In short: Mud, water, wind, mud, pain. Great organisation and marshalling In full: I can't say that we weren't warned. There is mud (lots of it) between miles 6 & 9, some of it smelly. The start lulls the runner into a false sense of security with a nice flat 5 mile jog along the sea wall, but when we hit the really heavy stuff it was like 'Bambi on ice'(except perhaps for the first few, and they were well out of my sight!) At least we gave the photographers a good laugh.
Great encouragement from the marshals, and the food was really welcome at about 9.5 miles.
Great refreshments and lovely home-made cake at the HQ, but the showers were freezing and no more than a trickle (although I don't think that's the organiser's fault!) Excellent technical t-shirt to finishers.
I would certainly give this one another try, but would first get fitter, and use old kit (bring a black sack and deposit said muddy kit in nearest bin).
Thanks for a fun day out! Date of review: February 3, 2011
In short: Good tough prep for London In full: Very well organised, excellent marshalls (thank you!), well signposted, well spaced and well manned water stations (thanks again!). Course very undulating, made tougher by the strong wind, but pleasant villages and scenery with little traffic to take your mind off the hills. The last mile is torture, winding through a housing estate and school playing field. Car park seemed like miles away, especially the walk back uphill from HQ after the race. Nice polo shirt as a memento. Main gripe is the freezing cold showers in the men's changing room (same as last year, I see from the feedback) but being a school this should be easily fixed! Overall a nice event but I probably wouldn't make the 200 mile round trip again. Date of review: April 6, 2006
In short: Friendly race with good crowds towards the finish. Very well organised In full: Downhill start with the wind this year so the later stages were hard uphill and into wind! HQ in a school and facilities therefore very good, but large numbers make it a lttle crowded at times. Scenery is mixed with most miles done on country roads with a few idiots in cars occasionally making life a little unpleasant. Drinks were provided but first station was at about 4 or 5 miles, so some were getting thirsty (drinks also in plastic cups so difficult to drink on the move, but this is not unusual). Praise for the marshals and helpers who were unfailingly encouraging on a very cold blustery day - thank you! Excellent organisation by the Rotary Club. This was my third time at this event and it remained at its high standard in 2006. Date of review: March 15, 2006
In short: Good course, good facilites, friendly marshals and water station personnel In full: * Likes: > Course - fairly flat, but challenging all the same, especially with a tough wind in your face for the last (uphill) mile. > HQ - Excellent facilities > Organisation – well organised, number etc sent out in good time with clear instructions/directions > Organisation – plenty of marshals, all friendly & efficient. > Organisation - good number of water stations with plenty of sponges
* Opportunities for improvement: > HQ - let down slightly by poor signposting and overcrowding - need to know where alternative toilets/showers are (if any) > HQ - shame about the (undermanned) baggage store - I gave up and put gear in car - great idea but needs a different layout (also suggest queue elsewhere than in crowded corridor) > Start - no idea where start was, fortunately followed the herd and found it. > Course - not keen on the farm track which was full of pot holes and had a loose surface. > Course – some narrow sections along pavements > Course – this is the Southend 1/2M – where is the sea?
* In general, a good event which I would consider running again. Date of review: June 14, 2005
In short: Well organised, friendly event with excellent facilities In full: Undulating course with a few slopes steep enough to make the HRM bleep (Essex is not flat!) Very well organised event with 3 water stations en route (plus one at the finish), plus a sponge station at 5 miles. Good changing facilities. Slight negatives were plastic cups that are impossible to drink from, and apparent lack of title sponsor's produce (local brewery) ;-) Recommended! Date of review: May 22, 2005