In short: Exceptional on course organisation In full: Great race, really enjoyed it. The on course organisation is exceptional. There were some very busy roads partly closed so you can see where the money goes. Really good atmosphere, couple of hills to keep,it interesting. Only thing I could suggest to improve is having pens for start times, spent the first mile weaving in and out, but to be fair this helped me in the end as didn't go off too quick. Well done the rotary club, an event to be proud of! Date of review: April 24, 2016
In short: Big race - well organised and great crowds In full: Just run my second Brighton Marathon and enjoyed all the experience. Very well organised event - loads of brilliant marshalls and a very scenic route. To be critical not enough loos at the start (typical for a big race like this) and the walking route from Brighton to the start was overcrowded and needs a re-think if Preston park is the right place to start. The people of Brighton and Hove came out in their thousands to cheer on and supply jelly babies etc - well done to them. Water stations - great well organised. Date of review: April 24, 2016
In short: Bunch of mature men in sensible jackets put on a great race (all the other marshalls were ace too) In full: Really enjoyed this one, lots of countryside not too up and down and really flat final few miles on the Greenway (I found this really good to run on). Good announcers/PA in race build up - was fun and helped a very cold final 20 mins pass. Thought updates on Facebook pre race got the tone right and helped build anticipation. All the stewards were excellent and very encouraging crowd in town stretches. I would have to work hard to think of negatives.... Shakespeare didn't bother to turn up maybe? No that's the best I can do. I will be back next year.
In short: Great atmosphere despite chaotic organisation In full: The sun shone, the crowds were great, it's a lovely course and I got a pb all of which makes me forgive the terrible organisation. My fellow runners have summarised all the failures comprehensively so I won't repeat it all again.
What I really don't understand is why things are getting worse? Normally the organisation improves every year so that at London (for example) it's now virtually faultless. So why are Brighton's organisers going backwards? I love the atmosphere of this race so I may run again next year..... but unless things start improving fast 2017 will be the last time. Date of review: April 23, 2016
In short: My First Marathon and loved it ! In full: This was my first marathon and it was a great experience for me , I read here that some people were disappointed with some things but for me collecting my number was smooth and the overall organisation was fantastic .My family and I drove down on Friday from Hereford ( about 188 miles).On Saturday I collected my number ( no queues outside ) then my kids had fun at pier. On Sunday I got a taxi to drop me close to the start as we were staying in The Marina. I was there by 7am ! Bit early but time to go to the loo and get my bearings. Yes there were queues for the loos later but the atmosphere chatting to runners was great . At the start there was mud but we were not kept waiting long ( blue wave) and I managed to chat to some lovely people. The race itself was tough but so well supported, I had to smile and high five the little ones. The paper cups for water are tricky but I squash them to make a funnel and then sip the water. At the finish I followed the channel past the baggage , I was chatting to a guy when a lad dashed over with his bag as he had walked past the right lorry ( amazing service) . Anyway my husband had been tracking me on the app so he knew my time and where I was all the time. I found him and my kids on the beach and we walked the 20 mins back to the Marina and then off on our 3.5 hour drive home ! In a nutshell , I loved the route, people and medal !
In short: Sadly my last Brighton marathon In full: This was my 6th Brighton marathon, and I'm afraid that it'll be my last. I've got so much affection for this event and it's upsetting that it now feels as though the organisers have started treating runners as fools and only think about how they can wring more money from them, rather than enhance the race experience.
From the reasons behind the Expo ("it's to reduce carbon footprint".... WHAT?!) to the dreadful communication (email on Saturday morning telling runners that bag size was reduced due to 'security' - even though larger bags were also given out), to the terrible funnelling after the race, cramming hundreds of tired, unwell runners into a holding pen before pushing them through onto the "beach village" where they can - yep - spend more money.
Lack of toilets at the beginning, muddy corrals, poor collaboration with train companies... you might expect this at a small local club run - but not at "the 2nd largest marathon in the UK" as we were frequently told - when the price is considerably more than London.
Sorry Brighton. I feel bad writing this because I love the town, I love the atmosphere of the race, and the course is mostly good - but while you continue to view runners as a commercial enterprise, I won't be back. Date of review: April 23, 2016
In short: Brighton Half Marathon did it better! In full: I am quite new to running events, and now I have done a few I am in a position to compare between events... I afraid to report that the Brighton Half Marathon event did it better!!!
Overall the Brighton Marathon was a good event which I enjoyed, and with it being my first and I am a local it was a convenient way to introduce me to a marathon event.
1) Having to collect you bip number two days / day before the event is just crazy! Being a local was annoying enough as I had to come into Brighon and pay for parking, then queue for ages! Luckily I went on the Friday so the queuing was too bad, but I went back on the Sat to change a top I brought and the queue went round the corner, I would have been livid, especially if I was a non-local. In future these should really be posted out.
