Runners are gearing up for the annual town marathon.

The Halstead and Essex marathon is set to take place this weekend and hundreds of people are expected to take part once again.

Starting from Halstead Leisure Centre, participants will set off in the direction of Pebmarsh, travelling along country roads and taking in some of the best sights of Colne Valley.

Once the runners have reached Pebmarsh, they will head north to Twinstead where they will then loop round and head south all the way down to Colne Engaine.

Once at Colne Engaine, competitors will again head up to Pebmarsh where they will follow the original route up to Twinstead before finally heading south and down into Halstead.

The race finishes at Halstead Leisure Centre, where a trophy presentation will take place around 2.15pm.

Only runners coming first, second and third in specific age and gender categories will receive prizes.

There will be six separate water stations set up throughout the route and medics will be on patrol to ensure runners receive any medical help they require.

Each participant will be given their running number before the event, along with a chip which will help provide an accurate finish time. Those who are unable to complete the race are asked to return to the finish line and inform race officials.

Spectators are welcome but it is recommended they head to the leisure centre to see the start and end of the race.

A statement on Halstead Road Runners’ website reads: “Our marathon has been generously supported over the last 23 years. Our aim has been to ensure many charities benefit from the race. This year promises to be bigger and better.”

The race takes place this Sunday and starts at 10am, however runners are asked to arrive by no later than 9.30am.

For more information, visit