Essex Road Relays – final instructions

28 March 2024 - By Jodee Mayer

The below has been provided by EAA:

Essex and Suffolk Road Relays Sunday 07 April2024: Race Instructions

Location: Northern Gateway Sports Park, Cuckoo Farm Way. CO4 5YX


1. Race timetable:
Junior Girls (U13/U15/U17) 9.30am
Junior Boys (U13/15/U17) – 10.15am
Senior Women and Vet Women – 10.50am
Vet Men – 12.15pm
Senior Men 1.30pm

2. Directions

The Northern Gateway is located just off Junction 28 of the A12 (the other side from the football stadium).  If heading East on A12 take the exit and turn left, then first right into the venue.

If travelling West on A12 take the exit and turn right at the roundabout, crossing the A12 and straight across the next roundabout, taking the first right into the Sports Park.

3. Parking

There is a reasonable amount of parking at the venue butwe have been asked not to park in the area allocated to the Rugby Club as they have an event on as well. The car park will get full as it has in previous years so it would still make sense to share cars wherever possible.  We have managed, again this year, to organise some additional parking at Colchester United Football Ground which is just the other side of the A12 from the Venue.  There will be marshals there until about 10.30am.  As you enter the turning for the football ground, drive to the main car park (ignoring the parking on the left hand side) and park in the rows on the left of the main car park as you look at it driving in. (Basically the closest to walk out again). There will be signs saying ‘Race Parking’. Please only park here as this is our allocated area and there are other events on at the Football Ground. It is about a 10 minute walk from there to the venue, straight across the A12.  Please take care crossing the roads as they can be quite busy.

At the venue, the parking time allowed is 4 hours and you will need to enter your car reg no into the I-pads which are just inside reception on the right.  If you are at the venue for more than 4 hours please re-enter your details as your 4 hours approaches.

Team Managers and Officials, please send me yourname, club and car reg to the mail below and we will let the venue know that you will be there all day.  Please don’t mail if you are not one of the above, your details will not be taken.  Please mail:;

4. Changing facilities

There will be no changing or ‘bag drop’ facilities at the venue.  Parking is relatively close to the event so please come ‘almost’ ready to run.



5. Registration

Registration will take place in a room to the left as you walk in to the reception area. Numbers can be collected here on the day. There is a front number for all athletes.In addition, age category numbers will be given to all junior and vet runners indicating which championship race they are participating in. Numbers will not be handed out to individual athletes; Team Managersonly, will be required to collect numbers. This will help to reduce the amount of traffic through registration. Team declarations are to be made by Team Managers in the week after the event.  The detail of this will be sent to you separately.

6. First Aid

There will be first aiders on site throughout the event

7. Toilets

There are limited toilet facilities within the venue and you are asked to use the portaloos which have been provided specially for this event. Please note these toilets will be placed at the far side of the reception area.  They will be sign-posted but are not immediately obvious.  Normal queueing rules to apply.

8. Refreshments

There are some refreshments on sale at the café in the reception area.  There will be water provided for athletes as they finish their leg.

9. Spectators

The course is fenced and spectators must stay outside the fenced area at all times.  You can, however, watch from anywhere along the ‘pitches’ side of the course.  (The other side is the bank of the A12 and not accessible).  It is a ‘looped’ course so you will see athletes several times on the course from any one spot. Dogs are allowed on site but must be kept on a lead at all times. Please ensure you clean up any mess.

Unfortunately, there is not sufficient space in the start area for tents/gazebos but there is space for club flags on the grass area which is just beyond the start and changeover area.  Please do not gather in large groups around the changeover area or near the entrance/exit gates for starting and finishing athletes to help with smooth management of that area.

There is not any official cover but if the weather happened to be really poor, we would allow athletes/spectators into the registration room/s. Let’s hope for good weather!

10. The course

Course maps are attached.  The course is all on the cycle track which is a one-mile complete loop and will be run in a clockwise direction.

The junior race will be 1 Shorter lap followed by 1 longer lap totalling approx 2.6K. NB:  This is a change from last year when junior athletes ran the long lap first.

The senior and vets races will be 3 full loops totallingapprox 4.8k, (or 3 miles).

Please take responsibility for remembering how many laps you have run.  It is relatively straight-forward but could be slightly confusing when loads of runners are on the course. The marshals will not know which lap everyone is on.

Athletes should only run into the changeover area at the end of their respective race. This is junior athletes on lap 2 and senior athletes on lap 3. Junior athletes completing lap 1, and Senior and Vet athletes completing laps 1 & 2 should not enter the changeover area but instead continue to run past the changeover area to the right of the cones.

It is mostly flat with a small hill at the far end of the course.  Junior athletes will do this once and seniors 3 times.

11. Changeover area

There will be a ‘coned’ waiting area for outgoing runners on the grass next to the track. Enter via the gate which will be indicated and marshalled. As your incoming runner approaches step on to the track as guided. You can leave as soon as indicated to you by the official. Junior athletes are doing the short lap first. Please look out foryour fellow runners already on the course.

Please only enter the changeover ‘holding pen’ areawhen your fellow runner is on their last lap (Lap 2 for juniors, lap 3 for seniors). This will avoid congestion in the changeover area.

When finishing, please do not hang around at the finish.  Walk forwards and towards the exit as guided by the marshals. They will tell you to move if you hang around. Please take some water at the end of your race if you need it, which will be handed to you by the marshals.

12. Results and awards presentation

The race is chip-timed which should make results and presentations easier.  As in previous years, we will only present ‘team’ awards on the day. County team medals for the first 3 county teams for Essex and the winning teams only in Suffolk in each championship will be given as soon after each race as possible. Probably outside near the green gazebo.

Individual “fastest lap” medals will be forwarded after the event once the full results have been processed and verified.



  1. Mark Austin Mark Austin says:

    Hello Jodie, I registered to run for Witham in road relays on the 15th March, the original post advised register by the 13th March. I just wanted to know if I am running, I am available.
    Mark Austin

  2. Jodee Mayer says:

    Hi Mark, sorry, I pulled the list of runners down on 13 March and so your name won’t have been included. We can’t swap any runners after tomorrow in any event, but if any drops out before then I will let you know. Thanks, Jodee

  3. Mark Austin Mark Austin says:

    Thanks Jodee, I will probably be there, as the Essex Athletics have my V65 road race county champs medal, I will bring my kit just in case.
    Thanks again

  4. Mark Austin Mark Austin says:

    Hi Jodee, Kevin Harper drop out, I can ran if picked cheers mark

  5. Jodee Mayer says:

    Thanks Mark, that would be great.

  6. Mark Austin Mark Austin says:

    Sorry I should have said Kev harper has dropped out of the road relays, Colsey tx me earlier, so I can run if needed. Mark

  7. Mark Austin Mark Austin says:

    See you there

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