2) The start was well organised, with runners being separated into their predicted finish times. However we were all standing in mud, lucky it wasn't raining because I feel this could have turned into a serious health and safety issue! Simple matting would have solved this problem. Also lucky for me I didn't need the toilet before I started, but I passed people queuing for the toilets whose bip numbers were way quicker than my finish time! I personally would have been extremely annoyed if my race was delayed due to a lack of toilets!
3) The water stations were plentiful, and the support from the volunteers there was well appreciated. However the paper cups were a killer for me. Trying to run with a paper cup doesn't work. However working in finance I appreciate that this is a cost saving exercise (plastics bottles cost more... go figure!). But trying to achieve a PB; this would hinder your chance. .
4) The power station was the hardest part, no supporters and it smelt of fish. I really lost motivation here, as did all the rest of the runners I was "walking" with. I appreciate that this is 20 miles in and I was dead so I am not too sure people cheering me on would have helped!
5) The finish line... The bottle of water was tiny! And reading over reviews, I was lucky to get one. But the thing that got me the most, was the medal. One of the biggest aspects for me when doing any event (especially one of this scale) is a decent medal at the end. Although the medal is nice, there was also the 10k event this day, and they received (what appeared to be) the same medal just a different colour! There is quite a difference between a 10k and marathon!
Having ran the Brighton Half Marathon in Feb this year, I would have to say that they did a much better job! Much better organised, better medal, better merchandise, bottled water / energy drinks at the stations, better finish line process. The Brighton Marathron organised need to take a leaf out of their book!!!
In short: NEW PB on a nice course In full: I arrived on Friday to collect my number from the Expo, and there was no queue at all, lovely. Nice little expo. Kit bag was very small though, had it been raining on race day I would not have enough room to pack dry clothes.
Race day started at the Park & Ride (£15 - which I though was expensive), at the AmEx stadium. Very easy, lots of buses, toilets in stadium were open. Got to Preston Park with plenty of time.
Start area very muddy, some people got the idea right and wore carrier bags on their feet before the start. Great to have men's urinals at the park, but really glad I didn't need a portaloo, the queues were amongst the worst I've seen at any race! Baggage drop was fine, and easily made my way to the Red start Coral.
The PA did a really good job at building the atmosphere before the race, and really helped get me into the mood for a good run.
Once we started (via a Zoe Ball High 5!) we got to the first corner of the race & the crowd were silent. Everyone looking for their own runner and forgetting to cheer for everyone else. Maybe someone was needed to gee up the crowd as well as the runners.
I enjoyed the route. The double backs helped to spot all of my club mates at one point or more on the course. The weather was perfect, but I wouldn't want to run the course on a less runner-friendly day (wind / rain) as you are very exposed to the coast. The course was "playful" with some hills / undulation throughout.
NOTE TO ALL RACES - STOP GIVING OUT WATER IN CUPS, IT JUST DOESN'T WORK!!! Trying to run whilst drinking from a cup usually ends up in my spilling it down my vest or getting a stitch from gulping it.
Finish area was okay for me, but seemed a bit small for when more runners came in after me. Kit bag collection was fine.
My one main problem was at the end trying to find the P&R back to my car. No signage, marshals had no idea. One tried sending me up 100+ steps, the other pointed me in a completely different direct. I ended up standing with some other lost runners and eventually a bus turned up. It was more luck than judgement I think!
Overall, I enjoyed the run. Would I do it again.... maybe. It wasn't special enough to make me enter again after the race, but I'll never say no in the future. Date of review: April 22, 2016
In short: organisers knew the 2013-2015 course had measured short but didnt tell anyone until after the 2016 race to avoid bad publicity In full: Found out my 2015 pb of 3:41 (my only sub 4) doesnt count because course measured 400m short. Disgusting that they let this happen for 3 years then were forced to change it for 2016 (hence the new start). my pb now wiped from records (ok i was never Mo Farah but it was an achievement for me). I for one will never run Manchester again - the fiasco of bags etc this year has confirmed what a shambles it is Date of review: April 22, 2016
In short: Worst organised race EVER In full: Signage was awful luckily I knew where I was going as I had made the same journey between the Old Traffords as I went to Muse concert in 2010. My hotel was opposite Man U ground. The baggage in was chaos one table thousands of people worst I've ever seen
I had no idea we had started but I thought the mat was a clue no signage to show where start was.
The route I thought was a lazy double backed route it had it's advantages but lazy never the less.
Mile markers were confusing and off. Water stations very unorganised had to get my own water on a few.
Toilets nowhere near enough when I had my 'accident' at mile 16 (started about 15 or wherever the caffeine gel were as I think they were warm.) no one could tell me where they were. So went into a hotel where a Marshall was in there ages lost 6 mins.
