In short: sun, sea, sweat and no sand In full: This was my 3rd BM and continues to be an excellent race. Very well organised, very positive outlook. Best bit was seeing the army of volunteers filling cups from bottles pre race...this new idea workled a treat but required lots of dedicated pouring! Think mile 9 a bit dodgy in terms of length but otherwise superbly put together. Date of review: April 15, 2015
In short: my 6th Brighton marathon. yes I'll be back next year In full: Agree with many of the comments, not easy drinking out of a cup. I understand your reasoning but can we have smaller bottles next year. Didn't see any pacers during the race even the quick ones passing me on the other side of the barriers. The Expo was not as good as previous years. Fortunately I had made my own pace band. Yes I've done each one and have registered for next year. I liked the saucony message at 23 miles. Gave me a boost seeing my husband give me the hurry on so we could go to the pub. I don't mind the Shoreham section, makes a change from houses. Wasn't my best year but won't go in to details why. Let's just say I may need immodium next year. As always a great thank you to all those people who gave up their Sunday to guide us round, give us drinks and be there in case of injury. And of course a great big thank you to the people of Brighton who cheer, encourage and support us during the race each year. Be proud Brighton you did good. Date of review: April 14, 2015
In short: Excellent for first timer In full: 2 days after the race and I'm still buzzing. What an amazing experience. It was tough and I had to dig very deep, but that's a marathon for you. The atmosphere and organisation were amazing, so many smiling and helpful volunteers and the people of Brighton and Hove welcomed us all with open arms and cheered us all the way. If you're looking for a marathon for your first time, look no further! Date of review: April 14, 2015
In short: Good atmosphere and race route spoiled by stupidity... Has anyone mentioned the cups!!!!! In full: First marathon for a while, so was (slightly) relieved to not get a London place, so as to return at a smaller event. However, for quite an expensive race, it was ruined by some poorly thought out planning, the biggest of which was the decision to supply both water and Gatorade in cups!
Do the organisers not run??? Everyone knows that cups are a pain in the ar*e at the best of times, let alone whilst trying to hold race pace after 21 miles or so!
I know Brighton tries to green but surely THE PRIORITY MUST BE TO ENSURE THAT THE RUNNERS STAY HYDRATED, ESPECIALLY ON A HOT DAY???
Had i known this beforehand, i wouldn't have entered as, if memory serves me correctly, it has been hot every year at this event, so to take this decision a short time beforehand smacks of penny pinching, as well as appearing underhand.
As if to rub salt in the wounds, just after 4 miles, my wife gave me a pre-planned bottle of Gatorade, only to find a fuel station no more than a mile further on dishing out Gatorade bottles! Where's the consistency?
Further on, i had to resort to the cups, and subsequently spilled sticky energy drink all down myself... Not pleasant when combined with the whiff of fish around the power station!
As previously mentioned, Expo was flat, with very little of interest, although the video message idea was a good one.
On the plus side, the crowds were great and the course not too bad apart from the power station section.
In summary, could/should be great but too expensive and ruined by some ill thought out decision making.
In short: Amazing Support as always In full: 5th year in a row at Brighton and it is a great event
The best thing is the crowd support which is amazing, especially the final 3 miles. The course is good and whilst the Power station section isn't great it is pretty well supported in that part now so isn't too hideous!
One major negative and a couple of minor ones CUPS - Please go back to pouches or use small bottles. They are a nightmare to use. Expo - Felt quite flat this year, we always make a weekend of it so don't mind too much having to go there to collect race numbers but must be pretty frustrating for some people. Start Pens - Could do with a few more variants. Always feels like there is too big a range of times in the same pen, leads to a very slow 1st mile.
Overall a great event, but please please please get rid of the cups! Date of review: April 14, 2015
In short: For the money I expect perfection In full: There are lots of positives to this event as is seen by the reviews and the amount of people running it. But little details become significant when the price is so steep. Cups - seriously? But still handing out bottles of gatorade? Where's the consistency in the decision making process. And some of the water stations did not have a clue what they were doing. Toilets - No where near enough at the start with massive queues and people missing the start T-shirt - let's be honest it's unattractive and crap quality. It's already top of the 'wear to keep warm and then bin at the start line pile' Expo - why do you have to travel to collect the number. It's an added expense and inconvenience for anybody not staying over. I know why they do it in london, but this isn't VLM. And they ran out of pace bands by Saturday and the souviner technical tee-shirts were pretty much gone by 2.30 on the Friday - absoulute joke I've focussed on the negatives, I actually really enjoyed it. The support was fantastic Ultimately for near enough £70 I expect very few negatives and certainly not ones that in the main suggesrt the organisers are cost cutting.
In short: Lovely Seaside Marathon In full: This was my second consecutive year of running the Brighton Marathon and I enjoyed it even more than last year (when I also ran London the following week). The atmosphere was fantastic with great crowd support (with the exception of a few thoughtless folk who thought that they would ignore the crossing points).
