In short: Amazing experience from start to finish In full: My first offical marathon, clockwork organisation, plenty of water stations and loos en route, and an incredible atmosphere. Still buzzing! #proud but tired Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: 3rd Brighton Marathon and the best so far. In full: Having run this race every year since it began I'm happy to say it only seems to get better. The lack of portaloos and even men's urinals at the start still hasn't been sorted, but almost everything else was better than the previous two years.
Skipping the extra hilly loop past the marina made a huge difference and the extra distance in Alrington was much easier to handle. The new water pouches initially looked like they were going to be a pain, but whilst running they were extremely easy to use and completely got rid of the minefield of chucked bottles and cups.
I missed the literal "wall" at mile 20, and am sure there was a live band around the 21 mile marker that had disappeared this year. Also the pacers under the 4 hour mark all seemed to start from the very front of the red pen, rather then spreading themselves out. Would have been easier if the 3:00 was at the front and then each 15 min interval pacer had spaced themselves evenly throughout the pen. The mile markers also seemed a little less obvious this year.
But these are all minor issues really; the race is amazingly well organised, there is a vast supply of water, energy drinks and gels, the course is well thought out and the support is tremendous.
I'll be signing up for my 4th Brighton marathon in 2013 without a doubt. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Good atmosphere, well organised, no shortage of water/gels/blocks, fairly hilly in the first half however there were not enough toilets and they were not frequent enough. In full: excellent bar the lack of toilets, we qued for 40 minutes at the beginning, there were men having to skip out and pee in the bushes before going through the start timer, I had gastric problems, went to the loo at mile 13 and had to wait until jsut before mile 18 before there were more toilets, I was worried I wasnt going to make it and would have to pull out of the race or mess myself. Men were able to skip out and pee in lots of locations but this isnt exactly an option for women or those who get gastric upset. Where toilets were provided there were not enough of them and runners had to que. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Superbly organised and supported big city marathon In full: I've now done 15/16 marathons and have to say that this was the best organised of the "big city" marathons that I have done.
From helpful emails in advance, to plentiful supplies on race day and even a specific iphone "Ap" the organisers really did an excellent job.
Great support from the crowds all the way round and an amazing atmosphere helped by the good weather.
Disappointing time for me - but that is down to the bug I caught in the week before rather than the event itself. Will be back next year to try and set the record straight. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Dull route through awful Brighton but with enthusiastic support In full: Probably the most bored I've been running a marathon in my life - maybe because I was spoiled from Barcelona marathon a few weeks ago (which was awesome). The course is boring, only made worthwhile by the fact that it's challenging (don't expect a PB but do expect to test yourself mentally - which is always worthwhile). Support was good along most of the course - a few spots with music blasting (which isn't my cup of tea - the drum bands are always the best thing along a marathon course). It was tough - I found it harder than Barcelona even though it's supposed to be less ascent - but I guess the weather didn't help (very cold and windy). Plenty of aid stations - very well stocked with water, gels and energy drink...and even vaseline. Excellent. Also - it didn't help seeing the 22 mile marker and then 400 metres LATER seeing the 21 mile marker!!!!!! I think that broke me and quite a few others. Website is awful - rarely works....and lots of results aren't in yet and I wonder whether I'll ever get a chip time from their system. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: The crowds are amazing with their support, well worth a weekend at the seaside. I've run it twice and i love the race and my wife and two young boys love to come along and cheer on everyone. If you only run one marathon make it this oine. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: A good event, but not as good as last year In full: This was the 4th marathon I've run - and my 2nd Brighton after last year.
Overall, very well organised as always. The main positive I'd say is that the race organisers have really got the drinks stations strategy nailed. There is always (and same for last year) enough water, powerade, gels, caffeine blocks in the right places - I've never conked out at Brighton because they look after you well.
The course is quite tough, however - it's not a particularly fast route. I thought that it was a good idea to get rid of the loop around the school at the top of the big hill (Rottingdean?) but it's quite a slog up past the marina and it takes take quite a bit of energy out of you for the second half of the race.
As always though, some constructive criticism:
Still not enough toilets at the start. I had to queue for 40 minutes to use the toilet and that was pretty much the same for everyone else. Surely it can't be that difficult to simply double the number of portaloos.
Signage also wasn't great. There was quite a few mile markers missing from miles 20 - 23 which is arguably where you need them the most. Also, this year, where was the 'Wall' banner? This was a nice tough last year but made me think I hadn't run as far as I had.
Two other specific points:
The mile markers didn't seem like they were in the right position at the start of the race. It wasn't particularly congested at the start, but I seemed to take 10:24 to run the first mile, even though I was running exactly 8:34 miles - that's quite a big error?
Also, the pacesetters didn't seem to be particularly visible at the start; nor did they run at the right pace? I was running bang-on 3:45 pace up to halfway (literally to the second) but got really demoralised at the Rottingdean turn to see the 3:45 pacemaker around 3 minutes ahead of me on the other side of the road. It turns out they all ran 5 minutes quicker than the target time, which is fine but confusing for those trying to pace themselves.
Overall though, a really good day out. Not quite as good as last year in my opinion, but that might have been due to slightly reduced crowds given it was a really cold day and last year was a heatwave.
I probably wouldn't do this again next year though; I'd like to try a flatter marathon and go for a PB. Date of review: April 16, 2012