In short: Much better than last year - Brighton half is back on track In full: The organisers learned a lot of lessons from last year, with a great new wider and flater (it seems) route, better finish, bands on the run were a good addition and they even remembered to put an order in for the weather!
Only real quibbles are 1) the lack of loos, meaning a mad scramble at the beginning 2) the finish needs to be better organised, maybe with some signs. Bags would be a good idea and more efficient but I'm sure the organisers want to keep the plastic content down That said the organisers got a lot more right than they did wrong this year.
Brighton half is back on track and certainly a race worth doing. Date of review: February 22, 2011
In short: Great race - Flatter route, but somehow I found it harder this year!! In full: Done this one 3 times, and its always been well organised - and thankfully I haven't yet faced really bad weather! New, supposedly flatter route this year - got rid of the killer hill that was at mile 10-ish, but instead we have a really long 3 mile ish gentle (ish!) climb near the start. I was slower this year than before - but that could well be my training programme! (and the loud snorer in the room next door at the B&B...!) Date of review: February 22, 2011
In short: Great event with bags of fresh air and flat easy course In full: Local race for me so quite special. Last year's organisation was meant to be lacking in places but to be honest, all I can remember is the horrid freezing, wet weather, still traumatised by it! This year, the weather was perfect. The course was much improved too and I loved the percussion bands. My only gripe was the lack of loos (I was still queuing when the gun went) - definitely something to sort out before expanding numbers. I also was a bit miffed that the first water stop was at 5 miles, not 4 as announced - it kind of unsettled me a bit (doesn't take much). Apart from that great event, would do it again. All the volunteers and marshalls were very nice, thanks! Date of review: February 21, 2011
In short: A vast improvement on 2010 - route, organisation and weather all much better In full: The revised route was much wider and flatter than the year before, good to avoid the winding lanes of the town, get the slight hill out of the way at the start rather than the end and run out to Hove into the wind on the more sheltered road than along the front.
Still appears to b too few loos, but if you don't need to go before the start its no problem.
First drink station was quite far in - about 5 miles or so which made me glad i was carrying my own!
Great bands at the start and finish to get you moving but the atmosphere from the crowds is a little lackustre - definitely more geared to watching rather than cheering which makes it a bit quiet. That said, some enthsiastic crowds along the final strait made for an uplifting finish.
Volunteers all lovely and there were lots of them too. Finishing area a bit disorganised, a bag rather than five separate people handing you medal, drinks, banana etc would have been better.
Overall though; a much faster course that's easy to simply turn up and run. Two years in a row i've set a new PB here so sure i'll be back again. Date of review: February 21, 2011
In short: Great course, otherwise not as good a I'd expected In full: As most of my running is in hilly country it was great to do such a flat course. And i love running by the seaside too, so that made this course ideal. Even the weather was perfect for me. I was expecting a PB and was on for cutting 1+ min off my best until my cold and a terrible night's sleep cut in with a vengeance at mile 11. In the end I did exactly the same time - to the very second - as my Bexhill Half last November. Ah well, next year perhaps!
But other than the course, the bag drop, and the park and ride, I wasn't particularly impressed. Queuing for the loos at the back of the start meant I only just joined the back when the race started, and there was still a long loo queue behind me. And that far back, by the baggage tents, you couldn't hear the speakers so had no idea what was going on. We were told the first water would be at mile 4. It wasn't until mile 5, when suddenly there was both water and Lucozade so we had to choose or carry two bottles. Not good. Then finally at the end... oh why don't some organisers get the finish sorted. Its not rocket science! No funneling, just running into an area with masses of folk milling about. No clear indication where anything was - it would have been easy to have missed the medal or even had 2 (the mayor seemed to have about 5!)! And I didn't realise they were giving out water and bananas until I suddenly saw those stalls though the crowd. The medal was respectable enough but unimaginative, in the style that seems to be a Sweatshop norm nowadays. And no goody bag. Not an essential, but always nice to get, and considering we were running in a wealthy city... Why not put the water, Lucozade and banana in a sponsors bag to make it easier for us?
So in summary, a great course, terrific PB potential, but considering its been going for 21 years, it needs some real attention to the detail.
Having said that, I'll probably be back next year for that PB... and hopefully without a cold! Date of review: February 21, 2011
In short: organisation (and weather) much better than 2010 In full: course has been rearranged so there's no more faffing about on the backstreets - this is a much faster run on long straight roads - with 11.5 miles being along the seafront. the course was a little narrow in places, and some of the mile markers were a long way out, but overall the organisation was much improved on previous years. Finish area was efficient and lots of volunteers on hand to cut off chips and hand medals/blankets out. 3 water stops and 3 lucozade stops. well done brighton! Date of review: February 21, 2011
In short: Excellent In full: Thought the race was great, really enjoyed it. Just two comments for the organisers...maybe I was caught up in pre race nerves but I think the 'starting pen' signs were facing only one way (towards the start) which meant after dropping your bag off and walking back towards the start, you couldn't see where the pens started. Secondly, whilst there is a link on the website showing results sorted by chip time, it's a PDF so it's impossible to sort via category etc.
Overall though, great event. Date of review: February 21, 2011