In short: It'll be perfect in 2016! In full: This is a great event for the area and had a really good atmosphere. The new start was an improvement and the Lucozade van at the finish a nice touch.
Last year it was horrific storms, this year it was a heatwave! Third time lucky on the weather and with some organisation 'tweaks' and the planned promenade route, 2016 will be perfect - see you there!
In terms of the tweaks...
1. Get a clear route map online and in the race pack. Everyone seemed to be asking for this - runners and spectators need to know where they're going.
2. The small public toilets aren't enough.
3. Brief the marshals. I'm sure that some marshals were added at the last minute to contend with the extra water requirements caused by the heat. I also know that this is a volunteer role and one that is very appreciated. However, it was clear that some were unsure what they were doing - from keeping runners on pavements to handing out water (rather than pour your own).
More plus points...
The 2016 route will be lovely. Results are quickly available online and sent via email. Great mix of club and just for fun runners. The amount of runners was perfect and I didn't experience any congestion. Great spectators and support. Friendly organisers.
In short: Off to a good start! In full: This is the first time the area has had an official Half Marathon since the 80's (I think) and despite horrendous conditions and all of the teething problems you'd expect, they did a pretty good job!
The hurricane had clearly taken hold of some of the mile markers and perhaps deterred a few marshals. Directions on parts of the route were slightly unclear - but this can all easily be fixed next time around.
The start was well organised and clear, parking was plentiful and there were enough toilets based on the amount of runners.
Things got started on time and developed in to what was a beautiful run along the Essex coast, first to Clacton pier and then back along towards Frinton-on-Sea. The torrential rain clearly got to some people, for me however, this is a lovely trip out - whether rain, snow or sunshine! On the route, water stops were regular and well-stocked.
The wind is ever-present along here, so I don't think it would make for perfect PB conditions but it is reasonably flat and over a fair amount or road/tarmac.
The medal will keep silverware hunters happy and the main goody-bag contents - a banana and cookie - were just the ticket for me. I might be evicted if I add any more 'samples' to our kitchen draw!
I think the organisers and marshals should be proud of their achievement and for bringing a great event to the area. I hope they have the energy and passion to do it all again next year - I'll certainly be there.
In short: Worth the morning out if in the area! In full: Poor to average organisation - clearly more events people than runners! Worth the morning out if you're in the area but I wouldn't travel far to this one.
The course was pleasant but not particularly fast - a mixture or track, grass and trail.
Ok at £10 but don't do it for the medal or goody bag.