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: tough race but worth the effort In full: If this were a summer event then it would provide a completely different perspective. In the winter it’s cold (naturally) and bleak. Today it rained which kept support away and made it slippery and hard to see when hurtling downhill! But it’s a proper challenge, with relentless up and down terrain and little in the way of even paths and sanctuary. I guess some of the corners are acute which meant almost stopping in places, and even the flat sections rolled and took just a little bit more; if you can finish without stopping and break the hour then you’ve earned cake. Date of review: February 10, 2016
In short: Some like it hot In full: Yes it was hot; the weather forecast told us. So did the organiser who encouraged us to carry water and run wisely! Experienced runners could grab a cup if they needed it, others could carry a bottle of choice and not get caught out. This was part of a well organised event, friendly and inclusive with lots of club runners on show and beginners too. The seaside run was nice, with some views of the offshore wind farm and a tranquil grey blue sea!
In short: Tough without the roads In full: A challenging event that has 3 sandy sections (2 miles) about 1 mile on the road and the rest thru the grass and up high, off road and a solid earth base. Usually some breeze to contend with and hot too - this race is great! Date of review: June 29, 2015
In short: If it wasn't for the wind In full: Nice Works have organised a good set of evening 5k out and backs along the Clacton prom. Inevitably you will be hit by the wind in one direction or another, but it doesn't matter - it's not fiercely competitive and the organisers are welcoming and kind with warm words and prizes for all types of finisher. These are very inclusive races. Date of review: June 29, 2015
In short: It's tough and very hilly In full: Reflection on a race is very important - review it the day after for perspective! Over the finish line, thoughts of "never again" and "thank God that's over" crashed into each other. It's a low key race that runs very smoothly and praise to the organisers for that, the mile markings (give or take 10 seconds) and marshalls too were great and a doughnut with a cup of tea :-) Mmmmmm! The scenery was foggy so no views to admire. There's no relentless straight flat roads here; it twists a bit and climbs and falls to test you beyond what you have probably trained for. It's really good to have this race in the calendar and finding a sub-90 will be a job well done. Baggage control was excellent and thank you for the bus back to town - we were going to walk, but felt cold rather than tired. Try this race and see how good at hills you really are! Oh! and well done the over 50 men - great times in there - to the 49 year olds, your time will come Date of review: February 16, 2015
In short: Tough, but then, every up has a down In full: Four of us turned up and parked in the field, pleased to note the portaloos, albeit still 10 tantalising minutes walk away! First box ticked. The hall and running amenities a further few minutes away, with baggage, more loos, info and plenty to while away the time until we were off for the half marathon. The ladies were dressed as Wicked Stepmother and Snow White, which naturally piqued the interest of the man with the mike! The start was faultless; pacers doubled up - we streamed out of the grounds, with the wind swirling but rain clouds at bay. The course was kind at first with gentle climbs. This increased in difficulty as the road wound around and around - we stayed with the pace, and got lots of encouragement from the supporters, pacers and each other. This theme was maintained throughout, until the last climb tailed off at around mile 10. The final miles meandered downwards until we re-entered the ground. Smallest gripe was the forced additional point 2 (13.2) which went up the path and back again! this thwarted the hopes of everyone who thought the finish was in sight, but then cruelly ripped from our grasp! Anyway, that aside, the medal and buff and snacks post run were gratefully received. Instant times are a great touch too. This was a really good event, well devised and with all edges rounded off. Looking forward to another Just Racing event. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Terrific race for the flat and off road In full: On a classic autumn morning, but still vest weather, the race set out fast and flat along the canal - quickly finding a rhythm as the front runners snake out over the first 6 miles. Then a sharp right and cow dung was an indicator of the incline to come, a gradual then sharp shift upwards for a good mile; this was good after the even start. It reminded me of a roller coaster which grnds you up hill before throwing you down and left and right and down, down again! the mud was ok and not too slippy either - brilliant! The final 3 / 4 miles back along the canal tests the quads and glutes after being off road, but it was all faultless. Markings and marshalls and finish were seamless and a Big well Done to all at Dirt Half - thank you! Date of review: November 18, 2013
In short: A great half marathon In full: Great loos, space to stretch and spacious line up. Sudden start from a funny marshall with a microphone! It encourages pace by its flat and wide spaces, great support and kind marshalling. It's not entirely flat as miles 10 and 11 demonstrate, but if you have the legs and stamina a pb is yours cos the last mile is a dream downhill. Terrific goody bag, and baggage, car park exit gives free smiles for the drive home. Really well done Chippenham! Date of review: September 20, 2013
In short: charming and welcoming In full: A lovely morning spent in the (hot) surroundings of Richmond Park - went out too fast, and the benefits of Know Your Course should have been heeded today; I blame the 'first lady' for encouraging the pace! I met a lot of lovely people on course, and the marshalls and masseuse at the finish were so kind(ish)! This is a great secret race and I would do it again - had MK the next day, so I kept a bit back; great goodies, great donut 'borrowed' from a picnic and a great race. Date of review: May 7, 2013