Blackwater Trail Events

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With a start in Chelmsford at the end of the Chelmer and Blackwater navigation, the route follows the waterway on a series of trail, grass and tarmac footpaths all the way through miles of tranquil Essex countryside through to Heybridge Basin, where the half marathon finishes.  A shuttle service will operate at regular intervals between the finish at Heybridge and the start at Chelmsford following the half marathon. Places on the shuttle can be booked/purchased at time of registration. 

The marathon distance continues through Heybridge Basin, along the Saltmarsh coastal footpath past Goldhanger out to the Wick Nature Reserve, Tollesbury, where it finishes.  We will offer a shuttle service from the finish of the marathon at Tollesbury back to the start in Chelmsford at regular intervals – tickets for which can be booked/purchased at time of registration. 

If you are entering the Ultramarathon, which will be approximately 40 miles in total, the route turns around at Tollesbury and heads back to Heybridge Basin following the same coastal path. The cut off time for the ultra-distance is a strict 10 hours. All Ultramarathon runners may park at Heybridge Basin before the race start and benefit from the use of a shuttle service from the Ultra finish area at Heybridge Basin back to the start, at 7:30am. The car park at Heybridge basin is currently free, although there may be plans to bring in charges in the future. Car park located here: Heybridge Car-Park.  There is likely to be a mandatory kit list for the ultra-marathon comprising of additional long-sleeved base-layer and taped seam waterproof jacket as a minimum

N.B. We will not be providing a shuttle service from the finish of the ultra at the end of the event back to Chelmsford.

Toilets will be available at the start, Heybridge Basin and in Tollesbury. 

Bag Drop

We will run a bus from the race start to both Heybridge and Tollesbury to take any bags etc. to the finish points depending on your race distance. This will enable the half marathon and marathon entrants to have warm clothing and anything else they require at the end of their event. 


There are numerous car parks in Chelmsford – the closest to the start is: Chelmsford Car Parks

There is parking in Heybridge basin here: Heybridge Car-park but spaces could be limited. You are advised to car share where appropriate, or make use of the shuttle service where possible. 

There is parking near the marathon finish in Tollesbury, but again it is limited. Tollesbury Car-Park

Route Map

Here are links to the event routes :

Half Marathon Route

Marathon Route

Ultra Marathon Route

Race start times: 

Ultra-marathon – 8:30am 

Marathon – 9am 

Half Marathon – 9am 

Cut-off times (time-limit for leaving relevant check-point)

Half-marathon finish & check-point - 3.5 hours

Marathon finish & check-point - 7 hours

Ultra-marathon finish - 10 hours

Aid Stations

There will be aid stations at approximately every 10km. These will be stocked with a variety of snacks, both sweet and savoury, such as jelly babies, flapjacks, biscuits and fruit and nuts. There will also be squash and flat coke for you, which we will be more than happy to fill your flasks and reusable cups with. 

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be cupless, as we make a move to reduce plastic waste. We're happy for you to use any receptacle you like, flask, cup or bladder, but if you would like to purchase a reusable cup, we have some available for purchase online during your registration. All cups to be collected on race-day. We will also have a stock of cups for purchase on race-day, should you need one.

With an opportunity to run on a picturesque costal course with a sought after, unique, bespoke medal, finishers t-shirt & goody bag, this promises to be a fantastic event for runners of all abilities.  UKA Affliated Member & Race Permit issued by TRA and a 100 Club qualifiying event.

Please view our Terms and Conditions before registering for any event.

There will be no excuse for littering given the ability to dispose of any unwanted rubbish at each aid station.  We would like to continue to return to this venue regularly and constant littering might make this difficult. 

Blackwater Trail Events May 2022

  • 22/05/2022, 09:00

    Half Marathon 2022

    £26.00 - £28.00
  • 22/05/2022, 08:30

    Marathon 2022

    £39.00 - £41.00
  • 22/05/2022, 08:30

    Ultra Marathon 2022

    £51.00 - £53.00



Chelmsford, Essex