In short: Tougher than expected. In full: This was my 4th Marathon and probably the course I have found most challenging so far. I barely remember any parts that were flat, and there was a tough hill around 20 miles. Despite this I did get a PB, but I would say this came out of my own running progression rather than the course.
That said, this was well organised, the stadium is obviously perfect for dealing with high volumes of people. There were plenty of toilets (just walk around the stadium a bit away from the exit and you could get straight in one), well organised bag drop and easy to meet friends and family at the end. My only slight criticism would be the starting zones, I didn't really see anything any different, but this is a minor and I didn't feel too bunched up as soon as we got going.
A very friendly race, with good support, a few lonely bits but marshals were all very encouraging.
I probably wouldn't do this again, but more because there are many other Marathons I would like to try in the future. Date of review: May 9, 2015
In short: One of the most enjoyable race experiences I've ever had. In full: What can you say about the Spitfire Scramble? Firstly what an experience, I had no idea what to expect but it was brilliant.
We ran as a team of 5 and everyone commented on how they'd enjoyed the experience. It worked out under £50 a head, which for 2 days of running with camping is not much (in running event terms) these days.
The course was great countryside, with a contrast of great views over the city. The course was packed dirt, grass and through farmers fields. It's never PB potential as there are some good short sharp hills in it, a bit of (very brief and easy) climbing over or under the odd fence or railing. However this event is not really about PB's.
The atmosphere was great and very friendly, you could have been a beginner or elite and it would have made no odds. I covered 40 miles over the weekend, which made for good marathon training, but there is no limit to the laps you could do, you just need to agree with your team. Everyone was there for the experience. There was a nice buzz around base camp, which was set ip nicely for eating and interacting and the live scoring was a great touch. I enjoyed the food I did have and thought it was reasonably priced, although I mainly took my own. However one of our squadron members was not as forgiving, as was relying on the food, especially when there was no coffee at a relatively early stage.
The course was well marshalled (thanks again) over all 24 hours, and despite thinking I might get lost this didn't even nearly happen.
A really great event which I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys their running. Easy to get to/from and easy to park. Date of review: October 21, 2014
In short: An enjoyable race with some teething problems. In full: This was the first Chelmsford Marathon and due to weather conditions some of the course was changed last minute, very positive that there was a contingency plan. That said, I, like all of my friends who ran were adamant the course was too long. You expect a bit longer but I measured at over 400 metres too long and some friends longer. Not a massive deal but I missed my target by 7 seconds, which was a bit frustrating. It was even more confusing at the end when my watch was suggesting I was almost finished, yet being sent off to do another small lap was a bit soul destroying.
Right, that felt like too much grumbling. I really enjoyed the scenery, found the Marshall's very helpful and supportive. Nice to see bottles of water, bananas and sweets being handed out. By doing the laps you got to see fellow runners and crowd support more often, so there weren't too many points of running alone. Support was good, although it did make the laps in the final park seem a bit more chaotic and felt I was constantly running round spectators towards the end, but hey this was a public park.
All in all I enjoyed it, I did get a PB, but more from vastly improved running since last marathon opposed to the course itself.
Very well done organisers, I can't begin to imagine how complex this was especially with the changes, but please listen to everyone's comments.
In short: An enjoyable race In full: I really enjoyed the race, challenging in places, but long downhills too, which helped for a pb, so happy. Similarly to a previous poster, I wasn't listed to run, despite having paypal receipt, but organisers resolved without issue. On the whole, a very enjoyable experience for a good event in it's first year. Date of review: March 18, 2012