Sponsored post: October 21 will see the return of one of Essex’s best marathons

Now in its fifth year, the Chelmsford Marathon, raising funds for The J’s Hospice, returns to the lovely Essex countryside on Sunday October 21. We are urging runners to sign up now so they don’t miss out on taking part in this scenic country marathon.

A stunning 26.2-mile single lap course of road running and tarmac paths through Chelmsford and pretty surrounding villages, this is an ideal route for both first-time marathon runners and the more experienced who are looking for a PB.

Last year 875 runners registered – this year, organisers at the charity hope to see 1000 people on the start line.

The route will be well marshalled and sign posted with lead cyclists and a sweep runner. Pacers will be supporting runners looking to achieve times of 3.30 to 5.30 (in 15-min time slots). There will be regular water stations to keep runners hydrated and bottled water at the finish.

On completion of the race all finishers will receive a commemorative medal, technical T-shirt and goody bag. There will be trophies for the first three male and female runners across the line, male and female age category winners and individual team winners.

Back at the Central Park race hub, there will be great facilities – a free bag drop, hot and cold refreshments, sports therapists, and running supply shop as well as an MC and music.

The Chelmsford Marathon raises vital funds for The J’s Hospice, which is Essex’s only community-based hospice service wholly dedicated to caring for young adults with life-limiting illnesses: providing tailored nursing and emotional care, advice and activities in their home or in the community.

Lucy Burgess, The J’s Events Fundraiser, said: “The Chelmsford Marathon is a really popular event that appeals to elite athletes as well as those new to distance running. The feedback we get from the runners each year is fantastic – they love the course, the friendly atmosphere and the enthusiastic marshals cheering them on!

“The money raised helps to pay for the specialist care that our young adults and their families really rely on.

“Our hospice care can only exist because of the support and generosity of the local community, so on behalf of The J’s I’d like to thank every runner. Your entry fees and any further fundraising is helping another young adult supported in the way they wish, helping them to live life to the full, however short. Together, you’re ‘Making every day count.’”

Havens Hospices is a registered charity – not part of the NHS – and receives limited government funding. The organisation must raise over £100,000 every week to be there for everyone who needs its care.

» To take part in this great marathon and to support the work of the J’s Hospice sign up now at havenshospices.org.uk/chelmsfordmarathon