In short: Not A Good Year for the Beacon Half In full: My 4th consecutive Beacon half. The route change and the weather are all things the organisers have little control over but the poor signage for water stations and mile markers, and the blockage at the finish should have been better and have been fine the last few years. What went wrong this year? I'll probably give another race a go next year. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: OK but a few complaints and issues this year. In full: Overall, I had not too bad a race despite the weather including headwinds, driving rain (and sleet at times) and low temperatures. I was disappointed with some of the organisation this year. The bag drops were very poorly manned and insecure - I queued for 15 minutes to leave my bag, threw it over the fence when the 5 minute warning was given and found people wandering through the bag area picking up their own bags at the end. Also,the bag drops had moved to waaaay back behind the start line and, since most people were headed towards Brighton centre after the race, it meant a long walk to collect the bag. I didn't appreciate that with tired legs.
On the course itself (ignoring the bit through the town just after the start which is quite good fun) there were bottlenecks along the course that killed any PB potential. One notable one was around 5k, leaving the town and heading up the hill above the start area, runners were crammed in between a pelican crossing pole and the crowd barrier and slowed to a walk.
In summary, I'm probably going to avoid the bigger event like this in the future and stick to races like Wokingham's half that was also held today. But thanks to everyone who marshalled in grotty conditions and to everyone who cheered so enthusiastically - it does help! Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: What a shambles! In full: Field too big; not enough loos; bag drop off chaotic; bag pick-up a free for all with no security. As for the race; course too narrow for the size of field; fine if you are at the front but this is a big event (and getting bigger) now and the majority of runners are NOT at the front. Marshalling in the Lanes area not existent with pedestrians regularly seen in the way. Stretch from town (2 miles) to 3.5m point nothing short of dangerous with hundreds of runners having to run on the road along side on-coming traffic as the pavement area too congested!
Parking: A joke, I was one of the lucky ones who didn't get a parking ticket at the marina!
What a shambles. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: A Good Effort, but room for improvement In full: Pity the organisers whose route was drastically altered by potential rockfalls! A good alternative but the contraflow areas did need better marshalling or more barriers. The first couple of miles around the town suffered from variable width roads causing congestion. Water stations needed improved advance notice. The finish was appalling being brought to a halt before the timing mats due to what appeared to be issues with removing the chips. The weather! Well, Brighton in February is never reliable. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: Field too big for the course In full: Awful weather but that's always the risk at the seaside in February. Cold, wet and windy with driving sleet at times.
This course really can't handle this number of runners and for me it meant I didn't really enjoy it. As has already been said the baggage drop was poorly organised; really bad congestion for the first three miles which wasn't helped by a large number of people obviously starting much too far forward. The first part through the town doesn't allow the field to spread out and a number of turns and narrow parts can cause bottlenecks.
Lots of people were wearing MP3 players and seemed unaware of the people around them.
There are lots of marshals on the course and you've got to be grateful for them giving up their time on such a wet, cold and windy day but a lot of them didn't seem to be doing anything! At the start people weren't sticking to the course and were cutting corners but no attempt was made to stop them. Along the prom people were wandering into the path of runners and I would have thought the marshals would keeping the route clear.
Lots of queuing at the end to get your chip taken off and get out of the finish area. They were asking you to keep moving but you couldn't go anywhere.
Not sure I'll be doing it again even though it's my local race Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: Getting too big for its running shoes In full: Rotten weather aside, this was the most congested I've seen it in the few years that I've run it. First 3 miles round town had too many bottlenecks. I just managed to avoid the queue to get over the finish line[unacceptable in any event]. The tag-removers needed to be further back. Bag storage was chaos - a free for all. Whole start/finish line area-layout needs rethinking if it's going to have this many runners and remain credible. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: Flat, fast and fun. Sneaky hill at 8 miles In full: Really fun this one. Good atmosphere. Well organised. Flat most of the way until a sneaky hill at 8 miles. The only irksome part is that at the hill people walked two abreast and for those of us wanting to keep running had to ask them to move. Date of review: November 7, 2009
In short: Good race, would run again but only as it's local In full: It's worth a run, you get a day in Brighton after! The last downhill is extremely steep but other than that it's a relatively flat easy course Date of review: April 16, 2009