In short: A fantastic race through undulating terrain. When you start to suffer, those fantastic marshals will keep you going. In full: As a relatively new runner (8 months or so) this is the first time that I have entered the Benfleet 15 - and I am mightily glad that I did.
This is a race that will challenge you. The terrain rises and falls and, at times, can be hard going underfoot. But the route takes in some great trails and really good views that soon draw your mind away from the punding you are giving your feet (assuming that you don't have to run it in a blizzard, that is).
Personally though the thing that made this race for me was the organisation and marshalling. Despite heavy snow on the morning of the race - it all went ahead and ran like clockwork (take note, train companies). And all the way around the route, the team of friendly, encouraging marshals gave me just the lift that I needed to keep going. Given that these poor guys had been standing around in driving snow and sub-zero temperatures, I amazed how they kept their spirits up - but they did.
The sharp climb behind Benfleet Station (Station Road, I think) was a real challenge - coming somewhere around 13.5 miles. But the water stop at the top with supplies of jelly babies and chocolate was incredibly well positioned (and well worth losing 20 seconds off of your time for).
Even better, at the end of this you don't get just another faux metal medal - you get a very nice running shirt - which you can then wear to let everyone know you've finished the Benfleet 15.
Top work Benfleet Running Club - this is now a firm fixture in my diary. Date of review: January 24, 2013