In short: Well done to Bexhill runners for this excellent race. In full: Many thanks to all the people from Bexhill runners who did a very good job on the day, especially the marshalls who had to stand out in the rain and who despite this were very cheerful and supportive throughout. It was a very friendly race indeed, and I can recommend the home-made cakes; an excellent choice. The tannoy announcer did a great job reading out splits and generally being encouraging. Having the splits on the published results is very useful too; I thought I had faded badly in the last two laps, but in fact the splits showed I had not faded that badly compared to the rest of the field. The medal is great, nearly as good as the Hastings half medal, which is the best I've ever seen. I didn't buy a T-shirt, but they looked good too. The baggage storage was good, and dry, which was important on the day.
For those who might be interested in this race another time, this is a very flat race. My Garmin recorded total gross climb of 11m, which is easily the lowest for any race I have taken part in. The race takes the form of 4 equal laps right by the sea front. My Garmin made the total length of the race 21.29km, i.e. 200m too long, but Garmins are not always that accurate. The scenary was good if you like the sea, which I do.
Another attraction is that it is easily available by train for anyone who lives on the London-Hastings line, change at St Leonards Warrior Square for Bexhill, then just under a mile walk to race HQ, which is right by the start and finish.
As others have noted, the weather was rather wet. Fortunately the rain which was pouring down as I arrived soon slowed down to a drizzle and had stopped by the start of the race. However the drizzle started again soon after the race started, and it was raining from about the 3km mark. By 12km it was raining heavily which continued until the last 2km when it slowed and by the end had stopped. From about the 15km point there was also a lot of standing water on the course.
The good point was that the wind was mainly light.
The only drawback of this race was that there was nowhere that I saw to change into dry clothes afterwards. I had to wait until the second train home to get out of my very wet clothes. Still I suppose there are not many races which do much better in that respect.
Personally I prefer small water bottles to paper or plastic cups, but on the day simply opening one's mouth at any point of the course collected some water. Date of review: November 20, 2010
In short: Very wet, tremendous marshalls. In full: I quite like running in the rain, but this was more than just rain. By lap three there was a soapy lather on my masculine running tights, which probably says as much about my washing machine as it does the weather.
I quite like the idea of laps, but at times it was a touch dispiriting seeing people coming past you in the other direction. But very flat course, was a minute outside my PB, which I was a tad disappointed by, so I'll blame the weather for that.
Excellent marshalls, really friendly and supportive in the wet. Calling out splits was also nice at the start-finish area.
I made the mistake of leaving my in the rain during the race, so shivvered my way back to the station and found enough coins in my pocket to buy a charity shop jumper for the walk home! Date of review: November 18, 2010
In short: Were there really chocolate gold coins at the finish??? In full: Please someone tell me that there weren't really chocolate gold coins at the finish - that my husband was just pulling my leg..... otherwise he is in big trouble for not telling me at the time....
All in all I enjoyed the race though there are areas for improvement - in particular the registration process. Having to queue to give the name - then to wait whilst they shout to the back of the marquee for them to get the number - and then another queue for the chip....
Next - the drinks station: there was only one on the route - which was hidden away just past the finishing banner on the right hand side of the road - shame that at this point slower runners were being yelled at to stay on the left in order to let the faster runners go by..... no notices pointing out the water station, no obvious people handing out cups..... It took me until the last lap to even spot the drinks station - though I'm not the most observant of people.... (and where were all the sweets that the earlier reviewers referred to.... I only saw a pile of jelly babies thrown on the floor once i had finished)
However praize definitely should go to the marshalls - they were all fantastic - being so supportive - even though they were standing out in the torrential rain.
And I loved the route - I enjoyed it being laps and seeing the runners go by on the other side. I so hope the wheelchair competitor finished as he looked like he was having a hard time in getting round all the corners - but still persevered, very inspirational! Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Love Bexhill, love the medal, love the cakes, hated this race! In full: I started out knowing I don't like laps but doing the race solely because I was in Bexhill and it was an opportunity to do a cracking time. What I didn't realise was that it wouldn't only be the course that was lapping but the puddles too!
For the first 7 miles I was on target for a good PB, but an old timer like me can't cope with that amount of rain and I went from a good pace (for me) to barely more than a walk, sloshing along as if I was on the beach. Actually I would have enjoyed it more on the beach because I found the laps so, so boring and tedious and know i wasn't the only one who forgot what lap I was on! Thank heavens for Garmin!
In the end, instead of a good PB I took a minute longer than the hilly Maidstone Half last month! Bizarre!
But that's my problem. As usual the Bexhill folk are great, the cakes were great, and it was good to get a brilliant Bexhill medal again after the Christmas Chocolate one from the 10k in September.
Bexhill, I will keep coming back, but definitely NOT to the half marathon if it stays at 4 laps. Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Very wet but worth it all the same In full: I was dreading the wind, but actually it was the rain that nearly (nearly) killed me. After getting power-showed soaked, I was freezing during the second half of the race, but the route was nice and flat and in good condition, which helped. Big thanks to all the spectators (who stayed despite the rain) and the organisers. And the bakers - the cake was great! Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Fast wet fast In full: Slight confusion with registration, originally due to be in the park but due to waterlogged ground this was moved to a nice marquee on the promenade, catching out a few people who had run this event before.
It rained - quite heavily. I didn't fall going down the ramp to the seafront but was on my knees on the 4th lap going up it.
Took 6 minutes off PB.
There was cake at the end. And chocolate coins - although failing to mention this point to my gluten free, wet, hungry and non cake eating wife went down about as well as telling her that I had left her raincoat back at the hotel before the start of the race.
Might have enjoyed it more if the sun had turned out and I wasn't suffering from a throat infection.
Hats off to the marshals though who stayed out in the rain for hours waiting for the final finishers, Mark and Robert, well done for sticking with it and finishing.
In short: Loved the race!!! In full: Fantastic organisation, and easy to collect numbers and chips on the day. I found this less hassle than being posted the number etc.
Really enjoyed doing four laps which after 2-3 meant I was lapping people and that was a real motivation. Got a PB which without the rain I think I could improve on next year.
Also the laps meant you always saw slower runners going the other way and I made the whole event dynamic. With single lap half marathons you find your position early on and then very often never pass anyone else again. I enjoyed the feeling of being really involved.
I am always impressed with the organisation of the Bexhill events after having done numerous 10ks, this half marathon is now a regular on my schedule.
Thanks to all the organisers and marshalls... Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Brilliantly organised, great value race In full: Superbly organised race, very friendly marshals (With some stamina, staying friendly in such pouring rain!!!) The medal is great and the cakes were excellent. It was my only 'flat' half-marathon this year, so a definite season's best (actually, best time for 25 years!) After the run, I got very cold very quickly, nothing to do with the race organisation of course, but if you're going to do a half marathon in November, you need to be ready for that(!) Despite the weather, thanks to all the organisers and helpers for a great day. Date of review: November 15, 2010