Published on Friday, 1st September 2017
Set to be the best year yet, the team are getting ready for the fifth annual Saltmarsh75 on the 7th and 8th of October.
Could you walk or run 75 miles in just two days?
The Saltmarsh75 is a two day ultra-marathon, where competitors tackle 75 miles of some of England’s most unique and stunning coast line; the Saltmarsh Coast of the Maldon District. People take on the challenge as a walker, a runner, or a bit of both, we have a variety of packages to suit all, including relay and duo options.
Limited places are still available at www.Saltmarsh75.co.uk
Starting in South Woodham Ferrers, the trail follows the River Crouch until it meets the North Sea, before turning left through the remote Dengie Marshes to Bradwell-on-Sea at the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary. Sunday’s remaining 37 miles run through the Blackwater’s historical towns and villages of Maldon, Goldhanger and Tollesbury, finishing at the hamlet of Salcott-cum-Virley.
Participants can choose either to run or walk the course, and many do a mix of both. Some complete each day in around 7 hours while many walk until well after darkness has fallen, which in the Dengie is very dark. Over the last few years only around 45 - 75% of participants have managed to complete the challenge and many have returned to try again. Some participants claim it is the psychological challenges presented by the never ending flatness of the Saltmarsh Coast that defeated them. While others claim the camaraderie of other participants and volunteers make the Saltmarsh 75 their favourite ever event.
The event, conceived by two Council employees, is also a good test of the Council’s emergency response resources and protocols. Owing to the remoteness of some parts of the course, the event is supported by Rover Rescue which is part of Essex Land Rover Club and RAYNET, The Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network.
Last year’s event saw over 150 competitors come to Maldon District to test themselves in the two day event. This year the team have produced dedicated training guides and a new website with all the practical information participants need.
Cllr Bob Boyce MBE, Chairman of Community Services said “The Saltmarsh 75 is a great event and a true challenge. Competitors travel the full length of the Maldon District Coast line and discover miles of stunning wilderness and coastal towns. The Council are proud to be able to support this event, but without the efforts of all our volunteers it could not take place.”
Cllr Ian Dobson, who successfully completed the event in 2015 and 2016 said “This is an amazing event and I would like to thank all the people who work so hard to put it together. You feel supported and looked after the whole way round. However, it is very hard and there are times it seems impossible. It was a great feeling to reach the finish line and I will never forget the experience.