PLANS are in progress for this year’s annual Saltmarsh75 with organisers hoping it will be the best yet.

Now in its 5th year the two day ultra-marathon sees competitors tackle 75 miles of the unique Saltmarsh coastline.

People can take on the mega challenge as a walker, runner or do bits of both.

There are also relay and duo options available.

Starting in South Woodham Ferrers the trail follows the River Crouch until it meets the North Sea.

It then turns left through the remote Dengie Marshes to Bradwell on Sea at the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary.

On Sunday the remaining 37 miles take runners through the Blackwater’s historic towns and villages – Maldon, Goldhanger and Tollesbury – before finishing in Salcott.

Participants can choose either to run or walk the course, and many do a mix of both.

Some can complete the course in seven hours while many continue into the darkness.

The event – the brainchild of two council employees - is also a good test of the council’s emergency response resources and protocols and is sponsored by Rover Rescue.

Last year’s event saw over 150 competitors come to Maldon district to test themselves in the two day event.

This year the team have produced dedicated training guides and a new website with all the practical information participants need.

Bob Boyce MBE, Chairman of Community Services, said: “The Saltmarsh 75 is a great event and a true challenge. Competitors travel the full length of the Maldon District Coast line and discover miles of stunning wilderness and coastal towns.

“The council are proud to be able to support this event, but without the efforts of all our volunteers it could not take place.”

Ian Dobson, who successfully completed the event in 2015 and 2016 said “This is an amazing event and I would like to thank all the people who work so hard to put it together.

“You feel supported and looked after the whole way round. However, it is very hard and there are times it seems impossible. It was a great feeling to reach the finish line and I will never forget the experience.”

For further information please see, or visit the Facebook page and Twitter feed @saltmarsh75.