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Southend Half-marathon: Route preview

June 6, 2011

The Southend seafront on a clear day - very, very flatThe Southend Half-Marathon has something of a reputation for being fast and flat. Run the seafront on flat roads with relatively little traffic by a mixure of club runners and charity fundraisers it attracts around 1500 competitors each year.

The route takes runners through a few residential roads before heading out to the seafront. Runners complete two laps of the seafront to build up the necessary distance before cutting back inland. The remaining mile-and-a-bit is then run alongside the coast before cutting back inland for the final 0.1 mile to reach the finish line. All in all, this route makes the most of the opportunity to run by the sea, which certainly makes it a draw for land-locked runners.

The route of the Southend Half-marathon

The route hugs to the seafront and gives every runner the chance to see the battle for the podium positions

The race is well-served for drinks stations with four on the course, three of which runners pass more than once during the lap section along the seafront. Toilets also abound, which might be just as well with so much liquid readily available on a summer’s day. June in the UK can be a hit-and-miss affair, but when it’s hot you’re well advised to keep hydrated.

Crucially, the race is pancake flat with the difference between the highest point on the course and the lowest point on the course being about 25 metres.

Elevation on the Southend Half-marathon - basically there are no hills

This is about as flat as it gets without running the race on an athletics track - which would be beyond boring

Despite being flat, a strong wind off the sea may make the race more challenging than would initially appear to be the case. June being what it is in Britain runners should have suntan lotion and perhaps an umbrella to hand to prepare for any eventuality… But, with the right conditions, this course carries PB potential.

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