Finish area very crowded hard to find people.
Baggage area Queues between 1-2 hours how hard would it be to have 12 tables with 0-1000, 1001-2000 etc.
In short: First time this race has been run for 20 years but I am sure it will carry on In full: I entered this race mainly because of the unusual distance as it is good to try something different. Only 119 runners but I am sure there will be more in future. Very well organised. Easy parking , tea and cakes afterwards and a very friendly atmosphere. There was no memento but the race was very cheap so no real complaint. The route is all on quiet country lanes except for about 100 yards and is truly undulating with plenty of small inclines and also plenty of bends. All in all a very good run which I hope will carry on going and increase in numbers. Date of review: April 21, 2016
In short: A lot of criticism, some I'm not sure entirely deserved... In full: This was my third Brighton Marathon for me and always the highlight of my year. I love the whole marathon weekend and my family and I always have a great time.
A lot has been remarked about the number/corral allocation this year where you decide on the day. I was aiming on a sub 3:30:00 this year so wanted to get down early Saturday to collect. What I didn't expect was a train incident at East Croydon train station and practically every train down to the South Coast was severly delayed or cancelled at the last minute. When I eventually got to Brighton by car, the queues were huge and I was asked just to join any corral queue and ask for the pen when at the front to get people through and processed quicker. Got a feeling the mass queues at 14:00 in the afternoon and onwards was more to do with the horrific incident rather than poor event planning from organisers, also horrible weather on the south coast Friday meant not many came down to the exhibiton until Saturday. Could they control the weather? Bit harsh to criticise if these were what caused the issues.
Getting to the race also had a snag outside the event organsiers control - someone decided to park their van on the main pavement the runners walked on and therefore there was a funnel which hadn't been there the year before. Event organisers fault for illegal parking by someone else? Think not.
Ironically, I did comment to my family that if this was my first Brighton marathon, with the trouble I had getting down and to the start I probably wouldn't do this again, but also commented its a shame that things totally out of the event's control had made this year a slightly more negative processing and race start experience.
Preston Park was as magic as ever and the corraled system was an improvement over people in other coloured pens sneaking in a faster pen after they walked through their allocated sections. The course was wonderful except for the usual power station stretch which surprisingly went quicker than it has done the past few years? Was it because I ran quicker? Who knows!
Anyway, I'm not going to let one year stop me from entering what is my favourite event of the year. Maybe it's rose tinted glasses that makes me see the positive in this race but water stations were cups this year and last, so can't see why people would be surprised if they weren't Brighton marathon "regulars". Crowd were electric as ever and I always say that this is a must do for any serious marathon runner. Date of review: April 21, 2016
In short: How do they manage sunshine every year as well as everything else!? In full: Gorgeous. Only one tiny quibble on the organising front which was otherwise friendly and flawless - some matting put down in the car park exit would speed things up hugely at the end when we're all trying to get home. Date of review: April 21, 2016
In short: Disappointing after last year In full: New corral selection system didn't work, hour and a half queues to collect bib. Offered a 1st Corral or last corral as a 4.5 hour runner as all others gone. Pushed out the door dead on expo closing despite delays. No hot food stalls at the start as in previous years. Ran out of small t shirts at the finish - given large. No bottles of water left at the finish, given a cup of water. Restrictions on what snacks you could pick up (either or situation), exit from finish line closed so a 15 minute for bags to be brought to us. Gear check bags, poor quality and too small - many split and had to be taped. The list goes on... poor attention to detail and a step back on previous years. I am unlikely to run again. Date of review: April 21, 2016
In short: Too expensive for what it was In full: aspects were poorly organised. I was left without a foil and was cold after the race. 'free' was a bit of a funny shape. thankful for all the voulnteers however the course was too narrow in places for the amount of runner and I had to unwillingly slow my pace in areas. Needed more toilets at the park also. Date of review: April 21, 2016
In short: Organisewrs need to up their game In full: If you look at the previous reviews 2014: 86% overall and 80% would do it again, 2015 83$ overall and 84% would do it again. And this year? As I post this the figures are 62% overall and 40% would do it again.
That pretty much says it all. Brighton need to sort this out, learn from and address this years cock ups and bring this race back to what it was and what it could be rather than the cost cutting profit making exercise it apears to be turning in to Date of review: April 20, 2016
In short: Great friendly event In full: Really nice route, as advertised it was undulating but thoroughly worth doing. Personal best was achieved, so worth turning up just for that. This was a really friendly event. I would have preferred to pay more and have a medal instead of a technical T-Shirt, you cant have it all your own way. All in all a really enjoyable event. I will definitely be returning for this one next year! Date of review: April 20, 2016