Halstead & Essex Marathon Information

The Halstead Marathon began in 1995 and was the idea of Colin Richer, and other Halstead Road Runners club members and since then the race has become an annual event.

This has been possible mainly due to a core of supporters within Halstead Road Runners and help from Halstead Town Council. In addition, local commerce continually support the race as do various local voluntary organisations and other local running clubs providing invaluable marshalling on race day.

The race attracts athletes from across the UK and abroad and the furthest known travellers to the race have been from Sydney Australia .

North Essex is relatively unrecognised as an area of extreme beauty but has an abundance of hidden back roads amongst rolling hills, woods and farmlands. Even more attractive to runners is that, apart from a 400m stretch in the last mile, the race is entirely on roads with very little traffic.

As a club we have been able to offer a well organised race with every facility to make it a memorable event for experienced and new marathon runners alike.

A new course was utilized for 2015 to ensure runner safety and the current course records are Male 2.37.56 (Chris Sellens Colchester Harriers) and Female 3.13.22 (Nicky Tyrell Royston Runners). Don’t forget that record breakers win a £200 prize (male and female).

The Halstead and Essex Marathon will host the Essex and Hertfordshire County Championships for 2016.

Halstead Road Runners is a small club of around ninety-five members in a rural area. We ask a lot from our members every year to support this all day event.

We hope for yet another record number of entrants in 2017 and hope you will join us in 2017 our 23nd marathon and as always we hope to meet old friends on the day and make new friends with our first time runners.

We pride ourselves on providing a “Race for Runners” which has been continually rated in the top 5 marathon races in the UK and once again will donate a large percentage of any profits to local charities and schools.

Reviewers on Runners World rate our race very highly so please Click here to read online reviews.

Course profile

Screenshot 2015-02-05 20.59.52 copy

Race Licence Number issued by England Athletics 2016/20238.

Course Accuracy certificate issued by www.coursemeasurement.org.uk 15/026

For those with Sat-Nav you are aiming for:-   Halstead Leisure Centre, Colne Road, Halstead, Essex CO9 2HR Tel. 01787 472480

For those who don’t, here’s some detailing directions of how to get there by car.

From London and the West – Halstead is just over half an hour’s driving from the M11 junction of the M25 (junction 27). Take the M11 north to Junction 8 (Stansted Airport and Birchhanger Services). From Junction 8 of the M11 take the A120 East shown ‘Stansted Airport and A120 Colchester’ to the Braintree Bypass and follow signs ‘A131 Sudbury’ . Go right round the bypass to the A131 for the last five miles to Halstead. When you arrive at Halstead, go straight through the town, up the hill, straight over the two mini roundabouts continuing in the direction of Sudbury. After about 400 yards, you will need to turn right into Colne Road (with its speed bumps) This turn will be signed and marshalled at the busy period before the start. Race HQ is ~ 400 yards on your left and parking just passed that on your right (marshalled).

From the North and Midlands – Take the A1 & M14 to join the M11 near Cambridge then south to Junction 8. See above for directions from the M11.

From the Southeast – Leave the M25 at Brentwood (junction 28) and take the A12 northeast, passing Chelmsford. Turn off at Witham and follow signs for Braintree (B1018). On the approach to Braintree you will pick up the A120 / Braintree by-pass; follow signs for Halstead (A131). See above for directions from the A120.

From the A1124 Junction with the A12 – continue along the A1124 for the last 9 miles to Halstead. The A12 is a boring dual carriageway almost up to motorway specifications in places; which makes the A1124 a pleasant experience for those not in a hurry. A designated scenic route, it winds through the Colne Valley passing down the half-timbered main streets of Ford Street, Chappel (with spectacular viaduct over the valley), White Colne, Wakes Colne and Earls Colne until, just as you enter Halstead after passing the small industrial estate, you take Colne Road on your right. The junction will be signed and also marshalled at the busy period before the start. You will soon arrive at the race headquarters and be directed to the adjacent car park.

From East Anglia – Travel south down the A12 driving round the Colchester bypass until you reach the A1124 Junction. See above for directions from the A12.

From Harwich Car Ferry (28 Miles) – Take the A120 to Colchester and drive round the bypass to the A1124 Junction. See above for directions from the A12.

From Felixstowe Car Ferry (37 miles) – Take the A14 to A12 junction. Travel south (London and Colchester) and drive round the Colchester bypass to the A1124 Junction. See above for directions from the A12.

From Stansted Airport See above for directions from the M11.

Water Stations

There are six water stations (simply numbered 1 to 6) of which five are visited twice. We also provide the facility to deliver runners own drinks to the water stations:

  • Runners should clearly label/mark their own drinks with their running number before they arrive on race day and place them in the crates (numbered 1 to 6) at Race HQ.
  • For obvious logistical reasons we cannot commit to delivering an unlimited number of drinks so when the crates are full the service is suspended.
  • Runners drinks will be delivered to the course at 9:15.
  • We strongly advise runners to arrive early should they wish to take up this facility (Race HQ opens at 8am and we politely ask people not to arrive any sooner).
  • We also ask runners to be fair to their fellow competitors and bring no more than three drinks (any more is unnecessary given the provision of water).
  • Runners may also attach one gel to each drink (securely with selotape, not an elastic band) if so desired.


With our Race HQ at Halstead Leisure Centre there are many facilities available and lots of space for spectators. Why not bring a deck chair and
settle-in at the finish line. Maps of the course for spectators will be available at the Information Desk. Please ask your friends and family to park responsibly out on course, not all road users are as considerate to runners as you may think.
There are a number of particularly convenient places to watch the race. If you have a car, Levit’s Corner is interesting as the runners pass this area three times. Parking is towards Pebmarsh in the Football Club (follow the signs) – please do not park at the side of the road.

Essex County Championships

UKA affiliated runners who were born in, or have been resident in Essex for 9 months or more are eligible for this championship. The Essex County Amateur Athletic Association Road Race Secretary’s decision as to eligibility is final. Entry on the day is not possible. The closing date to be included in the championship is 1ST May 2016. Awards are made to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers (both male and female) and first 3 finishing teams (both male and female). Also the following age category awards: Male – senior, over 40, 50, 60 and 70.  Female – senior, over 35, 45, 55 and 65.

Trophy presentations

The Race Director’s decision as to the distribution of trophies is final. There will be 2 presentations starting at approximately 2.15pm: the Halstead & Essex Marathon and the Essex County Championships. The Halstead & Essex Marathon itself has a “one person, one trophy” policy. Therefore 1st, 2nd and 3rd places receive place trophies and thereafter other runners receive age category prizes. The trophies are:

  • Male 1st to 3rd place and 1st over 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70
  • Female 1st to 3rd place and 1st over 35, 40, 45, 50, 55
  • 1st Male and Female Teams (Please note that a team comprises of the 1st 3 finishing runners from a club).
  • The Sports Council Trophy which is given to the 1st finishing runner resident in the Braintree District Council area.
  • The Colin Richer Trophy which is given to the 1st finishing runner of the Halstead Road Runners.

All trophies must be collected on the day, unless £10 is left with the Race Director to cover postage and packaging.