In short: Gruelling 10K but very high Grin Factor In full: This was my first Cross Country type event. The course had to be significantly modified due to the recent inclement weather on H&S grounds. It's a very hilly, muddy course featuring some clambouring over rocks. I can honestly say that despite the cold and the rain, I haven't had so much fun in a long time!! The organisers and the Marshalls are superb offering constant encouragement to all runners. The only downsides for me is the lack of facilities on site meaning you have to stand out in the cold if you are waiting for friends and that the modified course was not the full 10K according to a number of our various devices. I will definately sign up for it again next year!!! Date of review: January 29, 2014
In short: When can I do it again?!!!!! In full: I knew it would be tough and it didn't disappoint. Superb location - the views would have been admirable if only you could take your eyes off where you were putting your feet! Great support and a special mention for the marshalls - conditions for them were atrocious yet they remained enthusiastic and encouraging throughout the race. Good tip in the race instructions to bring a flask of hot drink for afterwards - I wouldn't have thought of it myself and it really did the trick. Really nice medal for finishers and a Jaffa Cake (yay!) My only suggestion would be perhaps a tent or marquee to give runners somewhere dry to change afterwards - my contortionist skills weren't quite up to getting changed in the car without making it filthy! Date of review: January 28, 2014
In short: Muddy, Hilly, Fun In full: Great location and really enjoyed the whole experience. The venue had amazing views and the race was organised well. It was a great challenge and even though it was raining, muddly, cold slippery and tough I loved it and I would do it again in a heartbeat Date of review: January 28, 2014
In full: 1st lap quite hard & nearly gave up but ran as part of a team & also great marshalling kept me going. Next two laps felt ok. Great scenery & interesting course. Great medal too. Would definetly do again, worth the 1 &1/4 hour drive there :) Date of review: January 28, 2014
In short: Mud and Hills and Laps In full: Mud, hills and laps in the same sentence....but really enjoyed the challenging course. Having been given access to the Olympic 2012 mountain bike course for a second year, the 3 laps consisted of a steep inclines, fast muddy slippy declines and plenty of rocks. The hills were demanding but not enough to put you off. Marshalls made the rain easily bearable and the medal was a nice souvenir. Being the time of year for a coldness, i was disappointed there were no refreshments for tea and coffee, and the distance was cut short due to the recent weather. Both these facts would not put me off for entering in the future. Date of review: January 27, 2014
In full: Hills. Mud. Rocks to climb up!! More hills. More rocks. Steep gravel downhills on very thin paths. Hill I wouldn't even attempt in my car! More mud. Very slippery in places, to add to the challenge. Beautiful view of Hadleigh castle ruins and Southend sea-front once you reach the top of the highest hill. Due to the recent weather they had to shorten the course and make it a 3 lap instead of a 2 lap because some of it was too dangerous and underwater. This didn't detract from the enjoyment, and for me I think made it slightly easier as I knew what was coming up and could mentally prepare. Good mix of elite runners and people like me who have never done anything remotely like it. Fantastic organisation; lovely encouraging marshals helping slower people up very steep slippery slopes. Weather was atrocious, so hats off to all those marshals stood out there for 2 hours!! Atmosphere was amazing - I'm slow as I've only been running a few months and the amount of elite who ran past shouting encouragement was wonderful. Water station provided at end of each lap (approx 3.5k). No changing area but the country park toilets are sufficient and clean. Could have done with more direction signs from the car park to the start, but due to the construction work close by the race organisers had to quickly ad-lib a couple of extra car parks a good hike away from the start. I imagine next year there'll be more parking on-site. Best race I've entered so far, would def do it again. Date of review: January 27, 2014
In short: tough and slippery In full: i didn,t realise how tough this was going to be . the mud , the hills , the rocks and di i mention the mud . it was challanging to say the least . special mention to the marshalls brilliant you kept us all going with your support . well organised in differcult conditions . look forward to doing all again next year hopefully Date of review: January 26, 2014
In short: Mud, medals, mud and did I mention the mud? Great fun In full: So my daughter and I trekked down from chigwell to take part in this race. It was our third race since we started training for our marathon later this year.
We chose it because it's hilly and looked like fun
It was hilly
It was so muddy
It was so much fun
I have to say I've not enjoyed a race as much as this one. I was particularly impressed by the other runners.
I'm a slow runner. I was overtaken a lot. The elite runners (certainly the first five or six and many of the rest) gave me an encouraging 'well done mate' it a 'good work'
This is excellent and made the race very special indeed
The race was well organised and a lot of fun during the run.
It was very well marshalled and getting a medal at the end is always nice
The course is excellent and although muddy is fun
I'm certainly doing it next year Date of review: January 26, 2014
In short: Tough but great fun In full: The marshalls were great, the organisation was excellent and it was tough but really enjoyable. Was muddy on the first lap but much worse by the third and some of those hills seemed almost vertical. Thoroughly recommended Date of review: January 26, 2014
In short: Hilly and slippery In full: A very tough hilly course with the weather causing it to be muddy and very slippery in places. The organisers where very informative in the build up to the race via email and social media which was great because of recent adverse weather putting the race in doubt. Would have been nice to have more going on in the area before and after the race to create a bit more of an atmosphere but all in all a great race on a historic course