, on many sections. Never a dull moment. Goodie bag is the best ever - specially brewed beer, smart T-shirt, even the key-ring is a memento of a very special day. Well done 'the team'! Date of review: June 10, 2014
In short: A well organised race with a festival atmosphere In full: This year was my second time running the Halstead & Essex Marathon and I would recommend it to anybody. It may not be an entirely flat course but the festival like atmosphere more than makes up for it. Oh and the medal and goody bag is unbeatable!! Date of review: June 9, 2014
In short: This race is a MUST!!!! In full: Super race HQ, brilliant atmosphere and organisation. Great personal touches, name on number, own drinks on course etc etc. The course is one of the best I've run, superb support through Pebmarsh, lovely quiet country lanes with very little traffic. Afterwards, one of the best medals around and the goody bag is stuffed full of goodies including a specially brewed beer from a local brewery to celebrate the 20th anniversary. PB'd too so the course isn't that hilly Date of review: May 22, 2014