MORE than 100 runners are warming up before saying goodbye to the old year the only way they know - with a New Years Eve marathon.

The running fans will take on a 26.2 miles route beginning at Great Notley Country Park, heading westwards along the Flitch Way, past Dunmow, before arriving in Takeley 13 miles away.

They will then turn around and come back along the picturesque route before arriving back in Notley.

A New Years Day marathon following the same route will also be held the following day for those who want to bring in 2019 with a run.

The event is the brainchild of Lindley Chambers who set-up his company Challenge Running in 2012 after taking early retirement from the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

During his time there, the 44-year-old spent a period based at the service's headquarters in Witham before giving his job up to focus on the business.

Mr Chambers said: "When we first started the Flitch Way marathon four years ago we had maybe 30 people come along, but it's grown to about 130 or 140 now.

"The numbers are always lower on New Years Day and a lot of the people who come along on New Years Day will have taken part in the marathon the day before too.

"It's appeals to people because they enjoy running and it's a nice way for them to see out the old year and bring in the new year.

"The Flitch Way is a brilliant place to run because there are no cars and it's enclosed by trees on both sides - whatever the weather it's always a fantastic place to run."

There are checkpoints along the route and the race is due to begin at 10am on both days.

Visit to enter or for more information.