In short: Pre-run chaos, but decent course and a scenic second half. In full: I arrived at 7.50, later than planned due to zero visability on the roads (real pea soup fog) - but figured everyone else would also be affected and maybe I could still park at the stadium. Er...no. 15 min to move up the slip road, over the roundabouts and into the park and ride. Not too bad though. Then a 40 min queue to pay. 35 min in a marshall said it was free, didn't have to pay, only for the park and ride guy to come out shouting yes we did! In the end they agreed we could pay when we left. So 40 min later and still not paid, now rushing in to get my number etc... That was easy, and with minutes to spare I reckoned this could be okay. Just baggage drop - which with ten min to go had turned into a massive queue that snaked out the building and round the pitch. As it was I got to the very back of starting pack just as the gun went off. Race wise it went well, okay so mile one and two was moving up through the pack. Then up the high street into town, quite a climb, good support from locals. Through the suburbs, the odd sight here and there, through uni grounds and then off into the countryside. This second half was maarvellous, glorious scenery, wonderful weather, the tapping out of fellow runners feet. Mile 10 and the rummours say its a long flat straight home sso we all dig in and speed up. Somewhere around mile 12 it all messed up as the road seemed to be open in both directions for about half a mile, and with narrow country lanes and loads of runners and no where to go there was a bit of stop starting as traffic queued up. Soon headed for the stadium and across the line. Decent time in the end, not a PB, but average. The medal is classic Essex bling, medallion like, bigger than all the others I've got by quite a way, shiny and gold. All in all a good course, mainly need to sort out the paying for parking chaos. At the time I thought there must be thousands and thousands turning up and that this was far bigger than I thought. 1700ish runners in the end, I've seen this managed far better many times. Date of review: March 28, 2016
In short: a great run through town and country In full: I have attended every Colchester Half, including one as a tail runner (not memorable!) and I have to say I experienced no problems at all. I was able to cycle there, arriving at 8 to a stadium heaving with runners and supporters. Race number, baggage drop and toilets for a no.1 were no problem at all and I did not hear of any grumbles or issues the whole time I was there. The course has huge potential for a fast time, and judging by the PBs achieved today, plus weather, support and a lovely flat 3 mile finish, many would agree. The organisers have a huge amount of red tape to deal with for a route such as this and I know they did a great job to get us away on time and provide a worthwhile route through town and eventually out into the country. This event becomes a victim of its own success, with greater entrants, queues generating and thus people feel inconvenienced when in reality they’re not. A finish with a wider funnel would work; equally if finishers moved out of the way a bit quicker that could help! Finally, a word for the marshals who gave up to 5 or 6 hours of their day for the price of a coffee and bacon roll. If you were on Straight Road duty many, many thanks for your water, kind words, raised hands and glittery pom poms!
In short: Good race, I like the mix of country and city running In full: I have no idea about the car parking problems, we turned up at 7:45 and drove straight into the stadium, then at the end drove straight out, maybe queued 1 min max either way! Could have done with more toilets. Organisation for number collection, bag collection and finishing funnel wasn't great but wasnt awful, I wouldnt be put off of doing it again, I really enjoyed it. Date of review: March 16, 2016
In short: Can't wait until next year! In full: My first half marathon, wow lovely route, lively and encouraging marshals and fabulous organisation. I am really looking forward to next year, the atmosphere was so friendly everyone was so upbeat and chatty met lots of lovely people. Date of review: March 16, 2016
In short: Fantastic again In full: This is a great event. Very well organised, fantastic friendly and supportive marshalls and brilliant support all the way round. There were more supporters around the lonely parts out in the countryside this year and the run through the town (after the horrible hill) is brilliant, with crowds of people both sides of the road. For the slower runners (like me), there were still loads of people along the finish straight too, which was very welcome. Huge medal (if a little too much Essex bling!). Good facilities, parking a bit slow to get in to and away again, but no more than you expect at a large event like this. My second time at this one and it gets better every year. Big thumbs up. Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: Race good, parking a problem In full: The race itself was very good. Well marshalled, all of whom had a supportive word. Excellent crowd support. One BIG gripe. The car parking. OK, they can't do anything about the tailback on the A12, but the wait for one of TWO ticket machines was silly. Eventually we were told tickets were not necessary. Could they not add, say £1.50 to the entry fee, on the basis that half the runners will come by car. Also, the toilets need better signposting, and more paper. Those gripes apart, a great race, and I'll be back. Date of review: March 13, 2016