A popular summer handicap 5K race series around the Maldon promenade in Essex with 5 races from late April to July.
You start down the pathway near the coach park and turn right past the finish/race HQ, right again to run out of the park along Park Drive before entering the park again, running along the promenade before turning around to come back into the park, turning left at the skate park to complete 1 lap. You repeat this one more time.
Apart from a short incline as you go past the skate park as you finish each lap it is a lovely flat course and is a really well marshalled at every turning point it would be hard to go wrong.
There are a few tight corners, like when you have to run through the gates entering the park and the turn around point near the Statue of Byrhtnoth.
For regular Park runners, the course is similar to the Maldon Prom Parkrun except you run in the opposite direction and go out of the park avoiding the forest loop of the Parkrun course making the handicap series course quicker in my opinion as its all on flat surface.
How Does The Handicap Work?
The idea of the handicap is to give runners of different abilities the chance to compete equally.
The handicap is based on 40 minutes, so if you think that it will take you 30 minutes to complete your run you will be given a 10-minute handicap and start at 7.40pm. If you expect to do a 20-minute 5K you will have a 20-minute handicap and start at 7.50pm and so on. The idea is that everyone finishes close together.
After each race the handicaps are adjusted as you get quicker. By the end of the series, hopefully you will have improved your personal best.
There is plenty of parking at the Promenade Park Car Park off Park Drive.
You have to pay for parking until 8PM and you can use the RingGo app rather than the machine.
Don't panic if your parking runs out before you finish your race as the gates are not closed.
There are public toilets within a short distance of the Race HQ on the way to the start line.
No official photographers but a few volunteers and marshals took photos that were shared on the Maldon 5K Series Facebook page.
£12 for all 5 races or £3 on the night if there are spaces, which is incredible value given the cost of races these days.
Who Organises It?
Maldon 5K Series is organised by local running club Tiptree Runners.
How To Enter?
This is only part I found slightly frustrating. You have to download a form from the Tiptree Runners website, scan it in, email it over and bank transfer your entry fee.
However, the cost reflects this with incredible value in the entry fee. I would happily pay more though for a proper online entry system.
Results are normally published by the morning on the website and shared on the Facebook page.
Would I Enter Again?
Yes, although I found the entry process a little frustrating it is a brilliantly organised handicap series by a local running club with a good range of abilities thanks to the handicap system.
Things To Bear In Mind?
- Do not throw away your race number, this is your number for the whole series.
- Your 4 best scores out of the 5 races are counted towards your final position, so you can afford to miss 1 race due to holidays or have a bad race.
- The first race of the series can be a bit unorganised whilst they set up the handicap list with on the night entries.
- Bring some warm layers for the 1st race as it can get chilly by 7:30PM whilst you are waiting for the race to start.
If you have any questions you would like to ask about the Maldon 5K series, please ask below in the comments.
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