It was a little warmer than last year but the sea breeze was very refreshing.
I echo the comments of some other reviewers though:
- The toilet situation at the start really is inadequate. If it is not possible to have more then perhaps a prioritisation system for runners could be introduced to reduce the number of people narrowly missing the start due to the extensive queues.
- Number collection the day before really is frustrating. In spite of taking ID, I was still given the incorrect race number last year, adding to my pre-race stress. This year I received the correct number but there were no pacing bands left by Saturday afternoon, which was a little annoying.
- The cups were a real pain. After a few water stations I determined that it was not possible to drink whilst running and resorted to stopping and walking in order to take on some much-needed fluid in the heat. I also managed to pick up a couple of empty cups, which was frustrating.
Only minor niggles though as the fantastic crowd support (based on my experience last year, I think it was easily on a par with London) and beautiful scenery more than makes up for these. Even the dreaded power station leg is not too bad when you are expecting it (although I could've done without the diesel fumes!).
All in all, a great race and if I hadn't promised my family that I won't do any more marathons, I would definitely be back next year! Date of review: April 14, 2015
In short: Fantastic crowds, generally flat. In full: My 2nd Brighton marathon, and enjoyed last years more! CUPS- enough to maybe put me off coming back. Found them so hard to drink from, and given the heat I was dangerously dehydrated by the end. some only had about 30ml in. Poor volunteers got soaked too. Why not give out small bottles to reduce wastage instead? Toilets- at the start there seemed to be less than 2014? Not sure if it was my imagination but queues were really bad and I missed the start. Just managed to dash into the red pen before the blues were released. As everyone else has said, the bit around the power station isn't great, smells like fish at parts which isn't wonderful when you already feel nauseous! Also announcements at the start need to be louder, couldn't be heard on most of the park. Bit annoying having to go into brighton the day before but thats the same with a lot of marathons. Parked a mile away and walked which was much better than last year. However the GOOD bits: No queues for baggage drop The system they process you through at the end if very efficient and works really well. The crowds are AMAZING!! They are what make me want to come back to Brighton. Nice course apart from the road to hell, and fairly flat :)
In short: Six out of six completed but not sure that lessons are being learned. In full: First of all a disclaimer: I've only run one marathon course and it's Brighton. It passes my front door and I can see my bed from the course at around 19 miles... However, I've run all six Brighton's so hopefully can be objective.
The pros still outweigh the cons by a considerable margin. It's mostly flat and, by local standards, there was next to no wind on Sunday (Anyone who runs down here throughout the winter is chuckling every time they read a complaint about the wind, trust me!) and with the sun out Brighton sparkles and the locals come out and really get behind the runners.
The cons though are several. Not much in isolation but there seem more each year. - the expo is really poor. It was something to look forward to a couple of years ago and built up the appetite for the run but this year in particular felt really flat. Lack of pace bands (one per runner I was told - yes, i know that's all some need!) and little by way of interesting stands. I can walk to the Expo to collect my pack but i'd be mightily annoyed at having to travel in with the associated additional expense to collect the pack. As a local I don't see the benefits for the town that this is alleged to generate! I do see an increase in traffic and congestion though!
- The 'red' pen, with it's forked access was extremely full. Even though i was at the pen by 9pm i couldn't see the 3:30 pacers (or indeed any as those balloons were pretty difficult to spot, even on the course)
- The crowding continued on the course, especially when it narrows on the way out to Ovingdean. One day someone will punch a runner with headphones on who continually ignores requests to move aside (not advocating this, but it is a pet hate on the day). And with no marshals stewarding who gets into the pens it was pretty annoying to find myself an inch from running straight into the back of a 'pink pen' runner who decided to walk on the way up alongside Preston Park to play with their phone.
- the water stations... some of the early ones were short and came up very very quickly - the other runners are great at sharing cups but the pouches were definitely better. As the run progressed it seemed the water stations got better and although i was one of the many who slowed to a stop almost to sip i can't say that it had a huge impact on my time.
- the numbers... 18,000 entries and only 50% turn up and run. Again! Not sure what the average drop out rate is but this is pretty poor. I've tried and failed to get into London for six years (like so many others) but if this drop out rate was replicated there i'd be proper peeved. Time to stop people deferring (or at least provide evidence of a reason to)? That said, i've no idea how the race would've coped with twice the runners.
- post-run... the volunteers are (as always) wonderful and that elation won't ever be forgotten... however, having to make one's way out of the course through the 'meet the family' area without family waiting there i urge the organisers to provide an alternative exit. Negotiating dogs, buggies, bikes and thousands of people is hell at the best of times... A simple exit route for pedestrians that does not force people to the pebbles would be a winner!
All told, I'm done with it now. Six is enough. And yep, i'll be getting itchy feet in the winter but them's the breaks! It is still a smashing race, with great crowds and Brighton AND HOVE(!) really support it. Well worth doing if you've not done it before.