In short: Uplifting hidden Gem In full: Great varied course with two tough hills and thankfully some nice navigable downhills through the woods. Many thanks to all involved in organising and the volunteers en-route. Great local feel good run. Will be back next year. Date of review: September 15, 2013
In short: Great feel good run In full: Very enjoyable event with a few miles of nice flat tow paths to get you going before the climb and off road bit. Back down to the canal for the final 3 miles where you can pick up a regular pace again. Something different and will be back next year. Hopefully there will be more similar events as this is a winner and sold out again. Thanks to the organisers and helpers. The numerous signs for directions plus warnings of roots and normal canal type hazards was a nice touch. Thank you. Date of review: November 20, 2011
In short: Many thanks to Marshals and helpers In full: Yes not an inspiring route (though I quite liked the twists and turns) but a feel good and friendly local event so don't knock it. Great encouraging volunteers all the way and many thanks to them all. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Well worth doing In full: Very flat course and some lovely local support in a remote area. Many thanks to the organisers and helpers on the course offering encouragement. Very much a feel good event. Date of review: September 11, 2011
In short: Great organisation, flat and lots of homemade cake and tea In full: Really didn't mind the laps of the business park and I think a good idea to have the start there. Lots of parking, easy access and no traffic so perhaps not so bad really? Cross county bit great but shame about the bottlenecks on the pavement towards the end. Overall very slick and many thanks to the organisers. I will be back next year. Date of review: April 2, 2010
In short: Fantastic Organisation In full: Not the most scenic with some playful climbs but the organisation, mashalling and support from the Police best I have ever experienced for a race this size. Many thanks to everyone involved especially the young marshalls in the car park who were so polite and friendly asking me if I knew the way out and if I had a good race. There was even a marshall on the way out of the car park with a bit of banter for everyone leaving! Date of review: July 19, 2009
In short: Much better than expected In full: Having read some mixed reviews from previous years I was not quite sure what to expect. Ended up being very surprised and will be back again next year. Good course with mainly closed/quiet roads, endless water stops and 'fantastic' marshalls. Many thanks to all the volunteers on the route. Ice lollies at the end a nice touch and the whole event had the feel of a family day out with lots going on. Only gripe with parking and not turning cars around at the entrance to the park rather than letting them queue for 10-15 minutes to only find there were no spaces. Ended up parking in town which cost me £8. Yikes! Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Scorchio! In full: The heat would have normally had me hiding indoors alone let alone trying to complete 26 miles. Give me rain any day! PBs etc out of the window and for me and a lot of others it was an achievement to finish.
Despite the heat a lovely run (from what I remember!) and great organisation. The Marshals, St Johns Ambulance and helpers were fantastic in the conditions (including a young Air/Army Cadet who at around 20 miles told me to 'push it' while he lazed in a chair).
Many thanks to Halstead Road Runners for putting on such a great event. Date of review: May 12, 2008
In short: Friendly and popular well supported run for all abilities In full: Well I have never been in a run where everyone marches half a mile up the road to the start behind a Marching band and local dignitaries. Nice though, but don't forget the start is not at the assembly area!
This run definitely attracts runners of all albilites and probably many first timers like my Sister who would have punched me in the face 3 months ago if I suggested she did a half marathon. And good for it. She got around in just over 2 hours without stopping something she would have never imagined doing. Despite moving slowly the day after she now wants to carry on. The support along the way from local villages and people who had just pulled over to get out of their cars and clap people on was great.
My opinion is that this is very much a PB potential course (not for me this year bah!) and this may make me return next year. The last 3 miles is a bit of a downer as you spend most of it on the Ongar Road back into Brentwood which is quite busy, straight and dull. The little climb at the end is nothing to worry about but as you enter the town center you are driven off the road by cars so it's a case of then avoiding pedestrians and the pavement clutter until you hit the final run in free of cars.
There did seem to be plenty of water at the end I just think it was not too obvious as there were lots of runners milling around and it was not very well marshalled getting runners out of the way of those still coming in. Date of review: March 26, 2007