SOUTHEND seafront will see a red carpet laid out for triathlon runners and barriers installed along the promenade to protect this weekend’s event.

The iconic triathlon along the seafront is only running at a quarter capacity this year due to Covid restrictions, and spectators have been told to stay away from the event.

Barriers will be in place along the seafront for runners and cyclists, but no roads will be closed.

Traffic marshals in hi-vis jackets will also be stationed along the seafront.

Organisers have revealed the long road it has taken to get to this stage, with last year’s event cancelled.


Peter Martin, one of the race directors, said: “The tickets for participants have all sold out, 120 people will be taking part.

“The cycling and running will be along the seafront and then there will be a swim out and back again.

“There will be a rolling start with five stages, rather than a mass start at the beginning, to allow for increased social distancing.

“The usual flags and banners will all be in place too, alongside the barriers and the red carpet from the water to the roads, which is new this year and a first for Southend.”

The race will take place from 1pm through to 4pm on Saturday.

Around 400 participants usually take part in the triathlon, which could be expanded next year.

Competitors will swim for 750m, cycle 20km and run 5km.

Bosses are eyeing up plans to close roads for the 2022 event to allow for a larger race.

Mr Martin added: “Our message to spectators is not to line the streets as usual.

“We anticipate family and friends will be cheering on but we can’t actively encourage people to watch.

“Even though the Covid restrictions are easing in two weeks’ time, we have to stick to them now.

“We’re really pleased to be able to put the event on this year, especially with everything going on in the world.

“We want to wish everyone taking part good luck.”

The triathlon, run by Havens Hospices, will raise money for the much-loved Essex charity.

The charity cares for seriously ill children, young people and adults within the home, in the community and at its two hospices, Fair Havens, for adults, and Little Havens for children.