In Your Area - Essex

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Orion 15 Runners

The running scene in Essex is like the county itself - diverse and lively with lots of surprises just around the corner. Once you get beyond the cliche of suburban bling, an observer looking at the county of Essex sees an area of interesting contrast from the built-up urban area adjacent to the M25 to quaint country villages, seaside locations and rural idylls. The running scene shows a similar diversity and also a unique nature that would surprise the unfamiliar.

Of course there are big events - there are 1,000 plus half marathons at Brentwood, Colchester and Southend, plus Essex hosts hugely popular Race for Life 5k events at half a dozen locations, and there are 9 Saturday 5k parkruns in Essex outside the M25 plus 2, soon to be 3, Sunday junior 2k parkruns. However there is a fascinating sub-culture of cross-country events, fell running and trail running Essex-style, where small informal races are run from local pubs taking in scenic routes - Halstead Road Runners tell us: "The final race from the Thatchers Arms at Mount Bures was organised by Mike Grealy and enjoyed by all, despite the hills and the heat!"

And then there's the Crown to Crown 5k trail series and the ELVIS races, a number of popular cross-country leagues and the iconic Essex Way Relay. Billericay Striders have captured something of the diverse offerings: "More than 20 runners met up for the final summer evening cross country run. Keith's knowledge of the maze of public footpaths around Ramsden enabled him to lead an excellent series of runs which showed off bits of our county that many of us would otherwise never see. The runs included exposure to fig rolls, cups of tea, plenty of mud and enough nettles for Brian Cowling to shake a stick at. The final run finished with an excellent buffet at the Nag's Head."

The club scene is obviously vibrant and clubs like Springfield Striders and Castle Point Joggers illustrate its inclusive nature where the emphasis is on fun and participation although the competitive spirit does raise its head and there are lots of leagues and competitions across the various running disciplines.

If you just want an easy run in England's green and pleasant land then Essex offers so many possibilities; we'll highlight one - Dedham Vale, close to the Suffolk border. It's an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it did impress John Constable!

The next time you ponder this misrepresented county don't think of the 'Only Way Is Essex' think of clubs with names like Little Baddow Ridge Runners and Grange Farm Trotters and events like the Widdington Woody Wiggle.


We are compiling a list of running groups, clubs, stores and facilities in Essex. If you would like to add information to our listing please get in touch with us.


The best way to improve your running - join one of Essex's active running clubs.


A friendly way to run with other people.


Where can you find local physiotherapy, sports massage & other services for runners.

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