The route for the first ever Chelmsford marathon was unveiled today.
Up to 2,000 runners will set off from Bellmead Park on October 19, 2014, and run to Hylands Park and back twice over to make up the 26.2 miles.
“This route shows off the best parts of Chelmsford,” said High Chelmer operations manager and co-course designer Steve Thomas, 42.
Fellow course designer and PCSO Al Barley, who has run 63 marathons, said: “We wanted a course for runners.
“Some marathons go through industrial sites and estates but this was to make it interesting because you can’t get any better than running through parks.
"It’s a very, very fast route as well as it’s all on hard-standing footpaths.”
The track snakes from the small city centre park behind the back of Marks & Spencer into Central Park and Admirals Park.
Runners will then race into Writtle via the back of Lawford Lane entering the village via St John’s Green.
At this point runners will cross a main road, The Green, with the help of police marshals, for the first and only time in the route.
Participants will run into Hylands Park via Lodge Road and Paradise Road where they execute a U-turn back towards the city.
After arriving back in Bellmead Park runners will complete the loop one more time.
The J’s Hospice fundraising manager Dominque Brunning said participants running in opposite directions but on the same path will be segregated by taping.
She said: “720 have entered already which is phenomenal which is ahead of where we thought we would be at this stage.
“It’s been a team effort and a culmination of the community coming together to put this all together.”
Anna Emtage, charity and community relations manager of the marathon’s sponsor M&G Investments, Mick McDonagh of High Chelmer shopping centre, and The J’s Hospice patron Lloyd Scott were also in attendance at the launch at supporters Run Active in Chelmsford.
Lloyd, who has made headlines by running or even crawling marathon routes in a deep sea diver’s outfit, said he would replicate the feat if someone sponsored him with a monstrous donation.
“It would need something special to drag me out,” said the 52-year-old, of Epping.
Organisers at The J’s Hospice cannot yet reveal the precise route of the track as it is yet to be officially measured to match the required 26 miles and 385 yards.